The best ever kale crunch salad! Loaded with curly kale, apple, cabbage, roasted almonds and tossed in a creamy tahini dressing. The perfect 15-minute lunch, dinner, or side dish.
I have a feeling you be will craving kale on the regular after making this kale salad.
When I saw everyone raving about the chick-fil-a version, I knew I had to come up with a healthier homemade alternative I could throw together for quick lunches!
I took the base ingredients and elevated them to make a tastier, more nutritious and flavourful version. It’s got crunchy green veggies, sweetness from apples and dried cranberries, roasted almonds and a sweet creamy tahini dressing! Sometimes I use shredded cabbage that comes in a coleslaw salad bag to save time, other times it’s shredded brussels sprouts or even lettuce. This salad is easily customisable, so use whatever kind of greens you’ve got in the refrigerator.
Ingredients you’ll need
All you need to make this kale crunch salad recipe are 11 healthy ingredients:
- Kale: We use classic curly kale as the base of this salad. Make sure to remove the stems and chop it up.
- Cabbage: I’ve used shredded savoy cabbage for crunch, but you can use purple cabbage for extra colour.
- Celery: You’ll need 2 celery stalks for the ultimate crunch factor.
- Dried Cranberries: I prefer using unsweetened dried cranberries in my salads. They add sweetness and the best texture.
- Almonds: preferably roasted almonds for extra flavour. You could also use sliced almonds or pepitas for a nut free version.
- Carrot: I grate mine for ease but finely chopped is best for extra crunch.
- Apple: Use your favourite pink/ red variety. Cut into a small dice for a yummy sweet crisp addition.
- Tahini: To make the creamy dressing instead of olive oil.
- Dijon Mustard
- Honey or maple syrup: Adds a touch of sweetness in the dressing.
- Apple cider vinegar: Any mild tasting vinegar will work here.
How to make the best copycat Chick Fil A Kale crunch salad:
Prepare the salad: Shred the cabbage and kale, slice the celery, chop the almonds, dice the apples and grate the carrots. Add everything to a large bowl. along with the cranberries.
Make the tahini dressing: Whisk together the tahini, mustard, honey, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper until smooth and creamy. Alternatively add everything to a screw top jar and shake until combined.
Dress it up: Drizzle the prepared dressing and toss the salad using a pair of tongs. Taste and adjust with additional dressing as desired then let the salad sit for about 5ish minutes. Add extra roasted almonds and serve!
Substitutions and variations
- Kale: This is the base of our recipe, but you can feel free to use shredded brussels sprouts or lettuce. It makes this salad hearty, but also provides a variety of vitamins and minerals.
- Nut free: Instead of roasted almonds used roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) or sunflower seeds.
- Not a fan of celery? Add extra cabbage or 2 Persian cucumbers or 1 diced up red bell pepper (capsicum) instead.
- Tahini dressing: Swap the tahini for natural peanut butter to make a peanut dressing.
- Want some grains? Add cooked and cooled quinoa or farro.
Tips for making kale crunch salad
- Want to keep your salad crunchy? Add the almonds, apples and cabbage just before mixing.
- To remove bitterness and improve the texture of kale, massage the kale leaves for 2-3 minutes. It will darken in colour and soften.
- To save time use a food processor to quickly chop, slice and grate the veggies. Use pre shredded coleslaw mix instead of cabbage and carrots.
- If you want to meal prep your salad, consider layering your ingredients. To a container, mason jars or large bowl add your dressing, then layer in your salad ingredients with the almonds on the top. This will help prevent your salad from getting soggy. Mix when ready to enjoy.
The best thing about making kale salad is unlike other greens, you can make it ahead, even with the dressing! In fact, it will last in the fridge for up to a week. I recommend adding the roasted almond right before serving, so that they maintain their crunch.
Frequently Asked Questions
I’ve used curly kale in this salad, and it’s the most common kale, but you can also use lacinato kale or tuscan kale if you have access to those varieties.
This kale crunch salad is vegan. Just ensure to use maple syrup in the dressing, not honey.
To make this salad nut-free, just leave off the almonds. I recommend adding roasted pepitas, chickpeas or croutons to get the same crunch factor.
It has kale, green cabbage, roasted almonds, and an apple cider vinaigrette.
More crunchy salad recipes
If you try this kale crunch salad recipe or have a question, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.Print
The best ever kale crunch salad! Loaded with curly kale, cabbage, roasted almonds and toasted in a creamy tahini dressing. The perfect 15 minute lunch, dinner or side dish.
- 4 cups kale, shredded
- 2 cups savoy cabbage, shredded
- 1/3 cup roasted almonds, roughly chopped
- 2 stalks celery, sliced
- 1 apple, finely diced
- 2 carrots, grated
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries (unsweetened)
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Prepare the salad: Shred the cabbage and kale, slice the celery, roughly chop the almonds, dice the apples and grate the carrots. Add everything to a large bowl along with the cranberries.
- Make the tahini dressing: Whisk together the tahini, mustard, honey, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper until smooth and creamy. Alternatively add everything to a screw top jar and shake until combined.
- Dress it up: Drizzle the prepared dressing and toss the salad using a pair of tongs. Taste and adjust with additional dressing as desired then let the salad sit for about 5ish minutes. Add extra roasted almonds and serve!
- Nut free: instead of roasted almonds used roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), sunflower seed or roasted chickpeas.
- Leftovers: will last in the fridge for up to a week.
Keywords: Kale, crunch salad, cabbage, almonds, apple, tahini, apple cider vinegar