Warm Kale Dip Recipe

This rich, creamy dip makes the perfect party (and Big Game) appetizer.

Kale is a trendy, hearty green showing up in all sorts of recipes these days. Like its other Brassica family members, kale is packed full of nutrition. What makes this leafy green more popular than its cousins? Perhaps it’s because of the many intriguing varieties of kale or that it’s not as bitter as turnip or collard greens. Whatever the reason, kale is a versatile green that’s easy to grow and delicious to eat.

Kale Dip with Bread 2

Kale Dip with Bread 2

Kale dips is a flavorful and hearty appetizer.

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Kale is a cold hardy plant that does well in most areas around the US. Once established in the garden, it can hold up in frosts and hard freezes. Kale grows especially well in the fall and can overwinter in your garden as long as temperatures do not dip into the teens on a regular basis or in a cold frame in areas with harsh winters. Unlike in the spring, fall kale has a sweeter flavor that’s the result of the leaves maturing in cold weather.

Tips on Cooking Kale

Kale can be substituted for any recipe that calls for spinach or collards. If you are using it for a spinach substitute, be aware that kale takes longer to cook down. To help speed up the process, make sure you finely chop or shred the kale. You can also blanch it for a few seconds in boiling water before you saute. Kale is also delicious in stir-fries, omelets and even added as a healthy fiber supplement in smoothies!


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, plus more for baking dish
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 9 ounces of fresh kale, cleaned, trimmed and finely shredded
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 6 ounces cream cheese
  • 3 dashes balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of chili garlic sauce (or any hot sauce you prefer)
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella
  • ½ cup of shredded parmesan, divided
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • Baguette or crackers, for serving

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large pot, heat oil over medium. Add onion and garlic; cook until lightly browned.

Kale dip on toasted bread slices

Kale dip on toasted bread slices

Serve kale dip on lightly toasted bread or crackers.

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Add the kale in two additions, letting the first batch wilt before adding the next. Transfer to a colander to drain excess liquid. Press down on the kale to get all the liquid out.

In the same pot, warm milk over medium heat. Whisk in cream cheese until melted. Add the mozzarella and 1/4 of parmesan. Stir to combine. Add the balsamic vinegar and garlic chili sauce and the drained kale mixture; stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Pour into a lightly oiled 1 1/2-quart baking dish; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup of parmesan.

Bake until bubbly and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve hot with accompaniments.

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