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kale shredded in a bowl for salad with golden raisins and pistachios

Easy Kale Salad With Lemon Dressing

  • Author: Amy Estes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 10 1x


This is a simple, easy kale salad recipe that is tangy, crunchy, and full of incredible lemon flavor. Easy to make-ahead and ready in less than 10 minutes!



For the Kale Salad

  • 2 Bunches dark leafy kale (thinly sliced)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • kosher salt 
  • black pepper
  • 1/2 cup pistachios
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins or dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • Zest of 1 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)

For the Lemon Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about the juice of 2 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Add the sliced kale to a medium-size mixing bowl or salad bowl, drizzle on a little olive oil and sprinkle of salt and pepper and lightly massage it for 1 minute to help break it down a little.
  2. Add the 1/2 cup chopped pistachios, 1/2 cup golden raisins, 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, and the zest of 1 lemon to the kale and lightly toss everything together.
  3. Make the dressing: Add the juice from the 2 lemons, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey, 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper to a mason jar with a lid and shake it well until it emulsifies. You can also add all dressing ingredients to a small bowl and whisk until it emulsifies (get’s nice and creamy).
  4. Pour the dressing on the kale salad and toss well.
  5. Serve cold and ENJOY!


  1. If you are making this ahead, store the salad and the dressing separately in the fridge in an airtight container and when you are ready to eat it, add your dressing to the mixture and enjoy!
  2. To make this a vegan salad sub the parmesan cheese with vegan parmesan.
  3. You can use any kind of kale for this recipe – I like to use dark lacinato kale or curly kale.
  4. Golden raisins or dried canrberries work perfectly in this salad. 
  5. Dairy-free? Replace the parmesan cheese with vegan Parmesan, and you have a delicious vegan version of this Easy Kale Salad. 
  6. Want to make this fully vegetarian? Swap the parmesan cheese with soft crumbled goat cheese. 
  7. Add some protein.  You can add crispy roasted chickpeas, grilled chicken or even shrimp to this salad and it would be delicious!
  8. Not a fan of lemon?  Swap the lemon zest and juice with the zest and juice of an orange. 
  • Category: Healthy Salads
  • Method: Assembly
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean