Kale Apple Salad with Lemon Dijon Dressing

Difficulty Easy

The BEST kale salad recipe: Kale Apple Salad with Lemon Dijon Dressing! A winter favorite that’s bright and fresh with plenty of crunchy apple. No sad and boring salads here! A tangy dressing soaks right into the tender kale leaves. With the addition of chicken, walnuts, golden raisins and parmesan cheese — it’s a spectacular salad that works as a main meal or side. All the different flavors work so well! Great for meal prep, too.

Kale Apple Salad

When you’re craving all things bright, fresh, and healthy — make Kale Apple Salad!

Tender kale, sweet apples, crunchy walnuts, meaty chicken, chewy golden raisins, and salty parmesan cheese. And the BEST lemon dijon dressing.

A delicious and satisfying Apple Kale salad is what your life needs! Lately, this kale salad has been on repeat in my home. The best way to eat your leafy green veggies, in my humble opinion!

The best results come from a little massage with a homemade lemon dijon dressing. Typically, salad is tossed lightly right before serving. But kale can be somewhat tough. For tender kale, massage for a few minutes with an assertive, acid-heavy vinaigrette. The best way to enjoy hearty kale leaves. Food service work gloves are perfect for this step!

A healthy salad that’s also great for meal prep! Make Kale Apple Salad and divide into food prep containers for easy, ready-to-go meals all week long. Enjoy this fresh salad!

Ingredients:

  • Kale. A leafy green vegetable from the cabbage family, Kale is a hearty vegetable that can be eaten raw or cooked. Packed with antioxidants, vitamin K, and vitamin C — it also contains cancer-fighting properties while supporting eye health. Nowadays, there is a variety of Kale available. Accessible, easy-to-find Curly Kale works great in this recipe. It will wilt down after the dressing is added. You can swap with Tuscan Kale, Lacinato Kale, or Dinosaur Kale but it will be more tough and chewy.
  • Apple. Any sweet, crisp, tangy apple works great in this recipe. They add a nice crunch. Honeycrisp, Gala, Fuji, Pink Lady, and Ambrosia are all good.
  • Chicken. Make it easier with store-bought rotisserie chicken. Adds protein and makes it more filling.
  • Golden Raisins. For sweet chewy pops of sweetness. A great combo with the apple and nuts.
  • Walnuts or Pecans. Adds a little crunch. A great combo with the apple and golden raisins.
  • Parmesan Cheese. Adds that salty bite without being overwhelmingly cheesy. Can be subbed with crumbled feta cheese or small cubes of cheddar cheese
  • Lemon Dijon Dressing. Lemon juice, white wine vinegar, dijon mustard, honey, extra virgin olive oil, and salt and pepper. The combination is heavy on the vinegar and lemon juice. Adds a big flavor boost to the kale, which will wilt and absorb all that dressing beautifully. *Feel free to swap the white wine vinegar with apple cider vinegar, apple vinegar, or white distilled vinegar.
  • Salt + Pepper. Season generously with salt and pepper.

Instructions:

  1. Assemble salad. In a large bowl, add the ingredients: chopped kale leaves, shredded chicken, chopped apples, golden raisins, and walnuts. (The parmesan cheese will be added after the dressing).
  2. Make dressing. In a glass jar, add lemon juice, white wine vinegar, olive oil, dijon mustard, and honey with a pinch of salt and plenty of black pepper. Close the lid and shake to emulsify.
  3. Mix salad. Add the emulsified dressing to the salad greens. Using a food preparation glove, massage the dressing and kale together with your hands, about 3-4 minutes. When the kale has wilted, add the parmesan cheese. Mix again.
  4. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add an extra drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of white wine vinegar. Mix again. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if needed.
  5. Serve. Divide into bowls and enjoy.

PRO Tips:

  • Emulsify the dressing in a jar. To make it easy, add everything to a jar and shake to emulsify. Faster and easier than whisking the dressing in a bowl.
  • Mix by hand. For tender kale, I suggest massaging by hand. Massaging the kale with your hands (versus using tongs) helps the kale to absorb the dressing so the hearty leafy greens wilt down. Use food service gloves to make it easier.
  • Assemble in a large bowl. The kale is quite voluminous. A big bowl makes it easier to massage and toss together.
  • Add white wine vinegar and olive oil right before serving. Adding a few extra sprinkles of white wine vinegar and drizzles of olive oil — right before serving — improves the flavor immensely. Adds that extra sparkle.

FAQ:

How do I store leftovers?

Amazingly, this kale apple salad recipe keeps very well in the fridge. The hearty kale leaves absorb the dressing well — without becoming overly limp or soggy. Store in an airtight container.

More recipes:

Kale Apple Salad with Lemon Dijon Dressing

Lis Lam
The BEST kale salad recipe: Kale Apple Salad with Lemon Dijon Dressing! A winter favorite that's bright and fresh with plenty of crunchy apple. No sad and boring salads here! A tangy dressing soaks right into the tender kale leaves. With the addition of chicken, walnuts, golden raisins and parmesan cheese — it's a spectacular salad that works as a main meal or side. All the different flavors work so well! Great for meal prep, too.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 hours
Cook Time 0 minutes
Course Main Course, Salad, Side
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 416 kcal

Equipment

  • Large Bowl
  • Food service gloves

Ingredients
  

  • 1 bunch/ 200 grams Kale *stemmed and chopped
  • 1 Apple *Ambrosia, Honeycrisp, Fuji, Gala, Pink Lady
  • 1/2 cup walnuts *toasted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup/2 ounces parmesan cheese *grated
  • 1 210 grams cooked chicken breast

Lemon Dijon Dressing

  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar *or apple cider vinegar, apple vinegar, or white distilled vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp honey *or maple syrup or sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Make dressing. In a glass jar, add lemon juice, white wine vinegar, olive oil, dijon mustard, honey, salt, and pepper. Close the lid and shake to emulsify.
  • Mix salad. Add the emulsified salad dressing to the salad. Using food preparation gloves, massage the dressing and kale together with your hands, about 3-4 minutes. When the kale has wilted, add the parmesan cheese. Mix again.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning. Add an extra drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of white wine vinegar. Mix again. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if needed.
  • Serve. Divide into bowls and enjoy.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 416kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 23gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 9gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 473mgPotassium: 513mgFiber: 5gSugar: 15gVitamin A: 5084IUVitamin C: 52mgCalcium: 234mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Apple, Kale, Lemon Dressing, Salad
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
15 minutes, All Recipes, Game Day Food, Holiday, Main, Potluck, Salad, Side, Snacks, Weeknight Meals

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