This easy vegetarian Southwest Kale Salad is topped with a zesty BBQ Ranch dressing ready to rock your plate!
I wanted to simply things and simply title it BBQ Kale Salad but it gave me this weird mental image of barbecue sauce slathered on grilled kale leaves.
I know, SO the opposite of what this salad is.
This salad is light and crisp and nutrition packed, delivering a punch of smoky-sweet barbecue flavor that is positively addictive when paired with the homemade ranch dressing and fresh veggies. It’s a party on a plate and a tasty bite of Summer.
Yes it’s still Summer, people. Put down the pumpkin!
Just kidding, I’ve totally already embraced the pumpkin too buuuuuut this weather still calls for some celebratory salads, mmkay?
While this pairing might seem a little cuckoo for cocoa puffs, let me tell you, it’s one of those shout-it-from-the-rooftops sort of flavor pairings that I absolutely can’t get enough of.
I stuffed face.
Then I ran over to the neighbor’s to tell them they HAD TO TRY THIS STAT!
The next line of action, of course, is to tell you the same. Make this. Yes with the kale. Yes with the pecans. Yes with ALL THOSE VEGGIES.
Southwest Kale Salad
Measurements for salad recipes are always super awkward. What one person deems a side salad another may view as a lunch-sized salad and while one person may want more greens, the next wants a veggie party on their plate.
To make things easy on us all, take the salad measurements below with a grain of salt, and make as much as you need! The recipe as written makes what I would consider enough for 2-4 side salads, depending on how much leafy green goodness you tend to put down. Enjoy!
Southwest Kale Salad
This Southwest Kale Salad is ready to rock your plate!
FOR THE SALAD:
BBQ Ranch Dressing
- combine equal parts of your favorite smoky sweet BBQ sauce with homemade or store bought ranch dressing + adjust to taste
Wash and remove the center stalk/rib from the kale leaves, tearing each leaf into bite-sized pieces as you go.
Drizzle with olive oil and massage to soften/tenderize the kale leaves. My toddler loves to do this step for me and I love the silky texture and taste of massaged kale.
Top with veggies from list above and whisk together dressing. Drizzle over salad and enjoy!
For the beans and corn in the salad, feel free to use canned, freshly cooked, or frozen. I utilized my stash of crock-pot black beans that I freeze and defrost as needed as well as some frozen organic corn that I simply transfer to the fridge and defrost for an easy addition to meals during the week.
If you'd like some added protein, feel free to add shredded chicken (leftover rotisserie chicken would work awesome here), pan-fried tofu, or shrimp!
Nutrition Facts below are an estimated before dressing using an online recipe nutrition calculator. Adjust as needed and enjoy!