Creative Vegetarian Recipes That Make Leafy Greens the Star of Your Plate
Leafy greens rule the world of nutrients, but salads can get real dull real fast. Excite your tastebuds and score essential vitamins and minerals by whipping up one of these leafy green recipes.
Beet-infused hummus may be picture perfect, but its distinct earthy flavor isn't for everyone. Luckily, you can still sneak veggies into your dip by swapping those beets for arugula. This leafy green recipe takes just 10 minutes to make and requires minimal cleanup. (Not to mention, it packs a ton of good-for-you nutrients.)
Spinach Colcannon Bake
Who says mashed potatoes need to be saved for the holidays? This leafy green recipe puts a healthier spin on the Irish dish traditionally made with cabbage, and you're welcome to use kale if that's your jam. Spinach, potatoes, and cheddar cheese, all baked together to create a dish full of ooey-gooey goodness? Yes, please!
Spinach Risotto with Pickled Radish
Miso Soup with Bok Choy
With this leafy green recipe, you can easily transform the Japanese restaurant appetizer into a full-blown meal. The soup is loaded with shiitake mushrooms, bok choy, and soba noodles, so your stomach will feel full and satisfied after the first bowl. (Related: 8 New Ways to Cook with Miso – and Why It Belongs In Your Diet)
That mid-afternoon salt craving often hits hard and fast. Instead of wolfing down a package of pretzels, opt for a snack that's a bit healthier and still satisfies that hankering for something crunchy: Kale chips. Whether you decide to use the OG leafy green or another variety, such as Swiss chard or mustard greens, you'll have a munchie that packs a punch of nutrients in under 30 minutes.
Shredded Collards with Popped Mustard Seeds, Fried Lentils, Mandarin, and Coconut
When you're looking for a fresh way to cook with collard greens, turn to this leafy green recipe. The collards are cooked until they're wilted and are combined with hearty red lentils, slices of bright mandarins, and sweet coconut flakes that gives the dish some dimension.
Baked Sweet Potatoes with Mustard Greens
Mustard greens are loaded with beta-carotene and phytonutrients and are a rather spicy green. Harness that strong flavor by pairing it with something sweet, like your favorite potato. This leafy green recipe features baked sweet potatoes topped with mustard greens, leeks, white beans, and cilantro tahini. Trust, it's so delicious, you'll never reach for brown sugar and marshmallows again.
Spicy Skillet Turnip Greens
Carrot and Baby Chard Salad with Cilantro, Crème Fraîche, and Walnut Crunch
This leafy green recipe looks like something Carrie Bradshaw and the gang would order at a fancy lunch, but it's easy enough to make at home. Plus, the deep, earthy flavor of the chard is the perfect backdrop for the subtle sweetness of carrots.
Collard Greens Wrap
If you're sticking to a low-carb or keto diet, you don't have to entirely miss out on your favorite lunchtime meals, including wraps. This wrap recipe ditches the tortilla in favor of leafy greens. The collard greens are an excellent source of vitamins K, which supports bone health, and A, which promotes healthy vision and immune function. Just remember that practice makes perfect, and you might end up with a few exploding wraps when you first make the switch and haven't gotten the hang of swaddling your fillings.
Grilled Kale and Meyer Lemons with Asparagus-Pomegranate Relish
The best way to soften up tough, bitter kale: Toss it on the grill. The leafy greens' bitter flavor will mellow out, and the addition of Meyer lemons and pomegranate seeds bring in some much-needed brightness. (Related: The Most Common Types of Kale and How to Cook with Them)
Vegan Broccoli Rabe and Cashew Ricotta White Pizza
Fresh, filling, and colorful, this quinoa tabbouleh recipe will make you fall in love with parsley, an herb with grassy flavor that brightens the entire dish. Plus, the cooked quinoa packs eight grams of protein, three grams of fat, and five grams of fiber per cup. Talk about a satisfying side.
Spring Onion Flatbreads with Arugula, Zhug, and Poached Eggs
Okay, you might not be too keen on the idea of having to make a flatbread from scratch, but trust, it's deep flavor profile makes it worth the effort. The fluffy flatbreads are topped with homemade zhug (a hot sauce originating in Yemeni cuisine) that's infused with a hot serrano chile, bitter arugula, and warm spices. Finally, the poached eggs give the whole leafy green recipe a hit of protein.
Beet Greens and Feta Pasta
It's habit to toss the greens attached to the bulbs of beets right in the trash, but they're actually edible *and* delicious. This leafy green recipe features the mildly sweet leaves (which become super tender when cooked), crumbled feta, garlic, and onion. As Ina Garten would say, "How easy is that?" (Related: You Can't Beat the Health Benefits of Beets, Your New Favorite Root Veggie)
Dandelion Greens with Currants and Pine Nuts
Looking to get a bit wild with your side dish tonight? This leafy green recipe uses three things you've probably never paired together (and possibly never even cooked with before): dandelion greens, currants, and pine nuts. Since they're traditionally a bitter green, the dandelion greens' bite is cut by the nuts and olive oil.
Grilled Romaine with Avocado Lime Dressing
Every vegetarian knows what it's like to have nothing to eat besides a hamburger bun at a BBQ. Enter: This grilled romaine with avocado lime dressing recipe. The leafy green recipe makes for a simple, smoky side, but since it doesn't pack any protein, consider bringing one of these meat alternatives with you to the gathering.
Spiralized Apple and Cabbage Slaw
Roasted Butternut Squash, Radicchio, and Onion
This warm and nourishing leafy green recipe makes radicchio, a veggie packed with antioxidants and vitamin K (212 percent of your daily value, to be exact), the star of your plate. The side also features butternut squash, which has the highest levels of vitamin A out of all the squashes. Oh yeah, and cheese is involved.
Escarole and Cannellini Bean Soup
You probably pass right over this lettuce-looking green in the grocery store, but escarole is mild in taste, cripy in texture, and nutrient-dense (especially with vitamins A and C). Throw the leafy green into this soup, along with some cannellini beans, and you've got a simple and satisfying meal.