Ranch Kale and Quinoa Casserole

With Thanksgiving just days away and far-away relatives coming in to visit, my holiday preparations have gone into high gear. While there is plenty to do before the turkey hits the table, I refuse to be stressed out by unnecessary complications in the kitchen. I’m making sure I have plenty of room on my plate (literally and figuratively) by keeping my recipes simple to make and at least a smidgen healthy. One of the featured side dishes I’ll be serving is my Ranch Kale and Quinoa Casserole.

colander kale square Kale is one of my favorite super foods because of its versatility; this dark leafy green can be served raw, blended, sautéed or even baked into a chip. According to Medical News Today, kale is abundantly rich in vitamins A, C and K and is also a good source for calcium, potassium, iron and other essential minerals. I always knew kale was a low calorie food but I just recently learned that it has protein – a one cup serving has 40 calories and 3 grams of protein! Combine the windfall of protein found in kale with protein-rich quinoa and you’ve got the makings for a really satiating side dish or even a vegetarian entrée. ranch kale quioa casserole  overhead When the kids, cousins or your old-school great uncle start fussing about how good-for-you ingredients like kale and quinoa don’t taste so great, quell their concerns by holding up a bottle of Litehouse Food’s Homestyle Ranch Dressing. Yup, instead of taking the time to make a roux or dumping in a can of “cream of something” soup, I simply added a cup of ranch dressing to keep the experience creamy and comforting. Everyone loves ranch dressing and Litehouse Food’s Homestyle Ranch Dressing is a true classic made with fresh herbs and canola oil for a healthier flavor profile. Ranch Quinoa Kale Casserole in Ramekin For a casual, down-home presentation, just toss all the ingredients into a cast iron skillet and bake in the oven until bubbling up with goodness. However, if you’re hosting a more upscale meal, this same side dish recipe can be divided up into individual ramekins prior to baking and then drizzled with additional ranch before serving. jennifer fisher litehouse mini veggies in dip fridge 2 This recipe doesn’t use the whole bottle of ranch dressing, so pour the remainder into a small bowl and serve with an assortment of fresh veggies for your guests to nosh on while they wait for dinner to be served. Or, assemble individual ranch and veggie cups by spooning a dollop of ranch dressing into a small cup and adding an assortment of dippers like carrots, snap peas, cucumber slices on top – kids love these!

Ranch Kale and Quinoa Casserole

Serves 8 | Finish in 45 minutes

You’ll win Thanksgiving by serving this Ranch Kale and Quinoa Casserole as a side dish – it’s healthy, it’s hearty and it tastes heavenly made with homestyle ranch dressing!


1 tablespoon olive oil

 8 cups chopped kale

 1 large white onion (chopped)

 1 tablespoon Instantly Fresh Garlic

 1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

3 cups cooked quinoa (from 1 cup dry)

 1 cup Litehouse Homestyle Ranch Dressing

 1 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (divided)


1. Add olive oil to 12” to 14” cast iron skillet and bring to medium-high heat.

2. Add chopped onion and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until softening. Add half of kale and cook down for about 2 minutes. Add a couple tablespoons of water, if needed. Add remaining kale to skillet and sauté for 2 -3 more minutes until completely wilted.

3. Add garlic, salt and pepper to kale and continue to sauté for 1 minute.

4. Remove skillet from heat and stir in pre-cooked quinoa, ranch dressing and ¾ cup of parmesan cheese.

5. Sprinkle top with remaining cheese and bake in 350 F degree oven for 30 minutes or until bubbling and cheese browning on top.

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