This kale Waldorf salad recipe is a balanced, texturally appealing, delicious recipe that can be taken one step further with baked turkey bacon or even some chicken breasts. And once you master massaged kale, it will become your favorite salad you’ll want to make over and over again.
Why Should You Try This Recipe?
This kale Waldorf salad was inspired by Whole Foods and my chicken Waldorf salad recipe. I know you will love it because:
- Healthy and nutritious: Packed full of dark leafy greens, fruit, nuts, and healthy fats, it’s a hearty salad recipe to keep you full and satisfied.
- Ready in less than 20 minutes: Most of the work is in the preparation of ingredients. Once that’s out of the way, all you have to do is massage, toss, and enjoy.
- Super customizable: With plenty of options to swap out one ingredient for another, you can truly make this kale salad your own.
The ingredients for this Waldorf kale salad come in three parts – massaged kale, dressing and salad.
- Kale: For the massaged kale, gather together kale, olive oil, and kosher salt.
- Salad Dressing: For the salad dressing ingredients, you will need mayonnaise, plain yogurt, Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, kosher salt, and black pepper.
- Salad ingredients: Gather together an apple, red seedless grapes, celery, walnuts, and raisins.
How to Make
This kale version takes the same approach as a classic Waldorf salad with a typical mayonnaise base. And it’s ready in a few easy steps. Here’s how to do it:
- Massage kale: Place prepped kale in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and kosher salt. Using your fingertips, gently rub kale leaves for 2-3 minutes, turning often to make sure all kale leaves are softened and turn a deeper shade of green.
- Make salad dressing: In a small bowl or jar, mix together mayonnaise, plain yogurt, vinegar, salt, and pepper until it reaches a creamy consistency.
- Assemble salad: Into the bowl with the massaged kale, add apple cubes, grapes, celery stalks, walnuts, and raisins. Drizzle with the salad dressing and toss. Serve immediately in your favorite serving dish.
Massaged kale Waldorf salad is best served right away for the ultimate crunch and texture notes. I love to serve it as:
- Light Lunch: Enjoy it just as is, and save any leftovers for lunch the next day.
- Main Meal: Top it off with baked chicken breasts, turkey bacon, steak or roasted portobello mushrooms and Fajita Veggies to keep it vegetarian.
- Appetizer / Side Dish: Serve it as an appetizer or side dish to heartier meals like chicken fricassee or turkey meatloaf.
How to Store
This kale salad with apples and walnuts will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge. After the 3-day mark, the fruit and vegetables will become mushy.
Traditional waldorf salad is made with apples, grapes, celery and walnuts, then tossed with a mayo-based dressing.
Waldorf salad started off as a simple apple-celery-mayo combination that debuted at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in NYC, from where it got its name.
No, it is not necessary to blanch kale for salad. But massaging kale with your hands takes it to another level.
Massaged kale salad will keep for up to 3 days in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
Yes, raw kale can be eaten in salad, but it is much more enjoyable to eat when first massaged with your hands.
Other Salad Recipes You’ll Enjoy:
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Kale Waldorf Salad Recipe
For Massaging Kale:
- 1 bunch lacinato kale washed, rinsed, and cut or curly kale
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
For The Salad Dressing:
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise or vegan mayo
- ½ cup plain yogurt
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
For The Salad:
- 1 apple cut into small cubes (I kept the skin on)
- 1 cup seedless red grapes halved
- 1/2 cup celery stalks, cut into small pieces 2 medium-size
- 1 cup walnuts lightly roasted
- ½ cup dried raisins or cranberries
- Place rinsed and cut kale in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and kosher salt. Using clean hands, gently rub kale leaves for 2-3 minutes, turning often to make sure all kale leaves are softened.
- Make the salad dressing by mixing together mayonnaise, plain yogurt, vinegar, salt and pepper in a small bowl or jar.
- To assemble the salad: Add apple cubes, grapes, celery stalks, walnuts, and raisins into the bowl with massaged kale. Drizzle it with the salad dressing.
- Give it a toss to make sure everything is combined. Serve immediately.
- Leftovers can be kept for up to 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge. After the 3-day mark, the fruit and vegetables will become mushy.