Kale Salad with Cranberries & Almonds

Kale Salad with Cranberries & Almonds

When I stayed at the Grand Hyatt in New York City last winter, I had my first ever kale salad. It was AMAZING. So amazing, in fact, that I ordered it two more times during our trip. I love braised kale and kale chips, but I couldn’t imagine eating raw kale until I had that salad.

Since then, I’ve had kale salad several times at restaurants and enjoyed it, but I’ve been afraid to make my own because kale is so tough. I couldn’t imagine what sort of magic those chefs worked on their kale, but I figured there had to be some sort of trade secret.

Then I was chatting with Colleen, and she told me about massaging the kale.

Yes, I said massaging the kale.

The secret to a fabulous kale salad, evidently, is massaging the salad. That extra 2-minute step makes all the difference. Check out Colleen’s Instagram video demonstrating how to massage your kale and make it into a fantastic salad.

She added dried cranberries, shredded carrots, and slivered almonds to make those gorgeous concoction. Then she made a simple balsamic lemon vinaigrette. The best part is, you can let it sit for a while and it doesn’t get wilted and gross like ordinary lettuce salads. With kale salad, you can even enjoy the leftovers the next day.

Kale Salad with Cranberries & Almonds: The secret to making this gorgeous kale salad delicious is massaging the kale. See how in this post.

This easy to make kale salad isn’t just delicious; it also has great nutritional benefits. It’s loaded with Vitamin C, Antioxidants, Vitamin K and so much more. This is the perfect salad for summer lunch at the pool, the beach, your favorite picnic spot, or work.

Here’s a printable recipe for your convenience.

Kale Salad
Recipe type: Salad
Prep time: 
Total time: 
This easy to make kale salad isn't just delicious; it also has great nutritional benefits. It's loaded with Vitamin C, Antioxidants, Vitamin K and so much more. This is the perfect salad for summer lunch at the pool, the beach, your favorite picnic spot, or work.
  • 1 head of kale
  • 1½ TBS grapeseed or olive oil
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • ¾ cup slivered almonds
  • Salt & pepper
  • Balsamic Lemon Vinaigrette
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup grapeseed or olive oil
  • 1 TBS fresh lemon juice
  • Salt & pepper
  • 2 teaspoons sugar (or honey)
  1. Wash and dry your kale. (Simply blot dry with paper towels, or use a salad spinner.)
  2. Slice the green leaves from the stems. Discard the stems, which are too tough to enjoy. Chop kale into bite-sized pieces/ribbons and place in a large bowl.
  3. Drizzle 1-1/2 TBS oil over the kale and massage the kale for 60-90 seconds. Season with a sprinkle of salt & pepper and set aside.
  4. In a lidded jar, combine the vinaigrette ingredients - vinegar, oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper & sugar. Shake vigorously until emulsified. Taste and adjust to your preference, if necessary. Set aside.
  5. Grab your bowl of massaged kale, add in the cranberries, carrots & almonds. Drizzle with vinaigrette and toss well.
This salad is just as delicious the next day if kept refrigerated in a sealed container. Kale holds up way better than lettuce once its is dressed.

Here are a few more delicious kale recipes for your enjoyment.

how to make kale chips

Kale Chips

Kale Mash: Easy Weeknight Dinner Recipe and healthy too! Trust me, your kids won't even TASTE the kale.

Kale Mash


Sausage Kale Soup