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This healthy Chopped Kale Salad is a crunchy, tasty side or light lunch made with pine nuts, dried cherries, and shredded white cheddar cheese in a simple lemon & oil dressing, with a little bit of everything in each forkful!
Chopped salads are so, so good! Especially with kale where chopping it fine really improves the texture. And since all of the other ingredients are chopped small as well, you get a little bit of everything in each bite!
I'm always trying to expand my repertoire of salad recipes and this chopped kale salad is a great addition to my collection!
Let's talk about those beautiful, fresh ingredients! This salad is loaded with all the good things:
- dinosaur kale (also known as lacinato or Tuscan kale)
- shredded or grated brussels sprouts
- chopped red cabbage
- pine nuts
- chopped dried cherries
- grated white cheddar cheese
I love the pop of color from both the brussels sprouts and red cabbage, but this recipe would also work by changing those out for green cabbage, broccoli leaves, or just all kale if that's what you have on hand.
You can also use curly or red kale, although I like dinosaur kale which is a little more tender to start with, and gets even more so after being sliced into thin ribbons and then chopped a little more into bite-size pieces.
Whatever mix of finely chopped cruciferous green you choose, you need about 1 ½ pounds (about 8 cups) in total for this recipe and you can chop them using either a knife or food processor .
Then it's finished off with the simplest dressing ever of freshly squeezed lemon juice & olive oil, for a light, bright flavor that doesn't overpower the other ingredients. It coats every bit of the finely chopped kale and helps soften the notoriously tough leafy green a bit, which is why I always dress and toss the salad a little bit before serving.
This quick, easy chopped kale salad is perfect for summertime because it's such a cool, clean item to serve alongside barbecued chicken or other grilled meat.
And I love that it balances out some of the not-as-good-for-you foods that we tend to indulge in at summer gatherings. I'm all for grilled hot dogs, potato salad, and homemade ice cream, but sometimes in the face of that heavier fare I just want something healthy and fresh to make me feel better about my choices!
And for any naysayers about kale out there, it's not like we are huge kale fans in this family. I'm trying to use it more, but typically, I would say we tolerate it, at best. But all of us except the 4-year old who is going through a food thing at the moment had second helpings of this salad!
More Satisfying Salads That You Will Love
- Olive Garden Salad
- Peach Panzanella Salad
- Tex-Mex Doritos Taco Salad
- Spring Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Persimmon, Pomegranate, and Spinach Salad
- Winter Pear, Pomegranate & Swiss Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing
Chopped Kale Salad
- 2 medium bunches destemmed dinosaur/lacinato kale finely chopped (about 8 cups)
- 1 cup red cabbage finely chopped
- 1 cup brussels sprouts finely chopped or grated
- 1 cup sharp white cheddar cheese grated
- ¾ cup pine nuts
- ¾ cup dried cherries chopped
- ⅓ cup lemon juice freshly squeezed
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Remove the stems from the kale and finely chop. Finely chop the red cabbage and brussels sprouts. Coarsely chop the dried cherries. Toast the pine nuts in a pan over low heat for a few minutes until golden brown, being careful not to burn.
- In a large salad bowl, combine the chopped kale, cabbage, brussels sprouts, white cheddar cheese, pine nuts and dried cherries.
- In a jar with a tight fitting lid, combine the ingredients for the dressing, then shake well. Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients and toss to coat.