Your kale-hating friends won’t hate this Jalapeno Popper 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 Jalapeno Popper Creamed Kale?
So here we are. Creamed kale meets jalapeno popper to create Jalapeno Popper Creamed Kale.
It’s an 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.
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.
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Jalapeno Popper Creamed Kale
- 7-8 oz kale, center stalks removed (weighed using a food scale)
- 2 tbsp tablespoons butter (or bacon grease)
- 1 cup ½ and ½
- 3 tbsp cream cheese
- 1/2 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
- 1/4 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.