This simple lemon kale salad is an excellent side salad that pairs perfectly with any entree. Serve it with fish, chicken, beef or pork for a filling and healthy meal.
Why you'll love it
- Really easy recipe
- Easy to customize or adjust to your preferences
- Healthy salad packed with nutrients, fiber and protein
- Pairs well with a variety of entrees
- Massaged kale is really tender
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Lemon: Lemon juice serves as a dressing in this recipe. You can use store bought bottled lemon juice, or squeeze a lemon.
Kale: Any kale works well. I love using curly kale, or lacinato kale (cavolo nero or dinosaur kale). Kale is a hearty leafy green, and highly nutritious.
Nuts: Use any nuts that you like, or a combination of different nuts. Walnuts, pecans, pine nuts, almonds and pecans are excellent options. You can also use seeds like pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds.
Parmesan: Shredded Parmesan adds a lot of flavor to the dish. You can omit this if you want to make a lighter, vegan version of the kale salad.
Seasoning: We use a simple combination of garlic powder, salt and pepper in this salad. You can also use finely grated raw garlic.
Wash and dry the kale leaves thoroughly, and remove the thick middle stem. Cut or rip the leaves into bite sized pieces, and place them in a salad bowl.
Add lemon juice and seasoning, and use your hands to massage the lemon and kale for a minute or two. This will make the kale leaves much softer and easier to eat.
Then, add your chopped nuts and shredded Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine the ingredients evenly, then serve.
- This recipe is really easy to adjust. Feel free to add or omit any ingredients to suit your preference.
- Make sure to massage the kale thoroughly. This will break up the fibers in the leaves, and makes kale a lot more pleasurable to eat.
This salad is best served as a side dish for lunch or dinner. Lemon kale salad pairs really well with a variety of entrees, and here are some of my favorites:
- Chicken: Instant Pot Lemon Garlic Chicken, Honey Mustard Chicken Breasts
- Turkey: Oven Baked Turkey Meatballs, Moroccan Roasted Turkey Drumstick
- Pork: Instant Pot Pork Chops and Rice, Air Fryer Pork Chops
- Beef: Roast Topside of Beef
With protein: Add shredded chicken, pulled pork, chickpeas, or tuna to the salad to make it more filling. You can then enjoy the salad as a light meal for lunch or dinner.
Extra veggies: Add any fruits or vegetables that you like to the salad. Tomatoes, cucumbers, shredded carrots, cranberries, raspberries, peppers, pineapple, sugar snap peas, and radishes are great options.
Dairy free / vegan: To make a vegan lemon kale salad, simply omit the Parmesan. A dairy free version of the salad will also be a little lighter, and lower in calories.
Store leftover kale salad in a sealed container in a refrigerator for up to 3 days. Serve the salad as a side dish for several meals throughout the week, or add some vegetables and protein to it and serve it as a light meal.
As this recipe stores really well, lemon and kale salad can definitely be made ahead of time. Prepare the salad the day before you want to serve it, and refrigerate it overnight to keep it fresh.
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Frequently asked questions
Absolutely. Raw kale is perfectly safe to eat raw. Make sure that you wash the leaves thoroughly before use.
As kale leaves are tough, I recommend massaging them with lemon juice or dressing. This breaks up the fibers, and makes the kale softer and easier to eat.
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If you make this recipe, make sure to post a photo to Instagram with #hintofhealthy!
Lemon Kale Salad
- Wash and dry the kale leaves thoroughly, and remove the thick middle stem. Cut or rip the leaves into bite sized pieces, and place them in a salad bowl.
- Add lemon juice and seasoning, and use your hands to massage the lemon and kale for a minute or two. This will make the kale leaves much softer and easier to eat.
- Then, add your chopped nuts and shredded Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine the ingredients evenly, then serve.
- Store leftovers in a refrigerator for up to 3 days.