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How to Cook Kale & Kale Mash ❤️

➤ by Oma Gerhild Fulson

Kale mixed with mashed potatoes and served with fried eggs

Below you'll see how to cook kale, turning it into traditional German dishes that are both hearty and healthy. Kale, aka Grünkohl, is a hearty side dish for many German dinners.

It has an earthy taste that goes great with other hearty dishes. It just needs to be cooked properly!

It's great if you buy it canned or jarred. It's so easy to prepare then. If you have fresh kale, check below how to prepare and cook it. If it's not done properly, kale has a tendency to be tough and bitter. 

Since kale is such a nutritious and healthy vegetable, it's great to be able to cook it so the whole family will enjoy it. 

Here, I've made Kale Mash: cooked kale mixed with mashed potatoes. Shown above, it's served alongside some fried eggs. 

red bowl with kale and mashed potatoesKale Mash -- super yummy!

It's a super quick way to enjoy kale. I used canned kale, instant mashed potatoes and eggs. Dinner was ready in 10 minutes!!! And so, so wunderbar!

  • Dump canned or jarred kale into a saucepan. Add about 2 cups water and bring to boil. Let simmer about 5 minutes. 
  • Stir in enough instant mashed potatoes to thicken to desired thickness, so that there appears about equal kale and potatoes. You can always add more liquid (cream is great, whipping cream is better!) or more potatoes. It depends how much liquid was in the can of kale.
  • Add a couple of tbsp butter if desired.
  • Add some bacon bits if desired.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Fry eggs.
  • Serve!

Or, if you have some leftover mashed potatoes, just heat your homemade, canned, or jarred kale, adding a bit extra liquid and stir in your leftover mashed potatoes. Heat over low heat until heated through and then add the butter, bacon, and re-season as necessary.

Kaffeeklatsch Trivia with a cup of coffee and steam rising
  • Kale has large stringy, curly leaves with a strong earthy taste and odor
  • Kale tastes best after frost has hit the leaves, taste sweeting and more flavorful
  • In northern Germany, "kale tours" are popular winter events for social clubs with meals of kale, Pinkel sausage, and kassler being served
  • Kale is a great source of vitamin K, C, A, B6 and E, manganese; fiber, copper, tryptophan, calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, and omega 3 fats!
  • Some varieties of kale can grow 6 - 7 feet high!

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Kale is often served alongside hearty meals. Sausage is a favorite, as is pork roast, as shown below. Served with mashed potatoes and gravy, this makes a hearty dinner!

Creamy kale served with mashed potatoes, roast pork and gravyTraditional kale with bacon

Ready to cook some Kale?

How to Cook Kale

 Kale, aka Grünkohl, is a hearty side dish for many German dinners. It has an earthy taste that goes great with other hearty dishes. It just needs to be cooked properly!

It's great if you buy it canned or jarred. It's so easy to prepare then. If you have fresh kale, here's how to cook it.

Prep Time

20 minutes

Cook Time

60 minutes

Total Time

80 minutes


Makes 4 - 6 servings


  • 2 to 3 lbs fresh kale
  • ⅓ cup lard, goose fat, or butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • ½ lb bacon, diced
  • salt to taste
  • l lb sausage, smoked and pierced with a fork in several places (optional)
  • 1 tbsp rolled oats or cornstarch (to thicken)


  1. Wash kale leaves well. Trim stalks and ribs from leaves.
  2. Blanche by immersing leaves briefly in boiling water. Then, drain well.
  3. Finely chop blanched kale. 
  4. Melt lard, goose fat, or butter in a large saucepan.
  5. Add onion and saute lightly. Add bacon and fry briefly.
  6. Add kale, about ½ tsp. salt, a little water and sausage (if using)
  7. Cover and cook on low heat about 1 hour. Make sure it doesn't dry out - add more water as needed. Cook until kale is tender. 
  8. Thicken cooking liquid by adding rolled oats (the traditional way) or dissolve cornstarch in a bit of water and add enough to thicken, stirring constantly.
  9. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. 

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