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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Kale Dip with Cream Cheese and Parmesan

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This healthy kale dip recipe made with smoky onion and creamy cheese is packed full of flavor. It’s a lightened up sharing dip, perfect for pot lucks, BBQ’s and get togethers and holiday parties! It’s a great side dish alongside a bigger spread, just about any time of the year!

healthy cheese dip - kale dip recipe in a white bowl

You know what’s even better than traditional spinach dip? This decadent, easy Kale Dip with Cream Cheese and Caramelized Onions! Kale salads are not the only way to enjoy this leafy green vegetable!

While I love cheese dip, I wanted to create a lightened-up vegetarian appetizer that I could bring to parties that everyone (even meat eaters) would enjoy. The smokiness of this dip evokes a meaty, hearty taste, and the kale brings a great texture that you can’t get with spinach dip.

Latest Recipe Video!

The unexpected ingredient in this recipe is organic chipotle mayo, which gives the dip a spicy kick, the perfect complement to the kale and caramelized onions. This recipe is a great appetizer for a family gathering, or as a dish to pass at a potluck!

👩‍🍳 Why This Recipe Works

  • Healthy Party Friendly Dip
  • Smoky Chipotle Flavor
  • Excellent Texture
  • Perfect for Special Diets
  • Vegan Option
  • Gluten-Free
  • High in Vitamins and Nutrients

🥘 Ingredients

ingredients for kale dip

Chopped Baby Kale: I prefer to use baby kale, rather than the large bunch of kale you can find at the grocery store. This gives the dip a great texture, but it is also more easily incorporated into the dip.

Chopped Onion: I use yellow onion finely diced. You can also use red, or white onion if you prefer.

Minced Garlic: Using a garlic press is a quick and easy way to mince your garlic, and get excellent flavor from your dip.

Low-Fat Cream Cheese: Keep this dip on the healthier side by using your favorite low-fat cream cheese.

Chipotle Mayonnaise: You don’t need much, but this secret ingredient gives this dip its smoky flavor.

Asiago and/or Parmesan Cheese: These are sharp cheeses that melt nicely on the top of the dip for an excellent finish.

🍽 Equipment

📖 Variations

Kale Artichoke Dip: If you’d like to make this more of a traditional spinach artichoke dip, pulse artichoke hearts in the food processor a few times to break them up. Add them to the pan after you sauté the kale, and sauté for an additional 3 minutes.

Make it Vegan: This recipe can easily be made vegan by substituting with vegan cream cheese and vegan mayonnaise. Leave out the asiago cheese, and instead sprinkle the top with 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast before baking in the oven, or use vegan parmesan cheese.

Spinach and Kale Dip: Add 1 cup of baby spinach along with the kale into this dip for even more greens!

No Mayonnaise: If you’re not a fan of mayonnaise, or would rather use something else, try making this kale dip with sour cream. Combine the sour cream with 1/2 a season of chipotle pepper to get that smoky flavor. If you want more protein, make this kale dip with Greek yogurt instead of the mayo!

Add More Spice: Sprinkle with red pepper flakes before serving.

🔪 Instructions

Step 1: Wash and chop kale. Spray large nonstick skillet with olive oil cooking spray and heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to soften and brown, about 5 minutes.

Step 2: Combine kale with the onion mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 2 minutes.

Step 3: Stir in cream cheese, Chipotle Mayonnaise, 4 tbsp Asiago/Parmesan cheese and cook over low heat, stirring, until well blended.

Step 4: Spray 1-quart baking dish with olive oil cooking spray, then spoon onion and kale mixture into dish. Sprinkle with remaining Asiago/Parmesan.

Step 5: Broil dip until cheese browns and mixture is bubbling, about 3 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Serve in a large bowl with cut up vegetables, sliced whole grain baguette and/or whole grain tortilla chips for dipping.

cheese and kale dip straight out of the oven

❓Recipe FAQs

Is Kale Dip Healthy?

Most party dips are high in fat and calories, but this healthy cheese dip is different! Here’s how we lightened up this kale dip with cheese:

1) Low Fat Cream Cheese: Instead of regular cheese I used low fat cream cheese reducing the calories and fat in this dip.

2) A lighter amount of Mayo and Cheese: There’s only 1/4 cup of mayo, and 1/3 cup of shredded cheese. Much less than other dips call for.

3) Superfood Kale: The addition of kale in this recipe adds texture but also increases the nutritional value of this dish. It’s one of the most nutrient dense foods you can eat. High in antioxidants, vitamin C, and vitamin K, kale can lower cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease.

Will kids enjoy this parmesan kale dip?

This dip is warm, creamy, cheesy, and flavorful. Paired with whole wheat tortilla chips for dipping, it’s a kid friendly appetizer. Not too spicy, a little smoky, and the kale is hidden inside!

Can you make this party dip in advance?

Yes! You can prepare this dip in advance and enjoy it the next day. Store in the refrigerator, and when ready to serve, bake it in the oven. I wouldn’t prepare it more than a day in advance so that it still has a fresh flavor. 

How do you reheat this dip when you bring it to a party?

If bringing to a party, make the dip at home and warm in the oven when you arrive at your destination. It’s a hot dip that will be the star of the party! Serve this dip warm, straight from the oven if possible.

❄️ How To Store

After baking and serving, you can store leftovers in an air tight container for up 3 days. Warm in the microwave. This makes for great leftovers to enjoy for lunch. Spread on whole grain bead to create a cheesy kale sandwich!

👪 How To Serve

This super simple and easy to make dip can be served with crusty bread, raw veggies, whole grain crackers, pita bread or baked tortilla chips. You could even use it as a sandwich spread!

💭 Expert Tips

  • Use a low fat cream cheese to cut down on calories.
  • Use an organic mayo with natural ingredients like this one.
  • Spray baking dish with cooking spray to keep from sticking to the pan.
  • Serve hot, but let it sit for a few minutes before serving.
  • Use baby organic kale to save chopping time and get a more delicate texture. 
healthy cheese dip - easy kale dip recipe with pita chips in a white bowl

🥧 More Healthy Dip Recipes!

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📋 Recipe Card

healthy cheese dip - easy kale dip recipe with pita chips in a white bowl
Print Recipe
5 from 8 votes

Healthy Kale Dip with Cream Cheese and Smoky Onion

This healthy kale dip made with smoky onion and cheese is packed full of flavor. It's a lightened up sharing dip, perfect for pot lucks, BBQ's and parties!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegetarian
Servings: 32 servings
Calories: 37kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 10 oz bag of baby kale, chopped
  • 8 oz lowfat cream cheese
  • ¼ cup Organic Chipotle Mayonnaise
  • cup grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese divided

Instructions

  • Spray large nonstick skillet with olive oil cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to soften and brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in kale and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 2 minutes.
  • Stir in cream cheese, Chipotle Mayonnaise, 4 tbsp Asiago/Parmesan cheese and cook over low heat, stirring, until well blended.
  • Spray 1-quart baking dish with olive oil cooking spray, then spoon onion and kale mixture into dish. Sprinkle with remaining Asiago/Parmesan.
  • Broil dip until cheese browns and mixture is bubbling, about 3 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Serve with cut up vegetables, sliced whole grain baguette and/or whole grain tortilla chips.

Video

https://youtu.be/dDB04nAB0tA

Notes

  • Use a low fat cream cheese to cut down on calories.
  • Use an organic mayo with natural ingredients like this one.
  • Spray baking dish with cooking spray to keep from sticking to the pan.
  • Serve hot, but let it sit for a few minutes before serving.
  • Use baby organic kale to save chopping time and get a more delicate texture. 
  • Serve with cut raw veggies, whole wheat pita chips, sprouted wheat crackers or organic tortilla chips for dipping!

Nutrition

Serving: 2tablespoons | Calories: 37kcal | Carbohydrates: 1.1g | Protein: 1.4g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1.2g | Sodium: 54mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 0.1g

Posted In…

Side Dishes ·

These side dishes are tasty enough to be the star of the show!

Try my asparagus crostinis for the perfect accompaniment to your main entree, or double the recipe to turn them into an entire meal.

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