Rice and Chickpea Kale Rolls with Pineapple Salsa Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Rice and Chickpea Kale Rolls with Pineapple Salsa

Lacinato kale is the easiest variety to fold for these emerald green rolls.



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1 tsp. olive oil
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½ cup finely chopped onion
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1 cup cooked chickpeas
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¾ cup low-sodium vegetable broth
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½ cup white basmati rice
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1 tsp. ground cumin
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½ tsp. smoked paprika
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¼ tsp. salt
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12 large Lacinato kale leaves
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1 20-oz. can crushed pineapple, drained
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½ cup chopped red bell pepper
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½ cup fresh mint or cilantro leaves, chopped
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1 jalapeno chile, seeded and chopped
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1 Tbs. grated lime zest
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1 Tbs. fresh lime juice
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1 tsp. sugar or agave nectar


To make Kale Rolls:

1. Heat oil in small saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, and cook 3 to 5 minutes, or until softened. Add chickpeas, broth, rice, cumin, paprika, and salt; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 15 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed. Cool.

2. Trim thick stems from center of kale leaves. Place 1 large or 2 small overlapping kale leaves on work surface with tip away from you. Pull together cut edges where stem was removed to overlap. Spoon 2 Tbs. chickpea mixture in center of bottom of leaf. Fold in sides, and roll up leaf to tip. Repeat with remaining kale and filling.

To make Salsa:

3. Stir together all ingredients in bowl. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Serve Kale Rolls with Salsa.

Nutrition Information: 

9 g
Total Fat: 
4 g
Saturated Fat: 
<1 g
46 g
0 mg
313 mg
10 g
21 g
Serves 4

Comments on this Recipe

I live at high altitude so I had to add water to cook the rice completely. Also, I decided to chop the kale into big pieces and add it to the last 10 minutes or so of cooking the rice instead of trying to make rolls. It was DELICIOUS! My 16 year old even ate it and he is really picky! Delicious, cheap to make and easy. I will be making this more often!

Are these Kale Rolls supposed to be baked or steamed? There is no mention of any final recipe process. With the contents being cooked, it would suggest that the kale needs cooking as well.

How is the kale itself cooked?? Steamed? It's not raw???

I have the same question as Amy and do you cut the stem totally out or just trim it?

DELICIOUS! My kids (3,6) ate EVERY bite! We steamed the kale, and served the rolls with a few tortilla chips...

Do you cook the rice first before adding to pan? I tried it using brown basmati rice and it never got soft. Otherwise everything tasted great. (I also briefly steamed the kale).

This one is a keeper, thank you

My concern is at what point do you cook the kale? Do you steam it after it's stuffed or steam it before stuffing it? Looks great.

MM, this looks good! I'm going to try this but I think I'm going to replace the rice with quinoa for more fiber :)

to all of you confused on the kale... kale cooks very quickly so it doesn't really matter how you cook it... i imagine that the hot chickpea mixture would even cook the kale itself. But if it doesn't seem cooked enough for you, do whatever! Bake it, steam it... use your intuition! Cooking is about creativity and trusting yourself!

Dear chef. I´m sorry, I didn´t understand how to cook the pinapple salsa. Meanwhile, If in my country there is no Lacinato, Can I cook this recipe with other leaf? Thanks for the recipe. God bless you all.

i made this but added some sherreded cabbage to the mixture and not wrapped in kale but stuffed it iun a pobbalno chile sooo good!

You can definitely eat the kale raw, as the recipe intends. If you wanted to, you could use brown rice and increase the cook time (might need more liquid). To the person who asked what to use instead of kale, any big leaf should work: collard greens, cabbage, lettuce. Also, no cooking required for the salsa, but you might want to make it ahead so the flavors blend more. pennyparsnip.wordpress.com

Sounds good

Look good?

Try this one!

the 3/4 cup broth wasn't enough to cook the 1/2 cup rice; had to add more and turn up the heat.