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In just minutes, make this delicious Kale Crunch Salad that’s– dare I say– better than the Chick-fil-A Kale salad! It’s made of simple ingredients, including crunchy roasted almonds, crisp cabbage, and healthy kale, then tossed in a zesty apple cider vinegar and olive oil dressing full of flavor!

A plate copycat chick-fil-a kale salad on a white plate with the serving bowl of salad behind it.

Most will agree that kale isn’t the most tasty produce on its own. It’s usually cooked or smothered in dressing or sauce to be enjoyed. Additionally, it tends to be tough to chew, so a good chef will massage kale if the recipe involves eating it raw.

But why go through the trouble?  Kale is a vitamin-packed superfood! It’s good for your immune system, bone health, blood, and more!

If you are looking for more creative ways to enjoy this leafy green superfood, Try my Strawberry Kale Salad with feta cheese crumbles and warm Zuppa Toscana Soup with tender potatoes, bacon, and, of course, fresh kale!

Ingredient Notes

Salad Dressing

  • Olive oil: Use high-quality extra virgin olive oil for the best results.
  • Vinegar: I like to use organic apple cider vinegar to bring a touch of sweetness with the vinegar tang.
  • Dijon mustard: Bring a sharp and spicey flavor with Dijon mustard.
  • Syrup: Sweeten the dressing with a bit of maple syrup. If preferred, use honey instead.
  • Garlic: Deepen the dressing flavor with two pressed garlic cloves for a subtle spice.
  • Salt and pepper: Sprinkle in some salt and black pepper to lightly season the homemade dressing.

Salad

  • Kale: Have your kale with stems removed, chopped, and ready to go! Make your job a little easier with the pre-chopped kale at your local grocery store. 
  • Cabbage: Mix the kale with shredded cabbage for variety and a crisp crunch. Either use all red cabbage or all green cabbage or a blend of both for a burst of color! 
  • Almonds: Before serving this copycat recipe, sprinkle the salad with chopped roasted almonds. I like to grab a bag of ‘roasted and salted’ almonds from the store, but you can toast your raw almonds if you prefer.
A labeled image of ingredients needed to make kale crunch salad.

Variations and Substitutions

  • Go Nuts!: If almonds aren’t your favorite, try walnuts, pecans, or pistachios in the salad instead. Or use a blend of all the nuts you love! 
  • Dried Fruit: For bursts of sweetness, add dried fruit, like cranberries.
  • Sprinkle with Cheese: Parmesan cheese is an excellent addition to this simple kale salad recipe. Or try mozzarella or feta cheese!
  • Add Protein: This easy kale salad recipe is delicious with roasted chicken breasts, grilled shrimp or salmon, turkey, or bacon bits– Yum!
  • More Delicious Topping Ideas: Try adding chopped red onions, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, green apple slices, bell peppers, or chopped Brussels sprouts.

How To Make Kale Salad with Dressing

Be sure to see the recipe card below for exact ingredients and full recipe instructions!

Step 1 | Combine dressing ingredients

Let’s begin creating the easy kale salad recipe by adding the oil, vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, garlic, salt, and pepper to a mason jar. Next, put the lid on and give it a good shake until everything is combined.

Then set the jar aside or in the refrigerator as you prep the salad.

Salad dressing ingredients in a mason jar and then shaken together to combine.

Step 2 | Mix kale and cabbage

Next, put the chopped kale leaves and shredded cabbage in a large bowl and gently toss to combine. 

Kale and cabbage added to mixing bowl, topped with dressing and then dressing massaged into kale.

Step 3 | Add dressing and massage kale

This is the important part – Drizzle the homemade dressing on top and massage the kale for 2-3 minutes until it softens. Yes, give it the full Swedish treatment = massaged kale salad.

Step 4 | Sprinkle almonds, toss, and serve!

Finally, let’s dress this green salad up. Add the almonds, toss the salad thoroughly, and serve your colorful and crunch kale salad!

Add almonds to the salad and serve.

Tips

  • Chill Before Serving – For the best taste and texture experience, chill the salad in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld. Then, add the almonds and enjoy!   
  • Massaging Kale – Use your hands to gently knead and massage the kale leaves to release the flavor and soften the texture. 
  • No Jar, No Problem – If you don’t have a jar to mix the dressing in, Use a small bowl and whisk instead! 
A close up of kale crunch salad in a white serving bowl with wooden serving spoons to the side.

Recipe FAQs

Which kale is best for salads?

Curly kale is the most common variety and the most used for salads and other recipes. However, you can use lacinato kale, red kale, or baby kale if preferred.

How do you prepare kale for a salad?

Always start by washing your kale thoroughly to remove any remaining soil or chemicals. Next, cut the leafy part of the kale off the stem and chop it into bite-sized pieces. And don’t forget that all-powerful massage!

Is the Kale Crunch Side Salad at Chick-fil-A healthy?

The kale salad from Chick-fil-A is nutrient-rich and packed with beneficial vitamins and minerals, including fiber. While the dressing has a decent amount of calories, the rest of the salad is generally healthy. Try asking for another dressing if you’re extra concerned about your calorie intake, like the Light Italian Dressing.

A fork removing a bite of kale salad.

Storage

Refrigerate: Unlike most salad recipes, a kale salad will survive with the Dijon mustard vinaigrette dressing when stored in the refrigerator for a few days! Keep it in an airtight container, with or without the dressing, and enjoy it for another day!

What to Serve with Kale Salad Recipes

Serve this delicious copycat Chick-fil-A Kale salad as a side dish with a filling entre, like Creamy Spicy Sausage Spaghetti Pasta, or make it a soup and salad combo with Pasta Fagioli Soup. You can also serve the salad as a vegetarian main dish or add meat with a side of Cheesy Green Chile Bread– Delish!

More Delicious Salad Recipes

Hungry for more easy, home-cooked, delicious recipes?

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A kale crunch salad in a white bowl topped with toasted almonds.
Recipe
4.94 from 16 votes

(click stars to rate)

Kale Crunch Salad (Chick-fil-A Copycat)

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Nikki Lee
This simple salad is a delightful blend of fresh kale and cabbage, tossed with a zesty vinaigrette dressing. Topped with roasted almonds, it's a tasty and wholesome salad option that's both crunchy and flavorful.
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Ingredients 

Dressing

  • cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pressed garlic, about 2 cloves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Salad

  • 6 cups chopped kale, stems removed
  • 2 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 2 cups shredded red cabbage, (or you can use all of one type
  • ¼ cup roasted almonds, roughly chopped

Instructions

  • Add the oil, vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, garlic, salt, and pepper to a mason jar. Put the lid on and shake until everything is combined. Set aside.
  • Put the chopped kale and cabbage in a large bowl and toss to combine.
  • Pour the dressing on the greens and massage the kale for 2-3 minutes until it softens a bit.
  • Add the almonds, toss, serve, and enjoy.

Notes

  • Chill Before Serving – For the best taste and texture experience, chill the salad in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld. Then, add the almonds and enjoy!   
  • Massaging Kale – Use your hands to gently knead and massage the kale leaves to release the flavor and soften the texture. 
  • No Jar, No Problem – If you don’t have a jar to mix the dressing in, Use a small bowl and whisk instead! 

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1serving Calories: 193kcal (10%) Carbohydrates: 11g (4%) Protein: 4g (8%) Fat: 16g (25%) Saturated Fat: 2g (13%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g Monounsaturated Fat: 11g Trans Fat: 0.002g Sodium: 261mg (11%) Potassium: 410mg (12%) Fiber: 5g (21%) Sugar: 5g (6%) Vitamin A: 7049IU (141%) Vitamin C: 88mg (107%) Calcium: 216mg (22%) Iron: 2mg (11%)

Nutritional Disclaimer

Soulfully Made is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

©️Soulfully Made

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14 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I loved this salad- I’d even say I like it more than the one I get from ChickFilA! Perfectly fresh and delicious!

  2. 5 stars
    I love how healthy and clean this salad is and it’s still delicious! This is one of my favorite menu items at Chick Fil A so thanks for the recipe 🙂