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A bowl of tossed kale salad

Massaged Kale Salad with Apple

  • Author: Katie
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cups 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


This fresh and healthy kale salad is made with kale that is massaged until it is tender. Then it is tossed with apples, avocado, pecans, dried cranberries and vinaigrette. It is vegan and only 212 calories per 2 cup serving. 



1 large bunch kale

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

1 large diced apple, such as honey crisp or pink lady

1 avocado, diced

1 cup finely diced celery

1 cup finely diced fennel root

1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans

1/4 cup dried sweetened cranberries

1/2 cup tarragon vinaigrette or lemon vinaigrette


1.     Remove kale leaves from the stems. Cut leaves into bite sized pieces. Wash and spin dry.

2.     Place kale in a large salad bowl. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt. With clean hands, massage oil into the kale until all of the pieces are glossy.

3.     Add the apple, avocado, celery, fennel, pecans and cranberries. Drizzle with vinaigrette and toss to coat. Serve immediately.


Feel free to use your favorite viniagrette for this recipe. And you can also mix up the toppings as well. To make it a meal, add on cheese, or cooked chicken. Or you can use beans or chickpeas to keep it vegan! 

Make Ahead Tip:

Massage the kale ahead and put it in the fridge up to 4 hours ahead of time. The whole salad holds up remarkably well even after it is all tossed together (we had it 6 hours after tossing.) But the avocado and apple do brown a bit, so I don’t recommend adding them.


  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: no cook
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 2 cups
  • Calories: 212
  • Sugar: 7 g
  • Sodium: 385 mg
  • Fat: 14 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 22 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 3 g

Keywords: massaged kale salad, massaged kale salad recipe, massaged kale, kale salads, apple kale salad

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