Sweet Kale Salad



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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.

Plate and fork with sweet kale salad topped with poppyseed dressing, cranberries and 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!

Bowl of brussels and kale.

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.
Glass mixing bowl with broccoli slaw, brussels and kale. Dressing, pepitas, poppyseeds and cranberries are beside the bowl.

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.

Bowl of poppyseed dressing with a whisk.

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.

You could also turn this kale salad into a meal-sized salad by topping it with a protein like my apple cider vinegar chicken or a couple hard boiled eggs.

Mixing bowl with shredded brussels, slaw and kale topped with poppyseed dressing.

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.

Plate and fork with sweet kale salad topped with poppyseed dressing, cranberries and pepitas.

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.

Plates of sweet kale salad with bowls of pepitas and cranberries on the side.

More Kale Salads to Try

Be sure to check out all of my salad recipes as well as my healthy salad dressings.

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4.54 from 15 votes

Sweet Kale Salad with Poppyseed Dressing

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.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 3


  • 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.


Serving: 1/3 of recipe | Calories: 321kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 896mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 19g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: sweet kale salad
Did you make this recipe?Mention @eatingbirdfood and tag #eatingbirdfood!

About Brittany

Hey there, I’m Brittany, the creator of Eating Bird Food, cookbook author, health coach and mama of two littles. Here you’ll find quick and easy recipes that make healthy fun and enjoyable for you and your family!

More about Brittany
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Recipe Rating


    1. Yay!! So glad you enjoyed this salad, Paula. Thanks for making it and for the review. I so appreciate it.

  1. 5 stars
    Hi Brittany, I loved this salad especially the creamy dressing. I also added chicken for some protein. I will definitely be making this recipe again. Another winner!

  2. 4 stars
    When I read this recipe, I knew right away I’d make this salad. I like those bag mixes but never buy them. I was excited to try this recipe, and we enjoyed it tonight! It was easy and delicious.

    1. So glad you enjoyed this recipe! Thanks for making it and for the review, Lauren. I so appreciate it!