I have to let you know that this is the first kale salad recipe I have ever tried. And to this day, it is the absolute best recipe for kale salad I have ever eaten.
It is not tough. It is not bitter. The dressing is perfection. And It provides so much nutrition along with a serving of veggies!
I truly hope you give it a try, especially if you’ve never had kale before.
One more thing…if you try this recipe, I’d very much appreciate it if you leave me a comment and recipe rating below. Thanks so much!
*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, at no additional cost to you.
Origins of Best Kale Salad Ever
A big shout out for this massaged kale salad recipe goes to the daughter of a resident I used to help care for at Bay Shores Nursing Home and Rehab.
I am very grateful that this kind woman shared her kale salad recipe with me. My whole family loves it. And it’s a great way to incorporate dark green leafy vegetables into your diet.
If you are skeptical about trying kale or have eaten it in the past, leaving you convinced that kale is too tough or bitter, than this recipe may just change your mind.
A Nutrient Dense Food
There are so many health benefits of kale. This superfood has such a high nutrient density that it scores a 1000 on the ANDI list. Most people are unaware of this ranking system.
ANDI stands for Aggregate Nutrient Density Index. It is a ranking from 1 to 1000, developed by Dr. Fuhrman, creator of the Nutritarian diet and author of many best-selling health books, including “The End of Heart Disease” and “Eat to Live“.
This ANDI ranking is utilized at all Whole Foods markets to showcase the health promoting benefits and micronutrient density per calorie of foods.
Speaking of nutrient density, kale contains vitamins A, K, B6, C, calcium, potassium, copper and manganese along with numerous phytonutrients.
Studies link these nutrients to eye health and reducing chronic diseases, cancer, and heart disease. It also has anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties.
I can’t say enough about this super superfood. Add this easy kale salad to your regular repertoire to add all of these nutrients and fiber today!
With just a few simple ingredients, you will have the perfect side dish for any meal. Here is what you’ll need to prepare the best kale salad:
- Sweet onion
- Cherry or grape tomatoes
- Kalamata olives
And here are the simple ingredients used for the best dressing for kale salad:
- Minced garlic
- Bragg’s Liquid Amino Acids or low-sodium soy sauce
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Lemon juice
- Minced ginger
- Cayenne Pepper (optional)
- Mrs. DASH tomato basil seasoning (optional)
How to Make the Best Kale Salad Ever
Making this kale salad could not be easier!
1. Wash Your Produce
First, you’ll want to wash all your produce, including the kale leaves by tearing the leaves off each rib of kale and rinsing them under water.
Luckily, I have a handy dandy salad spinner (affiliate link) that I use to wash and spin-dry my kale leaves but this is not necessary. As an alternative, you can wash your kale leaves and pat them dry using a clean kitchen towel or paper towels.
2. Mix Ingredients Together
Mix all of the salad ingredients together in a large bowl. No need to toss anything quite yet. You can do this after making the dressing.
3. Make the Best Dressing For Kale Salad
Next, whisk all the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl or shake them up in a jar with a tight lid.
4. Massage the Salad
Massage the dressing into the salad, focusing on the kale leaves. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes to soften the kale and make it less tough.
This homemade dressing is the best dressing for kale salad or you can can use it for other salads as well.
Serving and Storage
This easy kale salad can be served with so many other dishes. Try serving this salad with:
- Any roasted, grilled, or baked meat or poultry
- Any soup recipes such as my One-Pot Spicy Vegan Brunswick Stew or Tuscan White Bean, Sausage, and Kale Soup Recipe
- Or eat it as a light meal served with some Addicting Garlic Bread with Olive Oil
This salad will keep well in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours fully prepared or up to 3 days without the dressing. Just make sure to store it in an airtight container.
You may also want to wait until serving time to add the avocados so they don’t turn brown.
For more super salad ideas try my:
Best Kale Salad Ever
- 1 Salad Spinner optional
For the Salad:
- 1 head kale
- ½ cup sweet onion thinly sliced
- ½ cup grape or cherry tomatoes
- 1 avocado cubed
- ½ cup Kalamata olives pitted and halved
For the Dressing:
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 2 Tbsp. low sodium soy sauce or Bragg's Liquid Amino Acids
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
- ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp. ground ginger
- 1-2 tsp. Mrs. Dash Tomato-Basil seasoning optional
For the Kale Salad
- Rip or cut the kale leaves off the tough stalks and into fork-sized pieces. Wash them using a salad spinner (optional) or rinse thoroughly under running water then pat dry using a clean kitchen towel or paper towels.
- Add the onion, tomatoes, olives, and avocado into a large bowl with the kale.
For the Dressing
- Whisk the garlic, soy sauce, olive oil, lemon juice, cayenne, and ginger together in a small bowl or add to air-tight container and shake until everything is combined.
- Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients and massage the kale or toss and let it sit for at least an hour before serving (if you can wait that long!).
- Garnish with the optional Mrs. Dash if desired.
- I almost always use cherry or grape tomatoes but you can use any type of tomato you enjoy for this easy kale salad.
- You can also substitute black olives for the Kalamata olives and red onion for the sweet onion. Use what you have or what you know you’ll enjoy!
Share With Me: Have you tried this Best Kale Salad Ever? Did it make you a kale lover too? Comment below to let me know what you think.
Kiran Campbell is a registered dietitian and entrepreneur with 14 years of experience. She also has a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and is a proud member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Cardiovascular Health and Well-being Dietetics Practice Group. Kiran proudly presents and promotes the most up-to-date, science-based nutrition information on all things heart-related. She aims to serve not only individuals with heart disease, but also those wanting to protect against it. Learn more about Kiran by visiting her About Page.