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Creamy Kale With Parmesan and Lemon Zest: Side Dish Recipe

I am a food enthusiast and am always trying new recipes. I love to garden, get crafty, and read a good book!

This creamy kale with parmesan and lemon zest will steal the show.

This creamy kale with parmesan and lemon zest will steal the show.

A Creamy Kale Side Dish Even the Kids Will Love

Reminiscent of creamed spinach, this remix with kale gives a new flavor to an old favorite. This recipe comes together quickly and easily for a simple side. Even those who aren't kale fans will enjoy this dish for its creamy and savory flavors. You can add more cheese if you want it cheesier or omit the onions if you're not a fan of onions; the options are numerous.

If you are hesitant to try kale, use half spinach and half kale and see if you like it. You can also make this recipe with frozen kale—just steam and drain it before adding it to the sauté pan. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family did!

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

8 min

10 min

18 min

4 servings

Sautéed kale with zested lemon

Sautéed kale with zested lemon


  • 10 to 12 ounces kale, stems removed and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons plain cream cheese
  • 1 whole lemon, zested (save the juice for another recipe)
  • 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder


  1. Melt the butter in a sauté pan until melted, and add chopped onion. Sauté until the onion is soft and translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  2. Add kale and toss to coat in butter and onion mixture. Stir the kale mixture for 2 to 3 minutes until the kale has softened and is bright green in color (see photo).
  3. Add lemon zest to the pan and stir to combine.
  4. Add in cream cheese and stir until it has melted and all ingredients are coated in cream cheese. Stir in salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  5. Lastly, stir in parmesan cheese and mix to combine. Once all ingredients are mixed thoroughly, enjoy!

© 2021 Lisa Bean