The Best Kale Salad

By now you all probably know about my love for kale.

I use it in smoothies, salads, stir fry’s, eggs, soups and stews.

It’s healthy and hearty, meaning it stands up well to sitting in lunch boxes half the day, being left on the stove a little too long and being made into a soup and then frozen and reheated.

It’s also the PERFECT thing to take to a potluck or dinner party!

Whenever we are invited to a friend’s house and asked to bring a side dish, I turn to this kale salad.

It’s so easy and can easily be made a few hours ahead and left on the counter until go time.

It actually tastes BETTER when made ahead of time.

It looks and tastes fancy and everyone is always impressed. They will never know how easy it really was to make :).

The best surprise that came from making this salad the first time was my daughter’s response. She was three and a half at the time and I gave her a few bites. She asked for more. And more. And more!

She now affectionately refers to it as her “favorite salad” and asks me regularly for it. I now make a batch on Sunday for lunches throughout the week for her and I!

Just add some quinoa or grilled chicken for a more complete meal and you are good to go!

The key to raw kale salad is massaging the kale.

Yes, you have to get personal with it.

Use your hands and take a full minute to massage the dressing into the leaves. It will help break down the fiber so the kale softens and becomes much more palatable.

I simply put the dressing in the bottom of the bowl and then load up the kale on top. I then massage to my heart’s content. After that, I top the leaves with the extras and let it sit like that until it’s time to eat or go!

If heading to a dinner party, I leave it untossed for presentation. If it’s going straight to the fridge, I mix it up and don’t worry about it so much.

I hope you love this kale salad as much as we do!

The Best Kale Salad


  • Salad:
  • 1 large bunch kale leaves I usually have around 4-5 cups depending on how big I want the salad
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • Optional:
  • Feta or goat cheese are delicious when added as well!
  • Dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Mix all dressing ingredients in the bottom of a large bowl.
  • Wash and dry your kale, then peel leaves off the stems.
  • Place the leaves in the bowl and massage the dressing into the leaves.
  • Place all other ingredients on top.
  • Let sit for at least one hour in the fridge and enjoy!