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Bowl of Kale with Sesame with wooden serving spoons

Sautéed Kale With Garlic & Sesame

  • Author: Michelle Cehn
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 side servings 1x
  • Category: Side
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Asian
  • Diet: Vegan


This simple sautéed kale is widely loved in my house—it’s one of my all-time favorite ways to enjoy curly kale. The toasted sesame oil gives it a savory depth of Asian-inspired flavor while the garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes give it a nice spicy kick. Add in some white or black sesame seeds for show (and also some added nutrients—like calcium), and voila! You’ve got a beautiful green side dish that’s so good that even the kids will be begging for more.  


  • 1 tablespoon of toasted sesame oil
  • 2 large bunches of curly kale, rinsed, stems removed, and roughly chopped into bite-sized pieces.
  • ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder (or two large cloves of garlic, minced)
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt (adjust to personal taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon of sesame seeds (white or black)


  • In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the toasted sesame oil.
  • Once hot, add the chopped kale and toss it with the oil using a spatula.
  • Add the garlic powder (or fresh minced garlic), salt, and red pepper flakes and use the spatula to mix it evenly with the kale. 
  • Continue to cook for about 5-7 minutes, regularly tossing with the spatula to prevent kale from burning. The kale should shrink in size drastically and become soft, bright green, and chewy. 
  • Stir in sesame seeds, remove from heat, and enjoy!

Keywords: asian, greens, kale, sesame, side, spicy