Salsa-Braised Kale

September/October 2011

Your rating: None Average: 4.2 (24 votes)

Braising kale in salsa and topping it with cheese makes a delightful side dish for your favorite Mexican meal. Different brands of salsa have varying amounts of sodium. Sometimes prepared fresh salsa is the lowest.

Salsa-Braised Kale

Makes: 4 servings, about 1/2 cup each

Active Time:

Total Time:


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large bunch kale, tough stems removed, coarsely chopped (about 16 cups; see Notes)
  • 1 cup store-bought salsa, preferably fresh
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup crumbled or shredded Cotija cheese (see Notes) or Mexican-style cheese


  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add kale and toss until bright green, about 1 minute. Stir in salsa and water. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale is tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve sprinkled with cheese.

Tips & Notes

  • Notes: Choose organic kale when possible. Nonorganic can have high pesticide residue.
  • Cotija cheese, also called queso añejo or queso añejado, is a salty aged Mexican cheese with a crumbly texture. Find it near other specialty cheeses or at Mexican grocery stores.


Per serving: 161 calories; 7 g fat (2 g sat, 3 g mono); 9 mg cholesterol; 22 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 7 g protein; 6 g fiber; 459 mg sodium; 649 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (771% daily value), Vitamin C (197% dv), Calcium (26% dv), Potassium (19% dv)

Carbohydrate Servings: 1

Exchanges: 2 1/2 vegetable, 1 fat

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