20-Minute Beef and Kale Stir-Fry

If you haven’t noticed from past recipes I’ve shared, my favorites are easy and healthy recipes that save me a lot of time. They allow less chances for shortcuts and excuses to eat out or get take-out. This 20-Minute Beef and Kale Stir-Fry recipe—packed with nutrient-dense leafy kale—is perfect on a busy weeknight or lazy weekend.

Prep TimeCook TimeTotal TimeYields
0 minute20 minutes20 minutes6 servings

The recipe calls for 10 ounces baby kale. This will seem like a lot at first but kale, like other greens, cooks down quite a bit. Make sure you have enough room in your pot or pan, or add kale in batches as it reduces.

  • chopping board and knife (optional if using garlic and onion powder)
  • large pot or pan
  • cooking spoon
  • measuring spoons

Cooking With Substitutions. Kale, a nutrient-dense leafy green, is part of the cabbage family. Chopped green cabbage and bok choy are ideal substitutes. I use 2 (5-ounce) packs of organic baby kale for convenience, and sometimes add half a bag of pre-shredded carrots. 

Stems from regular-sized kale can be tough and bitter, so strip off the leaves and discard the stems (better yet, use the stems for making pesto or smoothies).


1 pound 85% lean ground beef
4 garlic cloves (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
1 small onion (or 1 teaspoon onion powder)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
10 ounces baby kale



In a large all-purpose pan, COOK ground beef over medium heat, breaking it up as it cooks. Meanwhile, CHOP the garlic and onion (skip this step if using garlic and onion powder).

MAKE a large hollow in the middle of the pan, ADD garlic and onion into the hollow, and COOK until onion is translucent. (Alternatively, STIR in garlic and onion powder with the ground beef until well-seasoned, 1 minute.) STIR in salt, basil, oregano and thyme until well-seasoned, 2 minutes.

STIR in kale in batches as it reduces, 5 minutes.



Cooking With Pairings. I make a well-rounded meal by serving Beef and Kale Stir-Fry with organic brown rice, sliced boiled eggs or fried eggs, and chopped fresh tomatoes.

To make sure the rice is ready to serve along with your other dishes, get a head start by cooking the rice—with instant pot, rice cooker or stove top—right before cooking the Beef and Kale Stir-Fry or during idle time in the kitchen. I personally use a rice cooker with a stainless-steel pot.

If serving eggs, here is a simple and forgiving method of boiling eggs that really works well for us: ADD eggs in a pot and enough water to cover them. BRING to a boil, covered. TURN heat off and KEEP the pot on the hot burner for 10-12 minutes. Slightly COOL the boiled eggs and PEEL under cold water (the cold water will help peel the shells without sticking to the egg). I use an egg slicer to slice or cross-slice boiled eggs directly over a bowl for easier, faster prep.

Share as a side dish by itself or as a main dish with brown rice, sliced boiled eggs or fried eggs, and chopped fresh tomatoes for a wholesome meal.


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