The trajectory of the rise, fall, and then plateauing of kale salads is one that elicits a lot of opinions.  Some people are happy that kale is no longer a ubiquitous thing, a given in a salad, bowl, a must in a grain bowl, a part of so many recipes.  Other people – like me, dear reader – still love kale, but are not sad to watch it take its more appropriate place in the larger wide world of vegetables.

Kale Crunch Salad

And I still love kale salads.

Chick-fil-a Kale Crunch Salad

If anyone had doubts about the pervasiveness of kale in our diets, they needed to look no further than fast food restaurants.  It a certain sign that a vegetable has locked itself into mainstream eating when you see it on the likes of meus such as Chick-fil-A.  Their bestselling salad contains green cabbage and kale with a maple syrup and cider dressing, and a package of slivered almonds, and it has meet with a groundswell of fandom.

Kale Crunch Salad

Homemade Kale Crunch Salad

And this crunch kale salad is easily replicated as home, and I have to say, wow, this is a serious winner of a salad.  My version of this salad uses Napa cabbage, which I find lighter and more lettuce than regular cabbage, and while almonds are certainly an option, if there are allergies in your house (as there are in mine) then pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds) are a terrific option, providing the crunch in the promise of the salad.

Adding a handful of grated Parmesan at the end is optional, but it makes the salad as far as I’m concerned.  That and the slightly sweet slightly tangy dressing, and of course the crunchy addition of nuts or seeds.

Kale Crunch Salad: A serious winner of a salad, with kale, Napa cabbage, hulled pumpkin seeds, and an addicting dressing.

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Kale Crunch Salad

How to Make Kale Crunch Salad

Make the dressing: In a small container or bowl, combine the extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, apple cider or juice, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, and salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Place the kale in a mixing or serving bowl and pour over the dressing.  

Kale Crunch Salad

Using your hands, toss and kale with the dressing, and massage the kale as you do this, so that the leaves soften and start to absorb the dressing.   

Kale Crunch Salad

Let sit for a few minutes, then toss in the cabbage, combine well and let sit for another 10 minutes.  

Kale Crunch Salad

Then toss in the nuts or pepitas and any other add ins you like, like grated Parmsan.  

Serve.

What to Serve with Kale Crunch Salad:

Kale Crunch Salad

Other Kale Salad Recipes:

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Kale Crunch Salad

A serious winner of a salad, with kale, Napa cabbage, hulled pumpkin seeds, and an addicting dressing.
Yield: 4 People
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

For the Apple Dijon Dressing

For the Kale Salad

  • 3 cups roughly chopped kale , stripped of any thick stems
  • 2 cups shredded Napa cabbage
  • ½ cup toasted almonds or pepitas

Optional Add-Ins:

  • ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan (recommended)
  • 1 apple (your choice) , cored and diced
  • ½ cup dried cranberries , cherries, or other chopped dried fruit

Directions

  • Make the dressing: In a small container or bowl, combine the extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, apple cider or juice, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, and salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
  • Place the kale in ta mixing or serving bowl and pour over the dressing. Using your hands, toss and kale with the dressing, and massage the kale as you do this, so that the leaves soften and start to absorb the dressing. Let sit for a few minutes, then toss in the cabbage, combine well and let sit for another 10 minutes.
  • Then toss in the nuts or pepitas, the Parmesan if using, and any other add ins you like. Serve.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 328kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 164mg | Potassium: 510mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 5224IU | Vitamin C: 73mg | Calcium: 197mg | Iron: 2mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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Comments

    1. If you want a softer salad you can make the whole thing (minus the Parm and the pepitas) and keep it in the fridge overnight. Or, make the salad, make the dressing, keep them seperate, then combine with and let sit for about 10 mins before serving, and toss in the pepitas and Pam at the last minute.

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