These loaded garlic kale potatoes are the ultimate nutritious plant-based comfort food! They’re easy to make and packed with nutrient-dense greens.
I often hear folks say that it’s difficult to eat enough vegetables in the winter. Many of us crave warm, dense foods at this time of year, which I think is natural: they help to keep us grounded and brace us against the cold. Vegetables don’t always fit the bill, or maybe they could, but it’s not immediately clear how to prepare them in a really soulful, comforting way. Last weekend, in the middle of all-day snow and freezing temperatures, I whipped up these simple, loaded garlic kale potatoes. They felt like the best of both worlds: comfort food that was also packed with nutritious, leafy greens.
Part of what I love about this recipe is that it has stick-to-your-ribs appeal, but it’s a lot less labor-intensive than making a fancy casserole or gratin or some other baked dish. Russet potatoes and garlic roast at the same time, and when they’re finished you squeeze the sweet, tender roasted garlic cloves right into the potato flesh and mash away. You add chopped, steamed kale, top with a bit of vegan parm, and transfer everything to the broiler for a couple of minutes.
After that, you’ll have crispy stuffed potato skins with a creamy filling. The kale adds texture to the potatoes, as well as color. The dish reminded me a lot of my kale colcannon, which I love, but with an Italian twist: the delightful combination of roasted garlic and cheesy nutritional yeast.
As you can see, my potatoes got a little burnt (I always underestimate what even a minute too long under the broiler can do), but that ended up being a happy accident: I loved the crispy exterior. I used nutritional yeast in the mashed potatoes themselves, and I used vegan parm on top (my go-to is Go Veggie Foods vegan parmesan). My hempesan would also work really nicely, as would any homemade vegan parm (I’ve made it with walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, and lots of other nuts/seeds: essentially you blitz the nuts, nutritional yeast, and some salt in a food processor, and you’re good to go).
This was my first time adding roasted garlic directly to mashed potatoes, and I’m in love. I’ve always added garlic powder in the past, which is fine, but the roasted garlic has a sweeter, deeper flavor. You can use this recipe to make regular mashed potatoes, with or without the kale–though it seems like a shame to waste the crispy potato skins as a handy vessel.
This recipe that calls for a little kitchen intuition. If your potatoes are on the bigger side, you’ll probably need more almond or soy milk. I also recommend tasting the mashed potatoes before and after you add the kale, so that everything is nicely seasoned. Feel free to add fresh herbs, like parsley, or dried herbs, like oregano, to the potatoes, too. I’d love to try my next batch with oregano and thyme as well as the garlic.
And it’s worth saying that any leafy green–from broccoli rabe to chard to collards–would work well in the recipe. You can also used finely chopped broccoli or broccolini, if that’s what you have. You can serve the them as a side dish, or you can pair them with soup or salad for an easy, but very comforting, meal.
Winter is here to stay, at least in my neck of the woods, but this kind of food makes me feel ready for it. I’m wishing you all warmth and comfort, and I’ll be back on Friday with a special giveaway.
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Absolutely love the recipe! Making them tonight for dinner <3
Yum! I’ve been digging kale more and more lately!
Absolutely delicious! I tried this recipe last night and they were a hit with the whole family. Thanks for sharing!
I’m so glad you and your family enjoyed the recipe!
I made these and they came out great! I would maybe do a little less kale next time so I can enjoy more of the potato-y goodness. The roasted garlic takes this dish to the next level! I will absolutely make these again.
These were delicious. They were actually the best tasting twice baked potatoes that I have had. I used a cashew parmesan and two heads of garlic. Love that these use just a small amount of oil/vegan butter. I’m a big fan of all your recipes~! Keep it up. 🙂
Comfort food and getting your greens in at the same time- I love it. I finally got into using nutritional yeast and now I’m wondering why it took me to so long to get on board with it! These look so beautifully crispy on the outside and wonderfully creamy on the inside. Perfect for these chilly winter days. xo
Training season for spring half/full marathons is on in our house and I’m always on the lookout for recipes that satisfy the need to EAT ALL OF THE CARBS while still remembering to fit some veg in. Served up with a bowl of lentil soup, this was just the ticket. My potatoes were pretty small, but they still took closer to 75 minutes to bake; otherwise the recipe worked well as written. Next time I’ll give the spuds a head start in the microwave to cut down the cooking time. The finished product reminded me of a less fussy version of Nigel Slater’s potato chard cakes in Tender–for the next round I think I’ll add a bunch of parsley into the potato/greens mix, as Nigel does, and perhaps top with cornmeal to mimic his cakes’ outer crunch. Thanks for the inspiration, Gena!
Agreed I started mine off at 55 minutes, but it ended up taking an additional 20 minutes, so 75 for me as well for medium sized russets.
These look absolutely delicious! I bought some kale a couple of days ago and as I bought it I turned to my hubby and said ‘because it’s January’ ha! I was determined I was going to eat more greens this week but wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it. Now I know exactly what I’m making and I’m quite excited at how yummy they look. Recipe looks easy to follow too so thanks!
YUM, Gena! And I love the fuss free approach to the process. Thank you! Great winter comfort food. 🙂 xo
Yummy – I am definitely going to attempt this with sweet potatoes! Which are my winter food crush this year.
I will surely try this! Thanks for sharing.
This looks perfect! I love the idea of squeezing and mashing the roasted garlic into the potatoes!
I’m definitely one of those people who crave fewer vegetables in the winter – I opt for more pastas and sandwiches, for sure. But these potatoes look so hearty and filling, I might have to change my mind! 😉
These remind me of the classic double baked potatoes, but so much quicker. I love your idea of roasting the garlic and potatoes at the same time- I have to try these.
I was just drooling over this thinking “this really reminds me of colcannon, but better” and then I noticed you said the same. Sounds like something I need to try asap!
I find winter months are all about hearty greens, and potatoes. Lots of potatoes! This recipe is completely cozy and stick to your ribs delicious. Agreed on the roasted garlic… it ads so much flavor and a subtle sweetness. I can see how it would be a key ingredient here, Gena! These broiled up beautifully and I’m a fan of the char too. Delicious and gorgeous work! Thank you for sharing.
These look SO beautiful and delicious! I definitely tend to not eat enough greens during the winter because my brain associates them at salad so I think I pass them by at the store. Thanks for the inspiration!