Broccoli Kale Salad with Lemon Dressing

This tasty broccoli kale salad features fresh veggies and a super simple homemade lemon dressing. It’s fantastic as a healthy side dish or light lunch!

Massaged Kale Salad with Lemon Dressing

Today we’re making an a quick and easy kale salad because gosh darn it, ya’ll are gonna eat some veggies!

When winter hits, salads sort of go out the window as a viable option. But that’s completely silly, since tasty salad ingredients like spinach, kale, broccoli, and carrots are all gloriously in-season right now!

So keep making your soups, chilis, and casseroles galore, but pair them with this fresh and healthy salad. Deal? Deal!

This easy peasy massaged kale salad is loaded with tasty mix-ins. I chose to add carrots, broccoli, red onion, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, and almonds, but you could totally get creative here and empty out your crisper drawer!

Dried raisins would work excellent in place of cranberries, and if you’re not feeling the dried fruit, simply load  it up with extra veggies! I also used a little cubed cheddar cheese here but feta or goat cheese would work marvelous too. You could even go dairy-free and make this scrumptious salad vegan! The cheese won’t be missed at all!

meal prep tip: how to massage kale

After washing and drying your kale, remove the ribs/stem from each kale leaf. Tear or chop the kale into bite-sized pieces, then sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Next pour a little olive oil in your hands and work your way through the kale, massaging the leaves until they darken in color and tenderize. I swear it tastes a million times better once it’s massaged – we wouldn’t prep kale any other way!

Prefer to massage your kale without oil? Try a little fresh-squeezed lemon juice instead! You can also use a combination of the two if you’d like.

kale yeah!

I love how I can prep a head of kale quickly over the weekend and know that I’ll have it on hand as a salad green all week long. Instead of simply prepping what I need, I always massage the entire bunch of kale and keep it in a baggie in the fridge, meal-prep style. It stays fresh much longer than any other salad greens and is a great addition to all your favorite recipes!

Leftover kale can be stirred into pasta, blended into pesto, and even baked into crispy kale chips when the craving strikes! The possibilities are endless. I even love a little kale on my pizza when I have it handy. It’s SO crazy versatile.

Broccoli Kale Salad with Lemon Dressing

This scrumptious salad is fresh, delicious, and totally make-ahead so feel free to prep this bad boy the night before and pack it along in lunches the next day if you’d like!

Massaged Kale Salad with Lemon Dressing
5 from 6 votes

Broccoli Kale Salad with Lemon Dressing

This easy kale salad features fresh veggies and a super simple homemade lemon dressing, making it perfect as a healthy side dish or light lunch!
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword Kale Salad
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 334 kcal
Author Jenn Laughlin - Peas and Crayons


  • 5 cups chopped kale
  • 1-2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4-1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup cranberries


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp sweetener of choice (honey, agave, sugar, etc...)


  • 1/4-1/2 cup cheese (cheddar, feta, or goat cheese)
  • 1-2 tsp poppy seeds
  • extra veggies


  1. First make your dressing by combining ingredients above in a lidded mason jar then shake well to emulsify. Dip a kale leaf in the dressing and adjust sweetener, salt, and pepper to taste. You can make this dressing as sweet or tart as your heart desires! I like mine a bit tart and even add a little lemon zest to the dressing. To reduce tartness, simply add a little extra sweetness, to taste.

  2. Next massage your chopped kale with a little olive oil and a pinch of salt. Rub with your fingers until leaves begin to darken and tenderize. This makes it taste great and gives the kale a silky texture!
  3. In a large bowl, combine massaged kale, broccoli, almonds, cheese, carrots, onion, sunflower seeds, cranberries.

  4. Shake your dressing once more and pour about 1/3 of the dressing over the salad. Toss to coat and add extra dressing, to taste. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Skipping the optional cheese will make this salad both vegan and paleo. Nix the dried fruit and use a compliant sweetener for the dressing and it'll also be low-carb and keto friendly. Do both and you've got yourself some whole 30 approved vegetarian eats. Woot!

Nutrition Facts below are an estimate gathered using an online recipe nutrition calculator. Values below calculated for both dressing and salad but do not include optional extras. Adjust as needed based on sweetener of choice and extras added and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts
Broccoli Kale Salad with Lemon Dressing
Amount Per Serving
Calories 334 Calories from Fat 243
% Daily Value*
Fat 27g42%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Sodium 315mg14%
Potassium 744mg21%
Carbohydrates 18g6%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 9g18%
Vitamin A 9985IU200%
Vitamin C 146.3mg177%
Calcium 192mg19%
Iron 2.6mg14%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

special diets and swaps

Skipping the optional cheese will make this salad both vegan and paleo.

Apparently “pegan” is a new term for recipes that  are both paleo and vegan? Fun fact!

Nix the dried fruit and it’ll also be low-carb and keto friendly.

Leave out both the cheese and the fruit and you’ve got yourself some whole 30 approved vegetarian eats. Woot!

Simply skip the ingredients entirely or add some extra veggies in its place and you’re good to go. Need further assistance adjusting a recipe to your dietary needs? Shoot me a comment or email and I’d be happy to help! xo

hungry for more?

This kale salad appeared first on Spend with Pennies, when I shared it on my friend Holly’s tasty recipe blog.

If you get a chance to try this lemony broccoli kale salad, let me know! Leave some love in the comment form below or tag your photos with @peasandcrayons on Instagram so I can happy dance over your creation! I can’t wait to see what you whip up!


Like This? You'll Love These:
· · · · · · · · · · ·

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  • Noelle

    5 stars
    This salad was so great! I made it for lunch and have had it the past few days and it just doesnt get old!

    • Thanks Noelle! I could probably eat this one forever and never tire of it!

  • Helene

    5 stars
    My sister in law recommended this salad. It’s my new lunchtime favorite!

    • Yay! So glad you’re loving it Helene!

  • Ev

    5 stars
    This was really good (even though I didn’t massage the kale LOL), went with the feta instead of cheddar. Really like the dressing on this one.

    • Haha it’s totally an optional step but omg Ev, you’ve got to try massaging it! Game-changer!

  • Shadi Hasanzadenemati

    5 stars
    Love this easy salad, perfect for lunch!

  • Robin Gagnon

    5 stars
    Fantastic salad for winter!

  • This looks awesome! I love kale even if people say it’s played out.

What’s For Dinner?

Find out with our free weekly recipe newsletter!