Strawberry Kale Salad
Published May 11, 2022, Updated Jul 24, 2023
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This easy strawberry kale salad combines kale with fresh strawberries, grapes, chickpeas, pecans, feta and a creamy raspberry vinaigrette. Perfect for a light lunch or topped with protein for a meal sized salad.
Perfectly ripe, freshly picked strawberries might just be my favorite summertime fruit (although it may be tied with watermelon)! I grew up picking fresh berries with my mom and I can’t wait to go strawberry picking with Olivia and her baby brother.
This recipe was inspired after a day of strawberry picking with my cousin in North Carolina. We came home with a bounty of berries and I was craving a salad so we whipped up this strawberry kale salad!
It’s evolved over the years, but I’m super excited about the version I’m sharing today. The combination of fresh juicy strawberries, crunchy pecans and creamy feta with a tart raspberry vinaigrette is so, so good!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- It’s packed with seasonal produce and combines a variety of flavors and textures.
- This salad is filling enough to be served on its own for dinner, but it also makes for a great side salad.
- It’s simple to assemble. All you have to do is roast the pecans, prep the dressing and then layer on the ingredients!
Strawberry Kale Salad Ingredients:
- kale – kale is such a superfood! It’s packed with nutrients like vitamins A, C and K and low in calories. I like using curly kale for this salad because the dressing sticks to all the crevices, but you could also use baby kale or lacinato (or dinosaur) kale.
- strawberries – the star of the show here. I love the flavor and sweetness fresh strawberries bring to this recipe!
- grapes – I love the addition of red grapes. They add a burst of freshness and hold up well.
- chickpeas – for some plant-based protein. For ease, we’re using canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed.
- crumbled feta – feel free to purchase feta cheese crumbles or a log of feta cheese that you crumble yourself. Either option works. If you’re not a fan of feta cheese you can always swap in goat cheese or your favorite cheese. Skip or use vegan cheese if you need this salad to be dairy-free!
- pecans – add more healthy fats and a necessary crunch factor to the salad. I love roasting them for extra flavor, but you can definitely keep them raw. You could also use candied pecans if you prefer.
- raspberry vinaigrette – this creamy raspberry vinaigrette dressing ties the salad together. It combines fresh raspberries, honey (or maple syrup), red wine vinegar, olive oil, shallot, salt and pepper.
How to Make
This salad is so easy to whip up. Once you get a little prep out of the way by making the dressing, toasting the pecans and chopping the fruit, the salad comes together in a matter of minutes!
Roast pecans: Preheat oven to 350°F. Add pecans to a baking sheet and place in the oven to toast. Stir after 5 minutes. Allow them to toast about 5 minutes longer or until the pecans are golden and fragrant. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Make dressing: While pecans are roasting make the raspberry vinaigrette dressing by placing all ingredients into a blender and blending until creamy and smooth.
Prepare salad: Place kale in a large bowl, top with strawberries, grapes, chickpeas, feta and pecans. Drizzle raspberry vinaigrette over salad and toss or portion the salad and pass around the dressing to serve.
Customize Your Salad
One of the reasons I love this salad is how customizable it is! Here are some suggestions for variations and substitutions:
- Massage the kale – I don’t feel the need to massage the kale for this recipe, but if you prefer your kale to have a softer texture, feel free to massage it with a bit of olive oil (1-2 teaspoons) after washing and chopping.
- Switch up the greens – if you don’t have kale on hand, feel free to use your favorite lettuce or leafy green instead. Arugula or spinach would be my second choice.
- Dairy-free and vegan – simply skip the feta cheese (or use a vegan option) and use maple syrup instead of honey in the dressing.
- Different dressing – craving a different dressing? This creamy poppyseed dressing and creamy balsamic vinaigrette would both be delicious on this salad! You can also check out all of my salad dressing recipes.
- Add grains – I love adding grains to my salad for some extra volume and nutrients. Toss in cooked quinoa, rice or farro to make this a heartier salad.
- Add more protein – the chickpeas add some nice plant-based protein, but if you want to amp up the protein count this salad would be delicious topped with grilled chicken or baked tofu. It’s also delicious with this air fryer chicken breast!
- Switch up the fruit or add more fruit – I think this would be delicious with apples or blueberries as well!
- Swap the nuts – not a fan of pecans? You can swap them with other nuts like almonds, pistachios or walnuts. You can also swap them with a seed like pepitas, sunflower seeds or hemp seeds!
How to Serve
This is a great salad to eat on its own as a meal or as a side salad, but it would also be a lovely salad to bring to a summer potluck. Here are some recipes that would be delicious with it:
- Tempeh veggie burgers or black bean sweet potato burgers – fire up that grill and pair this salad with a veggie burger.
- Spinach and feta turkey burgers – my go-to turkey burger recipe!
- BBQ jackfruit sandwiches – my vegan take on a pulled pork sandwich. This would be so tasty paired with this salad.
- Healthy Pasta Salad – I love serving a green salad and a pasta salad at potlucks!
- Grilled Sweet Potatoes – my go-to side recipe during grilling season.
More Summer Salad Recipes
- Grilled Salmon Salad
- Mango Jicama Slaw
- Avocado Corn Salad
- Summer Berry Salad
- Spinach Blueberry Salad
- Mexican Street Corn Kale Salad
- Classic Broccoli Salad
- Zoodle Salad
- Italian Chopped Salad
- Bella Hadid Salad
More Strawberry Recipes
- Strawberry Spinach Mason Jar Salad
- Strawberry Frosé
- Roasted Strawberry Cottage Cheese Bowl
- Strawberry Overnight Oats
- Strawberry Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Easy Strawberry Banana Baked Oatmeal
- Strawberry Banana Smoothie
Strawberry Kale Salad
- 6 cups chopped curly kale
- 2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 2 cups red grapes, halved
- 1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- ½ cup crumbled feta
- ¾ cup pecans, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Add pecans to a baking sheet and place in oven to toast. Stir pecans after 5 minutes. Allow to toast about 5 minutes longer or until the pecans are golden and fragrant. Remove from oven and allow pecans to cool. Set aside.
- While nuts are roasting, making dressing by adding all the ingredients into a blender and blending until creamy and smooth.
- Place kale in a large mixing bowl, top with strawberries, grapes, chickpeas, feta and pecans.
- Drizzle raspberry vinaigrette dressing over salad and toss or portion the salad and pass around the dressing to serve.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.