If you’re looking for a delicious kale salad recipe then you’ve found the right one. This kale cranberry apple salad with pecans makes a great fall or winter salad and is also perfect for entertaining.
Even if you don’t like salads, I have a sneaking suspicion that you’re going to love this one. Kale apple salad is a easy salad that can be served as a main dish or a tasty side. This is a great recipe for kale lovers.
Tools You Need
We’re keeping things simple with this salad. Just about everything you need is already in your kitchen.
Ingredients in Kale Cranberry Apple Salad with Pecans
This salad is super simple and is made with fresh ingredients you can get from any grocery store. It’s also a great salad for entertaining. Salads are not just for summer. This healthy salad can be enjoyed with Thanksgiving dinner, as a fall kale salad, during the holiday season or any time of year.
Kale: You’ll need some raw kale for this recipe. use any type of kale you like. Red kale and baby kale are great options.
Celery: Thinly sliced.
English cucumber: Has a thinner skin, no need to remove seeds. The mild sweet flavor, works well in this dish.
Green apple: sliced apples adds a touch of tart for a mixture of tart and sweet. If you prefer, red apples they may also be used.
Pecans: Crunchy pecans really make this salad stand out!
Dried cranberries: Don’t skip adding some sweet cranberries for a burst of flavor. You can also find cranberries that are sweetened with apple juice in your grocery store.
This salad dressing has really great flavor. Here’s what you’ll need to make it.
Dijon mustard: A bit of Dijon mustard is an important ingredient for a tasty dressing.
Plain dairy free yogurt: Using a plant-based yogurt, helps keep things dairy free. It also helps to make a creamy homemade dressing.
Sea salt : Add a pinch of salt or more to taste
Fresh cracked pepper: Add black pepper to taste
Apple cider vinegar: Use the good stuff. If you like apple cider vinaigrette, you’re going to love this one.
Raw honey: Use raw honey for a touch of sweetness and more nutritional benefit.
Water: Helps to thin the dressing out for the right consistency.
What Type of Kale to Use
Many people may not know this but along with Brussels sprouts, cabbage and broccoli, kale is a cruciferous vegetable. Since kale is a cruciferous vegetable, it has a ton of noted health benefits. Most notably, cruciferous vegetables are rich in iron and folate and are a good source of vitamin A and C. These vitamin are quite beneficial when it comes to boosting immunity and the anti-cancer benefits.
There are several types of kale, this includes lacinato kale, curly kale, red Russian kale, Chinese kale and baby kale. While you are welcome to use what you like, n this salad, red Russian kale, curly kale or baby kale make the best choice.
How to Make This Healthy Salad
One of the things that makes this salad fabulous is the mixture of flavors and colors. Here’s how to make kale cranberry salad with pecans.
Step 1: In a small bowl mix all the dressing ingredients together and set aside.
Step 2: Add all the kale to a large mixing bowl.
Step 3: Add celery, apples, cranberry, cucumbers and pecans and mix all the ingredients together.
Step 4: Drizzle in the dressing and toss well.
How to Store Leftover Dressing
Feel free to use any leftover dressing on any of your favorite salads. Store the dressing in a mason jar and refrigerate for up to 3-4 days.
Substitutions and Omissions
- If there is a nut allergy, skip the pecans.
- Raw pecans can be swapped out for toasted pecans or candied pecans
Can I serve this salad on my holiday table?
Absolutely! Here are a few special touches to serve this salad during the holiday season.
- Sprinkle with pomegranate as a finishing touch.
- Add a splash of pomegranate juice to the dressing.
- Scatter with candied pecans.
- Use a combination of red and green apples for a bit of holiday color and flair.
Other Things You Can Add
If you’d like to make this a heartier salad or want to enjoy this as a healthier dinner salad, here are some ideas of things you can add:
- roasted butternut squash
- grilled chicken breast
- pumpkin seeds
- Brussels sprouts
- sunflower seeds
- cooked sweet potatoes
Benefits to eating this salad
This salad makes a great side dish. If you’d like to make it as a dinner salad, feel free to add some protein or filling produce like sweet potato, pumpkin or squash.
Tips to Make a Better Salad
Make sure to use the freshest ingredients that you have at your disposal.
Toss the dressing evenly for evenly distributed flavor.
Swap out kale for any greens that you’d like. Spinach, also works well in this salad.
Avocado mayo can be swapped out for dairy free yogurt.
Additional fresh cracked pepper can also be used to garnish.
Can I make this salad ahead of time?
While I don’t recommend making this salad ahead if time, there are some things you can do to save some time in the kitchen. The salad dressing can be made up to 3 days ahead of time.
Chop pecans ahead of time.
- 6 cups washed kale leaves
- 1 rib celery (finely chopped)
- 1 English cucumber (chopped)
- 1 large green apple (cored & sliced thinly)
- 1/4 cup pecans (roughly chopped)
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp plain dairy free yogurt
- 1/2 tsp each black pepper & sea salt
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 fresh cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 tbsp raw honey
- 2-3 tbsp water
- In a small bowl combine all the ingredients for the dressing and set aside.
- Add all the kale in a large mixing bowl.
- Add celery, cucumber, cranberries, apple and pecans and toss.
- Drizzle with dressing and evenly coat to combine.
●Thoroughly mix the salad once the dressing is added for an overall better texture and taste.
●Kale can be swapped with spinach as an alternative green.
●Dairy-free yogurt can be replaced with avocado mayo.
Amount Per Serving Calories 130Total Fat 4gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 0mgSodium 183mgCarbohydrates 24gFiber 5gSugar 14gProtein 4g
Nutrition information isn't always accurate.