Kale apple salad is one of our favorite kale salad recipes. The kale is softened with a sweet salad dressing and then mixed with crunchy apples, toasted almonds, and cheddar cheese. It's delicious!

A close up of kale apple salad in a glass bowl with wooden salad tongs.

How to make this kale apple salad recipe

This simple kale salad recipe is unbelievably delicious. Here's the quick rundown on how you're going to make it:

  1. Put the salad dressing ingredients into a jar and shake shake shake.
  2. Toss the kale with the dressing and let it rest for a few minutes. It will soften as it sits.
  3. Now add the chopped apple, almonds, and cheddar cheese and mix once more before serving.
FULL INGREDIENTS AND INSTRUCTIONS LISTED IN THE RECIPE CARD.

What to serve with kale apple salad

This simple salad is versatile and goes well with so many main course recipes. Here are a few of our favorites:

Kale and apple salad in a bowl with a fork inside.

Tips for making the best kale salad

  1. Curly kale tends to be the most tender, use it if it's available.
  2. Remove both the inner stem and also the smaller and tough ribs that the leaves grow around.
  3. Chop the kale leaves so that they are small enough to get several pieces on your fork (and in your mouth) at the same time.
  4. Let the dressing sit on the leaves for at least 5 minutes before serving. We used to massage kale, but that was messy and time-consuming. Letting the dressing sit on the kale leaves accomplishes the same goal.
  5. Always opt for a sweeter dressing, like the one in this recipe. Kale is quite bitter and can handle being sweetened up.

READ MORE: Sweet and Spicy Sautéed Kale Stems

Can I make substitutions?

Yes! Here are a few ideas:

  • Instead of almonds: use pecans, walnuts, or hazelnuts.
  • Instead of apples: use pears.
  • Instead of cheddar: use blue cheese, feta, boursin, or diced havarti.

Does kale and apple salad keep?

This salad is best eaten within about 15 minutes after you add the dressing. But kale is one of the few (or only) lettuces that keeps ok after dressed. Any leftovers we'll eat for lunch the next day. It's not as good as fresh but definitely worth keeping.

Kale apple salad in a bowl with wooden salad tongs.

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Kale apple salad in a bowl with wooden salad tongs.

Kale Apple Salad

  • Author: Kristen Stevens
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 0 mins
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Kale apple salad is one of our favorite kale salad recipes. The kale is softened with a sweet salad dressing and then mixed with crunchy apples, toasted almonds, and cheddar cheese. It's delicious!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 well-packed cups of kale leaves
  • ½ cup diced cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup toasted chopped almonds (slivered or sliced work, too)
  • 1 large apple, diced

The dressing

  • ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup honey (can sub maple syrup)
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves grated on a Microplane or very finely minced
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Place the dressing ingredients into a 2-cup mason jar and shake well.
  2. Add the kale to a large salad bowl, pour the dressing over top and mix well. Let the kale sit for 5 minutes to soften.
  3. Add all the remaining ingredients and mix together.

Notes

Serve with Soy Sauce Chicken or Juicy Baked Pork Chops

Soy sauce chicken on a white plate with snap peas. 4 juicy baked pork chops in a white baking dish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A close up of kale apple salad in a glass bowl with wooden salad tongs and the recipe title on top of the picture.