Kale Salad with Warm Cranberry Vinaigrette

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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 1x


This healthy kale salad is topped with a warm cranberry almond vinaigrette.



  • 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


  1. 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.
  2. 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

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212 comments on “Kale Salad with Warm Cranberry Vinaigrette”

  1. 5 stars
    This was delicious! Thanks for this great recipe. It’s a keeper!

  2. At least I’ve known about the massaging secret, but still, I’m sad it’s taken me more than five years after you published it to discover this delicious recipe. I think the warm dressing is key. Immediately pinned to my Food Favorites board!

  3. 5 stars
    At least I’ve known about the massaging secret, but still, I’m sad it’s taken me more than five years after you published it to discover this delicious recipe. I think the warm dressing is key. Immediately pinned to my Food Favorites board!

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  5. 5 stars
    I did make it, added diced cooked beets. The dressing is fantastic! Thanks for the great suggestion!!

  6. 5 stars
    Awesome recipe! Added some nutritional yeast powder on top for “cheesiness”, perfection!

  7. 5 stars
    Delicious! Thank you!

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  10. 5 stars
    I have made this recipe numerous times and everyone loves it! I have used feta instead of goat cheese on occasion – also very good!

  11. 5 stars
    Great recipe – I have made it numerous times and everyone loves it. Important step is to massage the kale! I have also used feta instead of goat cheese – equally delicious!

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  13. 5 stars
    Tried this recipe last night and LOVED it. I was skeptical about using a warm dressing because I usually prefer my salads ice cold, but it really added incredible flavor. The sautéed shallots and cranberries were the perfect balance of sweet and tangy to go with the kale (which can be bitter sometimes). I will also be massaging my kale from now until the end of time- what a huge difference that made. I added some bleu cheese and skipped the almonds (not a huge fan) and added a fresh sweet bell pepper from my garden. Everyone loved this and I will be making again and again and again and …

  14. 5 stars
    Love it!

  15. 5 stars
    Best kale salad I’ve ever made or ate!!!! Yummy

  16. This salad is awesome! A little bit of sweet and salty.
    And so easy to make!
    Tall Texan

  17. Just made this salad. Tastes great! Dressing is delicious! Followed the recipe but I substituted cranberries for chopped apples and shredded carrots. Added pomegranate seeds and goat cheese. Such a good recipe! Thanks a lot!

  18. This salad is amazing! My new favourite!

  19. Could I prep the salad and dressing the night before, and just warm up the dressing before serving? I want to make it for Christmas but I’m travelling in town with it.

    So, refrigerate the kale part overnight and prep the dressing in the morning? And warm it up before serving? Do you think that would work?

  20. I love this recipe! I have made it at least once a month since I first tried it. Sometimes I use balsamic vinegar rather than wine vinegar. It is good the next day too. Love the leftovers!

  21. Great stuff! Like it!

  22. Delicious even without shallots as didn’t have any. Used feta cheese instead of blue cheese! The options are limitless!

  23. This salad was really great. We added sesame seeds and green onions as a garnish. Perfect!

  24. The BEST salad ever. So glad I found this!! Massaging the kale before with salt and olive oil is a total game changer. Who discovers this stuff!!

  25. Just made this for lunch for my quarantined family of 6. Everyone loved it!!!! Even my picky eaters. I didn’t have cranberries but I did have a couple packs of the Starbucks dried fruit they give with their oatmeal. I think they have raisins, currents and cranberries. Still delicious with the substitution. Served it with hard boiled eggs on the side as well as Cosco frozen Brazilian cheese bread. Dressing for the salad is so good I Could eat it plain.

  26. Best Kale Salad recipe I have ever tried! Brought it to my daughter’s house for A Memorial Day cookout….just me and my 2 daughters. Big hit!

  27. Best salad hands down!! I had a similar salad in a restaurant and I loved it! This recipe is better!! I even shared it at work with 2 men. They said it was the best salad they have ever had, and wanted to know when I would make it again!