How to Cut Kale

Learn how to prep kale for use in salads, side dishes and more.

different types of kale laying on a dish rag on a marble countertop
Photo: Helen Norman

Whether you're growing it in your backyard or picking up a bunch from the grocery store, kale is known for its curly, and oftentimes unruly, leaves. While those leaves are great for using in a wide array of recipes, from Kale Salad with Cranberries to Creamed Kale, prepping kale for cooking may seem tricky. To help, we put together this guide with step-by-step photos, so you can learn how to cut kale like a pro.

How to Cut Kale

1. Wash kale in cool water to remove sand and grit.

A woman's hands tossing kale in a bowl
Karla Conrad

2. Slice along each side of the stem or hold onto it and pull off the leaves.

Hands using a knife to cut kale on a cutting board
Karla Conrad

3. Chop or tear leaves to desired size.

A close up of hands using a knife to cut kale on a cutting board
Karla Conrad

Once your kale is chopped, recipes like Adobo Chicken & Kale Enchiladas and Spicy Potato & Kale Soup are just the beginning of what you can make and enjoy. Next up: Learn how to cook kale the right way.

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