This simple sauteed kale with cider vinegar is about as basic as it gets, but it is an unbeatable combination. The sweet golden onions, salt and vinegar make the greens sing!

Sauteed Kale with Cider Vinegar on Healthy Seasonal Recipes by Katie Webster | gluten-free, paleo and vegan

If you’re looking for a simple and delicious way to prepare kale, you’ve come to the right spot! It doesn’t get much more basic (yet tasty) than this recipe for kale with cider vinegar. 

This recipe is very much along the same lines as my Simple Sauteed Swiss Chard recipe in that you basically cook the onions in the skillet, then add the greens, wilt them then add in the vinegar. So if you’re a fan of that recipe, then you will LOVE this one too! 

I’d say that for beginners, this is the best way to cook kale (although I do love macaroni and cheese with kale and my potato and kale with andouille soup as well!). Sauteed kale is incredibly easy to make, and it transforms the slightly tough, earthy greens into a dish even kids will love.

Sauteed Kale with Cider Vinegar in a large bowl

How To Make Sauteed Kale with Apple Cider Vinegar

Clean the Kale

  1. Remove the stems from the kale by starting with the leaf upside down. Hold right up tight to the stem and then brush your hand along side of the stem, peeling the leaves off the stem. Once you have a pile of the leaves, chop them into bite sized pieces and add them to the basket of you salad spinner.
  2. Fill the spinner tub with cool water and swish the leaves around. Then pull the basket up, allowing any grit or dirt to sink to the bottom. Repeat if the water seems espeically dirty. 
  3. Spin the kale dry. This will remove the water, so you know just how much water is going into the skillet. 

Sauté the kale 

Once your onion is chopped and the kale is clean you’re ready to cook!:

  1. Brown the onion — Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, then add the diced onion and salt and cook. Be sure to stir often until the onion starts to soften and brown.
  2. Sauté the kale — Add the kale and stir to coat with the onions. Add a few tablespoons water, then cover and cook for 2 minutes. Stir again and check to see if you need to add in any more water (you don’t want the skillet to become dry). Cover and continue cooking until the kale is tender.

Finish the Sauteed Kale with Cider Vinegar

Stir in the cider vinegar 

Stir in the vinegar before serving. If you add it too early it will turn the green of the kale into a muted army green color. Not as pretty (but still tasty!)

Using Other Vinegars

If you are sensitive to sour tastes, you can swap in Balsamic Vinegar which is slightly sweeter, and may be more palatable for some folks. I happen to love Apple Cider Vinegar and use it to make my favorite Apple Cider Vinaigrette at least once a month! 

bowl of sauteed kale


More Healthy Kale Recipes:

This Massaged Kale Salad with Apple and Avocado is another recipe to try if you are new to eating raw kale. Massaging the leaves makes it tender as lettuce! 

Balsamic Kale with Cranberries 

Overnight Kale Caesar Salad

Garlic Almond Kale Chips

4-Ingredient Kale Cheddar Soup

And don’t miss the 9 healthy kale recipes I shared on the Healthy Living Blog.

For more on kale, be sure to check out this Ultimate Guide to Kale!

Thanks so much for reading. If you make this recipe please come back and leave a star rating and review! 

Happy Cooking!


Kale with Cider Vinegar on Healthy Seasonal Recipes by Katie Webster | gluten-free, paleo and vegan

sautéed kale with cider vinegar

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


Here is a basic and easy recipe for sauteed kale with cider vinegar. Simply sautee the onions and kale in olive oil, add some water to allow it to steam, and then finish with cider vinegar after it comes off the heat. Vegan, paleo and naturally gluten-free.



  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 12 cups chopped kale (stems removed)
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar


  1. Heat oil in a large skillet or large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and salt and cook, stirring often until the onion starts to soften and brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add kale and stir to coat with the onions. Add 2 tablespoons water, cover and cook for 2 minutes. Stir again and check if there is moisture on the bottom of the pan. If it has dried up, add 1 to 2 more tablespoons of water. Cover and continue cooking, until the kale is tender, 3 to 5 minutes more.
  3. Remove lid and stir in vinegar before serving.


0 g Added Sugar, 0 mg Cholesterol


  • Serving Size: 1/2 cup
  • Calories: 140
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Sodium: 360 mg
  • Fat: 6 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 20 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 8 g