Sweet Kale Salad
Published Mar 22, 2021, Updated Oct 12, 2023
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Inspired by the popular chopped salad kits, this sweet kale salad is loaded with crunchy greens and topped with dried cranberries, pepitas and a creamy poppyseed dressing.
Are you familiar with the pre-mixed kale salad kits that you can find at most grocery stores? It typically comes with a sweet poppyseed dressing and includes a mixture of kale, brussels sprouts, dried cranberries and crunchy pepitas.
It’s super easy to just grab a bag from the produce section but it’s also super simple to make on your own… and more cost effective! So today I wanted to share my sweet kale salad copycat recipe!
Ingredients in Sweet Kale Salad
The hearty green veggies are what make this salad so nutrient-rich, while the toppings (cranberries, pepitas and dressing) give it lots of flavor. Heres’ what you’ll need to make it:
For the kale salad:
- chopped kale – I like using curly kale for this salad because the dressing sticks to all the crevices, but you could also use lacinato (or dinosaur) kale.
- shredded brussels sprouts – to make the raw sprouts palatable and bite-size for salad, we’re slicing them in a food processor. If you don’t have a processor you can slice thinly using a knife or mandoline slicer. If you want to save time, feel free to but pre-shredded brussels sprouts.
- broccoli slaw – you’ll find this in the bagged salad section of your grocery store, near regular coleslaw mixes.
- dried cranberries – these add the perfect amount of sweetness to the salad.
- roasted and salted pepitas – pepitas are green hulled pumpkin seeds. They add a little crunch.
For the poppyseed dressing:
- plain Greek yogurt – I use full fat plain Greek yogurt, but you can use dairy-free yogurt if needed!
- maple syrup – pure maple syrup adds sweetness to the poppyseed dressing. If you don’t have it on hand, feel free to use honey instead.
- apple cider vinegar – my go-to vinegar for salad dressing because of all the health benefits.
- avocado oil – olive oil works too!
- poppyseeds – gotta have poppyseeds for a poppyseed dressing.
- sea salt – just a pinch to bring out the flavors of the dressing.
How to Make Sweet Kale Salad
While the prep for this homemade kale salad is a bit more than the bagged salad kit, it’s still pretty easy!
Make the dressing – Start by whisking together the yogurt, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, avocado oil, poppyseeds and sea salt in a small bowl. Set dressing aside.
Prep greens – Prep your kale and brussels by washing, drying and chopping them up.
Mix salad – Add the chopped kale, sliced brussels sprouts and slaw to a large bowl. Toss with 1/2 of the dressing and add more as needed. Top the salad with dried cranberries and pepitas and enjoy!
How to Serve Sweet Kale Salad
This kale salad makes a great appetizer or side salad with just about any meal. We’ve personally served it up with a variety of main dishes including my eggplant parmesan, zucchini noodle fettuccine alfredo and cauliflower crust pizza.
How to Make Sweet Kale Salad Ahead of Time
This salad is totally fine to prep in advance (even with dressing) because the base is made with hearty veggies that will hold up, without getting too mushy, for 1-2 days!
That said, if you want to keep the veggies extra crisp, you can prep everything and store the dressing separately. When it’s time to enjoy, toss the salad mixture with the dressing and enjoy.
How to Store Leftovers
Because the kale, brussels sprouts and slaw are heartier greens, leftovers of this recipe do store fairly well! Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.
More Kale Salads to Try
- Garlicky Kale Salad
- Kale Pomegranate Salad with Goat Cheese
- Quinoa Salad with Kale and Sweet Potatoes
- Mexican Street Corn Kale Salad
- Massaged Kale Salad
- Kale Detox Salad
- Kale Caesar Salad with Shrimp
- Kale Caesar Salad
- Easy Kale Salad
Sweet Kale Salad with Poppyseed Dressing
- 4 cups chopped curly kale
- 2 cups shredded brussels sprouts
- 2 cups broccoli slaw
- 2-4 Tablespoons dried cranberries
- 2-4 Tablespoon roasted and salted pepitas
- Creamy Poppyseed Dressing
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tablespoon avocado oil
- 2 teaspoon poppy seeds
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Make dressing: Whisk together all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Mix salad: Prep salad by adding chopped kale, shredded brussels sprouts and slaw into a large bowl. Toss with half of the dressing, then add more as needed. You’ll likely have some leftover.
- Add toppings and enjoy: Top salad with dried cranberries and pepitas and serve.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.