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4.25 from 4 votes

My easy Kale Salad with Apples is a healthy salad recipe that even your kids will love! It is full of crunchy sweet apples that balance out the harsh flavor of the kale. Tossed with a sweet vinaigrette, this kid-friendly salad is simply delicious!

A close up of the kale and apple salad in a wooden bowl.

This is an amazing vegan kale salad. There, I said it. Kale and amazing in the same sentence! This is by far my very best salad recipe.

This is the first kale salad that my family will eat. My kids went nuts over this salad, and they HATE kale!! I think it’s because the apples add a bit of sweetness to balance out the slight bitterness of the kale.

You can enjoy this salad as a side dish, or toss in some grilled shrimp or chicken for a delicious light meal. If you love recipes with fruit, you will love this collection of gluten free recipes for Tu Bishvat.

If you love salad with dinner as much as we do, check out all of my delicious gluten free salad recipes.

Why This Kale Salad Is Amazing:

  • My kids eat it. This is the miracle kale salad that gets healthy food into your kids.
  • It is fresh and can be made ahead!
  • It is easy to make in about 10 minutes.
  • It will keep for 3-4 days in your refrigerator. So many wins!

These were so yummy…just make sure your dough is slightly sticky. Adding a touch more milk if needed. My batch came out a bit dry, my family still scarfed them though!”

Krystal C., Pinterest comment
the side view of a big wooden bowl filled with kale salad.

This easy kale and apple salad recipe is full of romaine lettuce, kale, apples, and raisins…feel free to add other fruits; the dressing really works with the different flavors. If you love apples as much as I do, try some of my favorite gluten free apple recipes!

Why Is Kale Massage So Great?

One tip I must share from Chef Lopez is to massage your kale.  It softens the kale leaves, and I know this sounds weird, but it reduces the bitterness a bit as well.

Another great tip for making kale taste good is removing the vein down the middle of the leaves. This is where the bitter flavor comes from, so try to remove as much as possible.

Make it a meal with this East African Pilau Rice.

Step By Step Recipe Directions:

The kale salad dressing in a bowl.

Step 1: Mix up the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and use a whisk to blend the salad dressing ingredients. For best results, ensure all ingredients are at room temperature.

The kale salad ingredients in a bowl.

Step 2: Trim the main central vein out of every kale leaf. Massage your kale and break it into pieces. Cut your apples into bite-sized pieces. Add the lettuce and raisins.

Step 3: Pour the dressing into the salad ingredients. Use metal tongs or wooden spoons to toss to coat the salad with the dressing. Allow the salad to sit for 10 minutes so the flavors can blend.

Serve this delicious salad with these Gluten Free Biscuits, these crunchy Gluten Free Cheese Straws, or these Gluten Free Breadsticks!

You may also love this Arugula Pear Salad.

Expert Tips and Recipe FAQ:

Do you have to peel the apples before chopping?

I highly advise leaving the apple skin on! They are a great source of fiber.

What is the best oil for kale massage?

I always use extra virgin olive oil to massage the kale. You can also use avocado oil.

How long will this kale and apple salad keep fresh?

This kale and apple salad should keep up to 4 days in an air-tight container in your refrigerator.

Can you make this an entré salad?

Yes! You can easily make this salad into a main meal by adding a cooked protein like shrimp, tofu, beef, or chicken!

The top view of a big bowl of kale salad.

If you love eating salad with fruit, this easy Strawberry Spring Salad.

Serve With:

kale salad with apples in a wooden salad bowl

Kale Salad with Apples

Sandi Gaertner
Kale Salad with Apples is a kid friendly healthy salad recipe! Crunchy sweet apples balance out the harsh flavor of the kale. Tossed with a sweet vinaigrette, this Gluten Free Kale Salad with Apples is simply delicious!
Love this recipe?Give it a star rating!
4.25 from 4 votes
dairy free allergen icon
gluten free allergy icon
nut free allergen icon
soy free allergy icon
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Gluten Free Salad Recipes
Cuisine American
Servings 8 people
Calories 75 kcal

*As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.



  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 bunch kale * see note
  • 2 apples chopped
  • 1 head romaine lettuce chopped
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped basil


  • In a small bowl, mix lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, dijan, basil, and garlic. Whisk and allow to sit.
  • In a large salad bowl, add all salad ingredients.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Allow to sit for 10 minutes for flavors to blend.


  1. To make your kale kid-friendly, you will want to massage the kale to remove the bitter flavor. To massage kale, put it into a bowl and use your hands to rub the leaves. Continue until the leaves soften and lose some of their stiffness.
  2. Rub your kale with extra virgin olive oil for the best flavor.
  3. You can customize this salad in a few ways. Add nuts and dried cranberries for a fun flavor combination.
  4. Add cooked shrimp or chicken to make this salad a meal.


Please know that every gluten free flour blend has a different starch to grain ratio. If you use a blend I didn’t test, you may need to adjust your moisture levels in your baked goods.


Calories: 75kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 1gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 12mgPotassium: 135mgFiber: 1gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 1054IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 15mgIron: 1mg
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Nutrition Disclaimer

Nutritional information is an estimate provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the actual nutritional information with the products and brands you are using with your preferred nutritional calculator.

Fearless Dining

Sharing delicious, fully tested gluten-free baking and cooking recipes.

(*Original recipe Oct 2013. Photos edited 8/29/16. The post was updated with more detailed instructions 5/3/22.))



  1. I love this combination! I use a lot of kale in smoothies and need more good salad ideas. Definitely have to try this one!

  2. Love the combination of apple and kale. I’ll have to try massaging kale next time! Thanks for the tip!

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