Sauteed Kale with Apples, Onion, and Bacon

Sauteed Kale with Apples, Onion, and Bacon

Is it too early to start thinking about Thanksgiving sides? I think not…even though it is sweltering out right now. I might be in the minority on this, but I can’t wait for real fall weather.

Craving fall flavors, I pulled out a recipe for Wilted Kale with Bacon and Vinegar from Cooking Light. Before I got around to making it, I found a similar recipe that incorporated apples. Kale with apples? Yes, please.

So, I sort of merged the two recipes. I first sauteed the bacon until crisp, reserving some of the drippings for cooking the rest.

Sauteed Kale with Apples, Onion, and Bacon

Then I sauteed some red onion and thinly sliced apple in the reserved drippings until tender. At that point, I added some chopped lacinato kale to the mix and cooked until just wilted. A little cider vinegar and a tiny bit of maple syrup at the end added a whole lot of flavor, as did the crispy bacon stirred in at the end.

Sauteed Kale with Apples, Onion, and Bacon

I couldn’t have been more pleased with how this dish turned out. I am definitely going to add it to my Thanksgiving repertoire.

Sauteed Kale with Apples, Onion, and Bacon

Yield: 4 servings

Sauteed Kale with Apples, Onion, and Bacon


  • 3 slices center-cut bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 1 small red onion, vertically sliced
  • 1 medium red apple, thinly sliced
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 medium bunch lacinato kale, thick stems removed and leaves cut into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside. Leave about two tablespoons of the bacon drippings in the pan and remove the rest.
  • Add the onion and apple to the drippings along with a small pinch of salt. Cook until tender, about 6-7 minutes.
  • Add the kale to the skillet; cover until starting to wilt if the amount of kale seems large for the size of the skillet. Cook the kale until tender, stirring occasionally, about 8-10 minutes.
  • At the very end, stir in the vinegar and maple syrup along with a little black pepper. Add about 3/4 of the bacon and toss to incorporate. Taste for seasoning and add additional salt if necessary.
  • Top with the remaining bacon to serve.

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  • Maria Tadic

    I love raw kale salads will apples, so I bet I’d love this! Sounds like a great fall dish! And I cannot WAIT for fall. This heat is not my thing. Much rather have colorful leaves, a warm sweater and fall produce!

  • Emily

    So pretty much all your meals are what I’d eat if I lived alone. Yummy greens with sweetness added sounds lovely.

  • Megan

    I’m going apple picking this weekend, and I think I may need to make this. It sounds so good! (And definitely agree with Emily – these are the kinds of dinners I have when Jeff is not around.)

    • Colleen

      I ended up turning this into lunches for myself with some chicken…definitely a great meal for one!


    Not too early at all! I’m already planning my Thanksgiving menu! This looks delicious. I need to eat more greens, and this recipe would probably make me want to eat them every night. Thank you for sharing!

    • Colleen

      Adding bacon is always a good way to make sure you eat your greens 🙂

  • crissy

    Hello! I just found your blog and so happy I did, it’s wonderful! I made a version of this for dinner tonight and it was so good! Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

    • Colleen

      Thanks for stopping by!

  • Shannon G

    this sounds absolutely wonderful, and perfect for fall, thanksgiving, or anytime really 🙂

  • Joanne (eats well with others)

    I made sweet potato galettes last week as auditions for a veg main for thanksgiving…so I think we’re on the same page! It’s never too early to start T-Day planning! I’m totally going to try this with tempeh bacon!

  • Amy (Savory Moments)

    It is definitely not too early – I have been thinking about it already, too. This dish looks really delicious and perfect for fall.

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