Warm Coconut and Pancetta Kale


When you want something green on your plate but don’t feel like salad, then this warm coconut and pancetta kale is a go-to side dish. It pairs well with any type of meat or seafood. It’s easy to make. And although kale can taste good raw with just a drizzle of lemon and olive oil, it tastes really good with crispy pancetta, creamy coconut milk, and lots of garlic.

In fact, if you want to make these greens the main course and serve a small portion of protein on the side, go for it. Prepared this way, kale is filling and satisfying. Meat and seafood always have a place on the Primal table, but optimally, so does mineral-and-antioxidant-rich plant matter.

Eating leafy greens is like taking a whole food “supplement” with naturally safe and well-balanced vitamin and mineral levels. In this particular case, it’s an incredibly delicious supplement.

Is your vegetable crisper is full of greens that you have good intentions to eat before they go bad? Then use them in this recipe. In addition to kale, this recipe also works well with greens like collards and Swiss chard (or, a combination of greens).

Servings: 4

Time in the Kitchen: 30 minutes



  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or butter (15 ml)
  • 3 to 5 ounces pancetta, diced (85 to 140 g)
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 small bunches lacinato kale, leaves torn from stems and cut into thin strips
  • 1/3 cup full-fat canned coconut milk (80 ml)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (2.5 ml)


Heat oil or butter in a wide skillet over medium heat. Add pancetta and cook until just crispy. Add garlic and shallot. Cook until shallot is soft, 5 minutes. If the garlic looks like it’s getting too dark, turn down the heat.

Add kale a couple handfuls at a time, letting the leaves wilt a little before adding more. Mix well with the pancetta, garlic and shallots. When all the kale is in the skillet, sauté as long as desired, either leaving the kale slightly raw or cooking it longer until the leaves are very soft.


Add coconut milk and red pepper flakes. Stir well and cook a minute or two more, until the coconut milk is absorbed by the kale.

Remove from heat and serve. This dish also tastes good at room temperature.


About the Author

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!