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Kale Salad with Cranberries

This Kale Salad with Cranberries only has a few ingredients and will become a fast favorite. Filled with cranberries, apple, walnuts, and goat cheese, each bite is full of flavor!

An overhead shot of the Kale Salad with Cranberries next to two small dishes of dried cranberries and goat cheese.

Cranberry Kale Salad

Looking for a healthy and delicious meal option? Look no further than a refreshing and tasty Kale Salad recipe with Cranberries. This easy salad is perfect for those who want to eat healthy without sacrificing flavor.

The combination of crunchy kale, sweet cranberries, and tangy dressing makes for a satisfying and nutritious meal that will leave you feeling great. Whether you’re looking for a healthy lunch or a flavorful side dish, this salad is sure to be a hit!

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A bunch of kale, red apple, and three small bowls filled with crumbled goat cheese, dried cranberries, and chopped walnuts.

Why You’ll Love Kale Salad with Dried Cranberries

  • Kale is one of the healthiest greens you can find, packed with vitamins and minerals that are essential for your body. Cranberries are also full of antioxidants, making this salad a perfect option for those who want to boost their immune systems and keep their bodies healthy.
  • This kale salad with cranberries recipe is quick and easy to put together, making it a great option for busy weeknights or last-minute gatherings. With just a few simple ingredients and a delicious dressing, you can whip up a nutritious meal in no time.
  • The combination of fresh kale, sweet cranberries, and tangy dressing makes for a delightful taste that is sure to leave your taste buds wanting more. This Kale Cranberry Salad is perfect for those who love bold flavors and want to try something new and exciting.

Ingredients Needed

  • Kale – Washed and chopped: Kale is a leafy green vegetable that is packed with nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin K, and antioxidants. It has a slightly bitter taste but pairs well with sweet and tangy flavors. Lacinato kale, often called dinosaur kale, is perfect for salads, but common curly kale works too!
  • Extra virgin olive oil – Olive oil is a neutral fat full of rich flavors that helps tenderize and reduces the bitterness of kale leaves, resulting in a more tender and flavorful salad.
  • Dried Cranberries – Dried cranberries are sweet and chewy, and add a fruity flavor to the salad. They are a good source of fiber and antioxidants, making them a healthy addition to the salad.
  • Apple Cored and diced: The apple adds a sweet and juicy flavor to the salad, balancing out the bitterness of the kale. Apples are also a good source of fiber and vitamin C. Crisp apples are best for this perfect side dish. Give the granny smith apple a try in this recipe.
  • Chopped Walnuts – Walnuts are a great source of healthy fats, protein, and fiber, making them a nutritious addition to the salad. They add crunch and texture to the dish.
  • Goat Cheese – Crumbled: Goat cheese is a creamy and tangy cheese that pairs perfectly with the sweet and savory flavors of this salad. It adds a rich and decadent taste to the dish.
  • Honey Lemon Vinaigrette: The honey lemon vinaigrette is the perfect simple dressing for this salad. It is made with honey, lemon juice, olive oil, and Dijon mustard, and adds a sweet and tangy flavor to the dish. It is simple to make and adds a refreshing touch to the salad.

Ingredient Substitution

  • Swap goat cheese for feta cheese if you prefer a different cheese variety.
  • Use chopped almonds or pecans as an alternative to walnuts.
  • Swap the dried cranberries for other types of dried fruit if you have that on hand.

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How to make Kale Salad with Cranberries and Walnuts

Prepare the Ingredients: Wash and chop the kale, dice the apple, and crumble the goat cheese.

Massage the Kale: Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the kale, and using your hands, massage it for a few minutes.

Combine in a Bowl: In a large bowl, mix the chopped kale, craisins, diced apple, and chopped walnuts with a good toss.

Drizzle Vinaigrette: Drizzle the Honey Lemon Vinaigrette over the salad and toss until well-coated.

Top with Goat Cheese: Sprinkle crumbled goat cheese over the salad for a creamy finish.

Serve Immediately: Enjoy the salad immediately for the best texture and flavor.

Tips and Tricks

  • Opt for fresh kale with vibrant green leaves. Look for firm stems and avoid wilted or yellowing leaves.
  • Toast the chopped walnuts in a dry pan for a few minutes to intensify their flavor.
  • While massaging the kale is best done just before serving, you can prepare the ingredients and vinaigrette in advance. Assemble the salad right before serving to maintain its freshness and texture.

A shot of the honey lemon vinaigrette being poured into the salad bowl.


Try using different varieties of apples for varied sweetness and texture. Granny Smith adds a tartness, while Honeycrisp brings a sweeter note.

Swap out the walnuts for crunchy almonds or easy candied pecans.

Add fresh fruit like a handful of pomegranate seeds for bursts of juiciness and an extra pop of color. They complement the cranberries beautifully. Add extra seeds like pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds for an extra crunch.

If you’re short on time, try out a quick balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, or apple cider vinegar dressing. Looking for a more unique salad dressing? Try out this Hot Bacon Vinaigrette or this Blueberry Vinaigrette.

Pickled red onions make for a great acidic and crunchy topping too!

Serving Suggestions

This salad pairs well with grilled boneless skinless chicken thighseasy baked chicken breastlemon dill garlic butter salmon, or as a light accompaniment to pasta dishes.

It’s perfect for year-round enjoyment, whether you’re seeking a quick and healthy weeknight dinner or a colorful addition to a festive holiday spread.

A close up shot of a bowl of salad with a few pieces of chopped apple, walnuts, and dried cranberries poking out of the kale.


Store any leftover salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The kale holds up well, and the flavors often meld, making it a delicious leftover option.

To make it ahead of time, save time by washing, removing the stems, and chopping the kale, dicing the apple, chopping the walnuts, and preparing the vinaigrette in advance. Store these components separately in airtight containers until ready to assemble.


Can you eat raw kale as a salad?

Yes, kale can be eaten raw in a salad. In fact, raw kale salads have become quite popular in recent years due to the many health benefits this leafy green offers. To make a raw kale salad, it is best to use young or baby kale as these varieties are more tender and less bitter.
The kale can be washed, chopped, or torn into bite-sized pieces, and mixed with other fresh ingredients like fruits, nuts, and cheeses.

A flavorful dressing can also be added to complement the flavor of the kale. Although raw kale can be slightly tough and chewy, massaging the kale with the dressing can help to break down its fibers, making it more tender and easier to eat.

Is it necessary to massage the kale, or can I skip this step?

Massaging the kale is recommended as it helps soften the leaves and enhances the overall texture. It also allows the kale to absorb the flavors of the olive oil and vinaigrette, making the salad full of flavor.

Can I use store-bought vinaigrette instead of making my own?

Certainly, you can use your favorite store-bought vinaigrette if you’re short on time. However, preparing the homemade vinaigrette adds a personalized touch to the salad as you can customize it to your liking.

An overhead shot of the Kale Salad with Cranberries next to two small dishes of dried cranberries and goat cheese.

Kale Salad with Cranberries

Yield: 1 salad
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

This Kale Salad with Cranberries only has a few ingredients and will become a fast favorite. Filled with cranberries, apple, walnuts, and goat cheese, each bite is full of flavor!


  • 1 bunch kale, washed and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 apple, cored and diced
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • Honey Lemon Vinaigrette


  1. In a large bowl, combine the chopped kale and olive oil.
  2. Massage the olive oil into the kale until the kale looks bright green in color.
  3. Add in the dried cranberries, diced apple, and chopped walnuts and mix together.
  4. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and toss to coat.
  5. Sprinkle the crumbled goat cheese over the top of the salad and serve immediately. Enjoy!


  • Substitute goat cheese for feta if you aren’t a fan.
  • Use chopped almonds or pecans if you have those on hand already.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 320Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 174mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 4gSugar: 21gProtein: 9g

Nutrition provided is only an estimate.

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