Sauteed Kale and Spinach with Bacon & Balsamic

in Breakfast, Kale, Lighter & Healthier, Pork, Spinach, The Great Detox of 2015, Veggies, Whole30

Sauteed Kale and Spinach with Bacon & Balsamic

It’s the veggie side/breakfast entree you never knew you were missing. But you absolutely have been.

Because you can start out your day with far worse breakfasts – my personal favorite, after all, is kolache and a diet coke – but to squeeze in two servings of leafy green veggies, some protein, and a slice of bacon? That’s tough to beat on the pretty-nutritionally-amazing-and-still-delicious scale.

Sauteed Kale and Spinach with Bacon & Balsamic

I owe the creation of this sauteed kale and spinach dish to my friend Kelly. She introduced me to a steam-in-bag kale that includes 2 large medallions of “balsamic bacon butter.” (You can probably find the same stuff in the refrigerated section of your produce department.) It’s pretty good stuff.

But since I’m currently EightSevenPercenting a Whole30, I wanted to make a cleaner at-home version without the butter and with more pronounced balsamic and bacon components.

The dish contains a lot of strong flavors: kale and spinach (although milder in “baby” form), balsamic vinegar, garlic, and bacon. Together they, of course, are wonderful – and that’s what makes them so ideal for breakfast. Because the richness of two runny egg yolks can really tame a bowl of cooked greens.

Sauteed Kale and Spinach with Bacon & Balsamic

[Shoe box-sized container of baby kale and baby spinach, Enter Stage Right]

You start with a mountain of leafy greens – the kind you of mountain that have to cook in your big pasta pot because soooo many leaves. 10 minutes later, you end up with barely 3 cups of sauteed greens.

That’s 1 serving of vegetables per 1/2 cup of cooked greens. I typically eat a double serving because 1) that’s 2 servings of veggies out of the 7-10 I am aiming to eat per day and 2) this stuff is really good.

Sauteed Kale and Spinach with Bacon & Balsamic

Sauteed baby kale and spinach with balsamic vinegar and crispy bacon.


  • 3 slices of bacon
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil (optional, see recipe below)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 16 oz clamshell of baby kale and baby spinach
  • Salt
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar


  1. In a large "pasta pot," crisp 3 slices of bacon on medium-high heat.
  2. Remove the bacon from the pan but leave 1 Tbsp of bacon grease behind. (Alternately: crisp the bacon, discard all of the bacon grease, and heat 1 Tbsp olive oil.)
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic, stirring to coat.
  4. Add the entire container of greens and cover.
  5. Let the greens wilt for 1-2 minutes, add a pinch of salt, and stir.
  6. Continue to cook covered, stirring every 1-2 minutes until the greens have cooked down and have lost their "fresh leaf" look.
  7. Add the balsamic vinegar and stir, cooking uncovered until nearly all of the standing liquid is gone.
  8. If serving immediately, crumble bacon over top. If you are planning to have leftovers, split the crumbled bacon accordingly and store the rest separately from the greens so it doesn't get soggy.


Yields: 5 (1/2-cup) servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 15 minutes

6 comments… add one
  • Liz

    This is a play on the classic Lyonnaise salad (uses arugula or frisee, bacon, shallots, red-wine vinegar, S&P, and poached eggs). Simple but so so good!

  • Liz

    YUM! I will make this post-haste… So glad to have your page back to normal on my system. I am not sure what happened but I all could see for the last month or so was the Amazon gift card giveaway. Whew!!

  • Kathleen McFadden

    Is this a 16 oz box of baby kale and spinach combined or a 16 oz box each of spinach and kale?

  • these whole30 posts are legit saving my life! I’ve already made the Mojo Chicken (hells yes this is so good! Eat it with ALL.THE.THINGS!) and the pan “fried” sweet potatoes (those will seriously be breakfast every day this week cus I made a huge batch!) I will have to try these cus kale is… difficult for me to enjoy raw. I know cooking it will draw some of the nutrients out, but not all of them, right?! I mean… there are worse things I could be eating!

    Kale it is!!

  • Stacey

    I saw this recipe the other day after reading an article about not eating traditional “breakfast” foods for breakfast, and I couldn’t get it off my mind. I was like (no offense!) “Why am I so obsessed with this recipe? Sure, it looks and sounds good, but it’s just…greens and bacon and eggs?” I bought all the stuff to make it, and I had it for lunch yesterday. I added mushrooms, red onions, and potatoes, and cooked them all in some of the bacon grease I keep saved. Threw two (terribly done) poached eggs and some Cholula on top, and I COULD NOT BELIEVE how freaking good it was! It’s like my subconscious knew how much I would love it, and that’s why I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I liked it so much I had it again for dinner last night, and breakfast this morning. I’m using fried eggs I/o poached, because I’m realllllly bad at poaching eggs. Thanks so much for this keeper of a recipe! P.S.- Do your HEBs have Chupacabra seasoning? They might not, because it’s made here in San Antonio, and fairly new. It’s mind-blowing on vegetables! It worked really well with this!

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