Loaded Garlic Kale Potatoes
January 11, 2017

Fully Loaded Garlic Kale Potatoes | The Full Helping

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.

  Fully Loaded Garlic Kale Potatoes | The Full Helping

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.

Fully Loaded Garlic Kale Potatoes | The Full Helping
Fully Loaded Garlic Kale Potatoes | The Full Helping

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.

Fully Loaded Garlic Kale Potatoes | The Full Helping

Loaded Garlic Kale Potatoes

Author - Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Yields: 4 -6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 large head or 2 small heads garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 4 small to medium-sized russet potatoes scrubbed and pricked
  • 1/2-1 cup unsweetened almond or soy milk as needed
  • 1-2 tablespoons vegan buttery spread or additional olive oil to taste
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • Fine salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 bunch kale stems removed and finely chopped (about 6-8 ounces, or 5-6 cups)
  • 4 tablespoons vegan parmesan I love Go Veggie vegan parm, homemade hempesan topping, nutritional yeast, or breadcrumbs

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 400F. Cut the top of the garlic head off crosswise, so that the cloves are exposed. Rub the half teaspoon olive oil over the cloves, then wrap the head of garlic in foil. Place the garlic and the four potatoes onto a baking sheet. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until the potatoes are completely fork tender. Remove the potatoes and garlic from the oven. Allow the potatoes to cool for about 10 minutes, until they can be handled. Raise the oven temperature to a broil.
  • About 15 minutes before the potatoes and garlic are ready, bring a pot of water to boil with a steamer attachment. Steam the chopped kale till tender (about 3 minutes).
  • Slice the potatoes in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to gently scoop the flesh out, making sure not to break the skins. Transfer the potato flesh to a mixing bowl. Squeeze the roasted garlic right into the potato; the cloves should be very soft and slip out of the skin easily when you give it a good squeeze.
  • Add the non-dairy milk (starting with 1/2 cup), vegan buttery spread (I used about 1 1/2 tablespoons), and the nutritional yeast to the potato/garlic mixture. Use a potato masher or a large fork to mash the potatoes, adding extra non-dairy milk as needed to achieve a creamy texture. The potatoes should be a bit chunkier and less fluffy than traditional mashed potatoes, but the garlic should be well incorporated; if any cloves are hard to mash, you can use the back of a fork to break them down. Taste the potatoes and add salt and pepper as needed. Fold in the kale, taste again, and adjust seasonings to taste.
  • Scoop the potato/kale mixture into the empty potato skins. Top each with about a half tablespoon of vegan parmesan, hempesan, nutritional yeast, or breadcrumbs. Place the baking sheet under the broiler for 5 minutes, or until the tops of the potatoes are crispy and gently golden. Serve.

Notes

Leftover potatoes will keep for up to 4 days in an airtight container in the fridge.

Fully Loaded Garlic Kale Potatoes | The Full Helping

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.

xo

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    30 Comments
  1. 5 stars
    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.

  2. 5 stars
    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. 🙂

  3. 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

  4. 5 stars
    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.

  5. 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!

  6. Yummy – I am definitely going to attempt this with sweet potatoes! Which are my winter food crush this year.

  7. 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! 😉

  8. 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.

  9. 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!