Sweet Kale Salad Recipe

Although salad is a welcome dish (or side) for any time of the year, there's something special about biting into a crunchy and healthy salad during the summertime. That sentiment especially rings true when you're eating recipe developer Miriam Hahn's sweet kale salad recipe.

"This salad is super healthy and delicious," Hahn said. "I love that kale is a hearty green that actually holds up as a leftover. This salad is good the next day. The apple will get a little brown but still tastes fine."

This kale salad recipe is packed with flavor, but you do have options if you're craving a spin on this dish. "You can also easily sub out a few things in this recipe," Hahn said. "If you don't have pumpkin seeds, you can use sunflower seeds, pine nuts, or slivered almonds. You can swap the cranberries with dried cherries. You can even swap the apple for a pear." The additions don't stop there. "I often add avocado to this salad, which is a delicious add-on," Hahn continued.

Whether you follow this recipe ingredient by ingredient or add some of Hahn's substitutions/additions, don't be surprised when this salad becomes a household favorite.

Gather the ingredients for your salad

First, you'll need to gather the ingredients for the sweet kale salad recipe. You'll need dinosaur kale (or curly kale), a lemon (juiced and divided), half to one teaspoon of salt, green cabbage, brussels sprouts (shaved or shredded), broccoli slaw, dried cranberries, toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), and a diced apple (Honeycrisp is ideal for this recipe). You'll also need olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey or maple syrup, a juiced orange, poppy seeds, and onion granules.

Prepare the kale for your salad

First, you'll need to remove the center stems from the kale. Next, you'll cut the kale into thin slivers. Then, place the kale in a bowl and squeeze half of the lemon and about a quarter of a teaspoon of salt on it. Then, you'll massage the kale with your hands –– for at least one minute –– by squeezing it tightly and releasing it. The kale will reduce in size and produce a green liquid at the bottom of the bowl.

"If you aren't familiar with massaging kale, it is a really important step," Hahn said. "It makes the kale so much better tasting and easier to digest because it's been broken down."

Of course, it's essential to purchase the right kale. "It is also important to avoid buying bags of chopped kale because the chopped pieces always have the stems," Hahn said. "It's much easier to buy a full bunch of kale and de-stem it. That is the most common mistake I see when people make kale salads. Also, kale is heavily sprayed with pesticides, so I always buy organic!"

Make the dressing

In a separate bowl, mix the olive oil, vinegar, juice from the orange, the remaining juice from the lemon, maple syrup or honey, the poppy seeds, the rest of the salt, and onion granules. Set the dressing aside.

Although the recipe calls for maple syrup or honey, you have options here. "You can use either maple syrup, honey, or a combo," Hahn said. "You really just want something sweet in the dressing, so any type is fine. Agave nectar works also."

Add more ingredients to the salad

Now that the kale is ready and the dressing has been prepared, you'll add the brussels sprouts, broccoli slaw, cranberries, pepitas, and apple on top of the kale.

On a separate note, if you have raw pumpkin seeds, you'll need to add them to a dry skillet on medium heat and toast them for three to five minutes — but you don't need to worry about this step if you purchased already toasted seeds.

Assemble the salad

Feasting time is near, as it's time to assemble the salad. First, you'll pour the dressing on the salad mixture, and then toss all the ingredients to combine. Once the ingredients are combined, you can serve the salad and enjoy!

If desired, you can garnish the salad with extra pepitas or pair it with other food. "I usually pair this with some sort of soup," Hahn said. "It is also great with sandwiches, wraps, anything off the grill, etc. I have even put it in a wrap with tofu or chicken."

Sweet Kale Salad Recipe
4.8 from 10 ratings
Although salad is a welcome dish (or side) for any time of the year, there's something special about biting into a crunchy and healthy salad during the summer.
Prep Time
5
minutes
Cook Time
0
minutes
Servings
6
servings
Kale salad recipe
Total time: 5 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch dinosaur kale (or curly kale)
  • 1 lemon, juiced, divided
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • ½ orange, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon onion granules
  • 1 cup green cabbage, sliced
  • 1 cup brussels sprouts, shaved or shredded
  • 1 cup broccoli slaw
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • ⅓ cup toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 apple, diced (Honeycrisp is best)
Directions
  1. Remove the center stems from the kale. Next, cut the kale into thin slivers. Place the kale in a bowl and squeeze half of the lemon and about ¼ teaspoon of salt on it. Massage the kale with your hands -- for at least one minute -- by squeezing it tightly and releasing it. The kale will reduce in size and produce a green liquid at the bottom of the bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the olive oil, vinegar, orange juice, the other half of the lemon, maple syrup or honey, the poppy seeds, the rest of the salt, and onion granules.
  3. Add the cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli slaw, cranberries, pepitas, and apple on top of the kale.
  4. Pour the dressing on the kale mixture and toss everything to combine. If desired, garnish the salad with extra pepitas. (If you have raw pumpkin seeds, add them to a dry skillet on medium heat, and toast them for three to five minutes).
  5. Serve and enjoy.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 210
Total Fat 9.0 g
Saturated Fat 1.3 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 32.3 g
Dietary Fiber 5.5 g
Total Sugars 21.5 g
Sodium 317.4 mg
Protein 5.1 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Rate this recipe