I have been living on this kale salad.
It’s so pretty and festive and it just gets me in my fall feels. It has all the textures and flavors and is full of healthy stuff! It’s the perfect side for Thanksgiving or any special fall/winter meal. Heck, I eat it as a meal in itself all the time.
Why this kale salad is the best
I love how you can make this salad ahead of time, with dressing, and it just gets better and better. The kale and shredded Brussels sprouts stay hearty and hold up to the dressing and nothing wilts or gets limp and sad. The apples add a bit of sweetness and crunch, the cucumbers add crisp cool freshness, the carrots add color, and the sliced almonds are the nutty kiss on top. Even better is when you add chicken breast and roasted squash. Seriously, so good!
The dressing is a really simple but addictive mix of Japanese rice vinegar, soy, mirin, a touch of sugar and toasted sesame oil. It’s light and tangy and full of umami. It lets the salad ingredients shine while still bringing the flavor.
What kind of kale for salad
My favorite kind of kale for kale salad is Tuscan kale, also known as dinosaur kale or Lacianto kale. It’s flat and a deep, dark green. It’s thinner and more tender than the classic curly kale you see and it tastes amazing raw. You can also use curly kale for this salad, but dinosaur kale is my kale of choice.
How to prep kale
- Wash the kale and throughly dry.
- Use a pairing knife to cut out the center stems or simply tear the leaves off the stem. The stems are tough – you can discard them.
- Roll the leaves up into a tight roll and slice thinly, into ribbons.
- Your kale is ready for salad!
How to shave brussels sprouts for salad
I love brussels sprouts in salad – they’re just like tiny cabbages. To shred sprouts, easily, wash, trim the ends off, cut them in half, place them cut side down on the cutting board and thinly slice cross-wise to create shaved sprouts.
How to make kale salad
- Make the dressing in a bowl or liquid measuring cup. Sometimes I like to use my milk frother to really emulsify the dressing.
- Toss together all the ingredients in a large bowl, but save some apples, cucumber, carrots, and almonds for garnish.
- Dress the salad according to taste – you might not need all the dressing. I tend to dress my salads on the lighter side, I usually make a half portion of dressing. This salad is all about you so dress accordingly!
- Finish up by garnishing the top of the salad with the reserved toppings and enjoy!
What to serve alongside kale salad
I like this salad as a meal but it makes an excellent side dish for proteins such as:
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar Japanese preferred
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp mirin
- 2 tbsp neutral oil
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 bunches kale thinly shredded, approx 8 cups, dinosaur/tuscan/lacinato preferred
- 1 lb Brussels sprouts shredded, approx 6 cups
- 1 cucumber sliced
- 1 apple cut into matchsticks, Fuji preferred
- 1 carrot shredded
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- roasted chicken breast sliced, optional
- roasted squash cubed, optional
The Ultimate Kale Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 123
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 1.5g9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.