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Kale Salad with Warm Cranberry Vinaigrette

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Kale Cranberry Salad Recipe |

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 |

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 |

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

Kale Cranberry Salad Recipe |

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

Kale Cranberry Salad Recipe |

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 |

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 |

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

Kale Cranberry Salad Recipe |

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Kale Salad with Warm Cranberry Almond Vinaigrette

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 63 reviews
  • 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 |

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167 comments on “Kale Salad with Warm Cranberry Vinaigrette”

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

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

  3. 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!!

    • 😲 OMG… I cannot stop eating this salad. I added a little seeds to mine with a little mild cheddar cheese (all I had) and it tastes amazing. I had one problem…I almost ate the whole bag of kale by myself.

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. Love!! So much kale in my garden; I’m always looking fir new users. This one is delicious and healthy.

  7. This is SO good! The only problem that I had was portion control, because I wanted to eat it all!

  8. 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!

  9. This was really delicious. I added some cooked farro and grilled chicken to round out the meal. My husband went back for seconds on the kale.

  10. Easy and deliciuos
    Thanks for sharing.

  11. This salad is delicious! a great new addition to the menu. Really good for those dealing with low blood platelets. :)

  12. Could baby kale be substituted in this recipe?
    Thank you, I cannot wait to try it!!

  13. Love this. I will make this often.

  14. Planning to make this for Thanksgiving! OK to substitute real maple syrup for the honey? What about walnuts instead of almonds? Many thanks!

  15. Made this today, December 27, because my body was craving something healthy after several days of rich Christmas food and treats. It was very easy and very good. I will definitely make it again. I used Boursin cheese because that is what I had on hand, and it worked great.

  16. so simple, perfect for a quick lunch or snack on the go!

  17. This kale salad is soooooo good! Beat I ever had! My healthy choice go to for sure!

  18. Delicious!
    It took much longer than 2 minutes to prepare the kale.

  19. Had beautiful baby kale from our local health food slash grocery, and it was perfect. Prepping and massaging the kale
    in olive oil made my old hands nice and soft.

  20. I have been making this recipe for a couple years. I play around with it a little bit, adding and subtracting based on what I have available in my kitchen. Last night, I think I stumbled on my new favorite version. I added half a Granny Smith apple, diced, with the cranberries. I also added a tsp of grain mustard and let the dressing reduce. Then, I put the warm dressing over the kale and tossed in some cooked quinoa and used pepitas because I was out of almonds. Drool! I’m so glad I always have leftovers so I can take this salad for lunch today!

  21. The best kale salad ever!

  22. This was really really delicious! Even the men in the family liked it! I added a diced Granny Smith apple for some crunch and tartness and it was great.

  23. Great recipe! I substituted dried cherries for the cranberries and love how they get rehydrated in the pan with the oil and shallots. Thank you so much!

  24. I love this recipe! It is even better left over the next day!
    When I try to print the 3X recipe, the recipe that comes up is only 1X.

  25. I’m so picky, cook a lot and always fine flaws, but your salad is very good and the flavor are so balance and subtle that always allow me to play around. Sometimes I just fallow the exactly recipe, for Thanksgiving I add green apples and fry little balls of goat cheese and squeeze ginger at the dressing and for Summer time tangerines and red apple.

    Thank you so much for sharing with us
    Love and tons of blessings

  26. The best Kale salad I have ever eaten! A total winner as everyone loved it!

  27. We really enjoyed this salad. The massaging made the kale tender and more flavorful. The dressing was perfect. Thank you for an excellent recipe.

  28. New go to kale salad! It’s so good! Love the tangy, crunchy exciting vibes of this kale salad.

  29. The combination of flavors in the dressing is awesome. Massaging the kale really makes for a nice texture. The salad came together quickly and went perfectly with a Sautéed salmon filet. Thanks for posting!

  30. Made this for Valentine’s dinner alongside steak and au gratin potatoes. So good! My fiancé asked me if it was a lot of effort, meaning he wants it a lot more in the future. Thankfully this recipe is not only delicious but very easy and fast to put together! Will be making it again today for lunch.

  31. Amazing!!!!!I just made it and it’s so delicious.