4.52 from 33 votes

Cavolo Nero with Garlic & Lemon

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This crispy cavolo nero recipe is the perfect side. Served with garlic and lemon and baked in under 10 minutes.
Prep time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 7 minutes
£0.36
Makes: 4
Side
Italy

This cavolo nero recipe is the perfect side. The tangy and spicy dressing takes the greens to the next level, with garlicky undertones for the best flavour. 

Dressing with chilli flakes, minced garlic, olive and lemon being whisked.

Why this recipe works

This recipe requires minimal effort. You can prep the cavolo nero in under 1 minute and then pop it in the oven for just 6 minutes. Pair it with a protein or carb for a delicious and balanced meal. 

The combination of chilli, garlic, lemon and oil is inspired by one of my favourite pastas ‘spaghetti aglio e olio,’ which uses these ingredients along with parsley to form a pasta sauce. These ingredients work equivalently well to flavour this cavolo nero recipe. 

Other recipes for you to try using cavolo nero : Salmon Rice bowl, Creamy halloumi curry and Creamy Green Risotto with Crispy Mushrooms and Bacon 

Ingredients

Ingredients to make cavolo nero with garlic and lemon laid out on pale background and labelled.

Cavolo Nero
The foundation of this recipe/the perfect side dish. Kale also works as a substitute, but cavolo nero makes the perfect vegetable to use for recipe.

Lemon Juice/Chilli Flakes and Red Pepper Flakes
For heat. The balance and flavour of the lemon juice, garlic and oil is taken further when there’s a little kick of heat. If you prefer a mild heat, switch the chilli flakes for red pepper flakes. 

Extra Virgin Olice OIl
I love extra-virgin olive oil for this recipe as the oil is a big element of the flavour, which is why I haven’t used a neutral oil like rapeseed oil. 

See the recipe card for full information on all ingredients and quantities.

How to cook cavolo nero

Preheat your oven to 180°C

  1. Start by removing the cavolo nero from the toughest part of the stem (Image 1).
  2. Tear into medium-sized rectangles or bite size pieces (Image 2).
2 step by step photos, the first with cavolo nero being torn from the stem, the second with the cavolo nero torn into pieces.

3. Then in a large bowl, add the lemon juice, chilli flakes, minced garlic, extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt.  Mix together with a hand whisk (Image 3).

4. Throw the torn cavolo nero into the bowl and mix together, ensuring all the cavolo nero is coated with the dressing (Image 4).

2 step by step photos, the first with chilli, garlic and oil in a bowl, the second with the cavolo nero torn and covered with dressing in a bowl.

5. Then spread out the pieces of cavolo nero onto the parchment lined baking sheet.  Pop in the oven for 6-8 minutes (keep a close eye, as depending on your oven temperature the Cavolo Nero will cook quickly and you don’t want it to burn)! (Image 5).

6. Serve with some flakey salt and enjoy! (Image 6).

2 step by step photos, the first with cavolo nero spread out over parchment paper on baking tray and the second with the baked and browned cavolo nero.

Other side recipes for you to try : Parmesan Tenderstem Broccoli with Garlic Butter, Crispy Baked Cauliflower Bites and 5 Ingredient Vegan Mayonnaise

Tips and Tricks

  • Rinse the cavolo nero leaves under cold water to remove any dirt or debris. Remove the tough stems by holding the stem at the base of the leaf and pulling it away.
  • Prepare the garlic, chilli, extra virgin olive oil and lemon dressing and cover all the cavolo nero leaves in the dressing before baking in the oven. 
  • Season the cavolo nero with salt and pepper to taste. You can also add a pinch of red pepper flakes if you like a bit of heat.
  • Best served immediately after baking.

Here are some main course recipes which would go well with this cavolo nero recipe: Gigi Hadid Pasta, Pork Stroganoff and Creamy Tuna Pasta Bake

Close up of the leaf of caavolo nero with light veins showing through.

FAQs

What is cavolo nero?

Cavolo nero is a form of kale that is darker in colour and with longer leaves that are straighter/less curly than normal kale. I find it to be richer in flavour and it also has a different texture when you eat it. 

Can I make this recipe ahead of time/ can I meal prep it?

You can definitely make this for meal prep/make it ahead of time, however when storing and reheating you’ll lose a bit of the crispiness that you get when served immediately. The flavour is still great though!

To minimise the crispy issue, you could make the dressing ahead of time and prep the cavolo nero by washing and tearing. Then whenever you want to eat it, just combine a portion with the dressing and bake. 

Is cavolo nero healthy?

It’s great for you! It’s a good source of lutein, vitamin K, A and C and a significant source of the B vitamins. 

Can I use normal kale for this recipe instead?

Yes definitely! Just remove any tough stems attached to the kale and follow exactly the same method. 

If you tried this Cavolo Nero with Garlic & Lemon recipe, it would be mean so much to me if you could leave a review & a star rating to let me know how you found it! I love hearing about your experiences – it motivates me to keep creating more and more recipes for you guys 💛 Let’s get cooking! – Mimi x

Cavolo Nero with Garlic & Lemon

Print
4.52 from 33 votes
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 7 minutes
£0.36
Side
Italy
Servings: 4
This crispy cavolo nero recipe is the perfect side. Served with garlic and lemon and baked in under 10 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 150 g (1 bag) cavolo nero, stems removed & torn (£1.00)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced (£0.69/3)=(£0.23)
  • ½ lemon, juiced (£0.20)

Cupboard Essentials

  • 1 tsp chilli flakes/red pepper flakes
  • 1.5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Flakey salt

Method

  • Preheat your oven to 180°C
  • Start by removing the cavolo nero from the stem. I do this by creating a little tear on each side of the toughest part of the stem and then running my hand along the stem which removes the cavolo nero perfectly. Then tear into medium-sized rectangles (bite-sized pieces).
  • In a large bowl, combine the lemon juice, chilli flakes & minced garlic with extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt. Pour the torn cavolo nero into the bowl and toss to ensure every piece is coated.
  • Add the cavolo nero to a parchment lined baking sheet. Spread the pieces so they’re evenly scattered across the sheet. Pop in the oven for 6-8 minutes.
  • Serve with flakey salt & enjoy!

Notes

  • Rinse the cavolo nero leaves under cold water to remove dirt and remove tough stems by pulling them away from the base of the leaf.
  • Prepare  the dressing with garlic, chili, extra virgin olive oil, and lemon, and coat all cavolo nero leaves with the dressing before baking in the oven.
  • Season the cavolo nero with salt, pepper, and optional red pepper flakes for added heat.  Serve immediately after baking for the best result

Nutrition

Servings: 4 servings
Fat: 6g
Calories: 61kcal
Carbohydrates: 2g
Protein: 1g

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Thank you so much for trying my recipe! I hope you loved it. I’d be so grateful if you could leave a comment/rating - it makes my day hearing your feedback!

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Comments

  1. Rhi Scott | 2 months ago

    Delicious

  2. Make crispy Cavelo Nero quite often and this recipe is delicious5 stars

  3. Tried this and it’s delicious thank you

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