This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.
This kale waldorf salad is not your average salad. It's full of kale, grapes, walnuts, celery, apple, and cranberries all tossed together in a creamy yogurt dressing. It's quick and easy to make, plus it's colorful, healthy, and filling. Eat it for dinner and enjoy the leftovers for lunch the next day!
This recipe was originally published in 2016. We've updated the post with some new photos and more information, but we've left the delicious recipe exactly the same.
Kale waldorf salad is a healthy spin on the classic hearty salad hailing from New York City. We give the original apple-celery-mayo combination an uplift by adding crunchy kale, fresh and dried fruit, and walnuts all mixed together in a tangy yogurt-based dressing.
There are so many variations of kale waldorf salad so you can use what you have on hand. It's easy to make and ready in just 20 minutes (10 of which is just waiting for the kale to soften.) The ingredients are hearty enough that leftovers keep well so you can enjoy it the next day for a delicious lunch.
How to make kale waldorf salad
This kale waldorf salad is easy to make in just a few simple steps:
- Mix the dressing ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. So easy!
- Place the salad ingredients into a large salad bowl.
- Now pour the dressing over the salad and toss it well to make sure all the leaves are coated. The last step is to let the salad stand for 10 minutes for the kale to soften a little. Then you can dig in and enjoy your sweet and creamy kale waldorf salad!
Ingredients for kale waldorf salad
Here's what you'll need to make this hearty, crunchy, and oh-so-delicious salad:
Now, here's what you'll need for the delicious creamy dressing:
- Greek yogurt
- Lemon juice
- Dijon mustard
- Sea salt
Waldorf salad variations to try
There are so many kale waldorf salad variations to try. Here are a few delicious ideas:
- Chopped pear or asian pear for a delicious crunch in place of apples.
- Instead of green grapes, try red or concord grapes.
- Celery adds a nice crunch, but you could also use jicama or radish.
- Try switching up the nuts with roasted chopped almonds, pecans, or seeds like sunflower or pumpkin seeds.
- Instead of cranberries, experiment with other dried fruit like raisins, cherries, apricots, or blueberries.
- Any variety of kale would work well. In the pictures we use curly kale, but you could also try red kale or lacinato for similar taste and texture.
- Mix in some lentils, chickpeas, or hard boiled eggs for added protein.
- Top it with some grilled chicken breast for a heartier meal.
- Make it dairy-free by using a dairy-free yogurt. Just make sure it's plain and equally thick and creamy.
How long does this kale waldorf salad keep?
Once it's dressed, this salad will stay fresh in the fridge for up to three days. But if you are serving it to company, it's best served shortly after it's tossed with the dressing.
Can I make it ahead of time?
Yes! If you want to get a head start on the salad, chop the ingredients (except the apple) and make the dressing but store them separately in the fridge. Right before serving, mix it all together for optimal freshness.
Can I make this dairy-free?
Yes! You can use dairy-free yogurt as an alternative. Just make sure it's equally creamy and thick like Greek yogurt.
- ¾ cup Greek yogurt
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
- A pinch of sea salt
The Kale Waldorf Salad
- 3 cups curly kale (packed)
- 1 cup grapes (halved)
- 1 cup chopped walnuts (toasted)
- 2 stalks celery (sliced)
- 1 crisp apple (diced)
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- Mix all the dressing ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.¾ cup Greek yogurt, 3 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, ½ teaspoon dijon mustard, A pinch of sea salt
- Place all the salad ingredients into a large bowl.3 cups curly kale, 1 cup grapes, 1 cup chopped walnuts, 2 stalks celery, 1 crisp apple, ½ cup dried cranberries
- Pour the dressing over the top then toss well to make sure all the pieces of kale are well coated. Let the salad sit for about 10 minutes so the kale softens and the flavors blend together.
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.