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massaged kale salad recipe

Kale Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 5 reviews
  • Author: Katya
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Total Time: 15 min
  • Yield: 4-5 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Chopped
  • Cuisine: American


Tender healthy kale greens with roasted butternut squash and crisp tart apples. Tossed with salty feta and roasted pecans in a 4-ingredient maple vinaigrette. 


Units Scale
  • 5 oz. chopped kale leaves, de-stemmed (about 8 cups packed)
  • 1/2 large apple (such as Granny Smith or Pink Lady), cut into matchsticks
  • 1 cup cubed + roasted butternut squash, cooled
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans, roasted

Maple Vinaigrette

  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp. maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper


  1. In a large bowl, toss kale leaves with half of the Maple Vinaigrette and use your hands to massage the vinaigrette into the leaves. It helps break down some of the toughness and reduce bitterness. Massage until the leaves just begin to wilt.
  2. Arrange apples, butternut squash, red onions, feta, and pecans on top of the kale leaves. Drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette and serve.

Maple Vinaigrette

  1. Whisk all the ingredients in a small bowl until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


  • To Roast Butternut Squash: Preheat the oven to 425 F. Toss the butternut squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange coated squash on a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for 25 minutes or until tender and lightly browned.
  • Topping Variations: Kale salad works with a variety of flavors. See post for list of additional topping ideas.
  • Leftovers: This kale salad tastes the best the same day. Kale leaves usually hold up well in the fridge for a few days, however, the other toppings tend to get too soft.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 191
  • Sugar: 5.9 g
  • Sodium: 170.6 mg
  • Fat: 14.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 13.6 g
  • Protein: 4.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 11.1 mg