Kale may have a reputation for being a somewhat tough and bitter vegetable, but when paired with the right ingredients and flavor combinations, it is unbeatable as the base for a great salad! These kale salad recipes are all vegan or vegetarian, and here to show you how versatile kale salads can truly be.
Why You'll Love Kale Salads
- Packed with nutrients. Kale is among the most nutrient-dense foods, providing essential vitamins and minerals like iron, vitamin K, and fiber.
- Versatile. With its mild flavor, kale is incredibly versatile and can be incorporated into many different recipes, including salads.
- Quick and easy. From chopping to meal prep, most kale salads are quick and easy to make.
- Great texture. Kale salads can be as complex or simple as you'd like them to be; the crispy texture of the leaves and the variety of flavors you can add make for a truly delicious meal.
- Preserves well: Kale salads (even when dressed) stay fresh in the refrigerator much longer than other greens, making them a great salad base to make large batch salads and use throughout the week.
Top Tips And The Best Kale Salad!
As you can probably tell, I LOVE kale salads. They're a great way to get your greens in and make a flavorful, nutritious meal! That said, when I was new to it, it was intimidating. There are so many ingredients and options out there that it can be hard to know where to start. Plus, if it's not done right, then they can be crunchy and bitter, and no one wants that.
That’s why I wanted to start this post with two easy tips for creating the best kale salad you’ve ever tasted.
Massage your kale. This is LITERALLY the one step that makes a huge difference in the texture of your kale salad. This may sound strange, but it's essential because it breaks down the tough fibers in the leaves which makes them easier to chew and digest. To massage your kale, remove the tough stems, tear it into bite-sized pieces and add a few drops of olive oil and lemon juice and then, just your hands to rub the leaves together until they become wilted and fragrant.
Don't overdress. When dressing any type of salad it's important not to overdo it with too much dressing otherwise all of your other ingredients will get lost in its flavor! Start by lightly tossing all of your prepared ingredients together before adding just enough vinaigrette or other salad dressing so that each leaf is lightly coated without drowning in dressing. This will help ensure that all of those amazing flavors come through without overpowering them!
Hearty Kale Salads
One of the best ways to enjoy this leafy green is in a hearty salad. Packed with hearty ingredients, these salads make the perfect meal or side dish.
Kale Quinoa Salads
Kale and quinoa are both superfoods that offer a range of health benefits (providing protein and fiber, boosting energy and reducing inflammation). When combined with other fresh ingredients and a tasty dressing, these salads are sure to satisfy even the most discerning palate. My favorite kale quinoa salads are listed below.
Kale Salad With Apples
Kale salad with apples with brings out the best of both sweet and savory flavors. The crisp texture of kale pairs wonderfully with juicy, tart apples while a tangy dressing provides just the right amount of kick. I've compiled a few recipes that are a must-try, and the bonus is that they're all vegan!
Kale Salad with Creamy Dressing
If you're searching for the perfect balance of crunch and creaminess, with just the right hint of seasoning, then you need to try one of the salads from this list of creamy kale salads.
Vegetarian Kale Salads with Creamy Dressing
Kale Salad with Vinaigrettes
If you're looking for something a bit simpler, you'll want to try one of these kale salads with vinaigrettes. They're all packed with awesome flavor, without becoming too heavy, so, it's a great way to get your greens in without having to sacrifice flavor!
Vegan Kale Salads with Vinaigrette
Vegetarian Kale Salads with Vinaigrette
Unique Kale Salads
These one-of-a-kind kale salads are a totally unique blend of flavors. Find everything from Southwest and Mediterranean flavor combinations!
Warm Kale Salads
Warm kale salads are made with kale leaves that are gently wilted in a warm dressing, creating a comforting meal that's both satisfying and healthy. Below, I have compiled my favorite warm kale salads (and as always, both vegan and vegetarian versions abound!)