Overhead shot of a cast iron skillet filled with creamed kale and hazelnut bacon crunch with a plate of bacon in the upper left

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!

Course Side, Side Dish
Cuisine Thanksgiving
Keyword creamed kale with bacon
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 3 -4
Author Molly | Spices in My DNA


  • 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*


  1. 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.

  2.  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.

  3. 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!

Recipe Notes

*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!