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Healthy Creamed Kale Recipe (Creamed Spinach Alternative)

Side Dishes

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This Tuscan Creamed Kale recipe is the perfect healthier alternative to creamed spinach. During Christmas, I always serve an English Prime Rib dinner with all the fixings. After such a heavy Thanksgiving, I’ve found ways over the years to make healthier versions of traditional side dishes. In fact, I would say it is my specialty and something I’ve become exceptionally good at.

This dish is a fantastic healthier alternative to creamed spinach. It uses no heavy cream and instead uses cornstarch to thicken the milk. You’ll find that the tuscan kale has a very nice texture compared to the slimier texture of spinach.
4.85 from 32 votes
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Does Healthy Creamed Spinach Taste Good?

Now, don’t think that making a healthier alternative to creamed spinach means you’ll be sacrificing taste. I would go as far as to say that many of my side dishes taste even better than their original counterparts. Heavy cream does not necessarily equate to delicious. Sometimes it is actually the complete opposite. There comes a point when too many rich and heavy dishes can often leave you feeling bloated and a little ill. For this reason, I’ve tried to take a more farm to table approach to my cooking. I am all about reducing as many calories while retaining all the flavor.

How do you make Creamed Kale and Spinach without heavy cream?

The best part of this recipe is that we cut out hundreds of calories by simply not using heavy cream. In fact, this is a secret trick I use in many of my recipes. Instead of heavy cream, we use 2% milk and then thicken it by adding corn starch. The cornstarch actually adds a very silky creamy texture to the dish. I promise you will not m is the heavy cream at all. The omission of using a heavy cream actually makes the dish less heavy and more delicious.

Should I use Kale or Spinach?

Whether you choose to use Kale or Spinach in this dish is completely up to you. This recipe will be exactly the same either way. I love the texture of cooked kale as opposed to cook spinach. I find cooked spinach can be a bit slimy and difficult to chew. Cooked kale, however, keeps its texture better and has a heartier bite.

When I use kale, I always opt for Tuscan Kale also known as Dinasour Kale or Lacinato Kale. You can find this in the fresh produce section as it typically does not come pre-packaged. This type of kale is also great raw to use in place of lettuce. This is what I use in my Italian Chopped Salad recipe.

How do I make Healthy Creamed Kale?

First, you’ll want to devein and chop your kale, onions, and shallots. Make sure to chop your kale in larger pieces or you can just rip your kale by hand. Then heat a pan on medium heat. Once warm add your butter and wait until it stop foaming. Then add your shallots and garlic. Cook them until they are nicely golden.

Next add your kale in batches, stirring continuously until the kale is cooked down. This will only take a few minutes. Once your kale is cooked down, add the spices and seasoning. Give everything a good stir and then remove the pan from heat.

In a separate small bowl, pour in 1/2 cup of the milk. Then, while whisking, slowly add in the cornstarch. In a separate pot, add the remaining milk over low to medium heat. Do not let your milk boil. Once the milk is warm, give your milk and cornstarch mixture another good whisk and pour it into the pot. Continue to whisk your milk over low heat for about 5 minutes until the milk begins to thicken. Then add 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese and another pinch of salt and pepper.

Once thickened, add the kale to the pot and continue stirring until everything is incorporated and thickened. Then transfer to your serving dish and sprinkle with the remaining parmesan cheese.

Discover More Healthy Side Dishes

Can creamed kale be made in advance?

This recipe can easily be made the day before. About 10 minutes before serving, add your creamed kale to a baking dish and reheat at 250 degrees for about 10 minutes. Then remove from the oven, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve.

Storage and Leftovers

Anh leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for 5 days. This recipe is also freezer friendly. You can freeze your creamed kale for 3-4 months to use as a side dish at a later date.


Healthy Tuscan Creamed Kale Recipe

This dish is a fantastic healthier alternative to creamed spinach. It uses no heavy cream and instead uses cornstarch to thicken the milk. You’ll find that the tuscan kale has a very nice texture compared to the slimier texture of spinach.
Sondra Barker
4.85 from 32 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 96 kcal


  • 2 whole shallots chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 5 cups Tuscan Kale 4 bushels chopped
  • 2 cups 2% Milk
  • 2 tbsp Corn Starch
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese grated
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper


  • First devein and rip or chop your kale. Then, chop garlic cloves and shallots. Add butter to your pan on medium heat until butter is no longer foaming. Add chopped garlic and shallots until lightly golden and begin adding handfuls of kale. Stir continuously until all Kale is sautéed and cooked down. Add salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and nutmeg. Take off heat.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk 1/2 cup milk, slowly adding in 2tbsp of corn starch until completely combines. Add the other 1.5 cups of milk into a pot on medium to medium low heat. Do not let milk boil. Once warm, add in the milk and cornstarch mixture. Continue whisking and heating on medium low heat for about 5 minutes until milk begins to thicken. Add in 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan and another pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Once thickened, add the milk to your sautéed kale and stir until completely incorporated and thickened. Then add to your serving dish and top with the remainder of grated parmesan and serve. You can also pre-make this side dish and heat it in the over at 350 for about 10 minutes to serve the next day.


Cornstarch is used as a thickener instead of adding heavy cream or half & half, but does not sacrifice taste!


Serving: 0.5cups | Calories: 96kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 450mg | Potassium: 159mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1526IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 167mg | Iron: 1mg
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