Sautéed Kale with Toasted Cashews

Side DishVeganGreensKale

Chopped fresh kale, lightly sautéed in olive oil with onions and red pepper flakes. Tossed with toasted cashews.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Anyone will tell you, “eat your greens”!

And they’re right. Bitter greens especially—kale, collard greens, mustard greens, etc. They’re good for you, packed with vitamins, and they help digestion.

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That said, frankly I never knew what to do with them until I started learning how to cook from my parents. Now I can’t get enough of them!

Usually we offset the bitter with bacon. But you can also use nuts to provide balance. With this simple and easy side of sautéed kale I’ve added toasted cashews. Not much more is needed.

A little lemon juice, some onion, a dash of salt, and a sprinkling of chili pepper flakes for zing, and there you have it. The cashews pair beautifully with the kale. Now, go eat your greens!

Sautéed Kale with Toasted Cashews Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4


  • 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup unsalted, roasted cashews, roughly chopped
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 bunch kale, rinsed, tough midrib removed, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, plus more to taste
  • Salt


1 Toast the cashews: In a large, shallow sauté pan, heat on medium high. Add the cashews and spread out in an even layer. Toast, stirring occasionally until lightly browned here and there, and you smell the aroma of the toasted cashews. Remove from the pan to a bowl.

2 Cook the onions: Add a couple tablespoons of olive oil to the pan. Heat on medium. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.

3 Add the kale and red pepper flakes: Increase the heat to high/medium high. Add a couple tablespoons more of olive oil to the pan. Add the red pepper flakes. Add the roughly chopped kale. Use tongs to turn the kale leaves over so that they are all coated with olive oil.

Cook just a couple minutes, turning the leaves over often, until they are just beginning to wilt.

4 Sprinkle on lemon juice and salt. Remove from heat. Stir in the cashews.

Taste and add more salt and lemon juice to taste.

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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18 Comments / Reviews

No ImageSautéed Kale with Toasted Cashews

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Nattie

    Really good recipe!!!


  2. Brother Doc

    I’m going to try this with the last of my kale for this season. I think I will use a red onion, which I have on hand, as it will add a little color. Also I have a fresh lime which I will use instead of the lemon juice but expect the effect will be pretty much the same.

  3. Keri Pommerenk

    Wow…I made this recipe for dinner last night and I’m still thinking about it. Thank goodness we have a garden full of kale. Excellent as always!!!


  4. Walter Underwood

    I made this and the family really enjoyed it.

    There were a few substitutions. We had collard greens from Two Small Farms, so I used those instead of kale. One kid isn’t fond of nuts in food, so I used bacon instead. I didn’t need olive oil because of the fat rendered from the bacon. We had some shallots, so I used those instead of onions. We had fresh limes on our lime tree, so I used those instead of lemon. But otherwise, it was exactly the same.

    Great recipe, I’d make it again.

    Show Replies (1)
  5. Gloriana Fernandez

    Just delicious…perfect as is. Another winner, Elise. Thank you!


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Sautéed Kale with Toasted Cashews