Braised Kale With Pancetta & Onion

This is one of my new favorite recipes for kale which we have been eating a lot of lately both for it’s rich earthy flavor as well as it’s nutrients. If my kale is large, I usually blanch it first in boiling water to soften it, but if you are lucky enough to find, smaller more tender bunches of kale you can skip this step.

We like our food with a bit of heat, but if you don’t, you can eliminate the red chili pepper altogether, or simply use less. I was lucky enough to find a package of pancetta at Whole Foods, but if not available in your area bacon can be substituted in it’s place. This dish is a great side dish for just about any type of grilled or roasted meat.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 

Braised Kale With Pancetta And Onion

Braised Kale With Pancetta And Onion

Yield: Serves 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Tender braised kale flavored with onions and pancetta makes a delicious side dish for grilled or roasted meat.


  • 1 Lunch Bunch Kale (About 1 1/2 Pounds)
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Small Onion, Peeled, And Chopped
  • 1/3 Cup Diced Pancetta (Or Bacon)
  • 1 Red Hot Chili, Minced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Peeled & Minced
  • Chicken Broth (About 1 Cup)
  • Salt & Pepper


  1. Trim and wash your kale and drop into a large pot of boiling water for about 5 minutes.
  2. Drain, and squeeze to remove as much water as possible.
  3. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and cook the onions and pancetta together over medium heat until the onions are soft and the pancetta is beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and chili (if using), and cook for another minute or two.
  5. Add the kale and toss with the other ingredients, adding about 1/2 chicken broth to start.
  6. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the kale is very tender, adding additional broth as needed to prevent the mixture from drying out, about 15 minutes.
  7. Season with salt and pepper and increase the heat for a couple of minutes until the broth has evaporated.
  8. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 2 cups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 148Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 531mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 3g

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