This simple kale and pomegranate salad is made with orange, feta and a tahini balsamic dressing. It’s easy to make and the perfect addition to your holiday table.
Searching for the ideal festive salad to serve at your next gathering? You’ll want to add this vibrant kale and pomegranate salad (aka Christmas salad) to your menu! Bursting with delicious sweet flavors, the kale leaves are gently massaged in a tahini balsamic dressing and topped with pomegranate seeds, fresh orange segments, feta cheese, and pecans for the ultimate touch.
The remarkable thing about kale is its resilience – it retains its freshness and crunch even after a stint in the fridge, making it an ideal candidate for preparing in advance. I love bringing this salad to BBQs, Christmas parties, or any festive event. Its versatile nature allows it to complement a variety of roasted meats or seafood dishes seamlessly.
Ingredients you’ll need
You only need 8 ingredients to make this kale and pomegranate salad recipe:
- Kale: I used curly kale, but you are welcome to use lacinato/ dinosaur/ tuscan kale if preferred. Use one large bunch, or about 5 packed cups of pre-packaged kale.
- Pecans: I love roasted pecans with pomegranate salads, but you can use walnuts instead.
- Pomegranate: I used half of a regular-sized pomegranate, but you can also use pre-seeded pomegranate to make this salad come together really fast! Aim for 1/2 cup of seeds.
- Oranges: Juicy mandarin oranges add a sweet citrus flavour and pp of colour that really elevates this kale salad.
- Feta cheese: Crumbled cow’s milk feta is my go-to here, but goat cheese or a dairy-free cheese would also work well.Feta cheese: Crumbled cow’s milk feta is my go-to here, but goat cheese or a dairy-free cheese would also work well.
- Balsamic vinegar
- Lemon: Fresh lemon juice adds a lovely acidity to this recipe and tastes SO good with tahini and kale. If you like things extra lemony, you can even zest the lemon skin and add it at the end.
- Tahini: It has a nutty flavour and an incredibly creamy texture, which makes it the perfect addition to the balsamic dressing!
- Garlic: Freshly minced is ideal, but pre-minced or garlic powder work too.
Complete list of ingredients and amounts is located on the recipe card below.
How to make this kale and pomegranate salad
Prepare the ingredients: Peel, segment, and slice the oranges. Remove the seeds from the pomegranate and thoroughly wash the kale leaves.
Make the tahini balsamic dressing: In a bowl or jar, whisk the tahini, balsamic, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper until creamy.
Massage the kale: Place the kale leaves in a large mixing bowl. Pour half of the dressing over the kale and use your hands to massage it for about 1 minute, ensuring the kale is well-coated and starts to soften.
Assemble the salad: Top with the orange segments, pomegranate seeds, feta cheese, and pecans. Give a gentle toss and arrange nicely to serve.
Variations and substitutions
- Instead of kale: You could try this with a base of arugula (rocket), baby spinach, or a spring mix.
- Different cheese: You could try goat cheese; it also tends to pair well with citrus fruits.
- Dried fruit: Feel free to swap the pomegranate seeds or also add dried cranberries, finely chopped Medjool dates, or raisins for an extra pop of sweetness.
- Grains: To make this salad more hearty and filling, add cooked quinoa, freekah, or pearl couscous.
- Nut-free: Leave the nuts out and swap with pumpkin seeds or sliced avocado on top.
- No lemons? Swap the lemon juice for white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
Can this salad be made in advance?
You can totally prepare some of the ingredients in advance, then assemble the salad just before serving such as:
- Slicing the oranges
- Making the tahini balsamic dressing
- Massaging the kale leave
- Removing the pomegranate seeds from the fruit
Simply store everything in airtight containers in the fridge and throw together when you’re ready to serve the salad!
Keep any remaining kale and pomegranate salad in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in an airtight container. Adjust with extra lemon juice or a touch of olive oil to loosen the dressing if necessary.
Chicken, grilled salmon, or boiled/poached eggs work well. For a vegetarian option, consider adding tofu or chickpeas.
Absolutely! Adjust the ratio of tahini to balsamic, add honey for sweetness, or include Dijon mustard for an extra kick. Feel free to get creative and tailor the recipe to suit your taste preferences!
While kale works best in this recipe, you can substitute it with baby spinach or romaine. However, it’s important to note that the fruits may weigh down more tender lettuces.
More festive salads to make
If you try this pomegranate kale 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
This simple kale and pomegranate salad is made with oranges, feta and a tahini balsamic dressing. It’s easy to make and the perfect addition to your holiday table.
- 1 bunch (250g) of kale leaves, roughly chopped
- 2 oranges, peeled + segmented
- 1 pomegranate or 1 cup of pomegranate seeds
- 1/3 cup pecans, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
Tahini Balsamic Dressing:
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- Juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
- 1–2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon each salt + pepper
- Peel, segment, and slice the oranges. Remove the seeds from the pomegranate and thoroughly wash the kale leaves.
- In a bowl or jar, whisk the tahini, balsamic, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper until creamy. Add a splash of water if needed.*
- Place the kale leaves in a large mixing bowl. Pour half of the dressing over the kale and use your hands to massage it for about 1 minute, ensuring the kale is well-coated and starts to soften.
- Top with the orange segments, pomegranate seeds, feta cheese, and pecans. Give a gentle toss and arrange nicely to serve.
- Store: leftover salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- To prepare in advance: Slice the orange, make the dressing, massage the kale leaves, remove pomegranate seeds. Store in separate airtight containers in the fridge; assemble when ready to serve!
- Dressing: Feel free to add 1-2 teaspoons of honey for a sweeter dressing or 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard for extra flavor.
- Serving Size: Per serve
- Calories: 228 calories
- Fat: 15.9g
- Saturated Fat: 1.7g
- Carbohydrates: 17.4g
- Fiber: 5.2g
- Protein: 7.3g
Keywords: pomegranate, kale salad, Christmas salad, kale and pomegranate salad