Our Kale Crunch Salad is packed with a medley of vibrant, crunchy veggies, delivers a power-packed punch of essential nutrients AND is so damn delicious! Perfect for a busy schedule as it's an ideal make-ahead option.
NOT a Copycat Chick Fil a Kale Salad Recipe
Being in Australia I had no idea that the American restaurant chain Chick-fil-A Halos had a Kale Crunch Salad which is completely different to my recipe. 😃
This vibrant salad was inspired by my recent trip to the farmers market, where I picked up an abundance of fresh, colourful veggies.
Being keen on not wasting any of my yummy finds, I decided to create a ginormous salad, bursting with texture and flavour.
Anyway, my Kale Crunch Salad recipe is full of healthy, market-fresh veggies and not a copycat recipe!
For all you kale lovers out there we have an array of kale-centric salads you may like to try - like our rich and creamy Kale Avocado Salad, or our zesty Kale Lemon Parmesan Salad, for something exotic try our Kale Pomegranate Salad, for something refreshing and healthy our Kale Coleslaw is just the thing!
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Curly Kale - forms the base for this salad or you could also use lacinato kale. If you are not a fan of this superfood you can substitute it with mixed salad leaves, silverbeet, arugula/Rocket or spinach.
- Pepita or pumpkin seeds - toasted and added for some nuttiness and more texture. Sunflower seeds and roasted almonds are great alternatives.
- Vinaigrette dressing - we have kept it simple and healthy with the use of healthy fat olive oil and apple cider vinegar known for its healing and antioxidant properties. Feel free to use a wine vinegar, add some Dijon mustard or swap it for your favourite salad dressing. For a healthy, creamier dressing try our avocado Mayo instead.
- The crunchy vegetables- we have used a variety of crunchy raw veggies in this salad - baby carrots, radishes, snow peas, baby cucumbers, bell peppers/capsicum and red onion. But so long as you have a good colourful mix of raw veggies you can use whatever is readily available for you.
Some More Crunchy Vegetables to Boost the Crunch Factor - raw cauliflower or broccoli; celery; green cabbage or red; fennel; sugar snap peas; green or yellow beans; kohlrabi or jicama; raw asparagus; raw artichokes; zucchini/courgettes.
How to Roast Pepitas
- Start by preheating your oven to 180℃ (360℉). Why not prep your kale while you are waiting for it to heat up?
- Place the pepitas on a lined baking tray and place them on the middle rack of your oven as this is the hottest part.
- Then roast for about five minutes, then give them a good shake so they roast evenly on all sides.
- Keep roasting them until they are golden brown and deliciously nutty. It should take about 10-15 minutes in total.
How to Make It (Step-by-Step Instructions)
Step 1 - The All-Important Step of Massaging Your Kale!
Step 2 - String Your Snow Peas
Step 2 - Prepare Your Crunchy Veggies
Step 3 - Assemble Your Kale Crunch Salad
🍽 Serving Suggestions
This is a great all-round salad that suits pretty much anything and everything. It is a great side dish for grilled meats, barbecues, roasts, tagines, stews, pasta, and tarts.
Tips and Questions (FAQs)
Radish Greens Pesto
If you are not going to be using your radish greens straight away then pop them in the fridge as they tend to wilt quickly when separated from the root.
If you're using the greens in other salads, try placing them in cold water to give them a refreshing boost and bring them back to life.
Now for the pesto! Blitz in a either a small food processor or high speed blender:
- 1 cup radish tops
- 1-2 cloves minced garlic
- ½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons slightly crushed nuts (pine nuts, almonds, macadamias)
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino
- 3 tablespoons or more extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Pop it in a glass jar or container and store in the fridge. It should keep for 3-4 days and it is great on chicken, fish, or stirred through pasta and rice dishes.
Can Kale Crunch Salad Be Made Ahead?
This salad can be made several hours in advance and either kept chilled in the fridge until you are ready to serve.
OR if you want to keep it crunchy, add the dressing to the kale, but do not massage it, pop it in an air-tight container in the fridge (separate from the other veggies).
Cut up the all remaining vegetables and store them in a different container in the fridge. Then mix everything together just before serving
How Can I Meal Prep This Kale Salad for Packed Lunches?
- Simply make the kale crunch salad and portion it into containers.
- To preserve the crunch, skip massaging the kale and instead toss it with the dressing. Layer the cut-up veggies on top and mix everything together just before eating.
- For some added protein add some - some grilled chicken, flaked salmon, seared steak or for a vegetarian option try adding some crispy chickpeas or blanched edamame.
What Can I Do With the Leftovers?
Even after a few days in the fridge, our crunchy kale salad remains delicious. While the veggies may lose some of their initial crunch, they become beautifully marinated in the dressing, resulting in a delightful tangy flavour.
This salad is loaded with healthy veggies and tossed in a healthy dressing, this makes it suitable for all eating styles and diets.
Each serving has about 263 calories with a net carb count of 11 grams or so.
More Crunchy Salad Recipes to Try!
- Mandoline or V-Slicer
- 6 cups kale, shredded (240 grams 8.5 ounces)
- ½ cup olive oil, extra virgin
- ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup pepita, toasted
- 1 punnet baby carrots (approximately 250 grams / 9 ounces)
- 1 punnet cukes (approximately 250 grams / 9 ounces)
- 6 whole radishes A small bunch (approximately 250 grams / 9 ounces).
- 1 ¼ cups snow peas (approximately 125 grams / 4.5 ounces)
- 1 medium yellow bell pepper/capsicum (approximately 220 grams / 8 ounces)
- 1 small red onion (approximately 80 grams / 3 ounces)
- Sea salt and cracked black pepper
- Start by carefully washing the kale leaves to remove any dirt.
- Remove the tough and chewy kale stems either by stripping them by hand or cutting them with a knife. You can freeze these for later use in soups, stews or stir-fries.
- Use a sharp chef's knife to thinly shred the kale.
- Place the shredded kale in a large bowl and add the apple cider vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Gently massage it for about 2-3 minutes, being careful not to overdo it and lose the crunchiness.
- Keep it handy so we can add the other veggies as we are preparing them.
- Trim and string the snow peas by pinching the stem end and pulling the string down. Discard the strings.
- For mature pods you may need to string from both sides. Cut the stem and pull the strings down from both sides simultaneously.
- Cut the snow peas diagonally.
- Rinse the veggies under cold water and pat them dry.
- Trim and cut the baby carrots and cucumbers into rounds.
- Trim the radishes and, if the leaves are fresh and green, cut them up for the salad or save them for a radish top pesto (the recipe is in tips section in the post). Slice them thinly using a vegetable slicer or with a sharp knife.
- Remove the core and seeds from the yellow capsicum/pepper, rinse it under cold water to remove any stubborn seeds, and cut it into small strips.
- Trim the onion, remove the papery skin, and slice it thinly.
- Add all the prepared veggies to the bowl with the kale.
- Add the cooled, toasted seeds to the bowl with the kale and veggies and season.
- Toss everything together to combine.
- Taste the salad and adjust the seasonings according to your liking.
- Transfer the salad to a bowl or platter and keep chilled until you are ready to serve.