Pressure Cooker Kale with Baked Tofu

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Kale with baked tofu and Spanish almonds is a healthy pressure cooker recipe, perfect for a meatless main meal or side dish. Here, thin Italian kale and leek ribbons are seasoned with sweet paprika, tossed with protein-rich tofu, and finished with chopped salted almonds. This Instant Pot kale recipe will give you a daily dose of healthy greens.

Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot) Kale with Baked Tofu

Hi there. I’m Letty from Letty’s Kitchen, the blog about seasonal vegetarian cooking and desserts with a healthier twist. I delighted to share this pressure cooker kale recipe with you. It’s one of my favorites! Kale is delicious on its own, but it adds great flavor and health benefits to all sorts of dishes. I want to try Barb’s recipe for Pressure Cooker Chorizo, Chicken and Kale Soup soon!

How to make Kale in an Instant Pot

An Instant Pot is one of the most popular brands of electric pressure cookers. They are easy to use and your Instant Pot can help you create this delicious and healthy kale recipe!

In a pressure cooker, you cook kale for two minutes, that’s all. With shorter cooking time, in very little water, more vitamins stay in the kale. For this recipe, choose the dark, almost blue-black Italian Lacinato kale, the one with flatter bumpy leaves.

cutting ribbons of fresh kale

As the dark color indicates, Lacinato kale comes with plenty of nutritious phytonutrients. Kale has more calcium than a glass of milk, and more Vitamin C than an orange.

Sweet paprika’s mild peppery flavor works wonders with kale. Also, a little sprinkle of acid, like vinegar or lemon juice, magically bumps up the flavor in all greens—but I think mellow sweet sherry vinegar’s caramel nut complexity complements Lacinato kale the best.

With at least 10 grams of protein per serving, tender savory baked tofu is a great addition to this kale and leek dish. Scatter crunchy almonds on top, serve over quinoa, and you’ve got yourself a nutritious vegetarian meal.

Pressure Cooker Kale with Baked Tofu and toasted almonds on a white serving platter

Pressure Cooker Kale Recipe Notes:

  • Italian Tuscan kale goes by more than one moniker–black kale, Cavolo nero, and dinosaur kale. Last week our local store labeled it “dino kale.” Do the leaves look like dinosaur skin? How would anyone know?
  • Use mostly the white part of the leek. Wash the leek carefully as dirt likes to hide between the outside layers.
  • You can make your own baked tofu or buy it ready-baked in many natural food stores. I used this baked tofu from Whole Foods.
  • Spanish marcona almonds are roasted, salted, blanched almonds. Grown in Spain along the Mediterranean coast, they are shorter, rounder, softer, and sweeter, and more expensive than the California variety.
  • To save money, toast regular blanched almonds with olive oil and sea salt. Or sprinkle your paprika kale ribbons with chopped roasted chickpeas.
  • You might also want to try this recipe for Crispy Grill-Roasted Lacinato Kale.
  • Also from the pressure cooker—Letty’s Kitchen kale risotto.
Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot) Kale with Baked Tofu

Pressure Cooker Kale with Baked Tofu

Yield: 4 to 6 servings


  • 1 leek, halved lengthwise, dark green part trimmed
  • 1 bunch Lacinato kale, stems removed and discarded
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ½ cup vegetable broth or water
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
  • 3 ounces baked tofu, cut in ½-inch cubes (see note)
  • ¼ cup chopped Marcona almonds (see note)


Cut the leek in half lengthwise, then very thinly slice crosswise into half-moons. You should have about 1 ½ cups. Stack 5 kale leaves, one on top of the other. As best you can roll into a tube shape and slice ¼-inch thick into ribbons. Repeat with the remaining kale.

Heat the olive oil in the pressure cooker pot. Sauté the leeks until tender, 3 to 5 minutes.

Stir in the paprika and cook another minute. Add the vegetable broth, kale ribbons, salt and cayenne. Lock the lid in place and cook on high pressure 2 minutes. Quick release the pressure. If you wish, drain off the excess liquid and save for soup.

Stir in the sherry vinegar and tofu. Taste and add more salt if needed. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with the almonds.

Serve immediately.



I used ready-baked seasoned tofu. Look for it at your natural food grocery.

Roasted and salted Spanish marcona almonds are shorter, rounder, softer, sweeter, and more expensive than the California variety. If you prefer, toast your own blanched almonds with olive oil and sea salt.

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originally published July 17, 2016 — last updated January 1, 2019
Categories: Veggies