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serving bowl filled with sautéed kale topped with cranberries and pecans

Sautéed Kale with Cranberries, Maple & Pecans


Easy sautéed kale with tartly sweet cranberries, studded with crunchy pecans and a delightful drizzle of cozy maple syrup.



Sautéed Kale

  • 8 oz kale, curly or lacinato
  • ½ cup onion
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • About 6 tablespoons water
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries


  • 23 tablespoons pecans, chopped
  • Drizzle of pure maple syrup


Note: I highly recommend making a double batch of this recipe! Once the kale is cooked, it reduces down quite a bit.

  1. Wash and dry kale. Pat with a paper towel to dry. To destem the kale, fold in half with the leafy parts exposing the spine. Using a knife, cut along the spine nearest to the leaf to destem. Chop into 1-inch ribbons.
  2. Wash and peel onion. Cut into ½-inch strips. Using your fingers, separate the strips into individual pieces, making sure none stick together.
  3. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil or other cooking oil. Tilt the pan to coat it well in oil.
  4. Add onions, heaping ¼ teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper. Stir to coat onions in oil, salt, and pepper. Cook until onions are translucent and have caramelized a bit, with some sear marks, about 3-4 minutes.
  5. This next part will happen quickly. Add half the kale, scooping from the bottom of the pan to get the hot onions onto the kale. Pour 2-3 tablespoons water over the onions and kale—you’ll hear a sizzling sound.
  6. Add the rest of the kale and water, and dried cranberries. Stir and fold everything together in the pan until kale begins to wilt just a bit. This will take about 1 minute, but not much more. Remember, kale cooks very, very quickly. You don’t want to overdo it and end up with a teeny, tiny, nearly microscopic and sad pile of wilted kale.
  7. Before the kale wilts too much, remove the pan from the heat.
  8. Stir and fold kale, then quickly and carefully transfer to a serving dish.
  9. Transfer to a serving dish and top with pecans and a drizzle of maple syrup.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 7 minutes
  • Category: Side Dishes, Dinner
  • Method: Cook
  • Cuisine: American