Green (Kale) Burgers

In my house growing up, these were affectionately known as “green things” and “green hamburgers” and although perhaps unappealing to look at, they are delicious and very healthy! It seems my family was decades ahead of the kale craze since it is now hailed as one of the great SUPERFOODS!…which is just a cute way of saying it is extremely nutrient dense.

According to Livestrong.com, “With the highest possible Aggregate Nutrient Density Index, or ANDI, score of 1000, kale is considered a superfood. The ANDI score reflects a food’s nutritional density in comparison to its calories per serving. In particular, kale is high in vitamins A, C and K, dietary fiber, manganese, calcium, copper, potassium and health-promoting phytonutrients. It is a good source of iron, magnesium and other minerals, as well. Not only is kale healthy, it’s a versatile leafy green vegetable that is quick and easy to cook at home, even in the microwave.”

Fear not, its super health powers do not mean it has to taste bad or that you have to sit in front of the television with a bag full of leaves. Kale is great to mix into fruit smoothies (you can’t even taste it) among many other things, but this is the way I grew up eating it — before I even knew what I was eating! Even my young nieces and nephews (aged 3-9) love these kale burgers and kids aren’t usually big veggie advocates. When I asked my mother for her “recipe,” the only exact amounts she could give me were for the kale and the eggs but she never measures the rest…SO, I attempted to replicate her burgers, measuring as I go along and I have to say they came out really yummy! Ohhh, nostalgia.

This can be made with either frozen or fresh kale. For those who are somewhat fearful (it’s okay if you are) or who want to make this in as little time as possible, use frozen kale…either is fine though – fresh just takes a little more prep time.

Ingredients (makes about 10 burgers – they go fast, but they also freeze well!):

  • 16 0z package frozen or fresh kale
  • 6-7 eggs (use 7 with fresh kale, 6 with frozen)
  • 1/2 tsp EACH of salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup Italian flavored breadcrumbs
  • Olive oil

Directions:

  1. A) If you are using frozen kale: follow microwave directions on bag and drain any excess liquid, OR  B) If you are using fresh kale: in batches (you will have to do it in batches because fresh kale is big but shrinks as it cooks in the microwave), wash kale in a colander but don’t dry off the leaves (the moisture helps them to properly steam – you can even add a little bit to the bowl when you put it in the microwave). Trim and discard any large stems. On a cutting board, chop the kale into smaller pieces and put in large microwaveable bowl. Cover the bowl with wax paper or a paper towel and microwave 2 minutes for every 2 cups of kale. Put cooked kale aside and repeat until you have cooked all the kale in the package.
  2. With all of your cooked kale in one large bowl (minus any excess liquid in the bowl), add your eggs and mix/scramble all together.
  3. Add your salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cheese, and breadcrumbs and stir until well mixed. The consistency will be looser than you would expect with regular meatballs.
  4. Bring a large frying pan to medium heat and add olive oil (don’t be too skimpy with it – remember, olive oil is good for you). Using a large spoon, scoop a heaping spoonful of your kale mixture into the frying pan and spread it out a bit into a flat patty. Cook as many at a time as you can fit in one pan.
  5. Once the first side gets a golden/medium brown, flip it over and cook the other side. Press the burgers down with your spatula to make sure all the egg is cooked through. 
  6. As they finish cooking, lay them down on a plate covered with a paper towel, putting another paper towel between each layer of burgers to soak up any excess oil.
  7. Eat warm either by themselves or in a sandwich – I prefer them without bread personally but it’s entirely up to you! Enjoy!

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One thought on “Green (Kale) Burgers

  1. These were amazing, Michelle…you are an awesome cook and I am so looking forward to trying more of your recipes! I have forwarded them to my girls! YUMMY! Sue xo

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