Kale and Bacon Baked Risotto

Kale and Bacon Baked Risotto



I really enjoy risotto. But I do not make it because I just do not have the time and patience needed to stand and stir for 45 minutes while the arborio rice absorbs the stock. Nope, not this gal.

But luckily, you can make a baked risotto that tastes really, really good. I admit, a baked risotto will never be as creamy as a properly made stove top risotto, but I can let go of some of that creaminess for not having to stir and stir and stir. And then stir some more.

Kale and Bacon Baked Risotto



I do admit you do have to stir a bit while making this recipe, but I promise it will not be 45 minutes. Unless something goes terribly wrong. Seriously.

Be sure to use arborio rice, or a rice that is labeled specifically for risotto.

I used a bag of Tuscan Kale from Cut ‘N’ Clean Greens, but you can substitute with a large bunch of kale. Just remove the stems and cut it into strips.

Kale and Bacon Baked Risotto


Kale and Bacon Risotto

Servings 8 servings


  • 3 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 small onion, small dice
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 bag (10 ounce) Tuscan Kale
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 4 cups hot chicken or vegetable stock
  • 3-4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces


  1. Heat the oven to 350° F.

  2. In a large oven proof pot over medium heat, cook the bacon until the fat is rendered. 

  3. Add the onion, stirring occasionally,  cook 4-5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.

  4. Add the salt, thyme, red pepper and kale. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the kale is wilted.

  5. Add the rice, stirring to mix it into the vegetable mixture.

  6. Add the hot stock, stir to mix well, cover and place in the hot oven.

  7. Bake the risotto for 30, then remove from the oven.

  8. Carefully, stir in the cold butter, a few pieces at a time, until all the butter is incorporated.

  9. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

I used a bag of Tuscan Kale from Cut 'N' Clean Greens, which was already prepped for me. You can substitute with a large bunch of kale, stems removed and cut into strips.

Greens N Grits

Greens N Grits



Southerners eat them. A lot.

Some like them sweetened with sugar and drowning in butter.

Some like them with salt and pepper and drowning in butter.

Some don’t have a clue what they are.

I tend to laugh when some snobbish foodie goes on and on about how wonderful polenta is, then if they are asked about grits, all you hear is crickets. Grits and polenta are both ground corn, with a few differences. Think of them as cousins. What you can do with polenta, you can do with grits.

Polenta is often served as a base for a stew or braise. So are grits. And that is where my recipe comes in.

I am doing some recipe development work with Cut ‘N Clean Greens, and wanted to make a comforting dish. A dish that reminds me of home.

If you are looking for a great recipe for a lazy Sunday brunch, this is it.  Sauteed Chard and Tuscan Kale with Andouille Sausage on a bed of Cheese Grits.  All you need are some biscuits and a glass of champagne.

Click here for the recipe for Greens N Grits.



I may receive compensation in either monetary or product form for my recipe development. I take pride in working with products that fit my brand and will be beneficial to my readers.  All opinions are my own.

Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup with Kale

Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup with Kale | Black Girl Chef's Whites



Kabocha squash, also known as Japanese pumpkin, is my favorite winter squash. Ever since they became readily available in local supermarkets I have been enjoying them.

But as much as I love them, it took my family a minute to jump on the kabocha bandwagon.


One Thanksgiving, about five or six years ago, I decided to add a kabocha squash recipe to my dinner. Every year I used to cook Thanksgiving dinner for my family and extended family. This is usually very traditional fare, featuring turkey, dressing, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, green salad, maybe a Jell-O mold fixed by my mother, and rolls. My sister would always make the candied yams and sweet potato pie, and bring them over.

Interested in bringing slightly healthier fare to my Thanksgiving table, I wanted another option to balance the buttery sugary overload of the candied yams.


To find out my family’s reaction to my kabocha squash recipe, and to get the recipe for Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup with Kale please click here.

This soup would be a stand out on your holiday table, or just may become a staple on your dinner table.


Sausage and Kale Stew

Now that its cold here in Southern California (you know, 60 degrees) I have been making soups and stews again. I know it doesn’t have to be cold to enjoy them, but something about walking inside to get out of 80 degree weather does not inspire me to sit down to a steaming bowl of something!

While visiting my friend Holland (and her lovely organic garden) she gifted me with a small bunch of Tuscan Kale. While I would usually saute it with a load of garlic and enjoy, I decided to use it as an ingredient for a stew. The thing I love about soups and stews, you can make one easily from whatever you find in the kitchen. I had some Italian sausage, I always have canned beans and tomatoes in the pantry, and deep in the freezer was some turkey stock I made from my Thanksgiving turkey carcass.  I was set.

Like any stew, it was even better the next day.  Serve it with some crusty bread to sop up the juices and enjoy!


print recipe 


Sausage and Kale Stew
This hearty stew is full of antioxidant rich kale, chickpeas and tomatoes, balanced with soul satisfying Italian sausage and pasta.
  • 1 pound Italian sausage, casings removed and crumbled
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican, divided
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons roasted garlic
  • 8 cups homemade chicken or turkey stock, or store bought broth
  • 1 (15 ounce) can diced roasted tomatoes
  • 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small bunch Tuscan kale, stems removed and thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces orecchiette pasta, cooked until al dente
In a large pot over medium heat, brown the sausage well. Remove the sausage and reserve.
Add the onion, thyme, basil, oregano, salt and cayenne pepper to the pot, stirring to coat the onions with the spice. Cook until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the roasted garlic and cook an additional minute. 

Return the sausage to the pot. Add the stock, tomatoes and chickpeas. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
Add the kale and cook for about 10 minutes, until the kale is softened.
Stir in the pasta, and adjust the seasoning if needed.






Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: 45 mins Total time: 1 hour Yield: 8 cups

Cheryl D Lee on Foodista

White Bean and Kale Stew

When its cold outside there is nothing I love more than a big bowl of chili or stew or soup. Something that warms me from the inside out, and sticks to my ribs, causing me to lean back in my chair and rub my belly with satisfaction.

Sadly (or awesomely) it was in the 80’s here in Southern California on New Year’s Day and just cooled down again. Winter in California is SO not like my winters in Brooklyn.  Not that I am complaining, because I do not miss the feeling of my contact lenses freezing in my eyes from the cold weather! Or my nose being so cold I could not tell if it was running or not. Yeah, good times, good times. . .

Now that is a little cooler here, I made a rib sticking, hearty vegetable stew with white beans and one of my favorite vegetables, Tuscan kale. To really give it some smoky flavor I used the skin from my homemade baconIf you want to make it vegetarian or vegan, do not use any bacon or smoked meats, and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. It will still be fantastic, just without the smoky layer.

I love the flavor of Tuscan kale, also known as black kale, dinosaur kale and lacinato kale. You can easily use other types of kale, or even fresh spinach, collard or mustard greens.

I make sure to coat the beans in the flavored oil before adding the broth, to insure that the flavors soak into the beans as they cook.

Once you add the broth and water you can walk away, returning for an occasional stir and to make sure there is enough liquid in the pot.  Depending on how old your beans are, they may suck up more liquid than you expect, so add more water if needed.


When the beans are almost done, stir in the chopped kale. Cook until the kale is as tender as you like it. Some people like raw kale, but I am not among them! I like it to be nice and tender, but not mushy and squishy.


Enjoy it with some crusty bread to soak up all that good juice! I also recommend a nice bottle of pinot grigio.

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White Bean and Kale Stew
This hearty one pot meal is filled with savory white beans and healthy Tuscan kale, a meal packed with not only flavor, but nutrients.
  • 4 ounces bacon skin (or substitute with a smoked ham hock or turkey wing)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 cups small white beans, soaked
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large spring fresh rosemary
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 bunch Tuscan kale, roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
In a large pot over low heat, cook the onion and bacon skin in the olive oil, until the onions are softened.
Add the garlic to the pot, cook an additional 2 minutes, until just fragrant.
Add the beans and stir to coat them well with the onion and garlic mixture.
Add the herbs, broth and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook the beans for 1 – 1 1/2 hours, until the beans are almost tender.
Stir in the kale and continue to simmer the beans until the kale is wilted and tender, about 10 minutes. Season the stew with the salt, adjusting as needed for the saltiness of the bacon or smoked meat. Serve the stew with crusty bread to soak up the juices.

Prep time: 10 mins Cook time: 2 hour Total time: 2 hour 10 mins Yield: 6 cups

Cheryl D Lee on Foodista