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Mixe kale salad in a white salad bowl with wooden serving spoons in the bowl.

Easy Kale Salad With Lemon Dressing

  • Author: Amy Estes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 10 1x
  • Diet: Low Calorie


This Easy Kale Salad will quickly become your new go-to salad. The intense combination of flavors will make you want to enjoy it over and over again. Made with tenderly massaged kale, crunchy pistachios, salt, creamy parmesan cheese, and sweet, plump golden raisins. Masterly finished with a freshly whisked bold lemon dressing that ties it all together. 



For the Kale Salad

  • 2 Bunches dark leafy kale or curly kale (thinly sliced) – about 5-6 cups 
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • kosher salt 
  • black pepper
  • 1/2 cup pistachios or pumpkin seeds 
  • 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
  • 12 tablespoon maple syrup or honey – to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Add the sliced kale to a medium-sized mixing bowl or salad bowl, drizzle on a little olive oil and sprinkle 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 or pumpkin seeds, 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. 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 or at room temperature and ENJOY!


  1. If you are making this ahead, store the salad and the dressing separately in the fridge in airtight containers and when you are ready to eat it, add your dressing to the mixture and enjoy! It should last in the fridge for up to 3 days. 
  2. You can use any kind of kale for this recipe – I like to use dark lacinato kale or curly kale. Bagged, store-bought kale also works as a shortcut but I still recommend massaging it first. 
  3. You want to make sure to wash the kale really well first since it can hold a lot dirt and become gritty (nobody wants that).  Then you want to either add the rinsed kale to a clean kitchen towel, close it up and shake it a little to remove excess moisture or use a salad spinner to do this.  This will keep the green nice and crisp 
  4. Always massage kale for salads.  This will allow the kale to break down and become softer, which makes it easier to eat and digest. See the section above on tips for how to massage kale. 
  5. You can prep your kale ahead and have it ready to go for making salads all week long. Check out this post on how to store kale for more tips.  
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Healthy Salads
  • Method: Assembly
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Keywords: kale salad, easy kale salad, salad, kale