Kale apple salad is a delicious side dish to pair with your main course or add protein for a full meal. It’s filled with tender kale, crisp apples, cranberries, feta cheese, and pumpkin seeds and tossed in a homemade dressing.

What is Kale Apple Salad?

This apple kale salad recipe has a crunchy texture and a delicious sweet and salty taste. Just like our apple cranberry walnut salad–it combines some of the best fall flavors into one filling salad!

The leafy kale leaves with crisp romaine lettuce provide a hearty base, while the zesty apple cider vinaigrette softens the kale and makes every bite shine.

This salad is a great option, even if you’re not a big fan of kale.

How to Choose the Best Kale 

Leafy green kale is one of the best sources of fiber and vitamins for any diet.

There are a couple of different types of kale which include lacinato kale, dinosaur kale, or Tuscan kale. They are all great options for this salad.

You can buy one of these varieties at your local grocery store, specialty food store, or farmer’s market in the summer or fall.

When looking in the produce section of the grocery store, choose the bunch of curly kale that looks freshest. It will have no holes in the leaves, be dark green, and maintain its shape when you hold it up. It shouldn’t be wilted and the stems shouldn’t be soft.

kale apple salad ingredients


These simple ingredients can be found at your local grocery store. Prep the kale, romaine lettuce, apple, and red onions, and you’ll be ready to combine them all together in the next step.


  • Kale 
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Granny Smith apple
  • Cranberries 
  • Red onion 
  • Feta cheese 
  • Pumpkin seeds 


  • Olive oil 
  • Apple cider vinegar 
  • Honey 
  • Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper 

How to Make Kale Apple Salad

This salad is really very easy to make. There are only three steps before you’re ready to serve.

  • Whisk the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.  
vinaigrette in a bowl for kale salad
  • Stir together the salad ingredients in another large bowl.
kale salad with apples
  • Combine the dressing and salad together and stir until all the ingredients are lightly coated.  

Recipe Tips

  • Cut the kale into ribbons. Cut the kale into long strips (see ingredient photo). You can also buy shredded kale at the supermarket but make sure it’s shredded not too finely, otherwise, the salad will wilt too quickly.
  • Make sure to cut out the woody stem! Run a chef’s knife along the side of the stem to slice the stem away from the kale leaves. If using chopped kale from the supermarket, make sure to check it for stems.
  • Let the salad rest. There’s no need to massage kale with the vinaigrette as it will soften on its own. After you toss the salad with the vinaigrette, simply let it sit for about 5 minutes before serving.
  • Add a grain. Add grains like quinoa, farro, or brown rice to make this dish heartier.  
  • Toast the pumpkin seeds. For more flavor, toast the pumpkin seeds before adding them to the salad. Simply spread them out in an even layer on a sheet pan, and toast in a 350F oven for 5-8 minutes.


There are so many ways you can make this salad your own. You can make changes based on your tastes and preferences. Here are some great options you can try for the best results.


  • Fruit: pomegranate seeds, Honeycrisp apple, nectarines, peaches, strawberries, blueberries 
  • Seeds or nuts: crunchy walnuts, sunflower seeds, toasted pecans, sesame seeds    
  • Greens: Brussel sprouts, spinach, collard greens, cabbage, carrots, radishes     
  • Cheese: white cheddar, goat cheese, shredded parmesan cheese


  • Oil: avocado oil
  • Vinegar: red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar
  • Spices: garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper
  • Herbs: thyme, rosemary, parsley, oregano, sage
  • Flavorings: lemon juice, maple syrup 

What Kinds of Protein Can I Add? 

Adding protein to your salad is a great way to make this a filling lunch or dinner.

When deciding what to serve with this kale apple salad recipe, choose a light protein that balances the flavors in the salad.

Some delicious options are grilled chicken tenders, simple whole roasted chicken, maple mustard salmon, or grilled garlic shrimp.  

kale apple salad recipe

How to Serve 

Serve this apple kale salad with main dishes or with other sides.

Some delicious options include Shrimp Quinoa Bowl, Italian Sausage Kale Soup, Lemon Pepper Chicken Tenders, or Pumpkin Sausage Pasta.

You can also pair it with Potato Stacks, Zucchini and Corn Fritters, or Fruit Platter.

Storing Tips 

Refrigerate: Store this chopped kale salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. It will soften the longer it sits.

Freeze: It’s best to enjoy this salad fresh and not freeze it.

Meal Prep: To meal prep, this salad for a week, prepare salad and vinaigrette, then store separately until ready to serve.


Can you eat raw kale?

Yes, you can eat raw or cooked kale. If you get baby kale, it’s even more tender.

Should kale apple salad be served warm or cold?

Since the kale isn’t cooked, you can eat this salad cold. The flavors will get even better the longer it sits in the fridge. Leave it at room temperature for a few minutes before serving for the best flavors.

Can kale salad be made in advance?

Yes, this salad recipe is great to make ahead. Simply store the salad and vinaigrette separately until ready to serve.

More Fall Salad Recipes

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kale salad recipe

Kale Apple Salad

  • Author: Katya
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Chopped
  • Cuisine: American


Kale apple salad is filled with tender kale, crisp apples, cranberries, feta cheese, and pumpkin seeds and tossed in a homemade dressing.


Units Scale
  • 4 cups curly kale, de-stemmed and cut into ribbons
  • 4 cup romaine lettuce, cut into ribbons
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cored and chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt and fresh black pepper


  1. Whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients.
  2. In a large bowl toss the salad ingredients with the vinaigrette. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust as needed. Let the salad sit for about 5 minutes so the kale can soften, then serve.


  • Leftovers: Leftover salad will keep well in the fridge for about 2-3 days. It will soften the longer it sits. 


  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 205
  • Sugar: 14.6 g
  • Sodium: 106.2 mg
  • Fat: 14.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 18.7 g
  • Protein: 3.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 7.4 mg

Keywords: fall, easy, salad