Kale Salad

Introducing my all-time favorite kale salad – a recipe I’ve been treasuring and enjoying for years, and I’m thrilled to finally share it with you! This isn’t just any kale salad; it’s a perfect harmony of flavors that dance between sweet and tangy, creating a taste sensation that’s truly unforgettable.

Universal Appeal and Kid-Approved

What makes this salad extra special is its universal appeal. It’s become a beloved staple in our household, and to my delight, even my kids can’t get enough of it! That’s right – a kale salad that children actually love. It’s a small miracle in the world of family meals.

Makes Great Leftovers

One of the best features of this salad is its staying power. The robust kale leaves stand up beautifully to the dressing, allowing you to prepare it the night before without fear of soggy greens the following day. Leftovers the next day? No problem! This salad maintains its delicious texture and flavor, making it perfect for meal prep or enjoying over a couple of days.

How to Serve

This versatile dish is my go-to for various occasions – from casual family dinners to lively barbecues and elegant luncheons. It’s a crowd-pleaser that never fails to impress. While the salad is fantastic as is, I love offering optional toppings on the side for guests to customize their plates. A sprinkle of sheep’s milk feta, some grilled chicken, or slices of creamy avocado can take this already delicious salad to new heights.

So, whether you’re a kale enthusiast or a skeptic, give this salad a try. I’m confident it will become a favorite in your recipe collection, just as it has in mine. Get ready to fall in love with kale all over again!

kale salad ingredients
kale salad

How to Prepare Kale for Salad

There are a variety of ways to prepare kale for salad.  If you are pressed for time, you can purchase pre-shredded kale from the grocery store and it will work just fine for this recipe.  The reason I like to start with big bunches of kale is to remove the tough center rib.  If you do not have a food processor, just follow the methods provided below and then chop with a knife rather than use a food processor.

  • Wash – Thoroughly under cold running water to remove any dirt or debris. 
  • Dry – Pat the kale dry with clean kitchen towels or use a salad spinner. 
  • Remove Rib – Remove the tough center rib from each kale leaf: (1) Hold the stem with one hand. (2) Use your other hand to strip the leafy parts away from the stem in one smooth motion.
  • Rough Chop – Roughly chop the kale leaves into manageable pieces that will fit in your food processor. 
  • Fill Food Processor – Fill the food processor bowl about halfway with the chopped kale leaves. Don’t overfill, as this may lead to uneven chopping. 
  • Pulse – Secure the lid and pulse the kale in short bursts, 5-10 times, until it reaches your desired consistency. For a finer texture, you may need to pulse more.  I don’t like a super fine texture, because you still want the kale to resemble a salad-like consistency.
  • Empty – Empty the chopped kale into a large bowl. 
  • Repeat – Repeat steps 5-7 with any remaining kale until all is processed. 

Your kale is now ready to be used in your salad. For a softer texture, you can massage the chopped kale with some freshly squeezed lemon juice and salt before adding other ingredients.

candied slivered almonds
candied slivered almonds

Simple Ingredients

  • Kale – You can use any type of kale you prefer for this recipe.  My favorite type is curly kale.  The key is getting the kale into bite-sized pieces.  Be sure to read above for all of my tips on how to do that.
  • Cabbage – I love the bright, colorful crunch that cabbage adds to this salad.  You can prepare the cabbage yourself using a sharp knife and thinly slicing or by using a food processor.  Some grocery stores also sell cabbage pre-shredded, and that is a great way to save time.  You can omit if you like or substitute for any of your favorite crunchy vegetables or fruit.  Celery and apples would be great substitutions.
  • Carrots – These shredded carrots add a beautiful pop of color to the salad.  You can shred the carrots using a food processor.  Or, to save time, buy carrots already pre-shredded.
  • Dried Cherries – Dried cherries add the perfect, sweet pop in every bite to this salad.  These can be difficult to find in a sugar-free variety.  If you are needing to completely avoid sugar, raisins make an excellent substitute, or you could use fresh, pitted cherries.
  • Grapefruit – I love the perfect balance of sweet and tangy that comes from the grapefruit supremes.  You can substitute with orange supremes for a sweeter option.  If substituting with orange supremes, I recommend using two oranges since to provide an equivalent amount of supremes.
  • Slivered almonds – You can use the slivered almonds straight from the bag.  Or, give them a quick roast in the oven until they are golden brown.  To elevate the salad and make it extra special, I like to candy the slivered almonds with maple syrup, and you can find my recipe for that here.  If you prefer a different type of nut, chopped mixed nuts and cashews taste wonderful in this salad.  For a nut free option, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds make great choices.
  • Apple cider vinaigrette – This vinaigrette is perfectly sweet and tangy for a great balance to this salad.  My lemon avocado dressing is another excellent choice.
apple cider vinaigrette
apple cider vinaigrette
kale salad

Kale Salad

Sarah Erickson
Whether you're a kale enthusiast or a skeptic, give this salad a try!
Prep Time 16 minutes
Course Dinner, lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine American



  • Add prepared kale, shredded cabbage, shredded carrots, dried cherries, grapefruit supremes and slivered almonds to a large bowl.
  • Top with desired amount of apple cider vinaigrette or serve on the side.
Keyword cookout, fresh salad, kale salad, salad, side dish, summer salad

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