This quick kale salad is ideal as a nutritious side dish because it is loaded with fresh vegetables and has a homemade lemon dressing that is incredibly easy to make.
The easy Kale Salad with Fresh Lemon Dressing recipe is one of my favorites since it’s packed with flavor and crunch from fresh ingredients.
A quick and delectable kale salad
Although we genuinely enjoy kale salad all year round, a quick and simple dish is ideal for warm weather.
- Feel free to prepare this dish the night before and pack it in lunches the following day because it is fresh, delicious, and fully make-ahead.
- We adore how leftover kale salad (even with dressing) can be stored in the fridge, unlike tossed salad.
- This will convert anyone into a kale fan because it is filled with taste and nutrition.
- The tangy homemade lemon dressing is far superior to store-bought and just takes a few minutes to prepare.
How to Cook Kale?
Due to its exceptional capacity to keep up in the fridge, kale makes the ideal prep-ahead salad and sandwich greens! It lasts far longer than its leafy siblings without wilting.
Kale may be swiftly prepared over the weekend and kept on hand for use as a salad green all week. It will stay fresh and crisp.
- Use cold water to rinse the kale leaves.
- Pull off the leaves to reveal the robust stem.
- Shake dry and wipe with a kitchen towel, or spin dry in a salad spinner.
- Kale should be massaged; more on that later.
Kale Massage Techniques
Whoa, what? the kale be massaged? Kale can be tenderized or softened for salads by being massaged to relieve some of its bitterness.
Although you are free to skip this step, I would honestly advise doing so at least once. The salad’s flavor and texture are altered. In this dish, I use curly kale, but I’ve also used dinosaur kale.
- Slice, chop, or tear the rinsed kale into bite-sized pieces before adding a little salt.
- Next, lightly coat your hands with a small amount of olive oil. Take a handful of the kale and rub it, rubbing the leaves until they turn black and soften.
We wouldn’t prepare kale any other way – I swear a massaged kale salad tastes a million times better! Prefer not to use oil when massaging your kale? Instead, try some freshly squeezed lemon juice!
Kale Salad with Cranberries Recipe
One of the best kale salad recipes out there, in my opinion. Cranberries, almonds, and a quick, simple lemon dressing for kale salad.
- By the recipe below, wash and massage the kale.
- Prepare the other ingredients, then add them to the big bowl.
- Shake the dressing in the container after adding it (or whisk in a bowl). Include in the salad.
There are many excellent add-ins to this simple kale salad with cranberries. There are so many options for raw kale salads! You could get creative here and use everything in your crisper drawer, but I chose to include carrots, broccoli, red onion, dried cranberries, cheese, sliced almonds, and sunflower seeds. If you’d like, add some avocado while serving.
- In place of the cranberries, raisins would work fantastically. You could also use other dried or fresh fruit, such as apples.
- Here, I added cheddar cheese—one of my favorite salad ingredients! nevertheless, feta, parmesan, or goat cheese would also be suitable substitutions. Even better, you could eliminate the dairy and turn this delicious salad vegan!
- Change to pecans or walnuts in place of almonds.
- Add cooked chicken, steak, grilled shrimp, or salmon on top to make it a meal.
- Rather than using the mean, substitute your favorite grain, like quinoa, or add chickpeas.
More recipes for kale
If the urge comes, leftover kale can be baked into crisp kale chips, mixed into pesto, or incorporated into pasta. There are countless options.
When I have enough kale on hand, I even enjoy adding a little to my pizza. Can you put kale in a salad? It is incredibly versatile.
Ingredients of Easy Kale Salad with Fresh Lemon Dressing
- 5 cups kale chopped
- 1-2 teaspoons olive oil
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup almonds sliced
- ½ cup cheese optional (cheddar or feta work great here!)
- ¼-½ cup carrots shredded
- ¼ cup red onion diced
- 2 cups broccoli chopped
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- ¼ cup cranberries
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dijonDijonard
- 1 clove garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon honey or sugar adjust + add to taste
Instructions for Easy Kale Salad with Fresh Lemon Dressing
- Make your dressing first by putting all the ingredients in a covered mason jar and shaking vigorously to emulsify. To taste, adjust the sugar, salt, and pepper after dipping a kale leaf in the dressing. This dressing can be made as sweet or sour as you choose!
- After that, massage your chopped kale with a little salt and olive oil. Rub the leaves with your fingers until they start to darken and become delicate. As a result, it tastes fantastic and the kale has a velvety feel.
- Mix massaged kale, broccoli, almonds, cheese, carrots, onion, sunflower seeds, and cranberries in a big bowl. Reshake your dressing, then drizzle approximately a third of it over the salad. Add more dressing to taste and toss to coat.
Optional: You’re welcome to copy me and occasionally add poppy seeds to your salad dressing to give it a lemon poppyseed flavor.
Cheese and other supplemental ingredients are not included in the nutritional data.