This is the BEST method to store kale so it lasts longer, for you to have it on hand for smoothies, salads, soups, stews, and more. Following this easy process will help you save your kale so it lasts from up to 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 6 months in the freezer!
Having hearty greens like kale on hand to quickly add to recipes for more nutrition is a key meal prep element in our house. It should be for you as well since, with this method of how to store kale, you can make it last for up to 6 months!
Although kale is a very sturdy and hearty green, it can wilt fairly fast if it is not stored properly. That is why it is important to know the proper way to store it so you can enjoy it all week long in healthy Kale Salads, Simple Green Smoothies, Sweet Potato Buddha Bowls and more!
What is kale?
Kale is a nutritious, dark leafy green that you can add to salads, smoothies, buddha bowls, and so many more dishes. It has also been labeled as a “SUPERFOOD” due to the number of vitamins and minerals it contains. Adding kale to your weekly meal prep is a great way to get more greens in and enjoy this incredible vegetable!
There are two popular types of kale that you will find at most grocery stores.
- Dinosaur kale is a flat leaf, darker green kale that is great in salads and buddha bowls like this Sweet Potato Buddha Bowl.
- Curly kale, which is likely what you have seen before, has very curly leaves and is lighter in color than dinosaur kale. I love to use it in salads like this Easy Kale Salad.
Both types of kale are very nutritious and easy to work with and store.
Nutrition in kale
Here are a few of the amazing vitamins and minerals found in kale.
- Vitamins A, K, C, and B6!
Read more about the health benefits of eating kale here.
How to store kale
There are two main ways to store kale that help it stay fresh and delicious.
- Refrigerator method – this will help the kale last up to one week and will allow you to have it ready to go for adding it as a base for a salad, on sandwiches, for making kale chips, and more.
- Freezer method: this method will allow you to store your kale for up to 6 months. You can easily add it to smoothies, stir frys, or sauté it in some garlic and olive oil as a healthy side dish. It also works in any recipe that would call for frozen spinach like these Skinny Spinach Lasagna Rolls Ups.
Things to keep in mind when storing kale
- The most important thing is to keep kale away from moisture while it is being stored.
- Kale is a sensitive green but it is also very hearty, which is why it stores SO well.
- You also want to keep in mind that kale is very sensitive to other fruits and veggies so make sure you store it with other greens like spinach, arugula, herbs, cucumber, and celery. Keep it aways from fruit and onions in your refrigerator, especially apples.
How to wash and freeze kale
This is one of my favorite ways to store kale. It is so easy to do and you will have it on hand for a long time. I typically use frozen kale in smoothies or stir fry. It also works great in any recipe that calls for frozen spinach (I know I already pointed this out but it was worth stating again, lol).
How to freeze kale: step by step instructions
- Remove the leaves from the stem – to do this you can just run your hand down the stem of the kale and pull the leaves off. Then break them into smaller pieces. You can also do this with dinosaur kale and then slice it into thin ribbons if you like.
- Wash the kale by adding the kale leaves to a bowl of clean, cold water and swish it around a little bit. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes to remove any dirt or grit.
- You will then want to drain the kale from the water, give it a rinse and remove any excess moisture by running it through a salad spinner. You can also dry it in a clean kitchen towel.
- To freeze the kale, lay the washed kale onto a clean baking sheet and place it in the freezer for 2-3 hours.
- Remove it and transfer it to a freezer-friendly bag or container. Then label it, remove any extra air from the bag and keep it in the freezer for up to 6 months!
How to store kale in the refrigerator
Follow the same steps for freezing the kale except don’t freeze it, of course.
- After you wash the kale and remove the excess moisture, portion it out and wrap it up loosely in clean paper towels.
- Store it in a ziplock bag or airtight container in the fridge in the crisper drawer for up to 6 days. Expert tip: you can also just place it into an airtight bag or container with a clean, damp paper towel and refrigerate it if you plan to use in within 2-3 days.
Ways to use kale
Kale can easily be added to so many types of meals. Here are some of my favorite ways to use kale.
- Enjoy it in a big salad, like this Kale Quinoa Salad, Kale and Brussel Sprout Salad, this Crispy Chickpea Kale Caesar Salad, or this Simple Kale and Roasted Sweet Potato Salad.
- Wilt it into your favorite soup like this Simple Cauliflower Sausage and Kale Soup.
- Pair it with other veggies like in these Mediterranean Stuffed Sweet Potatoes.
- Use it as a green to make a healthy green sauce like this 5-Minute Creamy Green Goddess Dressing or this Easy Lemon Basil Pesto.
FAQS for storing kale
Does fresh, raw kale need to be refrigerated?
Yes, it does! As soon as you get home from the store, it should be refrigerated if you do not plan on using it right away. That is why these easy methods for how to store kale work so well.
How long can you keep kale in the fridge?
If you follow this easy method for how to store kale then it should last in the fridge for up to 6 days, maybe longer.
Can you freeze kale?
Yes! It is so easy! Check out the step-by-step instructions on how to freeze kale above as well as in the free, printable card at the end of this post.
Is kale still good if it turns yellow?
If your kale ends up turning yellow after being stored, then it is safe to eat but it will lose some nutrition and the flavor will likely be more bitter.
How can you tell if kale has gone bad?
The smell of the kale should be earthy and fresh. If it starts to have a foul smell like rotten eggs then it is bad and should be thrown out.
Delicious kale recipes to try!
- Kale and Roasted Sweet Potato Salad
- Sausage and Kale Soup
- Veggie Frittata with Kale and Sweet Potato
- Kale and Squash Quinoa Patties
- Chopped Kale Salad With Quinoa
Did you try this method for storing kale? Let me know below in the comments! I would also love it if you would rate this post!Print