It’s easy to embrace your veggies with this colorful chopped kale salad! Loaded with flavor and texture and tossed in the most amazing lemon dressing, it’s sure to brighten up your plate and your day!
KALE YEAH we’re making a kale salad today!
Yes, you read that right.
Put down the Halloween candy that I just know y’all broke into early and get ready to eat some veggies.
I promise you dive right back into the Reeses after because, #balance.
I love a good chopped kale salad; I really do! If you’re not already with me on this, you’re about to be.
It’s all thanks to one simple trick. Well two, technically.
First, we’re going to remove our curly kale leaves from the super tough stem and chop it up into itty bitty bites.
This is essential of any salad really. Small bites of veggie snd greens hold dressing better and can all be piled into each forkful, delivering optimal flavor in every bite.
Second. We’re massaging our kale.
A quick little rubdown with a drizzle of oil turns the typically tougher-than-lettuce kale leaves into a tender and delicious salad green that will rival even your beloved romaine.
How to Massage Kale for the Ultimate Kale Salad
After washing and drying your bunch of curly kale, remove the ribs/stem from each kale leaf.
Tear or chop the kale into bite-sized pieces, then sprinkle with an itty bitty pinch of salt.
Next pour a small amount of olive oil in your hands and work your way through the kale, massaging the leaves until they darken in color and tenderize into silky salad green perfection. YES!
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.
Healthy + Colorful Chopped Kale Salad
Ready to eat the rainbow? This kale salad delivers a welcome medley of flavor and antioxidants in every bite!
As written this salad is vegetarian, gluten-free, grain-free, and low-carb. The dressing can also be slightly tweaked to make it keto. Skip the optional crumbled feta for a paleo, whole 30 or vegan kale salad.
The dressing can be sweetened with any sweetener of choice or simply skip this ingredient entirely and adjust oil/vinegar ratio to taste.
Chopped Kale Salad
It's easy to embrace your veggies with this colorful chopped kale salad! Loaded with flavor and texture and tossed in the most amazing lemon dressing, it's sure to brighten up your plate and your day!
- 4 cups chopped curly kale
- 1/2 tsp olive oil
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 cup chopped fresh baby spinach
- 1 cup chopped red cabbage
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1/4 cup lightly salted pumpkin seeds (pepitas) plus extra to taste
- crumbled feta cheese (optional topping) skip for vegan/paleo
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
- 2 TBSP fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1-2 TBSP red wine vinegar (adjust to make more or less zippy)
- 1 clove garlic (smashed/peeled/minced)
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp sweetener of choice (honey, agave, sugar, etc…) – totally optional!
First make the dressing. Combine ingredients above in a lidded mason jar, seal, and shake well. 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.
Clean and dry kale leaves and remove from stem. Finely chop. Drizzle with 1/2 tsp olive oil and a pinch of salt. Massage using fingers until leaves begin to darken and tenderize. This makes it taste great and gives the kale a silky texture!
Chop remaining veggies. The finer the veggies are chopped the easier it will be to get a little bit of everyting in each bite. Love it so!
In a large bowl combine massaged kale, spinach, cabbage, carrots, pumpkin seeds, scallions. Feel free to add extras of your favorites.
Shake (sealed/lidded) dressing once more and pour about 1/2 of the dressing over the salad. Toss to coat and add additional dressing, to taste. Top with optional crumbled feta. Enjoy!
Broccoli makes a delicious addition to this salad if you have some handy!
Need less servings? Feel free to halve the recipe to yield 3 side salads.
Skipping the optional feta will make this salad both vegan and paleo. Skip or 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. Add approx. 25 calories per TBSP of feta added. Adjust as needed based on sweetener of choice and extras added and enjoy!
If you get a chance to try this chopped 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!
I love how I can prep a bunch of kale quickly over the weekend and have it on hand and ready to go all week long.
Instead of simply prepping what I need, I always massage the entire bunch of kale and keep it in an airtight container 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!
KALE YEAH! Kale it up with more tasty recipes:
- Roasted Butternut Squash Kale Salad with Cranberries + Feta
- READER FAVORITE: Mexican Kale Salad
- Tropical Mango Kale Smoothie
- Sausage and Kale Soup via Mom on Timeout
- Cheesy Kale Sweet Potatoes with Havarti and Garlic
Check out my post on 10 Tasty Ways to Eat Kale for more deliciousness and ideas.