apple dijon kale salad

$5.53 recipe / $1.38 serving

I’m in love.

The dressing alone was enough to make me swoon. It’s just a very simple and basic dijon vinaigrette, but it’s so good that I kept dipping my spoon in for taste after taste. And because kale is so “sturdy,” it stands up well to being pre-dressed with the vinaigrette. I just made the salad moments ago, but I’m sure it will still be tasty tomorrow, even after having the dressing on it all night. In fact, I’m sure the juice from the apples will start to mingle with the dressing and make it even better.

I love that this salad mixes so many tastes and textures in one bowl. You have the almost bitter flavor of the curly kale, the sweet and crisp apples, crunchy walnuts, and super sweet raisins. All of which is topped off with a tangy dijon vinaigrette. It just all works.

Eat this salad with a cool glass of crisp white wine, some awesome crusty bread, and maybe some cheddar cheese. That’s what I call the perfect summer dinner.

Apple Dijon Kale Salad

Apple Dijon Kale Salad

4.8 from 6 reviews
apple dijon kale salad
Prep time
Total time
Total Cost: $5.53
Cost Per Serving: $1.38
Serves: 4
  • ⅓ cup olive oil $0.96
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar $0.24
  • 1 clove garlic $0.08
  • 1½ Tbsp dijon mustard $0.16
  • ¼ tsp salt $0.02
  • 10-15 cranks fresh cracked pepper $0.03
  • 1 bunch kale $0.99
  • 1 medium granny smith apple $0.87
  • ¼ cup raisins $0.36
  • ½ cup walnut halves $1.82
  1. Tear the kale leaves from the stems. Cut the leaves into thin slices and then rinse well under cool water (in a colander). Allow the kale to drain as you prepare the rest of the salad.
  2. In a blender combine the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, clove of garlic, salt, and pepper. Blend until the garlic is minced and the dressing is smooth.
  3. Wash the apple and chop it into chunks. Roughly chop the walnut halves. Make sure the kale is as dry as possible and then combine it in a large bowl with the apples, walnuts, and raisins. Pour the dressing on top, starting with half, and toss to coat. Add more dressing as desired (I used the whole batch).

Apple Dijon Kale Salad

Step By Step Photos

kale bunchI love kale because it’s super healthy and always super inexpensive at my local grocery store. I love it both raw and cooked. Win-win.

tear kale leavesFirst, tear the leaves from the stems. This is really quick and easy because the stems are super stiff. Just tear the leaves off without regard to size or shape. Discard the stems.

cut rinse kaleNext you’ll want to cut the kale into thin strips. Because it’s so “hearty” when raw, it’s easier to eat if it’s cut into small, thin strips. To do this I grab a bunch of the leaves, compress them into a tight ball under one hand and carefully slice it into thin strips as I slowly move my fingers out of the way. After it’s cut, rinse it well under cool water.

dressing ingredients blenderNow it’s time to make the AH-MAZING dressing. Just add the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, one clove of peeled garlic, salt, and pepper to a blender.

blend dressingAnd blend that sucker until smooth. Now here’s the hard part: don’t drink it all. You need to save it for the salad!

chop toppingsNow chop the toppings. I cut the apple into small cubes, but you can do whatever you like. I roughly chopped the walnuts because smaller pieces mean more in every bite… but pieces that are *too* small means not enough texture. Find the happy medium. The raisins are already the perfect size.

add dressingBefore you build the salad, make sure that kale is as dry as possible. Shake the water off and if you’re feeling like an over achiever, get in there with a paper towel to absorb some more. Put the kale in a large bowl, add the apples, walnuts, and raisins. Pour the dressing on, starting with half, and toss to coat. Add more dressing as desired. I desired ALL of it. ;D

apple dijon kale saladAnd now you’re ready to eat.

apple dijon kale saladSeriously, add a glass of some dry riesling or something else crisp. You won’t be sorry. Oohh, this would be great with some grilled meat. I LOVE SUMMER.


  1. Emily says:

    Have made this several times, and yes, it keeps very very well. The apples don’t get brown at all the the kale gets more tender (but not gross or wilted) as time goes on. I find the dressing a little bit harsh so I add a blob of honey to mine.

  2. Hi,
    I’m Elisa, a writer for Spoon University, and I’m writing a story about vegan diets. If it’s okay with you, I’d love to use this photo in the article and of course give you proper photo credit.
    If you could let me know as soon as possible, that would be great.
    Thanks so much ahead of time.

  3. Courtney says:

    The dressing was fabulous and the toppings – apples, walnuts, and raisins – are always great on a salad. It turns out that I don’t like an all-kale salad, though. I think a little kale mixed with lettuce or other greens would make for a nicer salad. Add a little goat cheese and it would be perfect!

  4. SO healthy and nourishing, but also unbelievably delicious! I got an entire bag of 12 apples for 1.29 at a local market, and this was a great way to use them. I’m starving in grad school, but I love healthy food and this was PERFECT (as are all these recipes.) I added some crumbled feta and served with fresh oat flour/flax bread. It made 3-4 servings, easy. Tasty, affordable, and I feel like I am glowing with nutrients. THANK YOU BETH!

  5. MaryMcC says:

    First time visitor, came by from the HuffPost article and—-AAAAHHHHH tossing kale stems??? Really? Chop em up and stir fry them, throw them in soup, but please don’t throw them out!

  6. Laura says:

    I made this the night before for my lunch the next day. This is an awesome salad. I added goat cheese, and wow. So so so good. The kale was perfect and I think its because I let it sit over night in the dressing. Yum!

  7. Made this last night and it was DELICIOUS!! I doubled the dressing recipe and used the other half for a second salad with the same ingredients on lettuce (the men in the fam aren’t too big on kale hehe). The dressing was a big hit and I have some left over!

  8. Sara D says:

    Does anybody know if I can still make the dressing without a blender? I do not own one D:

    • You can whisk the ingredients together (mince the garlic first), but it just won’t hold together quite as tightly. It may separate a little. :)

  9. Rachel says:

    I made this and have been eating it all week, its absolutely delicious, gets better each day. I mostly stuck to the recipe although I used golden raisins and added some chopped dates because I thought they would go well. I topped it with a fillet of dijon-maple roasted salmon. Thanks for the recipe!

  10. I made this for dinner last night along with the herb roasted pork loin. It was sooo good. This was the first time I had kale in a salad and I loved how crunchy it was. I just finished off a second serving for lunch and it stored really well overnight. I’ll definitely be making this salad often!

  11. Cathie says:

    Oh oh so yummy!!!!! Even notoriously picky son did not verbally complain about it. :-)

  12. Anonymous says:

    LOVE this salad, it is so addicting! I use dried canberries and grainy-dijon mustard. A bit pricier but worth it :)

  13. Delicious! Made this last night with grapes instead of raisins (I’m not a huge fan of raisins) and I will definitely be keeping this on my list of go-to recipes. I’m not a huge fan of kale but my boyfriend loves it, so I was happy to find that the dressing really helps mask the bitterness of the kale.

  14. This salad rocks! I made it last night and it was tasty for dinner, but what was really great was today I took it for lunch and I added about a half a cup of cooked (cold) quinoa. It was even better with the quinoa once the salad had time to absorb all the flavors. I also added a few tablespoons of flax seed oil.

  15. Anonymous says:

    This is one of my favorites!! We have added all kinds of stuff to it and it still rocks. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  16. im going to do this tonight!!!

  17. Wow. Tasty salad, full of flavor and excellent for you! I made the dressing and salad to a T except I’m not a fan of raisins, so I roughly chopped some pitted dates I had on hand. The flavor was out of this world!
    Thank you for your wonderful recipes- with my husband job searching right now, we are closely watching out budget (especially food since that’s where I go crazy! ;) ). Your site is perfect for us.
    Also, keep the vegetarian dishes coming! I don’t eat meat and was thrilled to find so many healthy meatless meals! :)

  18. I doubled up on the apples and tore up a Babybel edam wheel for each salad. Turned out nicely. I still think I’d use a bit less dressing next time, personally. I did use a combination of white balsamic and red wine vinegar instead of the apple cider vinegar though, which may have given it a bit more bite.

    Still, love it. great recipe.

  19. I had tried kale only a few times before, and was not a huge fan – so I was entirely skeptical on trying it raw. But you were so right – with this intense dressing, there is no dreaded ‘kale’ taste! I have an allergy to garlic so I made the switch for some shallots instead, which worked out well in this case. I also dislike washing my blender (too many parts!) so I used a microplaner, which actually made a nice frothy shallot puree, and whisked the dressing until it emulsified. Paired with some avocado-quinoa and a bit of protein, this salad was a great post-workout meal!

  20. My first time using kale in a salad, loved the kale! Great and filling. However, as sad as I am to say it, the dressing was too much vinegar for me. And if you know me, you know that I have a slight, almost obsession with vinegar anything. Next time I’ll use 1/2 as much vinegar and add more as needed. But, all around it was a great salad. Oh, and we added chicken, great!

  21. This salad looks delicious! I will definitely have to make this. Have you heard of turnip chips they are a great alternative to potato chips and pretty tasty. Eating smaller potions is definitely key to losing weight and getting healthy. It is important to plan out your diet and fitness routine because it helps you stay focused. Choose some healthy meals and snacks there are so many options like the turnip chips or baked sweat potato fries. I have recently started eating healthy and for the first time I appreciate food and eat very little junk food.

  22. Love kale salad but never used apple before – great idea. Can’t wait to eat this!

  23. Anonymous says:

    I made this yesterday for lunch and it was awesome! Thanks for another great recipe. :)

  24. Mary says:

    I made this tonight and really enjoyed it. I still have a lot of kale left because my bundle of kale was massive. I used Red Wine Vinegar because that’s what I had on hand, and the dressing still tastes fine. I will definitely make this salad again. Thanks!

  25. Anonymous says:

    I am obsessed with your blog. I’ve already made a couple recipes this past week and have printed a dozen more to make soon. Amazing!! How has no one offered you a cookbook deal yet?

  26. Anonymous says:

    delicious salad! great with goat cheese, too!

  27. Jess says:

    I don’t know the calorie and fat counts, but the Weight Watchers point value is 10 pts per serving, which is reasonable if it’s a main dish but a lot for a side salad (for reference, I have 26 daily points plus 49 flex points for the week). Basically all the points are coming from the olive oil and walnuts (though if you’re less worried about calories and fat and more worried about the general healthiness of it, those are both good/heart-healthy sources of fat). So if you want to keep down the calories, I’d suggest not pre-dressing the salad and having the dressing on the side and seeing how little you can have and still get the full flavor. A lot of times you don’t need that much. And it looks delicious! Can’t wait to try it.

  28. Made it tonight–LOVE IT! Thank you for giving me something new to add to our summer rotation!

  29. wow this looks sooo good, I’ve been on a blue cheese obsession, will definitely make this and add some blue cheese, thanks for sharing!

  30. Maureen, Milwaukee says:

    I’ve read recently about kale salads where you “massage” the kale and it’s a lot more edible and not so tough. Have you tried that with any of your kale dishes? Btw, thanks for so many of your recipes. My whole family watches your site for the latest and we use quite a few ideas – the chicken rice bowl is our current fave!

  31. Anonymous says:

    Just found your site and really excited to try some of these and future recipes as I follow your blog! Thanks!

  32. The cider vinegar should help the apples keep from browning, just as lemon juice does.

    I’ll update you on how long it stays good in the fridge… I made it just before posting it yesterday :D

    The dressing is not low fat or reduced fat, unfortunately. It’s a traditional vinaigrette which are usually about 1/3 – 1/2 oil by volume.

    Little Braveries – Thanks for catching my mistake! I always forget to change the value listed at the bottom of the table :P

  33. Anonymous says:

    I made the dressing tonight.. it is very acidic, very mustard-y, very flavorful and very satisfying.

  34. Anonymous says:

    This may be a silly question, but I am trying to diet and watch what I eat. I’m wondering how the dressing in the recipe is? Too much fat like in many other dressings or very low in fat and calories?

  35. Oh, jeez I swear can read. It does sound delicious though!

  36. This comment has been removed by the author.

  37. Anonymous says:

    You can toss the apples in lemon juice before adding to the salad to prevent browning.

  38. Question: does the apple cider vinegar prevent the cut apples from browning? It looks like an amazing salad, but I’m a little leery of day old cut apples.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Awesome,going to try this soon. Just weary of eating kale raw because it is “sturdy” but will definitely give it a try. Will pass along the recipe to my diabetic father who I’m encouraging to eat more veggies and salads. Wondering how long this will keep in the fridge with the dressing on it. Thank you!

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