Lemon Kale Salad Recipe for the win

Kale salad is entirely within my top favorite foods to eat. No, I’m not kidding at all! And this healthy lemon kale salad recipe is top of the top for me. Kale salad is versatile and healthy, and it’s so easy to make delicious Kale Salad Recipes. The trick to delightful kale salad is all in the massage. Yes, massage! The massage makes the kale less bitter, softer in texture, and delicious. You can’t just lightly toss kale with a bit of dressing; you have to get physical with this. After a good massaging, the kale wilts down, gets super tender, and takes on the flavor of the dressings. So if you’ve tried and hated kale before, do yourself a favor and give this recipe a try.

lemon kale Salad a healthy recipe from taste of good

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Healthy Kale Salad in under 10 minutes

Another thing I love about Kale salad is that it is such an easy dish to make quickly. I prewash all my kale for the week ahead (or as much as I can get into my big salad spinner), and then I leave it in the salad spinner in my fridge. I find that the kale stays fresh and crisp this way. And when I am ready to eat, I massage my sauce into it, throw on my toppings and enjoy.

Are you looking for other Healthy Kale Recipes?

Check out some of my other Kale recipes. My Sauteed Kale with Onion + Carrot is a powerhouse of nutrition and deliciousness. Also, give my Vegan White Chili a try; it’s great for anyone who still needs to warm up to kale. You won’t even taste it, but it packs a serious health punch. If you’re a fan of kale in soups and stews then my Sunshine Bowl and my Panang Curry Soup will definitely become new favorites in your kitchen too. 

lemon kale Salad a healthy recipe from taste of good
lemon kale Salad a healthy recipe from taste of good

Simple Kale Salad with Lemon Olive Oil dressing

Print Recipe
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 Servings
Tried this recipe? Rate it by clicking on the stars
The key to delicious Kale salad is all in the massage. It helps the sauce infuse into and softens each leaf. So be sure to give your Kale a good massaging, and you'll be enjoying this delicious, versatile superfood all the time. You'll get your friends hooked on it too.


  • 2-3 bunches kale, stems removed, washed, and torn into smaller bite-sized pieces.
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/3 cup olive oil, extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pinch/splash crushed Red Pepper Flakes or Your favorite Hot Sauce, adjust amount for desired spice level
  • 1 pinch salt, adjust amount for your desired seasoning
  • 1 pinch black pepper, freshly cracked; adjust amount for your desired seasoning

Toppings (optional, these are just some of my favorites)

  • parmesan (omit or replace with some nutritional yeast for vegan option), freshly grated; adjust for your desired cheesiness
  • carrots, finely shredded
  • quinoa, leftover quinoa is a great addition, especially when the salad is your main dish.
  • almonds or walnuts, slivered or chopped for some crunch
  • hemp seeds, sprinkling over a few hemp seeds gives a nice nutty flavor and adds tons of nutrition too.
  • oven-roasted chickpeas


  • Strip the kale leaves off the stems, then tear or cut them into bite-size pieces and wash in a salad spinner, rinsing several times until the water runs clear. Spin the salad as dry as possible. The dryer the Kale leaves, the better your sauce will stick = maximum yumminess!
  • Transfer washed kale to a big bowl or individual serving bowls and let it hang out there while you make the salad sauce.
  • In a mason jar, combine lemon juice, olive oil, hot sauce, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper. Then close with the lid and shake, shake, shake!
  • Pour salad sauce over washed kale and massage (yup, you read correctly I said massage!). This helps to soften the leaves and marries the sauce to it. Continue to massage the kale until it is soft, saucy, and has shrunken to about half its size in the bowl. About 2 minutes of massaging will do it.
  • Top with any other favorite salad toppings. I like to prepare the salad to this point in a large bowl and then let everyone top with their own desired extra ingredients.
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