Food Babe Kitchen - New York Times Bestseller - Header

Melt In Your Mouth Kale Salad


Sometimes I wish I had a magic wand, so I could wave it and make everyone love kale as much as I do. Lucky for me, I think I came up with a recipe to make a kale lover out of just about anyone! I originally got the idea for this salad during a magnificent dinner I had in Miami during Art Basel. Since then, I’ve been slowly recreating and perfecting this salad and today I got it just right.

Taking hearty lacinato (dinosaur) kale and making it melt in your mouth is normally quite the task! But it can be easy, all you need is a food processor, a few minutes to prepare some simple ingredients and voila! Every flavor profile is represented in this recipe – sweet, salty, sour, astringent, bitter, and pungent. In Ayurvedic medicine, they believe that having each taste in a meal acts as a beneficial digestive component leaving your body completely nourished and satisfied. So that’s why it’s no surprise that I feel great after eating this salad.


Melt In Your Mouth Kale Salad
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 2
  • 1 bunch of lacinato or dinosaur kale, stems removed, rinsed and patted dry
  • ⅓ cup currants (or chopped raisins)
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tsp local honey
  • ½ cup pine nuts toasted
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 tbsp grated raw parmesan cheese
  1. In a food processor, process kale into small chopped pieces
  2. To make dressing, stir lemon juice, olive oil, honey, salt and pepper together in a large bowl
  3. Add chopped kale, currants, pine nuts and parmesan to bowl with dressing
  4. Stir all ingredients together and serve
  5. (Optional - Save some pine nuts and/or parmesan cheese for top of salad before serving for presentation purposes)
**Choose all organic ingredients if possible**





Kale is a superfood ingredient that has completely transformed my health and my life. I hope you’ll try this recipe to unlock the magic and experience the powers of this amazing plant for yourself and for the ones you love.


Food Babe

P.S. What’s your favorite Kale recipe? Share with me and others in the comments below or on facebook 🙂


Food Babe Kitchen - Book
Food Babe Grocery Guide

Sign Up For Updates

And Get A FREE Healthy Grocery Guide Sent To You Now!

Find out what to buy and where at the top grocery stores near you

Posts may contain affiliate, sponsorship and/or partnership links for products Food Babe has approved and researched herself. If you purchase a product through an affiliate, sponsorship or partnership link, your cost will be the same (or at a discount if a special code is offered) and Food Babe will benefit from the purchase. Your support is crucial because it helps fund this blog and helps us continue to spread the word. Thank you.

303 responses to “Melt In Your Mouth Kale Salad

  1. I’m so glad to see this recipe! I have Kale growing in my garden right now, and I’ve been looking for yummy recipes for when it’s ready to use. I’ve tried Kale chips before, and wasn’t wild about them, but this salad sounds delicious – I think my kids may even like it!!

    Thanks for all you do – you are a great help to me as I try to find ways of feeding my family better & healthier foods..


  2. Hi Vani,

    This recipe looks delicious, and I LOVE cheese, but there are proponents of healthy eating that are totally against cheese, what is your take on it because I eat healthy 99% of the time, but my weakness is cheese, I don`t think I could ever give it up.

    1. I also eat healthy 99% of the time and my weakness is also cheese. But for me it causes digestive problems. I discovered that I can eat raw cheese that is aged. Raw cheese is free of injected hormones and it tastes better (to me) than pasteurized cheese.

  3. My favorite kale salad uses green kale, de-stemmed & chopped. Massage in Bragg’s vinaigrette, a little lime juice, and a dash of cayenne. Then mix in chopped green onion, dried apple juice sweetened cranberries, and slivered almonds. It’s my go-to party salad, it’s so easy & everyone asks for the recipe. We’ve made numerous kale converts from it!
    I’m definitely trying your recipe, too! I had a Caesar dressed Dino kale pizza once & nearly ordered another to take home it was so delicious 🙂

  4. What kind of protein would you suggest to eat along side this for a dinner option?

    1. With that dressing, I’d say salmon! Yum. But Food Babe probably has a better idea. Excited to try this. I’m allergic to sunflower and sesame oils, so I love finding recipes like this with olive oil as the base of the dressing. 🙂

    2. I’m assuming you mean some sort of meat side?

      This recipe is already loaded with “protein”!

      1. Careful Samantha,
        While this salad looks amazing and I can’t wait to try it, as a meal it has no complete proteins. (As the only complete veggie proteins are spirulina and soy) So if you are going to have this as a meal, and aren’t vegetarian, I would suggest adding something to it such as chicken…. although I’m sure it would be delish with salmon as well.

  5. Thanks so much. .can’t wait to try it! My favorite kale salad includes lemon juice, olive oil, toasted pine nuts, fresh garlic, feta cheese and salt and pepper. ..very few ingredients but so yummy!

  6. Here’s a kale recipe we love:

    Grilled Tuscan Kale Salad

    Tuscan kale leaves with center spine removed
    High quality olive oil
    1 fresh lemon
    Sea salt
    Shaved Parmesan reggiano

    Pre-heat an electric or stove-top griddle on medium high. Brush all surfaces of the kale leaves with olive oil, then grill, turning as needed to prevent scorching, until crisp.

    In a large salad bowl, break the now-crisp leaves into manageable pieces. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over leaves and toss; sprinkle with sea salt. Top with Parmesan pieces. Enjoy!

  7. This was AMAZING! Thanks for sharing the recipe!!! I usually juice kale and have only recently tried it sauted. This salad was a refreshing treat and I loved it!

  8. Yum! Thank you so much for a different vegetable dish to serve to my family. I will take this as a potluck item in the future, too. Thanks again !!!

  9. My new favorite salad! Sweet and tangy with just the right amount of everything. Thanks 🙂

  10. This is by far my favorite kale salad. Made it today with my daughter. We used craisins instead of raisins and my daughter put in a bit of lemon zest. Now it is It is her favorite as well.

  11. Can you use regular organic kale…..? My store don’t carry dinosaur or the other. Thanks 🙂

  12. LOVED this recipe! Used dried cherries instead of currants/raisins for my own spin. Yummy!

  13. Just made this and am in love with it! Thanks for sharing these delicious, clean, recipes that are easy to prepare and call for ingredients that I already have.

    You are awesome! Keep fighting the good fight!

  14. My favorite kale recipe, and it’s super easy. Pack it in the morning, and you’ll have a yummy, filling lunch.

    In a large portable container put a few cups of raw shredded kale, a rounded half cup of cooked quinoa, about a quarter cup of crumbled feta cheese, a generous tablespoon of olive oil, two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (red wine vinegar works fine), and a little salt and pepper. Shake it up. It’s best if you let it sit for an hour or two (or more) in the refrigerator so the kale softens.

    Everything is approximate and to taste. Add a quarter cup of firm cooked lentils if you’re extra hungry. A handful of currants also makes for some nice sweetness.

    1. I’m allergic to cheese (and all dairy), but this sounds amazing!! I’m thinking I could use barley or farro as well! Thanks for the recipe.

      1. If you’re allergic to cheese, add some brewer’s yeast for the cheesy flavor! So good for you too!

  15. Was a little nervous about the dressing but it turned out great. My garden is banging out kale left and right, will be repeating this for sure!

    1. I used curly kale and it was fantastic! It was well received by the family and extended family foodies.

      1. Thank you! I ended up making it with the curly kale too, because i had mountains of it, and it came out awesome! I just let just the kale sit with the dressing on it for a couple of hours before I served it and it was amazing.

  16. Sounds sooo good. I make my salad with almond chunks and garlic as well as olive oil, carrot shavings and cranberries. I just knead the kale and oil until soft.

  17. I had been reluctant about bitter kale in a salad!? Then a local restaurant manager shared with us his chef’s method: soak the kale in salt water, then massage it. Repeat. Rinse. Their salad is amazing and when I tried the soak and massage at home a few times my kale salad was even better (I use very little olive oil). I also use lemon juice, salt, pepper, lettuces, typical green salad ingredients, sometimes add roasted chicken. Don’t know if there’s really anything to the method or not, but I’m eating my kale salads!

  18. Looks good will try. Do you have any recipes for swiss chard, I have tons and have only been using it in my green drinks.

    1. Saute a bunch of Swiss chard with a tiny bit of oil, salt and pepper on low-med so it has time to soften (leave the ribs they are delicious unlike kale). Then in a nonstick skillet add beaten eggs to make an open face omelette (number of eggs depends on size of skillet but make it frittata style fairly thick). Salt and pepper eggs, crumble some feta, then pile half of the swish chard on top and cover until omelette is firm in top (I like mine a bit wet too). Pile remaining Swiss chard on top and enjoy! This is a delicious lunch or light dinner. One of my absolute favorite recipes!!!

  19. Here’s my recipe: Chop the kale into bite size pieces, massage with a small amount of Pink Himalayan Salt, about two minutes. Add about 1/2 cup cooked plain quinoa, a handful of raw pumpkin seeds, another handful of dried cranberries, dress with lemon juice, Bragg’s apple cider vinegar, olive oil, and pepper. Mix well and taste to see if it needs more salt. You can also add chopped apple and some kind of cheese.

    Teresa Ann: I have a simple and tasty recipe for Swiss chard: wash your leaves well and leave wet. Chop the leaves. You can leave them fairly big since they reduce to nothing. You can use the stems but have to cook them longer. Mince one or two cloves of garlic. Grab the biggest frying pan you have with a lid. Add a splash of olive oil and sauté the garlic being careful not to burn it. Add your stems, if using, and cook for a couple of minutes. Add a pinch of red pepper flakes. Take handfuls of kale and add to the pan, tossing as you add more. Soon it will reduce like spinach. Add a splash of Bragg’s Aminos or soy sauce, cover and let steam on low to desired tenderness. Be sure to stir every few minutes. I have also added julienned carrots and a can of garbanzo beans to make it more substantial. It is very tasty!

  20. This salad was AMAZING! 1st time ever that there wasn’t any salad left over. Even my picky eater loved it! Thanks for sharing!

  21. Wow, this looks amazing! I love kale too, but I have been having trouble coming up with summer veggie recipes since summer means lots of grilled meat kabobs for hubby, and I usually do a great job of getting veggies in with our stews, braised dishes, and one pot meals. I haven’t been doing my green smoothies, and I need to get back on that. They were yummy! I’m excited though, because soon I’ll have tons of fresh tomatoes from my garden, and my cucumber will be ready in just a few days here, yay!

  22. I am allergic to pine nuts- what would you suggest to replace them? I can do any other kind but those… sorry if it’s been asked. I tried to look but may have missed it.

    1. Here’s another great kale sale recipe: de-stem and shred one bunch of dinosaur kale, add two larger shredded carrots, roasted & salted pistachios, and then some raisins, currants or dried cranberries. For the dressing, mixup 1/4 cup of olive oil, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon or more of stone ground mustard, salt & pepper. It’s sooooo good! Sometimes I add a little feta cheese too.

    2. You can replace the pine nuts with sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds or sesame seeds. These work with most recipes that call for tree nuts. For better flavor, toast the seeds first.

  23. Enjoyed.

    Swapped out feta for parmesan, toasted pumpkin seeds for pine nuts and added pomegranate seeds…because that’s what I had.

    Never thought of using a food processor, but worked great.


  24. I just made this for lunch and ate the whole thing. SO good!! And I think I got my required servings of veggies in this one humongous bowl. I will definitely make it again – and share it with my hubby next time.

  25. love this salad, finally a Kale salad that rocks, i did swap craisins for the currants after the first batch for a little more tang

  26. Made this tonight! Yumm! My husband is out of town and I ate 3/4 of it by myself. :/ That’s okay….right?? 🙂

  27. Sounds delish, but I’ve been told by a naturopath and another dr. that raw kale (and broccoli) are very hard on the digestion….what are your thoughts?

  28. If you are hypothyroid can you handle a bit of raw cruciferous a day or what ifyou just had a teaspoon of kelp mixed in would that counteract the effects on the thyroid?

  29. This is, without a doubt, THE best kale salad recipe ever! My wife and I had it last night and it was fantastic.

  30. I just made this; very yummy. I think next time i will make it a little less finely chopped as it got a lot of ‘kale juice’ going on but very healthy and delicious. I’d say the only reason I would not make this very often is that the parmesan and pine nuts i bought were very pricey ingredients. Betting CostCo has better prices than Whole foods, but this was an expensive (yet yummy) salad to make. Thanks Food Babe!

  31. This salad was delicious!! I had no idea I loved kale so much :). I added some finely sliced scallions to this recipe and it added that extra kick of flavor.

  32. I had a very similar salad at a wonderful restaurant in Asheville, NC. It truly was melt-in-your-mouth. I’ve made this recipe twice and it’s flavorful, but it’s more stick-in-your-teeth than melt-in-your-mouth. What am I doing wrong? The second time I made it, I ran the food processor for a longer time hoping that was the issue, but the added process time did not change the consistency of the lacinato kale. Thoughts?

    Thank you.

  33. i thought this tasted really good. My husband, who hates vegetables, liked it well enough (though it’s not his favorite), but my kids hated it. Compared to most kids, my kids eat quite healthy. However, I did not bring them up on eating nonsweet veggies and they love their ranch dressing. Ugh.

  34. This is a tasty kale salad. It’s not mouthwatering carby potato salad, so don’t get confused! It is delicious, fresh, raw, nutritious kale salad which doesn’t feel like you are sacrificing flavor for having gone for the healthy meal. Two thumbs up!

  35. I made this last week and was shocked at how good it was!! I loved that your recipe involves making your own dressing. Mmm so good. I will e making this time and time again. My boyfriend loved it too!! Thanks food babe!

  36. My favorite salad has kale, pomegranate, quinoa, red peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, all diced really small and dried cherries or cranberries in it. Dressing is lemon, olive oil and red wine vinegar :).

  37. My favorite Kale Salad recipe with red quinoa
    Kale Salad with Quinoa
    (Serves 2 as a meal, 4 as a side)

    1 bunch kale
    1 cup cooked red quinoa
    ¾ cup pecans or sliced almonds, toasted
    1 cup dried cranberries/currants
    2 tablespoons grated Parmesan

    For the dressing:
    1 clove garlic, minced
    ¼ c shallot/sweet onion, minced
    Juice of 1 lemon
    2 T extra virgin olive oil
    1 t Dijon mustard
    Juice from ½ fresh orange
    1 T honey
    ¼ t Salt
    ½ t Fresh Ground Pepper

    Start by making your dressing. Combine all of the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl and set aside while you prepare your kale. (This will soften the shallots and allow the flavors to mingle).

    Start by tearing away about an inch on each side of the kale’s stalk. Then grab the bottom of the stalk with one hand and pull up with the other hand. The entire kale leaf should come right off. Remove the ribs from the kale. Pile the kale leaves on top of each other and roll them up like a giant cigar.
    Thinly slice the kale, and then chop it finely.
    Place chopped kale in a large mixing bowl & pour the dressing over the kale.
    [Use your hands to mix the salad (this is known as “massaging the kale” in fancy culinary speak), making sure that every leaf is well coated.]
    Set aside for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the kale becomes very wilted.

    While your kale is wilting, toast the almonds. Place the sliced almonds in a pan (with no oil!) and toast for 3-4 minutes until they are golden brown and fragrant.

    Add the quinoa, along with half of the almonds and cranberries to your wilted kale and toss to combine.

    Transfer your salad to a serving platter or plates, top with the remaining almonds and cranberries, and sprinkle with Parmesan.

    May add ¾ c crumbled feta cheese.

  38. Made this last night! SUPER yummy! Topped it with fresh sliced avocado, the perfect blend of creamy goodness to the tart and sweet in the dressing. Will definitely make this again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

food babe with grocery cart - footer image