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Bacon, Egg, and Kale Breakfast Bowl

Crispy croutons, crunchy bacon.

Sauteed kale salad toppped with croutons, bacon, and a fried egg.

I’ve never excelled at excess. At some point during the holidays, the parade of cookies loses its luster and I crave big bowls of greens. And that is the inspiration for today’s breakfast bowl. Lightly sauteed kale topped off with crunchy croutons, crispy bacon, and a gorgeous sunny-side egg makes this hearty balanced bowl a refreshing break from the insanity of the seasonal excess.

Sauteed kale salad toppped with croutons, bacon, and a fried egg.

Low and slow cooking is the secret to the crispiest bacon. And while cutting the bacon and then arranging the individual pieces in the pan in a single layer might seem like a pain, it’s the best way to ensure the fat renders evenly and completely. This helps the bacon crisp more fully, as well as guaranteeing maximum bacon fat is left in the pan for the onions and the kale.

Don’t over-cook the kale here. Keep it moving in the pan—tongs will be your best friend—continually tossing it with the sauteed onions. As soon as it starts to wilt, cut the heat and remove it from the pan as soon as possible to stop the cooking. The kale should be slightly softened, but still with a bit of texture. You want a warm salad, not stewed greens.

As a playful nod to toast, the final touch to this breakfast is a handful of golden crispy croutons. No need for stale bread or a long drying process here. Tear the bread into bite-sized chunks, toss with a little olive oil and salt, and bake until golden brown and shatteringly crispy: 8 minutes at most. While this recipe makes more croutons than necessary for the bowl, that’s no tragedy. No one ever cried about extra croutons.



Bacon, Egg, and Kale Breakfast Bowl

(makes 2, with extra croutons!)

Sauteed kale salad toppped with croutons, bacon, and a fried egg.

4 oz white country bread, torn into ¾” pieces

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 ½ tsp. kosher salt, divided, plus more

2 oz (about 2 slices) bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

1 large bunch of kale (about 5 oz.) stemmed and torn into large bite-sized pieces

2 large eggs

Freshly ground black pepper


Special equipment: large bowl, baking sheet, large pan, nonstick pan


Preheat oven to 400° F. In a large bowl, toss bread with olive oil and ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Spread onto a large rimmed baking sheet and bake until golden brown and crisp, 6-10 minutes. Let cool.

Crispy croutons on a baking sheet sprinkled with salt.

Meanwhile, arrange bacon in a large pan in a single layer. Set over medium heat and cook undisturbed, until golden on the bottom, 5-7 minutes. Continue to cook until just crisp, about 2 minutes more. Remove from pan, leaving as much fat in pan as possible, and set aside.

Kale and onions in a saute pan.

Return pan to medium-high heat. Add red onion and ½ teaspoon salt and cook until softened, 4-5 minutes. Add kale and season with ½ teaspoon more salt. Using a large pair of tongs, gently toss kale until coated in bacon fat and just starting to wilt, 1-2 minutes. Remove kale and red onions to a large bowl and set aside.

Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat. Crack in both eggs and cook, adjusting heat as needed, until white is set but yolk is still runny, 4-5 minutes. (If needed, add a teaspoon water to pan and quickly cover with a lid to steam the very top layer of white and get it cooked through.) Season egg with salt and pepper to taste.

Divide kale and red onions between two bowls. Top each with an egg, crispy bacon, and croutons. Serve immediately.

Sauteed kale salad toppped with croutons, bacon, and a fried egg.

Originally posted December 22, 2023.

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