Easy and Healthy Cavolo Nero Recipes

Tuesday 13th Oct 2020 |

Simple and speedy to cook, versatile and brimming with health benefits, cavolo nero is the perfect ingredient for a whole host of warming winter recipes.

The brilliant brassica takes just a few minutes to cook – whether it is boiled, baked, stir fried, steamed or microwaved – and can be be enjoyed in soups, pasta dishes, pies, risottos and more.

Not only delicious, cavolo nero is also nutritious. It is a good source of vitamins A and C, which help the immune system to function normally, lutein which can help with eye health, and vitamin K which plays a role in maintaining normal bones. A source of fibre and calcium, it also contains manganese, copper and iron.

So, as the weather turns cooler, why not pick up a bag of cavolo nero and enjoy its great taste and nutrition benefits in one of the delicious dinner recipes for four below.

Creamy Cavolo Nero & Leek Soup with Cavolo Nero Crisps

Picture of Creamy Cavolo Nero and Leek Soup

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 15 minutes

Serves: 4

Skill Level: Easy

200g bag sliced cavolo nero

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

½ tsp smoked paprika

500g Leeks, sliced

1 potato, diced (200g)

1 litre vegetable stock

300ml semi skimmed milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6.
  2. Toss 75g cavolo nero with half the oil and paprika, season and spread out onto a large baking tray, roast for 10 minutes until crisp.
  3. Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in a large saucepan and fry the remaining cavolo nero, leeks and potato for 5 minutes.  Add the stock, cover and simmer for 10 minutes then add the milk.  Using a stick blender, process to give a coarse texture.
  4. Divide between 4 bowls and top with the cavolo nero crisps.

Cooks tip

For a vegan option, replace the milk with soya or almond milk.

Cavolo Nero Risotto with Beans & Mushrooms

Picture of Cavolo Nero Bean and Mushroom Risotto

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 20-25 minutes

Serves: 4

Skill Level: Easy


1 tbsp olive oil

2 shallots, finely sliced (75g)

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

300g risotto rice

100ml white wine

700ml hot vegetable stock

300g chestnut mushrooms, sliced

400g can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

200g bag sliced cavolo nero

½ x 25g pack parsley, chopped

To serve: freshly grated Parmegiano Reggiano.


  1. Heat the oil in a large, deep frying pan and fry the shallots and garlic for 2-3 minutes.  Stir in the rice and cook for 30 seconds before adding the wine. Cook until it has been absorbed. 
  2. Add 1/3 of the stock, cover with a lid and cook gently until nearly all absorbed.  Add a further 1/3 of the stock, mushrooms and beans and repeat. Add the remaining stock and the cavolo nero and cook gently, stirring occasionally until rice is tender and most of the stock is absorbed. Season to taste and stir in the parsley.
  3. Serve with a little grated Parmegiano Reggiano.

Cooks tip

Try using cannellini beans as an alternative, or add prawns for a non-vegetarian option.

Cavolo Nero & Pesto Pasta

Cavolo Nero

Prep: 5 minutes

Cook: 10 minutes

Serves: 4

Skill Level: Easy


300g pasta shapes

300g cavolo nero, shredded

4 tbsp pesto sauce

100g sun dried tomatoes

50g Parmesan cheese, grated


1. Cook the pasta in boiling water according to instructions.

2. Drain and return to the pan. Meanwhile, steam the cavolo nero for 5 minutes.

3. Stir the pesto sauce, tomatoes, and half the Parmesan into the pasta and finally stir in the cavolo nero.

4. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle over the remaining Parmesan to serve.

Cheesy Cavolo Nero Stuffed Jackets

Cavolo Nero

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 105 minutes

Serves: 4

Skill Level: Easy 


4 baking potatoes

150g cavolo nero, chopped

100g low fat soft cheese

2 spring onions, finely sliced

75g Cheddar cheese, grated


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6.
  2. Prick the potatoes with a fork and cook in the oven for 1.5 hours or until tender, cool slightly then cut in half and scoop out the flesh into a bowl leaving a 1cm border around the edges. Place the shells on a baking tray.
  3. Cook the cavolo nero in boiling water for 5 minutes, drain and mix into the potato flesh with the soft cheese, spring onions and seasoning. Spoon back into the potato shells and sprinkle over the Cheddar. Bake for 15 minutes until golden.

Cavolo Nero Fish Pie

Cavolo Nero

Prep: 20 minutes

Cook: 5 minutes

Serves: 4

Skill Level: Easy


200g cavolo nero, shredded

300g salmon fillets, diced

250g cod fillets, diced, defrosted

350g prepared cheese sauce

200g cooked, peeled prawns, defrosted

750g hot mashed potato


  1. Steam the cavolo nero for 5 minutes, then transfer to the base of a heatproof serving dish.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the fish in simmering water for 4 minutes and drain.
  3. Heat up the cheese sauce and add the fish and prawns, then cook for 1 minute to heat through.
  4. Pour over the cavolo nero and top with mashed potato.
  5. Place under a preheated grill for 1-2 minutes until golden and serve

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