Chopped kale salad with peanut chili vinaigrette is an easy chilled salad that can be served as a side or the main meal.

Keep it vegetarian, or add crispy chicken bites for extra protein. 

What is Chopped Kale Salad?

This chopped kale salad recipe is exactly what you need to make for dinner tonight! You can chop up the ingredients, whisk the salad dressing together, and have it on the table in under 30 minutes. 

It’s made with leafy Tuscan kale, crunchy veggies, and the most delicious peanut chili vinaigrette. There’s so much texture, flavor, and a little heat.

Quickly prep this salad a day in advance and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. Allowing it to chill is perfectly fine for this particular salad, and you’ll be ahead of schedule. This is definitely a win!     


The ingredients for this salad are easy to find at your local grocery store and come together to make an excellent salad with the best spicy dressing. 

Peanut-Chili Vinaigrette: 

  • Peanut butter
  • Red pepper flakes 
  • Honey 
  • Soy sauce 
  • Rice vinegar 
  • Sesame oil 
  • Lime juice 
  • Fresh ginger 
  • Garlic 


  • Kale 
  • Carrots 
  • Sweet peppers 
  • Edamame 
  • Cilantro 
  • Cashews 
  • Green onions
ingredients for chopped kale salad recipe

How to Make Chopped Kale Salad

Make the salad dressing: Whisk together the ingredients for the salad dressing and put it in the fridge to allow the flavors to combine.   

Chop the salad: Chop the ingredients for the salad and put them in a large serving bowl.

Assemble the salad: Pour the dressing over the salad and put it back in the fridge for 10 minutes for the kale to soften and the dressing to get soaked up by the vegetables.   

Recipe Tips and Variations 

This salad is tasty served as a side dish or as a main vegetarian meal. Here are some ideas and ingredients to add or substitute in this kale salad.  

  • Add protein. Grilled salmon or chicken.  Leave a little salad dressing on the side to pour over protein if you choose to add some.
  • Make a grain bowl. Try serving this salad over cooked farro, quinoa, or rice. 
  • Swap or add more veggies. Broccoli, cucumbers, or avocado. 
  • Try different cheese. Feta cheese or Parmesan cheese would be tasty additions to this salad.
  • Don’t like cashews? Try peanuts, sliced almonds, sesame seeds, or toasted breadcrumbs for added crunch.
  • Add something sweet! Dried cranberries, roasted sweet potatoes, mango, or pears.
  • Spiciness. Try Sriracha instead of chili flakes or leave out the red pepper flakes altogether if you want the dressing less spicy.
  • Try different lettuce. Romaine, spinach, or cabbage such as white, red, or napa.
shredded kale salad

Other Dressings to Try 

This peanut chili vinaigrette is creamy, spicy, and delicious, but if you’d like to try using a different dressing here are some ingredients you can combine to make one: 

  • Apple cider vinegar 
  • Lemon juice or zest
  • Garlic 
  • Shallots
  • Balsamic vinegar 
  • Maple syrup 
  • Dijon mustard 
  • Red wine vinegar 
  • Honey 
close spicy peanut vinaigrette

How to Store 

Store leftover kale salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

To prolong the life of this salad, store the salad and dressing separately until ready to serve.

How to Serve

This chopped kale salad serves well as a side salad alongside any of these main dishes:

kale peanut salad


Can you eat kale raw in a salad? 

Yes, you can definitely eat raw kale! This dark green leafy vegetable is excellent for your health and delicious in salads. 

How do you cut kale for a salad? 

The best way to prep kale for salad is to wash each leaf and cut out most of the tough stems. Slice the leaves vertically, and then chop horizontally. You may want to cut some of the larger pieces down a bit more before putting them in the salad.   

Can you freeze leftover kale salad?

It’s not a good idea to freeze kale since the leaves don’t retain water very well and become soggy when thawed. 

More Salad Recipes

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Chopped Kale Salad with Peanut-Chili Vinaigrette - kale, sweet peppers, cilantro, cashews, and edamame tossed in the most flavorful peanut-chili vinaigrette | @littlebroken

Chopped Kale Salad

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 10 reviews
  • Author: Katya
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 15 mins
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Chop
  • Cuisine: Thai


Thai inspired chopped kale salad with edamame, sweet peppers, and cashews. It’s tossed in the most flavor packed peanut-chili vinaigrette and comes together in minutes! Makes the perfect side or top it with chicken for a complete meal.


Units Scale

Peanut-Chili Vinaigrette

  • 4 tsp. creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 4 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 4 tsp. rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp. fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed or grated


  • 6 cups Tuscan kale cut into thin ribbons
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into ribbons using a vegetable peeler
  • 56 sweet peppers, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup shelled edamame, cooked and completely cooled
  • 45 scallions, sliced
  • 1 cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup roasted cashews, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Start by making the salad vinaigrette by whisking all ingredients together until combined. Set aside while preparing the veggies.
  2. Then combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle with vinaigrette and toss thoroughly to combine. You want to make sure the veggies are really coated in the vinaigrette. Taste for salt and pepper.
  3. Chill the salad for 10-15 minutes before serving. It helps break down some of the toughness of the kale leaves.


  • Spiciness: Red pepper flakes add a spicy kick to this salad, so if you want less spicy, use less or leave out altogether.
  • Kale: Tuscan kale is also known as Lacinato kale. It’s perfect for raw salads like this as it’s not as tough as curly kale. Make sure to de-stem the kale before slicing.
  • Leftovers: After you toss the salad with the vinaigrette, it should be good in the fridge for about 2 days. If you want to prolong the life of this salad, keep salad and vinaigrette stored separately, and toss just before serving.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 195
  • Sugar: 10.5 g
  • Sodium: 720 mg
  • Fat: 10.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 20.7 g
  • Protein: 9.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Recipe originally published September 2016.