This recipe for sautéed and baked vegan creamed kale tastes as good as the classic version! It combines a quickly blended cashew cream with caramelized shallots, and spiced bread crumbs on top for the perfect contrast of soft and crunchy textures. This veggie side is ideal for a holiday dinner, with simple ingredients like kale, raw cashews, maple syrup, sliced shallots, miso, and smoked paprika. It can also be made ahead!
Creamed greens are a classic side and you don’t have to miss out on them if you’re dairy-free. As always, I like to add extra flavour and texture where I can. I enrich the cashew cream with miso for umami, maple syrup for a hint of sweetness, Dijon mustard for an edge of spice, and nutmeg for the sake of tradition 🙂. I fix these creamed greens up in the style of a bake or gratin with crunchy seasoned bread crumbs on top for a little extra dimension. This may be one of the best ways to serve kale!
And the caramelized shallots! They get jammy and slightly sweet over 12-15 minutes of sautéeing in this vegan creamed kale recipe. They’re just an excellent foil to the wilted kale, silky cashew cream, and seasoned bread crumbs. Once the shallots are done cooking, you cook the kale in the same pan, a couple handfuls at a time. No need to pre-boil the kale or anything like that.
You could easily make most of this veggie side ahead of time. Once you’ve transferred the cashew creamed kale to your baking dish, you simply cover it with a tight fitting lid or plastic wrap and hold in the fridge one day ahead of serving. Remove from the fridge about an hour before you plan to bake it. Then, toss bread crumbs with olive oil and spices, and scatter them on top. From here, just follow through with the baking process.
More classic veggie sides:
- Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole with Apples & Crunchy Rosemary Walnuts
- Lemony Sautéed Broccolini & Green Beans with Almonds
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Smoky Almond Bits
- Maple Tahini Glazed Cauliflower with Chipotle
- Smoky Maple Vegan Sweet Potato Gratin
Hope you give this one a try soon! It really is such a heavenly way to enjoy kale.
Vegan Creamed Kale with Caramelized Shallots & Smoky Crumbs
- ½ cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours
- 1 teaspoon light miso
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 ½ cups water
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 large shallots, sliced (1 cup sliced shallots)
- sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- ½ teaspoon sherry vinegar
- 1 big bunch kale, stems removed and leaves chopped (about 8 cups packed, chopped kale)
- 1 ½ cups fresh bread crumbs
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon nutritional yeast
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- If you cannot have cashews, you can substitute them with macadamia nuts (soak for a full 8 hours), pine nuts, or even raw sunflower seeds. If choosing raw sunflower seeds, please ensure that they are fresh. I know that a lot of vegan cooking sites recommend them as a sub for cashews, but I find that they go rancid so quickly and the flavour of that really impacts the final dish.
- I like to do a mix of curly kale and lacinato kale for this dish! One or the other is also great though. I would avoid purple kale as the colour gets a bit weird after mixing with the cashew cream and baking.
- I just pulse torn up bits of sourdough in the food processor to make fresh bread crumbs.
- Use a tasty gluten-free bread for the crumbs to make this gluten-free.
- Drain and rinse the cashews. In an upright blender, combine the cashews, miso, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, nutmeg, and water. Blend on high until silky smooth and creamy, about 1 full minute. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Heat a braiser or deep skillet over medium heat. Once it’s hot, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and swirl it around. Add the shallots and stir. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook until the shallots are very soft and deep golden brown in colour, about 12-15 minutes. Lower the heat if they’re browning too fast.
- Once the shallots are caramelized, add the sherry vinegar. Cook this out for about a minute.
- Start adding the kale a couple handfuls at a time. Stir the kale often, until it wilts slightly and is bright green. Then, add another couple handfuls of kale. Repeat this process until all of the kale is wilted and cooked. Season with salt and pepper.
- Pour in the cashew cream and stir. It should start bubbling right away. Let it simmer for a minute or so, scraping up the bottom of the pan with your spoon to get any browned bits. It should be a moist and creamy, but not too liquidy.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Transfer the kale and cashew cream mixture to an 8-inch round or square baking dish. Press everything down in the pan into an even layer.
- In a medium bowl, toss the bread crumbs with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, smoked paprika, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and some salt and pepper. Once everything’s coated, scatter the bread crumbs over the top of the kale in the baking dish.
- Bake until the creamed kale is bubbly and browned on the top, about 15 minutes. Enjoy!