Kale and Beans

Happy Halloween!!!

I know, I know…kale and beans doesn’t sound appetizing and I’m aware that the thought of eating kale is scary for some (see my tie to Halloween there? #fail). But I’m here to tell you, have no fear, kale haters because with the right cooking method, you may find yourselves enjoying kale more than expected.

Kale has become quite popular these days and I’m not complaining because it’s one of my favorite greens. This specific dish is my nonna’s recipe that I’ve loved for years. She actually cooks her own beans which intensifies the flavor, but I’ve put an easy spin on this recipe and used canned cannellini beans. I can hear my nonna saying, “Why don’t you make them fresh?” in her Italian accent.

You know how southerners have grits or fried chicken as their comfort food, well this is my Italian comfort food (other than pasta of course). We have kale and beans sometimes every week because not only is it delicious, it’s super easy, cheap and extremely healthy. BONUS – it’s also a one-pot meal. The ingredients are simple: two bunches of curly kale, a can of cannellini beans, olive oil, garlic, salt and red pepper flakes. Can a kale dish be more appealing?



My favorite time to eat this dish is during the winter months when I can curl up on the couch with this warm, filling and spicy meal. It makes my belly and heart happy every single time.


If I haven’t convinced you already with my suave kale speak, give this dish a try. If you do, don’t forget to tag your photos with #marinamakeseats!

Kale & Beans

Serves 2-3


  • 1/4 cup of olive oil, plus more for coating
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 bunches of curly kale
  • 1 can of cannellini beans (do not drain)
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, or more to taste



Wash kale thoroughly and remove leaves from the stems. Discard stems and set kale leaves aside.

Heat a large pot or Dutch oven with olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook for about one minute until fragrant. Add the kale leaves, turning to coat in olive oil. I use tongs and add kale in small batches. The kale will wilt over time allowing you to add more to the pot.

Add 3-4 more tablespoons of olive oil to coat kale completely. Once kale is coated with olive oil, add all of the contents of the cannellini beans (liquid and beans), water, salt and red pepper flakes. Toss to combine and cover with lid. Cook the kale and beans for about 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally until all of the liquid is absorbed and the kale is dark green in color. Taste before serving and add salt if needed.

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