My homemade vegan Scampi Sauce makes this kale taste AMAZING!! You can use this delicious garlicky sauce to cook any vegetable, not just kale, and of course it’s perfect for pasta! This Kale Scampi recipe would be a perfect side dish for your upcoming holiday meals.
Click “Jump To Recipe” (above ⬆️) to skip the blog post and go directly to the recipe! You’ll miss out on helpful tips for this recipe though.
This is the third recipe in my Vegan Holiday Recipe Series! I’m encouraging you all to try something different and unique for your holiday dinners this year! Kale Scampi would be the perfect accompaniment to my Eggplant with Sundried Tomato and Mushroom Stuffing! In case you missed them, here are links to the first two Vegan Holiday Recipes:
The Secret Ingredient To My Scampi Sauce. What Is Wakame?
Wakame is an edible seaweed. It is typically dried in long thin strips. There are various varieties of dried seaweed, such as the popular Nori, dulse, and kombu. In my opinion, wakame has the stronger flavor compared to these other types of seaweed, which is why it is the perfect ingredient to give vegan dishes a seafood flavor. Sometimes I love tasting a hint of the ocean, especially in pasta dishes.
You can find wakame at most Asian grocery stores or order it online here (disable adblock to view product):
How To Make Vegan Scampi Sauce
The key ingredients to my vegan scampi sauce are olive oil (I use a good amount, but you can use less), lots of garlic, ground wakame, and lemon juice. Salt is an optional ingredient, but wakame is already salty, so taste it without salt first.
We’re going to heat the olive oil up, but keep the pan on medium so the oil doesn’t get too hot and burn the garlic. Next add the garlic and slowly cook it, infusing the flavor into the oil and browning it ever so slightly. Add the wakame and let it toast for a few seconds.
Letting the wakame toast in the garlic oil is a key step, so don’t skip it and add the wakame later in the recipe!
Next, add whatever vegetable you’re cooking (kale in this recipe) and finish with lemon juice. I added a little lemon pepper as well because I love the lemon flavor mixed with the garlic and oceany wakame flavors.
Other vegetables you can cook in this scampi sauce are cabbage, spinach, sliced zucchini, roasted butternut squash, broccoli, bok choy, the options are endless!
My Eggplant with Sundried Tomato and Mushroom Stuffing would be the perfect main course to have with this Kale Scampi. You can also roast some root vegetables and have this kale on the side with quinoa for a simple, healthy, dinner.
You can also add pasta to this recipe for a quick pasta dish.
For a simple lunch, make Kale Scampi with a side of rice or quinoa and a tomato salad.
How To Make This Recipe Oil Free
I want to start by saying that this recipe will taste much different without using any oil, but if you’re already used to cooking oil free then it shouldn’t be a big deal.
I use a 1/4 cup of olive oil and this recipe makes about 3 – 4 servings. You can omit the olive oil if you have a good nonstick pan, such as this one (disable adblock to view product):
Just put a little water, or whatever flavorful liquid you like such as vegetable broth or an oil-free vinaigrette, in the nonstick pan before adding the ingredients. If the liquid starts to evaporate and the pan dries up then add a little more whenever needed to avoid the pan getting dry.
Sulforaphane is an isothiocyanate occurring in stored form as glucoraphanin in cruciferous vegetables such as kale. It has been shown that sulforaphane may protect against various types of cancer, may also decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease, and help in autism and osteoporosis.
It has the ability to be a powerful anti-inflammatory agent, partly due to its ideal omega-3 to omega-6 ratio.
Kale was also shown to have a protective effect against bladder cancer.
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“NUMEROUS SCIENTIFIC STUDIES NOW CONFIRM THAT A WHOLE FOODS DIET COMPRISED PRIMARILY OF VEGETABLES, FRUITS, GRAINS, LEGUMES, AND NUTS WITHOUT ADDED OIL, SUGAR, AND SALT IS OPTIMAL FOR HUMAN HEALTH, NOT ONLY PREVENTING A BROAD RANGE OF DISEASE AND ILLNESSES, BUT ALSO REVERSING SOME OF THE MOST DANGEROUS CHRONIC CONDITIONS. THIS FINDING IS OF THE HIGHEST IMPORTANCE TO THE COMMONWEALTH BECAUSE IT COMMUNICATES A TRUTH THAT HAS THE POWER TO SAVE LIVES.”
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This Vegan Scampi Sauce recipe makes any vegetable taste amazing! Try this easy to make Kale Scampi as a side dish for you next meal.
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 8 garlic cloves minced
- ½ tablespoon ground wakame
- 8 cups chopped kale
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 2 teaspoons lemon pepper
- Salt to taste
- To make ground wakame, place a handful of dried wakame strips into a coffee grinder and grind. Add more wakame until you have ½ tablespoon of ground wakame. You can try grinding it in a food processor or blender if you don’t have a coffee grinder.
Place a large pan on medium-low heat. Once the pan is hot, add the olive oil and garlic. Stir constantly for about 30 seconds to 1 minute to keep the garlic from burning. Add the ground wakame and cook for another 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
- Add the chopped kale, lemon juice, lemon pepper, and salt. Stir until the kale has wilted slightly and is completely covered in the olive oil, garlic, and seasonings.
- Cover the pan with a lid and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the kale has wilted.
- Turn off the heat and serve.
We use 8 cups of kale because leafy greens wilt down significantly when cooked.
Dried wakame can be found in most Asian grocery stores. This recipe can be made without the wakame. You can skip this ingredient if you can’t find wakame, or feel you won’t like it, but I PROMISE it adds such a nice “garlic scampi” flavor to the recipe.