Kale Salad with Warm Cranberry Vinaigrette

January 21, 2014 by Ali

Kale Cranberry Salad Recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

In honor of my month of healthy eating on the blog, I of course felt obligated to throw a token bunch of kale into my cart at the grocery store. No arm twisting necessary — kale is one of my favorite greens, and still seems to be oh-so-trendy at the moment. So I was ready to experiment with some new kale chips, or a fancy kale pasta, or some sort of kale soup. But as tends to happen, the kale got a little buried in my refrigerator, and wasn’t discovered until a few hours before I left town for Sundance. Oops!

So at the last second, I decided to whip up a healthy salad before leaving for the airport. And as seems to be a growing trend whenever I cook and photograph a recipe in a big hurry, it somehow miraculously turned out to be really good and really pretty. Go figure!

I’ve been on a kale and cranberry kick lately, so I went the “warm” route and sauted up some shallots and garlic and cranberries for a sweet and savory vinaigrette, then topped it all with some sliced almonds. I meant to also crumble on some cheese, but it turned out that the salad was great (and arguably a little healthier) without it. Soooo good, friends!!

So whether this is your first time making a kale salad or your 100th, you’ve gotta check out the recipe for this one.

Kale Cranberry Salad Recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

The key to a good kale salad is taking an extra minute or two to massage the kale and soften it. Awkward sounding? Yes. Essential to soft, delicious greens? Yes.

It’s easy. Anytime you make a kale salad, just toss the kale with a little salt and oil and rub it in for a minute until the kale turns nice and soft and darkens slightly. So worth it.

Kale Cranberry Salad Recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

Besides that, the rest of the salad is a breeze as well! Here’s the quick how-to:

Kale Cranberry Salad Recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

First, get those two main ingredients ready to go — some good fresh kale, and dried cranberries.

Kale Cranberry Salad Recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

Heat some oil in a large skillet, then saute up the shallots, garlic, cranberries, lemon juice, vinegar, and a bit of honey for the vinaigrette. The cranberries will plump up just a bit while cooking, and will be extra sweet and juicy. Mmmm.

Kale Cranberry Salad Recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

Then spoon the mixture on top of your (massaged) kale, give it a good toss, then sprinkle it with some toasted almonds.

Kale Cranberry Salad Recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

And voila! In just 10 minutes or so, this gorgeous kale salad is ready to go.

Kale Cranberry Salad Recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

Kale Salad with Warm Cranberry Almond Vinaigrette

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 2-4 servings


  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • juice and zest of half a lemon
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 bunch kale, very thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • (optional) 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese or goat cheese


Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add shallot and saute for at least 5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute. Then add cranberries, red wine vinegar, honey and lemon juice and zest, and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, toss the kale with olive oil and an extra pinch of salt, and massage kale with your fingers for 1 minute until tender. Add in the cranberry/shallot mixture and almonds, and toss to combine. Serve topped with crumbled cheese if desired.

Kale Cranberry Salad Recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

filed in Salads

About Ali

Ali Ebright is a freelance recipe developer and food writer/photographer, and blogs at Gimme Some Oven and Gimme Some Life. She also loves all things music, traveling near and far, actually making things from Pinterest, cozying up with a good book and her sweet pup, Henry, and spending time with a wonderful group of friends. Come say hello and follow Ali on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ & Instagram.

Leave a Reply


40 thoughts on “Kale Salad with Warm Cranberry Vinaigrette

  1. Did you use sweetened dried cranberries (like Ocean Spray) or dried unsweetened cranberries? And if you used unsweetened cranberries, where do you buy it?

    - Leo

  2. I loved this salad! I’m always looking for healthy yummy ways to eat kale and this fit the bill! So delicious, thanks for sharing it:)

    - Amanda

  3. Loved it! Massaging the kale was new to me and made a big difference! Tossed with goat cheese made a nice contrast to the sweet cranberries. YUMMY!

    - Judy

  4. This is so easy and tastes great. I added some cubed avocado and it tuned out to be an awesome addition. So creamy.

    - Lisa

  5. How long would this last in the fridge? Does it go soggy or get better?

    - Melanie

  6. This salad is amazing! I eat it at least once a week.

    - Melinda

  7. This salad is amazing! I eat it at least once a week.

    - Melinda

  8. How much honey? You mentioned it in your text but not in the recipe.

    - Sara

  9. I made this for dinner last night and it was wonderful! I don’t know how, but we had some leftovers, and they made a wonderful cold lunch. The kale was even still crispy.

    A repeat for sure and probably my go-to pot luck recipe this summer. Thanks Ali!

    - Racheal

  10. I made this salad today and it was absolutely delicious! It’s the first time I’ve eaten kale raw and actually enjoyed it, so thank you for sharing. I just started a blog called “healthy, fit and happy” on WordPress, and I just had to share your recipe. I also shared the link to your page to give you the credit :)

    - Tyler Ratay

  11. Delicious salad,
    Tastes just like cheesecake factory’s version

    - Connie muse

  12. This was delicious! I boiled a sweet potato cubed it and tossed in the salad perfect!

    - Kimberly Johnson

  13. I am just trying kale for the first time and this looks great. Did you massage with oil and then chop it up? I am not familiar with the right way to “prep” kale. Thanks!

    - Tracey

    • You can massage it with oil either before or after chopping. I find it easiest to massage the kale after chopping. Good luck! :)

      - Ali

  14. Mmm … ridiculously, I haven’t tried kale yet … ever! You made this sound incredibly tasty for something so simple. Love fruit and nuts in salads. Love your colourful photos, too!

    - Helen @ Scrummy Lane

  15. Your Kale Salad with Warm Cranberry Vinaigrette looks delicious!
    Thank you for all that you do!

    - Kristin

  16. Love that the dressing is warm, and kale is fantastic right now!

    - Gerry @ Foodness Gracious

  17. Dried cranberries sound like a great ingredient for salad and with toasted almonds on top looks just irresistible.

    - Medeja

  18. I’m huge on kale salads right now and my fave of the moment features a lemon dressing, but I love the idea of this one! Trying soon!

    - natalie@thesweetslife

  19. This sounds delicious. I usually just use plain old vinaigrette in my kale salads. They are always good but this sounds great…maybe some blue cheese on top?

    - Joybee

  20. I can’t get enough kale, this salad looks divine!

    - Nutmeg Nanny

  21. Massaging the kale…what a great idea! I usually avoid kale salads because I don’t like how firm the Kale is! Gotta try this! This salad is gorgeous and that warm dressing sounds divine!

    - Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness

  22. I love the warm dressing and the idea of massaging the kale a little before tossing!

    - Jeanette | Jeanette's Healthy Living