This Chopped Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing is the best vegan kale salad recipe! Lacinato (dinosaur) kale, apples, carrots, red onions, and dried cranberries are tossed in a creamy lemon tahini dressing in this flavorful dish.
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Fall weather has arrived in Minnesota, if only for a week (next week, it’s back to 70s)! Honestly, the past few days have felt more like winter than autumn, so I’ve really been getting in the mood for cold weather veggies and flavors.
I’m welcoming fall with open arms! It is my favorite season after all, mainly because the fall harvest is one of the best time of years in the Veg World.
There’s also a lot to love about the color palate of fall produce. Deep reds, dark greens, dusky oranges, and touches of magenta and yellow…it’s all SO pretty!! Not to mention, incredibly nutritious and delicious too.
This Chopped Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing is a gorgeous reflection of all of my favorite colors of the season. I used to think that salads were such a boring thing to post to a food blog. This was before I started to think of them as empty canvases–blank slates that the home chef can fill with unique combinations of colors and textures.
The ways in which you can dress up a salad are endless, but it can be hard to find the best salad recipes out there to try! Lucky for you, I’m self-proclaiming this the best kale salad. The tangy tahini dressing in this recipe is the perfect complement to bitter kale. It completely changes the flavor profile of this veggie!
How to Make Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing
- Using a sharp knife, chop the apple and red onion and shred the kale into small pieces.
- Place the kale in a large mixing bowl. Add a tiny drizzle of olive oil and massage the kale in between your hands for approximately 60 seconds until slightly tender. Add the rest of the salad ingredients to the bowl with the kale.
- Whisk together the ingredients for the tahini dressing in a separate bowl. Add water as needed to thin. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well.
I personally like to use lacinato (dinosaur) kale. I find that the stalks are thinner than those of curly kale, so you don’t necessarily need to remove them before chopping up the leaves. But any variety will work!
To prep this kale salad with tahini dressing in advance, put together the raw ingredients in a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and store in the fridge for up to a few hours. However, the apple may get brown, so it’s best to hold off on chopping that ingredient if you can.
You can make the tahini dressing up to a few days ahead of time. Store in an airtight container in the fridge, and wait to add the dressing to the salad until it’s time to eat.
If you want to use your kale tahini salad as the base for a complete meal, add shredded turkey or chicken, salmon, hard boiled eggs, chickpeas, or white beans.
More Healthy Salad Recipes
Some of my other salad recipes that you should check out for the fall include:
- Kale Radicchio Salad with Sourdough Croutons
- Arugula Apple Salad with Pecans
- Maple Swiss Chard Salad with Turkey
- Roasted Pumpkin Salad with Apple Cider Dressing
If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear how you like it! Please rate/review using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments section.
Chopped Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing
- 5 to 6 cups lacinato (dinosaur) kale - chopped into thin strips
- 1 apple - cored and diced
- ½ cup thinly sliced red onion
- 2 carrots - sliced
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
For the dressing:
- ¼ cup tahini
- 3 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic - pressed or finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Water - as needed, for thinning
- Remove any large or tough stems from the kale leaves before chopping into thin strips. Place the chopped kale in a large mixing bowl. Add a very tiny drizzle of olive oil, and massage the kale between your hands for 30 to 60 seconds until slightly tender. Add the chopped apple pieces, sliced red onion, sliced carrots, and dried cranberries to the bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, and sea salt. If the dressing is too thick, whisk in some water, one tablespoon at a time, until it reaches your desired consistency. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well. Enjoy!
- Sub any kind of kale for lacinato. The salad can also be made with any type of apple, but I recommend Pink Lady or Honeycrisp.
- You can prep the raw ingredients in advance and keep them in a covered bowl in the fridge for a few hours. However, the apples may turn brown, so wait to chop the apple until just before serving.
- The dressing can last in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
- To make this a complete meal, served with shredded chicken or turkey, salmon, hard boiled eggs, chickpeas, or white beans.
Happy fall! – Lizzie
Good flavor and mix of ingredients. Following the recipe resulted in a little heavy on the onions and light on the dressing. I’ll make it again with those changes.
Lizzie Streit, MS, RDN
Hi Steve, thanks for your feedback. Glad you liked the flavor of the salad.