The perfect fall side dish, this stove top creamy kale and bacon dish is so easy to whip up and full of flavor. It’s cozy, it’s creamy, it’s cheesy and it is so good as a side dish.
I don’t think we’ve found the best way to eat kale. I know we found the best way to eat it. Smother it in a creamy, cheese sauce and eat it with bacon. Need I say more?
Okay, so there’s something to like about kale – that is, if it’s cooked in a creamy bacon sauce. This Stove Top Creamy Kale and Bacon makes the perfect go-to side dish for autumn. Although we know you’re going to be making it year ’round, just like you’re going to be buying butternut squash all year for this addicting Butternut Squash Gratin.
Whether you’re hosting a Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving party, need a killer side dish for a dinner party, or really just want some cheesy kale, this recipe is for you. Lightly blanched kale and smoky bacon, brought together in one pan with the creamiest cheese sauce – there is nothing boring about this dish.
To make this gorgeous side, you’re going to blanch your kale first because it helps take some of the bitterness out of it. And then you make the sauce. The secret to the creamy sauce is making a cheesy roux. Roux is essentially a white sauce made from flour, butter, milk and cheese. I love putting a little seeded mustard in my roux to cut through the richness of the sauce. Roux is easy enough to make, you just need to ensure all the lumps of flour are whisked out before adding the cheese in the final stage.
And then you have it – an amazing kale dish that everyone will love.Print
- 2 bunches of kale, leaves removed from stalk and roughly chopped
- 4 slices of bacon, diced
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 4 Tbsp. flour
- 1 tsp. wholegrain mustard
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
- ½ tsp. pepper
- ¼ tsp. salt (as needed)
- Place kale in a large, heat proof bowl. Cover with boiling water, and blanch for 30 seconds. Strain the kale, and run it under cold water immediately. Set aside in strainer to dry a little.
- In a saucepan or skillet, cook bacon over medium heat for 5 minutes until it starts to crisp. Place cooked bacon on a plate lined with paper towel to soak up the bacon fat. Use a paper towel to wipe out the skillet or saucepan.
- To make the sauce, melt the butter over low to medium heat. Add the flour, and whisk until the flour is covered in the butter, and it starts to fry slightly – about 5 minutes. Add the wholegrain mustard. Very slowly, pour in the milk, and whisk until the milk starts to combine with the flour. Continue whisking, removing any of the flour lumps. The sauce should start to thicken and the lumps should be gone. This should take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes.
- Once the sauce is silky smooth, add the cheese and whisk until combined. Add the kale and the bacon back into the skillet. Taste, and season with salt and pepper. You may get a lot of salt from the bacon, so it’s always good to taste before you add more salt. Cook until the kale and bacon are heated through, then serve.