Can You Microwave Kale?

With kale being such a versatile veggie, there are numerous ways in which you can microwave kale. If you want to know the best approach to take along with a few tips and tricks then read on below:

How to Microwave Kale

When you microwave kale you are actually steaming it which is considered a much healthier way to cook most veggies. This is because it cooks so much faster and the nutrients have less time to leach out of the vegetables.

The great news is that we have two methods for you:

How to Cook Wilted or Steamed Kale In The Microwave

If you want to serve kale alongside cooked meat, fish or as a sidedish in general then this is a great approach:

  1. Portion Into a Bowl
    Pop your kale into a microwave-safe bowl or a dish with a lid. You will need to cover the kale as it cooks because you want to lock in all that moisture inside in order to steam it correctly.
  2. Add Water
    Add about a teaspoon of water to the bowl too. How much water you need will depend on how much kale you have. A teaspoon is about right for one portion of kale. If you have larger amounts you will need to add more. Don’t forget that kale reduces in size considerably as it cooks.
  3. Cover
    Cover the bowl with a small microwaveable plate, some cling film that is safe for the microwave or the lid.
  4. Microwave
    Cook on full power for about two minutes. Your kale should be perfectly wilted and delicious.

How to Cook Crispy Kale In The Microwave

If you want crispy kale as a snack then it can be achieved in the microwave. This can be a little hit and miss until you get the technique sorted. You need a large plate that will fit into the microwave.

  1. Sprinkle Leaves with Oil and Salt
    Pop your kale leaves into a bowl and sprinkle some oil and a little salt onto them. Toss the leaves until they are coated in the oil and seasoning.
  2. Drape Over a Plate
    Drape the kale leaves over the plate. You don’t want to double up the layers so you can’t cook too much kale in one go using this method.
  3. Microwave
    Pop the plate into the microwave and cook on full power for three minutes.
  4. Check
    Check the kale and if needed cook for a little longer. Just remember to check it regularly because it can go from uncooked to burnt very quickly in the microwave.

3 Tips for Microwaving Kale

To have the greatest success when microwaving kale, here are a few tips worth following:

  • Check Regularly – Overcooked kale is not pleasant but it easy to get it wrong in the microwave and end up with mushy kale. To avoid this make sure you check it regularly. Two minutes should be about the right amount of time for most microwaves but if your microwave is a little more powerful then you may need to reduce the cooking time.
  • Season – Seasoning can make all the difference to any vegetable, especially if it is one that a lot of people dislike such as kale. A little salt can bring out the flavour or for some added depth add some garlic too.
  • Use Spray Oil – If you are trying to cut down on a few calories but still want to try crispy kale then instead of drizzling oil, invest in a good quality spray oil. Spray the leaves to coat them and you should find you use a lot less oil.

Advantages of Microwaved Kale

It’s clear that by using the microwave to cook kale, there are some benefits:

  1. Very Quick
    It so fast to cook kale in the microwave that you won’t want to cook it in any other way! It beats most other methods for speed.
  2. Better for You
    Another advantage of cooking kale in the microwave is that it’s considered to be better for you. Because it takes so little time to cook you get more of that natural goodness and all the nutrients kale contains.

Disadvantages of Microwaved Kale

However, it’s not all positive, unfortunately. You should be aware of a couple of drawbacks with using the microwave to cook kale:

  1. Crispy Kale Isn’t As Good
    Whilst you can cook crispy kale in the microwave there are a couple of big disadvantages to doing it in this method. To start with, it won’t ever taste quite as good as baked kale and you also can’t make very much in one go.
  2. Easy to Overcook
    It is very easy to overcook kale in the microwave. It can go from raw to overcooked and mushy in a matter of seconds. So, be careful of this when cooking your kale this way.

How to Reheat Kale in the Microwave

We wouldn’t recommend that you reheat kale in the microwave. It should be safe enough to do so but the kale won’t be anywhere near the quality you would hope. Kale is one of those vegetables that become very soggy and mushy very quickly when cooked.

When you cooked it the first time you already started to break down the veg and to cook it again. To do this a second time is likely to end up with mushy kale that is unpleasant to eat.

How to Defrost Kale in the Microwave

If you have frozen kale then you shouldn’t need to thaw it out at all. You can cook it right from frozen in most methods. In fact, it will cook better from frozen than if you tried to thaw it out first.

If you really do need to thaw it out then take it out of the freezer and pop it into a bowl. Put this bowl into the fridge for a couple of hours until the kale has thawed.

Final Summary

Kale is a fantastic veggie that can be cooked in so many ways, including in the microwave! It is easy to do and tastes great too so there is no reason not to save yourself a little time and some washing up and cook your kale in the microwave.