The Best Kale Salad
The Best Kale Salad recipe is full of healthy greens like kale and broccoli along with walnuts, dried cherries and sweet and sour dressing.
A CHICK-FIL-A INSPIRED RECIPE
This kale salad recipe is inspired by Chick-fil-A’s Super food salad! Do y’all remember when Chick-fil-A used to have Carrot Raisin Salad? They took it off the menu and it broke my heart. I guess the idea was to put up some healthier options. I am not even sure they make this exact salad anymore. I believe the only kale salad they have is the kale crunch salad but it’s not the same as the original. No worries, I got you covered if you really liked this one!
CAN I USE ANY OTHER DRESSINGS?
Can’t find sweet and sour dressing? Just pick up some cole slaw dressing. It has that same balance of flavors that will work great in this. Or use my homemade version HERE. Also I have a homemade sweet and sour dressing in my recipe for Broccoli Salad. I’ve also typed it up in the recipe card at the end of this post.
INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (FULL RECIPE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POST)
- fresh kale
- lemon juice and olive oil
- dried cranberries (or cherries)
- chopped walnuts
- sweet and sour dressing
WHERE DO I FIND SWEET AND SOUR DRESSING?
If you have never heard of Sweet & Sour dressing, let me assure you it does exist. I live in a pretty small area so if I can find it, I know that most folks around the country can find it too. Here are two different types. One is the Kroger store brand and the other is made by Marzetti. You can find these dressings where all the other salad dressings are located.
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST KALE SALAD:
First things first – give the kale a good rinse.
Then begin chopping up the kale and broccoli. If you’ve never worked with kale or any other type of greens before, then here’s a picture to show you what to do. All you have to do is cut around the stem.
Discard the stem and finish chopping it up into bite-size pieces. The next step is super crucial. To soften up the kale, you need to massage it. I will put the chopped kale in a bowl and top with about a tablespoon lemon juice and olive oil. Use clean hands to massage for about 3 minutes to soften the leaves.
Chop up the broccoli into bite-size pieces. I remove the bulky part of the broccoli stem but you can chop that up too and add it in – up to you.
Add it all into a large bowl.
Then toss in the dried cranberries (or cherries) and chopped walnuts.
Pour dressing on top.
Then toss it all together and coat all the veggies as best as possible.
Cover with plastic wrap and place into the fridge for at least 2 hours.
CRAVING MORE RECIPES?
The Best Kale Salad
- 6 cups kale chopped into bite size pieces
- lemon juice and olive oil
- 3 cups broccoli chopped into bite size pieces, or baby broccoli
- 1 cup dried cranberries or cherries
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 16 ounce bottle sweet & sour dressing
- Rinse kale and broccoli and chop into bite size pieces (discarding the stems.)
- The next step is super crucial. To soften up the kale, you need to massage it. Put the chopped kale in a bowl and top with about a tablespoon lemon juice and olive oil. Use clean hands to massage for about 3 minutes to soften the leaves.
- Add the chopped broccoli in with the massaged kale.
- Then toss in the dried cranberries (or cherries) and chopped walnuts.
- Pour dressing on top.
- Toss it all together and coat all the veggies as best as possible.
- Cover with plastic wrap and place into the fridge for at least 2 hours. Then serve.
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons vinegar
- 1 teaspoon fresh black pepper
“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.
How far ahead can you put the dressing on? Overnight?
Delicious!! I just picked up some Cole slaw dressing. Same thing as sweet and sour dressing.
I tried your recipe the other day and I did have to substitute the salad dressing. After staring at all of my options I chose to use an Apple Cider Vinegarette. It was delicious and everyone asked for the recipe!
I’m excited to make this for a potluck tomorrow! I tried it a few weeks ago and my hubby loved it (he doesn’t like greens!!) Just wondering how far in advance I can add the dressing? I’ll be leaving the house at 6.30am and I’m guessing lunch will be around 12.30pm.. if I added the dressing at 6am would it be ok? I’ll have the salad in a cooler..
To clarify, the Chick-Fil-A Superfood Salad has broccolini, not broccoli. Your recipe looks good and has easy to find ingredients to substitute for some of the more “exotic’ original salad ingredients.
Love your kale salad, but have you ever tried putting the kale in blender with water and chopping it that way. Turns out like purchased kale salad kits have it, and much easier.
I actually make this quite often, however, I make my own sweet and sour dressing. Mine is lower calorie. If anyone wants my recipe I’d be happy to share it. Warning … I ‘m an old fashioned cook taught by my grandmother, so I don’t measure anything, however, it’s very simple to do.
I’d love it if you wouldn’t mind sharing!
would love to have your recipe for the dressing also thankyou
I would love to have your recipe for your sweet and sour salad dressing! Thank you!
We don’t have that restaurant around here and I have always to try their food. Now thanks to you I can! This definitely looks good to try.
Hope you enjoy!
I have been to 3 stores in Asheville, NC and cannot find this salad dressing. Don’t have Kroger’s. Can you find out which store sells this or can I use a substitute dressing?
Marilyn, Wal-Mart sells it. You are in a much bigger area than me too so I am surprised! I found the Marzetti brand at my Wal-mart though!
Also, if you want – you can make it yourself. Just use the dressing recipe that I use for my broccoli salad here:https://www.thecountrycook.net/2012/04/broccoli-salad.html
Thanks. I will try this.
Love your recipes.
I hope you love it as much as I do Marilyn!
Which of the two salad dressings do you prefer? The Kroger brand looks the best but we don’t have a Kroger, so I’d have to order it.
Hi Susan! I wouldn’t go through all the trouble of ordering the Kroger dressing. If you can find the Marzetti – I would go with that one! 🙂
Have you ever tried “Massaged wilted fresh kale” for a salad? You may be interested in this concept. I tried this recipe a couple years ago and it became a favorite of mine.
Hi Allie! Who would’ve thought you could massage kale? Ha! I haven’t tried it but I guess I’m gonna have to now! Thanks for the suggestion!