Your kale-hating friends won’t hate this Jalapeno Popper-inspired Creamed Kale, with its jalapeno heat and cream cheese-y goodness. Top with breadcrumbs or bacon pieces if you want to really shut up the haters.
I have a very special announcement to make: I figured out how to make kale palatable to the kale-haters.
It’s so simple, really. Jalapeno poppers are SUPER popular (looking at you, Pinterest) and have inspired some truly amazing dishes. You can have everything from jalapeno popper grilled cheese sandwiches, to jalapeno popper pizza, to jalapeno popper stuffed chicken. So why not a Creamed Kale recipe inspired by the flavors and ingredients of Jalapeno Poppers?
So here we are. Creamed kale meets jalapeno popper to create a creamy kale dish that has a lovely heat. This is one fantastic creamed kale recipe. Kale and cream cheese make a fantastic pair.
This creamed kale with cream cheese recipe makes a perfectly indulgent dish that begins with a healthy base of kale. And it’s so jalapeno popper flavor-forward that it pretty much hides the flavor of the kale. Seriously, feed this kale dish to your kale-hating crew and they’ll be asking for seconds. If not, kindly ask them to leave.
How do you Make Creamed Kale?
Here is what you will need to make this fantastic recipe for creamed kale - one that's both comforting and spicy.
- butter (or bacon grease)
- ½ and ½
- cream cheese
- medium yellow onion
- garlic cloves
- salt and pepper
Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat.
Add onion, garlic, and jalapenos and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add cream cheese and stir until melted.
Add ½ and ½, then toss all of the kale in. Use tongs to help coat the kale in the creamy mixture and encourage wilting. Cover for 2 minutes, then rotate the kale with the tongs.
Repeat this process (rotating the kale, then covering the kale for 2 minutes) for around 15 minutes or until kale becomes tender and the cream thickens. Once you’ve achieved tender, creamy kale, turn off the burner. Add salt and pepper until seasoned to your liking.
Let sit for 1-2 minutes to cool and thicken further.
Sprinkle on bacon bits and/or breadcrumbs or crushed croutons.
Serve to your kale-hating friends with smug satisfaction.
What does creamed kale go with? Since this recipe is a touch hearty (read: comforting), I recommend pairing with a lean protein like pork loin or chicken breast. And maybe a nice piece of toast. Mmmmm.
Let’s talk jalapeno poppers for a second. Jalapeno poppers tend to fall into one of two categories: breaded or unbreaded. From there you have sub-categories or variations, like unbreaded, but wrapped in bacon or sprinkled with bacon bits, or fully or partially coated in breadcrumbs.
Regardless of what kind of jalapeno popper you’re emulating, I highly encourage the flourish of sprinkling on some bread crumbs/crushed croutons before serving to add some crunch. Or you could liberally sprinkle on bacon bits. Or you could do both, you overachiever you.
This dish is 100% comforting (read: the kind of meal you'll want to take a nap after). Pair it with a lean protein like baked pork loin or grilled chicken breast for a balanced meal.
Variations and Substitutions
This creamed kale recipe is - of course - amenable to alterations. Some suggestions include:
- Add other greens to the mix - why not add in some fresh spinach or other green(s) of choice?
- While the recipe was inspired by jalapeno poppers, go ahead and use other peppers like thai chilies or poblanos to add heat. Heat can also be accomplished with seasonings like cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes.
- I insist on the cream cheese in this recipe because it adds that rich creaminess, but if you'd like to lighten it up a little try using ⅓ less fat cream cheese.
Leftovers and Reheating
Store leftovers in a lidded container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Leftovers reheat well - just put 'em in a pan over medium heat for a few minutes on each side.
If you liked this creamed kale with cream cheese recipe, you might also like:
- Kohlrabi Slaw with Lemon Vinaigrette
- Crispy Slow Cooked Dr. Pepper Carnitas
- Buffalo Ranch Hummus with Pickled Celery
- Roasted Cauliflower Corn Chowder with Pepperjack Cheese
- Jalapeno Pickle Roll-Ups
Creamed Kale with Cream Cheese (Jalapeno Popper Style!)
- 7-8 ounces kale, center stalks removed (weighed using a food scale)
- 2 tablespoons tablespoons butter (or bacon grease)
- 1 cup ½ and ½
- 3 tablespoons cream cheese
- ½ medium yellow onion, minced
- 2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 4 jalapenos, minced (remove pith and seeds to reduce spiciness)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 3-4 strips of bacon, chopped into bacon bits
- ¼ cup bread crumbs or crushed up croutons
- Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat.
- Add onion, garlic, and jalapenos and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add cream cheese and stir until melted.
- Add ½ and ½, then toss all of the kale in. Use tongs to help coat the kale in the creamy mixture and encourage wilting. Cover for 2 minutes, then rotate the kale with the tongs.
- Repeat this process (rotating the kale, then covering the kale for 2 minutes) for around 15 minutes or until kale becomes tender and the cream thickens. Once you’ve achieved tender, creamy kale, turn off the burner. Add salt and pepper until seasoned to your liking.
- Let sit for 1-2 minutes to cool and thicken further.
- Sprinkle on bacon bits and/or breadcrumbs or crushed croutons.
- Serve to your kale-hating friends with smug satisfaction.