Kale Stem Crackers

Steven Satterfield

Miller Union, Atlanta

Don’t toss your kale stems after using the leaves! These crackers feature thin slices of tough kale stems throughout the dough. With no leavening involved, this recipe can easily be batched up or down, making it perfect for solo snacking or a unique addition to your next cheese platter. If you don’t have a pasta maker, you can also roll the dough out very thin with a rolling pin. If you want more uniform crackers, you can use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to slice the dough into squares before baking.


  • 2 cups kale stems (from 1 bunch kale), thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons flaky sea salt


Cook the kale stems: set a wide skillet over medium heat and melt the butter. Add the kale stems and ½ teaspoon fine sea salt and cook until the stems are tender and bright green, about 2 minutes. Transfer the cooked, still warm stems to a food processor and pulse until a rough, chunky paste is formed. Remove the kale mixture from the food processor and spread out on a baking sheet to cool, about 20 minutes.

Prepare the dough: place the flour and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Add the kale stem mixture and turn the mixer on its lowest setting until the flour and kale are incorporated. With the motor running, slowly pour in half of the buttermilk. Let the dough come together and continue to add buttermilk slowly until a ball forms. (You may not need all of the buttermilk, depending on how much moisture is in the kale mixture.) Once a ball forms, turn the mixer off and remove the dough from the bowl. Knead the dough by hand for 1 minute, then cut into 2 pieces and wrap each piece individually with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the portioned dough and let rest overnight.

Make the crackers: preheat the over to 350°F. Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet and brush liberally with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil. Run a portion of the dough through a pasta roller set to 1/2-inch thick setting. Run it again set to a 1/4-inch thick setting. Cut the dough into a length that will fit the baking sheet. Brush with the remaining olive oil and sprinkle lightly with flaky sea salt. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the crackers are light golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool. Break into rough-edged crackers, Serve warm or at room temperature. Once cooled, you can store in an airtight container for several days.


From Waste Not: How to Get the Most from Your Food by The James Beard Foundation/Rizzoli Publishing.



approximately 36 crackers (depending on size)

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