Deliciously fresh and vibrant in both colour and flavour, this Chopped Kale Salad has hearty kale, crunchy toasted sunflower seeds and sweet pops of dried cranberry in every mouthful, all drizzled in a Ginger Citrus Dressing.
If you're feeling gloomy, this salad is sure to lift your spirits! (Disclaimer: That is purely my opinion only and not medically proven).
In my opinion this really is the best kale salad. Although in saying that I really do love my Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing (which I also think is the best kale salad haha) and my Kale, Apple & Cranberry Salad with Maple Dressing. I love that kale is so versatile, just like a good pair of jeans you can dress it up or dress it down.
If you're looking for another chopped salad recipe then you might also like to try my Dill Pickle Chopped Salad.
For more cranberry salad recipes see my post with 32 Easy Cranberry Salad Recipes for Thanksgiving.
What You'll Love About This Salad
This healthy chopped kale salad is deliciously wholesome and nutritious. Fresh ingredients filled with antioxidants and essential nutrients, there is so much to love about this healthy salad recipe. Read on to see what to love about this recipe as well as some of the health benefits.
- kale is one of those hearty greens that is a great source of magnesium, calcium, fibre, Vitamin A & folate.
- this salad is gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free.
- it has healthy fats from the sunflower seeds and avocado oil.
- crunchy veggies paired with toasted sunflower seeds and sweet, dried cranberries.
- perfect as a light lunch or dinner alongside your protein of choice.
Ingredients Notes and Substitutions
Below is a list of all of the ingredients that you will need for this chopped salad along with some notes and possible ingredient swaps. All of the ingredients should be available from your local grocery store (so long as they're in season!). You will need:
- shredded kale - I've used traditional curly kale (dinosaur kale) but you can use Tuscan kale (lacinato kale) or red Russian kale as well.
- Wombok cabbage - also known as Chinese cabbage or napa cabbage. You can swap this for green cabbage if you can't find Wombok, however I do love Wombok for it's thin, papery leaves that hold the dressing so well.
- red cabbage - also known as purple cabbage. You could swap for another crunchy vegetable like bell peppers or thinly julienned carrots.
- sunflower seeds - you can use another variety of seeds such as pumpkin seeds (pepitas) or you could also use pine nuts. Just note that pine nuts will toast a lot quicker than sunflower seeds so keep an eye on them when they are toasting in the oven.
- avocado oil - you could also use extra virgin olive oil, hemp seed oil, flaxseed oil or macadamia oil.
Salad Dressing Ingredients
This simple lemon, orange and ginger dressing is seriously delicious and really makes the salad! Home made salad dressings are so much healthier than store-bought dressing as store-bought tend to be high in refined sugars. If you prefer a creamy dressing you could also try this salad with my Lemon Tahini Dressing.
- orange juice & zest
- lemon juice & zest
- grated ginger
- honey (or maple syrup)
- sea salt
- rice wine vinegar
- avocado oil
See the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the ingredient quantities and instructions.
How to Make Chopped Kale Salad
Probably one of the things that I love about this salad is just how quickly and easily it comes together. The only "cooking" required in this recipe is toasting the sunflower seeds (which I wouldn't skip by the way because toasted sunflower seeds are *chef's kiss*).
First, make the salad dressing by adding the orange juice & zest, lemon juice & zest, grated ginger, honey, sea salt and rice wine vinegar to a bowl and whisk to combine. Gradually start pouring in the avocado oil while whisking until the dressing is well combined.
Toast the sunflower seeds by adding to a baking tin and placing in a pre-heated oven for around 8 minutes. Keep an eye on them so they don't burn, when they are beginning to go golden remove them from the oven.
Next, prepare the kale by removing the dark kale leaves from the woody stems and finely chop the kale. Add the chopped kale to a large bowl (a mixing bowl or salad bowl / large serving bowl will do).
Drizzle with a small amount of avocado oil and using clean hands, massage the kale until the leaves are a vibrant dark green. This helps to break down the fibres in the kale, making it more easily digested and more tender.
To the kale add the finely chopped red cabbage and napa cabbage along with the toasted sunflower seeds and dried cranberries.
Drizzle over the ginger citrus dressing and toss the salad to combine. This salad is perfect served with some sliced poached chicken breast or crispy tofu.
Store leftover kale salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- 5 leaves kale stem removed, finely sliced
- ¼ head wombok cabbage finely sliced
- ¼ head red cabbage finely sliced
- ⅓ cup sunflower seeds toasted
- ⅓ cup dried cranberries
Ginger Citrus Dressing
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- ½ cup avocado oil
- 2 teaspoon orange zest
- 2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 teaspoon finely grated ginger
- ½ teaspoon sea salt flakes
- 2 teaspoon honey
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (356 Fahrenheit).
- Add the sunflower seeds to a baking tin and place into the oven to toast for 8 minutes. Keep a close eye on them to watch that they don't burn!⅓ cup sunflower seeds
- Next, make the dressing by adding the orange juice and zest, lemon juice and zest, grated ginger, sea salt, rice wine vinegar and honey to a bowl and whisking to combine. Slowly start to pour in the avocado oil while still whisking until all of the oil is incorporated and the dressing is emulsified (meaning the oil no longer separates from the juice).2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons orange juice, 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar, 2 teaspoon orange zest, 2 teaspoon lemon zest, 2 teaspoon finely grated ginger, ½ teaspoon sea salt flakes, 2 teaspoon honey, ½ cup avocado oil
- Add the chopped kale to a large bowl and drizzle with a small amount of oil. Using clean hands, massage the kale until it is vibrant green and tender.5 leaves kale
- To the kale add the red cabbage, Wombok cabbage, toasted sunflower seeds and dried cranberries.¼ head wombok cabbage, ¼ head red cabbage, ⅓ cup dried cranberries
- Drizzle the salad dressing over the salad and toss until well combined. Use half of the salad dressing to begin, taste the salad and add more if desired.
Serving SuggestionsServe with your favourite protein. Some of my favourites are:
- poached chicken
- crispy fried tofu
- grilled steak