Hearty Kale and Sausage Ragu is one of my favorite winter dishes. As it cooks, the kale soaks up all the deliciousness of the sausage and herbs and creates such a rich, flavorful sauce! And I’m not going to lie… this ragu is so hearty, I was tempted to forgo the pasta and just add a few cups of broth and call it soup ;).
This is a pretty simple recipe that starts off by browning sausage, onions and garlic, then adding in the dried herbs and freshly chopped kale. Lastly, just stir in tomatoes and cook until the kale has softened and the flavors blend together. I use a local pasture raised mild pork sausage that I flavor with garlic, herbs de provence and some freshly cracked black pepper. But if you like things a bit more spicy – by all means go for that hot Italian sausage! Serve the ragu over your favorite pasta, zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash.
Note: I never waste leftovers and since this makes a huge amount, I freeze half and use any leftovers as a pizza sauce.
- 1 lb ground sausage (pork, chicken or turkey works)
- 1 tablespoon olive or grapeseed oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 3 cups finely chopped kale, leaves and tender stems only
- 1 teaspoon herbs de provence (or other Italian blend)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt (more or less
- 1 large carton (54 oz) or 2 28oz cans chopped tomatoes, no salt added
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional - I only add if my kale has a slightly bitter taste)
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 - 1 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh basil or parsley, chopped (optional)
- Cooked pasta, zucchini or spaghetti squash, to serve
- In a large skillet, heat olive or grapeseed oil over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook until fat starts to render out, then add onion, garlic, and dried herbs. After 5 minutes, add the kale and cook until the kale is soft, about 10 more minutes.
- Lastly, add in the chopped tomatoes and any juice, salt, sugar and water. Simmer on low for about 30 minutes or until ready to serve, stirring occasionally.
- Before serving, top with freshly ground black pepper and a sprinkle of fresh basil or parsley. Serve over pasta, zucchini noodles, or spaghetti squash.
- To Freeze: Cool the sauce completely before transferring to plastic containers or glass jars. Be sure to leave at least 1 1/2 inches of space from the top to ensure that your containers don't burst if the sauce expands during the freezing process. To use, thaw overnight in the fridge and warm over stove before tossing with pasta or vegetables.
Hope you enjoy this recipe!