Home > Healthy > Kale Salad Recipe Kale Salad Recipe March 29, 2020 | 2 Comments SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Jump to Recipe This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy. Kale Salad is packed with nutritious ingredients and covered in a delicious white balsamic orange dressing. Massaged kale is topped with ripe, sweet mangoes, crisp red cabbage and red pepper, crunchy carrots, citrus-y cilantro, and salty roasted almonds. Try some of our other favorite kale salads: this kale and quinoa salad, this kale avocado salad, or this kale couscous salad. A few weeks ago I promised more kale and I’m here to deliver! We’ve been on a major kale kick lately and this has been the perfect side salad to so many of our favorite recipes. While this Kale Salad recipe is pretty straight forward and easy, I’ll share some tips below for making it. I’m also spilling the “secret” to delicious kale, and after that give some recommendations for prepping this salad in advance. Let’s get started! Kale Salad tips Truly, a ripe mango makes this salad; it’s far more flavorful and creamy with fully ripe fruit. I highly recommend honey mangoes for this salad (also known as Ataulfo mangoes). They’re sweeter and creamier than regular mangoes and don’t have the typical fibers throughout. Very thinly slice the cabbage, carrots, and red pepper; it allows them to integrate better into the salad. You can also buy pre-shredded carrots for a quicker prep time. Adjust to your preference: We like this salad loaded with toppings (not just a bunch of kale). However, if you’d prefer more kale or less of a certain ingredient, this salad is very forgiving. You may also want less of the dressing (we like lots!), so add slowly and to preference. Use roasted almonds: Buying sliced almonds that have already been roasted saves time and adds flavor. These honey roasted sliced almonds are my favorite! (Not sponsored). Preparing the kale Kale gets a bad rap, but when prepared correctly, it’s quite delicious! The secret to great kale? We massage it. I know, this sounds strange, but rubbing the leaves with salt creates friction that breaks down the tough fibers and mellows out the flavor. It’s not an old wives’ tale; there’s real science to it! Read a bit more about it in this article. Here’s the nitty gritty: Start by removing the thick stems and then very thinly slice (ribbon) the kale. I think the smaller the pieces or shreds of kale, the better it tastes. Once it’s all chopped, put it in a colander (or for a quicker preparation time, use the base of a salad spinner!) and give it a quick rinse. Next, sprinkle some fine sea salt on top and, using your hands, rub and massage the salt into the kale. Massage the kale for about a minute or until it turns a deep green color; then give it another quick rinse. Allow the kale to dry completely before adding it to the salad (a salad spinner speeds that process quite a bit). If the kale is wet, the dressing won’t adhere as well to this kale salad recipe. Make ahead All of the salad ingredients, with the exception of the almonds, can be tossed together in advance and stored in the fridge. The dressing can also be made ahead — in fact, it’s even better when it’s made earlier as the flavors have a chance to intensify and meld together. Store the dressing separately in the fridge. When you’re ready to serve, simply add in the almonds and dressing and toss the salad. Kale Salad doesn’t sit well for more than a day (once dressed), as the salad ingredients get soft and even a bit mushy. (The dressing breaks down the ingredients.) Serve this salad as a main dish Kale Salad is surprisingly filling and can easily serve as a main dish when you add in a little protein. Here are some of our favorite additions: Chicken: Any leftover cooked chicken works fine; I’m partial to leftover grilled chicken from this chicken marinade recipe. Steak: Grill or pan sear some steak to add right on top of this salad. Grains: Cookquinoa, barley, farro, or even some lentils and, once cooled, toss them in the salad for a protein boost. Serve Kale Salad alongside: Chicken Kabobs with a Sriracha cream sauce Grilled Curry Chicken easy chicken marinade Egg Roll in a Bowl low carb egg roll inspired meal Beef Larb Thai inspired ground beef dinner Coconut Curry Chicken reader favorite recipe! FOLLOW ALONG! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates, recipes and content. Kale Salad 5 from 2 votes - Review this recipe Kale Salad is packed with nutritious ingredients and covered in a delicious white balsamic orange dressing. Massaged kale is topped with ripe, sweet mangoes, crisp red cabbage and red pepper, crunchy carrots, citrus-y cilantro, and salty roasted almonds. SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Kale Salad 5 from 2 votes - Review this recipe SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Kale Salad is packed with nutritious ingredients and covered in a delicious white balsamic orange dressing. Massaged kale is topped with ripe, sweet mangoes, crisp red cabbage and red pepper, crunchy carrots, citrus-y cilantro, and salty roasted almonds. Course Salad Cuisine American Keyword Kale Salad Prep Time 25 minutes Total Time 25 minutes Servings 6 as a side Calories 215kcal Cost $7.90 IngredientsSalad2 packed cups chopped/thinly sliced kaleSalt1 and 1/2 cups shredded red cabbage1 cup shredded carrots1 heaping cup chopped mango (~1 large mango or 2 honey mangoes; we like honey mangoes best!)1 cup thinly sliced red sweet bell pepper1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro1/2 cup sliced and roasted almonds (See Note 1)Dressing2 clementines (1 and 1/2 teaspoons zest and 3 tablespoons juice)1 and 1/2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil3/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard1 and 1/2 tablespoon honey1/2 teaspoon EACH: finely minced ginger and finely minced garlic1/4 teaspoon EACH: salt and pepper InstructionsKALE: Start by removing the thick stems and then very thinly slice (ribbon) the kale. The smaller the shreds of kale, the better. Once it's all chopped, put it in a colander (or the base of a salad spinner) and give it a quick rinse. Next, sprinkle some fine sea salt on top (about 1/2 to 1 full teaspoon) and, using your hands, rub and massage the salt into the kale. Massage the kale for about a minute and then give it another quick rinse. Allow the kale to dry completely before using in the salad or spin in the salad spinner to quickly dry.SALAD: In a large bowl, toss together the prepared and completely dried kale, shredded cabbage, shredded carrots, chopped mango, thinly sliced red bell pepper, and cilantro.DRESSING: For the dressing, add all the ingredients to a mason jar and shake until combined. You may need to use a spoon to stir the bottom if the honey has settled. Taste and adjust as desired with an extra pinch of salt/pepper or drizzle of honey.ENJOY: Pour dressing over prepared salad gradually; you may not want to use all the dressing (we like lots!). Toss until ingredients are well incorporated and dressing coats everything. Sprinkle almonds on top and toss once more. Recipe NotesSTORAGE: This salad doesn't sit well for more than a day (once dressed) as the salad ingredients get soft and even a bit mushy. (The dressing breaks down the ingredients.) Note 1: I like to buy honey-roasted salad topper almonds for this salad, but any sliced almonds work. You don't have to toast them, but you can if desired. To toast, add the almonds to a dry nonstick skillet and place over medium high heat. Stir frequently until fragrant and ever so slightly browned; watch carefully they can go from toasted to burned in an instant! Nutrition FactsServing: 6serving as a side | Calories: 215kcal | Carbohydrates: 18.2g | Protein: 3.9g | Fat: 15.7g | Sodium: 23.6mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 12.6g DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.