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Kale Puttanesca

Kale Puttanesca - A simple, fresh and zesty way to enjoy cooked kale!  The flavors are fantastic!

Last month over the holidays, we hosted Christmas dinner at our house for my husband Jack’s side of the family, and this delicious Kale Puttanesca was one of the side dishes that we served. As soon as I took a bite, I turned to Jack and said, “Yummy! We need to share this on the blog!”

So here it is!

This Kale Puttanesca uses the same approach as our earlier recipe for No-Cook Puttanesca Sauce Over Pasta. It has a wonderful zesty, briny flavor along with fresh tomatoes and grated parmesan cheese, and it really is the perfect complement to jazz up some healthy kale!

Kale Puttanesca - A simple, fresh and zesty way to enjoy cooked kale!  The flavors are fantastic!

What’s also great about this super simple, healthy and delicious dish is that you can make the puttanesca sauce in advance, then just toss it over freshly cooked kale or other greens! It’s great for serving at a large dinner party – and it’s also great to have on hand when you want a healthy side dish any day of the week!


Kale Puttanesca

Kale Puttanesca - A Family Feast

The puttanesca sauce can be made well in advance and refrigerated. Just be sure to bring to room temperature before using.

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 5 mins
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 2-ounce can anchovies
  • 2 medium cloves garlic
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers
  • 3 tablespoons good quality extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • 1 pound fresh ripe tomato, diced, (OR one 14-ounce can diced tomato with juice)
  • ¼ cup pitted oil cured Italian olives, cut in half
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 head of Kale (about one pound, trimmed 12 ounces more or less), roughly cut up into pieces
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Drain anchovies and put in a cup with water for ten minutes. Drain and dry.
  2. In a mortar with pestle, add anchovies and mash. Add garlic and a pinch of salt and mash until a paste forms. Add capers and a teaspoon of oil and continue mashing. Add parsley and the rest of the oil and mash back into a loose paste.
  3. In a small bowl, combine contents of mortar along with tomatoes and olives. Depending on how well you rinsed anchovies, you may or may not need the salt so taste first. Add pepper and reserve this sauce for later. This sauce will not be cooked.
  4. In a medium pot, heat stock, add kale and cover. Cook five minutes and pull from heat just as the kale starts to turn color.
  5. Add room temperature uncooked sauce and cheese. Stir and serve.

You may also like:

No-Cook Puttanesca Sauce Over Pasta

No-Cook Puttanesca Sauce Over Pasta - A Family Feast

Tuscan Kale Salad with Currants and Feta

Tuscan Kale Salad - A Family Feast

 Portuguese Kale Soup

Portuguese Kale Soup - A Family Feast


    Leave a Comment


  1. I want this right now…and it is only 8am

  2. What an awesome way to enjoy Kale!! So rustic and of course, gorgeous!

  3. I just made a puttanesca-based recipe, too (posting next week). I just can’t get enough of those flavors, so I definitely need to try this kale recipe!

  4. This looks like the perfect side dish! Delicious!

  5. Very interesting twist on puttanesca! Looks delicious.

  6. This is definitely something I can get on board with!! <3

  7. You had me at puttanesca! Yum.

  8. This looks amazing, but is there anything that can replace the anchovies so it can be made vegetarian? I may just leave them out, but I don’t want to lose that layer of flavor if I don’t have to.

    • Hi Maggie – Although the anchovies give it a unique taste, I think you’ll still have a great sauce if you just leave it out! Hope you like the recipe!

  9. This looks so beautiful! The Parm looks like snow!

  10. Everything sounds so good – Kale plus olives, tomatoes, anchovies, and park; great twist on puttanesca. Love it!

  11. Puttanesca sauce was one of the first sauces I learned to make from scratch. It is one of my favorites for its simplicity and flavor. Loved that you added it to kale. I must try this.

  12. This looks so interesting! I wish I could try it. I’ve rarely seen fresh kale over here in Germany and when I do, it’s pre-chopped into 2″ pieces that go bad after 2 days. I have no idea what the deal is! So frustrating.

  13. I’ve never had puttanesca. But I love kale so I’ll definitely be giving this a try!

  14. Such a great way to use kale. I have been obsessed with the stuff lately…yum!