11 Creative Kale Salad Recipes That Are a Fresh Take on Greens

Kale salad in a wooden bowl

PoppyB / Getty Images

Kale is everywhere these days and for a good reason. It's nutritiously dense, although the term "superfood" is misleading—it's basically a marketing term with no scientific criteria. That said, it does offer quantifiable nutritional benefits. Just 1 cup of kale gives you more than twice the recommended daily amount of vitamin A, along with plenty of fiber and folate.

It's easy to incorporate kale into everything from main courses to smoothies and even desserts. But for this article, we'll stick to salads. Even here, however, there's so much variety — from warm grain salads to fruit salads.

  • 01 of 11

    Raw Kale Salad With Cheese and Lemon Dressing

    Kale salad with shavings of cheese

    The Spruce / Jennifer Meier

    Wake up your kale with the wonderfully simple and tasty dressing in this recipe. Grated cheese (you can use Parmigiano-Reggiano, pecorino, Grana Padano, Dry Jack, or any other salty, nutty hard cheese) is whisked with salad oil, lemon juice, shallot, and salt. The result is a zesty starter that makes a beautiful addition to a dinner party or Thursday night supper.

  • 02 of 11

    Kale Salad With Fruit

    Kale and fruit salad

    The Spruce / Allyson Kramer

    Do you prefer sweet over savory? If so, then this recipe is for you. Raw kale is a versatile green that makes a wonderful base for this delicious, wholesome, sweet fruit salad. You can try this kale salad recipe with so many different fruits, but we recommend including banana for its silky texture and satisfying mouthfeel. Toss in apples, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, mango, or kiwi—and don't forget the cherry on top. Tying it all together is an unexpected dressing of dried shredded coconut and lime juice that you'll want to steal for salads to come.

  • 03 of 11

    Kale and Golden Beet Salad With Tahini-Lemon Dressing

    Kale salad with golden beets

    The Picture Pantry / Alanna Taylor Tobin / Getty Images

    Hearty and chewy and with a lovely blend of sweet, savory, and crunch, this well-rounded kale salad recipe makes a simple lunch or dinner during a hectic week. Roasted golden beets add a beautiful, mellow sweetness to earthy kale leaves. The salad is finished with walnuts, raisins, garlic, and lemon; all tossed in a creamy tahini dressing.

  • 04 of 11

    Kale and Fig Salad

    Fig and kale salad

    The Spruce / Emily Hawkes 

    Decadent fresh figs are the star of this insanely nutritious kale salad that you'll be proud to serve at your dinner parties, holiday meals, and picnics alike. Figs add pizzazz and satisfying flavor to a lovely tossed green salad with fresh kale leaves, other mixed greens, ripe avocado, sweet carrot, crunchy zucchini, zingy lemon juice, and omega-3 rich flaxseed. This one is sure to impress your friends and family.

    Continue to 5 of 11 below.
  • 05 of 11

    Kale Quinoa Salad

    Quinoa salad on white plate

    Katie Workman / themom100


    A trendy ingredient in American culture, quinoa has been a staple of Peruvian cooking for centuries. Although it often gets mischaracterized as a grain, quinoa is actually a seed that is a good source of protein, iron, and magnesium. It also contains twice as much fiber as most grains.

    This salad is pulled together with a simple mustard-infused vinaigrette dressing, combining the slight bitterness of kale with the nuttiness of quinoa. It's filling enough to enjoy as a light main course and makes a perfect packed lunch.

  • 06 of 11

    Kale and Cabbage Slaw With Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette

    Kale and cabbage slaw in a bowl

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Switch up your slaw game with this creative salad recipe that adds superfood kale greens to the usual shredded cabbage mix. Low in carbohydrates and light in calories, you can enjoy this healthy slaw recipe alongside any barbecue or grilled foods. It's a breeze to make, with a light and easy dressing that combines some olive oil, grainy Dijon mustard, and white wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar. Liven up your burgers, pulled pork sandwiches, fish tacos, or barbecued meats with this salad at your outdoor grilling parties.

  • 07 of 11

    Kale Walnut Blue Cheese Salad

    Kale salad with blue cheese

    The Spruce / Michael Piazza

    We love this hearty first-course salad for dinner parties. Blue cheese and kale bring robust flavor to this salad that's fancy enough for guests. Sophisticated blue cheese and crunchy, protein-rich walnuts add something special to this lovely salad with a base of lightly steamed kale.

  • 08 of 11

    Raw Vegan Kale and Orange Salad

    Kale salad with oranges and carrots
    Rasmusbredahl / Getty Images

    Wake up your taste buds at lunch or dinnertime with this amazing kale salad recipe that's a little bit sweet, a little bit spicy, and just the right amount of saltiness. Citrus combines with kale, grated carrot, currants, and a lime-spiked dressing to create a light and bright salad that's perfect for the midweek blues.

    Continue to 9 of 11 below.
  • 09 of 11

    No-Mayo Vegan Potato Salad With Kale

    Vegan potato salad with kale

    Darren Muir / Stocksy United

    Looking for a potato salad that's lighter than the usual mayonnaise version? Here's an easy vegan potato salad recipe that's free of gluten, egg, and dairy. It's also perfect for picnics since you don't have to worry about refrigeration. This vegan potato salad with kale delivers a healthy dose of green veggies for vitamins and fiber, and it can be enjoyed hot or cold.

  • 10 of 11

    Raw Lemon Garlic Marinated Kale

    Fresh raw kale
    Dustin Eli Brunson / Getty Images

    The raw food movement has inspired so many people to come up with creative ways for eating raw foods without sacrificing flavor. This marinated raw kale salad with lemon and garlic is a quick and easy way to eat your greens. Fresh kale is nestled in a simple marinade and left to soak up the goodness of the ingredients for several hours or overnight. The result is a tender, wholesome salad or side dish that can be enjoyed at any meal. Dress it up with protein-rich slivered almonds or cashew halves for a crunchy treat.

  • 11 of 11

    Basic Kale Salad Recipe With Creative Variations

    A wooden bowl filled with a basic kale salad

    PoppyB / Getty Images

    Start with this basic kale salad recipe and add in suggested variations depending on your mood or the season. Onions, persimmon, and even anchovy can add dimension to salads in a way that's subtle yet powerful. Start with a base of simple vinaigrette dressing and go from there.