This Creamed Kale with Hazelnut Bacon Crunch is unbelievably delicious and addicting, and it’s the perfect Thanksgiving or easy holiday side dish! It’s filled with lots of texture from the chopped hazelnuts and crumbled bacon, and it’s creaminess comes from heavy cream and a touch of cream cheese for a little extra something!
Don’t let the looks of this creamed kale make you want to run away. It’s not the easiest thing to make look pretty! But I promise it’s SO insanely good. As in, so addicting I want to eat the entire pan with a spoon. And it’s super easy to make!
My favorite part is the hazelnut bacon crunch, without question. There’s something about the hazelnut and bacon combo that’s just hard to beat. I’ve always loved anything with hazelnuts (I’m looking at you, Ferrero Rocher – how good are those?!?!), and I’d have to say that hazelnuts are a close second to my favorite nut, pistachios.
I recently made this kale salad with bacon and hazelnuts, and I knew I had to re-create a Thanksgiving side with that flavor profile. I could.not.get.enough.
And here we are!
The entire dish comes together in just minutes. It’s SO easy. And it’s made completely on the stovetop, which frees up the oven for other sides and for turkey!
Instead of using all heavy cream, I also added a tiny bit of cream cheese for a little extra richness. It’s such a game changer in this recipe!
I also like to stir half of the bacon hazelnut crunch into the creamed kale, and sprinkle the rest on top.
My mouth is literally watering just thinking about how good it is. Omg.
Basically, you need this on your Thanksgiving table!
Creamed Kale with Hazelnut Bacon Crunch
This Creamed Kale with Hazelnut Bacon Crunch is unbelievably delicious and addicting, and it's the perfect Thanksgiving or easy holiday side dish! It's filled with lots of texture from the chopped hazelnuts and crumbled bacon, and it's creaminess comes from heavy cream and a touch of cream cheese for a little extra something!
- 5 slices bacon
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 bunches lacinato/Tuscan kale, de-stemmed and shredded
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/3 cup dry roasted or toasted hazelnuts, chopped*
Heat a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat and cook the bacon until crispy. Set aside to drain on paper towels. Reduce heat slightly, and discard all but one tablespoon of bacon fat from the pan.
Add the butter. Once melted, add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until fragrant. Add the kale, salt, and pepper, and sauté for 1-2 minutes or until slightly wilted. Add the heavy cream, cream cheese, and nutmeg, and simmer for 2-3 minutes or until creamy and cream cheese has melted.
Finely chop the bacon and combine it with the hazelnuts. Add half of the bacon hazelnut mixture to the kale and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the remaining hazelnut bacon crunch over the creamed kale. Serve immediately!
*I buy dry-roasted, unsalted hazelnuts from Trader Joe's, but if you can't find them, just toast raw hazelnuts in a dry skillet for several minutes until they're toasted and fragrant!