Kale Salad with Honey Lemon Dressing

Autumn Kale Salad Recipe is loaded with apples, pears and pecans. The honey-lemon dressing softens kale and makes it so fresh. Easy, excellent kale salad! | natashaskitchen.com

This Autumn Kale Salad recipe is loaded with crisp apples, pears and crunchy pecans. The simple honey-lemon dressing coats every bite of this kale salad and makes it completely fresh, healthy and delicious! And it doesn’t hurt that kale is a superfood!

We completely LOVE that this Autumn Kale Salad is a make-ahead salad. Most green leaf salads must be eaten soon after they are made but this one just gets better with time! I recommend letting the kale marinate with the dressing for 4 hours or overnight. We’ve enjoyed this salad after 2 hours but the leaves are softer and and just right after marinating 4 hours.

PS. The lemon dressing preserves the fruit so leftovers of this kale salad are still very tasty the next day – perfect for a work or school lunch! 🙂

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Autumn Kale Salad Recipe is loaded with apples, pears and pecans. The honey-lemon dressing softens kale and makes it so fresh. Easy, excellent kale salad! | natashaskitchen.com

Ingredients for Kale Salad Dressing:

4 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp honey (or sugar)
1/2 tsp salt (we used sea salt)
1/8 tsp black pepper, freshly ground

Ingredients for Kale Salad:

1 bunch (8 cups loosely packed) kale, well rinsed
1 cup craisins (dried cranberries)
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 crisp apple (I used fuji)
1 ripe, firm pear
1 cup pecans, toasted on a dry skillet

Autumn Kale Salad Recipe is loaded with apples, pears and pecans. The honey-lemon dressing softens kale and makes it so fresh. Easy, excellent kale salad! | natashaskitchen.com

How to Make Autumn Kale Salad:

1. Combine all dressing ingredients and stir together until honey dissolves. Tip: If your honey doesn’t dissolve readily, you can place the bottom of your dressing container into a bowl of hot water to warm it slightly, which should do the trick!

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2.Rinse and strip kale leaves (hold the stem in one hand and pull the leaves off with the other). Chop in bite-sized pieces. I rinse the chopped leaves a second time to ensure there isn’t any dust hidden in the curly leaves then dry them in a salad spinner.

kale-salad-recipe-with-honey-lemon-dressing-7

3. Place kale in a salad bowl, top with 1 cup dried cranberries and drizzle the top with dressing. Use your hands or a large spoon to stir well. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

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4. Before serving, top with sliced apples, sliced pears, thinly sliced onions and toasted pecans. Toss to combine.

Autumn Kale Salad Recipe is loaded with apples, pears and pecans. The honey-lemon dressing softens kale and makes it so fresh. Easy, excellent kale salad! | natashaskitchen.com

Kale Salad Recipe with Honey Lemon Dressing

5 from 5 votes
Prep Time: 4 hours
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes
This Autumn Kale salad is loaded with crisp apples, pears and crunchy pecans. The simple honey-lemon dressing coats every bite and makes it completely fresh, healthy and delicious!
Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $6-$7
Servings: 6 as a side salad

Ingredients

Ingredients for Salad Dressing:

  • 4 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp honey or sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper

Ingredients for Kale Salad:

  • 1 bunch 8 cups loosely packed kale, well rinsed
  • 1 cup craisins dried cranberries
  • 1 small red onion thinly sliced
  • 1 crisp apple I used fuji
  • 1 ripe firm pear
  • 1 cup pecans toasted on a dry skillet

Instructions

  1. Combine all dressing ingredients and stir together until honey dissolves then set aside.
  2. Rinse and strip kale leaves. Chop in bite-sized pieces. I rinse the chopped leaves a second time to ensure there isn't any dust hidden in the curly leaves then dry in a salad spinner.
  3. Place kale in a salad bowl, top with 1 cup craisins and drizzle with dressing. Use hands or a large spoon to stir well. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
  4. Before serving, add sliced apples, sliced pears, thinly sliced onions and toasted pecans. Toss to combine.

Autumn Kale Salad Recipe is loaded with apples, pears and pecans. The honey-lemon dressing softens kale and makes it so fresh. Easy, excellent kale salad! | natashaskitchen.com

This kale salad is loaded with the good stuff. Every bite is so satisfying! The make-ahead option makes it perfect for serving up at your next party ??

Autumn Kale Salad Recipe is loaded with apples, pears and pecans. The honey-lemon dressing softens kale and makes it so fresh. Easy, excellent kale salad! | natashaskitchen.com

natashaskitchen

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

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Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • December 7, 2017

    The dressing was delicious! I did a no oil version and blended raw cashew to thicken. Yum!! Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      December 7, 2017

      I’m glad you like it Carol! Thanks for sharing! 🙂 Reply

  • Katie Bennett
    October 2, 2017

    Wow this was incredible. Left out the onions just because I don’t like onions. But wow <3 Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      October 2, 2017

      I’m glad you love the recipe Katie! Thanks for sharing! Reply

  • Jo
    August 6, 2017

    Just made this for dinner. ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!!! I did not put the onion in as my husband will not eat them. I have kale growing in my garden so will definitely make this again and again! Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 7, 2017

      That’s great to hear Jo! Thanks for sharing your fantastic review! Reply

  • Ruslana
    April 16, 2017

    Just made the salad and loved it. It was not bitter at all I left it in the fridge overnight and added the rest of the ingredients in the morning. So easy to make and so good. Thank you!!! Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      April 17, 2017

      You’re welcome! I’m happy to hear you enjoy the salad! 🙂 Reply

  • Sara
    April 13, 2017

    Loved the recipe! Will make it frequently, thanks for sharing! Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      April 14, 2017

      You’re welcome Sara! I’m happy to hear you loved the salad! Reply

  • Alina
    January 14, 2017

    Can I use walnuts instead of pecans? And yellow onion? Would it make a bug difference? Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      January 14, 2017

       Reply

  • Angela
    December 16, 2016

    I made this tonight with spinach/red lettuce instead of kale cause I didn’t have the time to marinade the kale. This recipe is fantastic!!!!!!!!! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 17, 2016

      Angela, thank you for the great review! Reply

  • Tina
    November 23, 2016

    Was wondering if i could subsititue the Kale with another type of lettuce/salad? Which would be the best? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 23, 2016

      Hi Tina, I think it could work ok to use a different type of green as a base. As I mentioned to another reader, I think spinach would be ok but add dressing to taste and you don’t want to marinate the salad in advance since spinach wilts much quicker. Also, you might use less craisins so they don’t overwhelm the salad. Reply

  • Tanya
    November 15, 2016

    Thanx for wonderful recipe. I was surprised but my hubby really liked it but the only thing is he wants to substitute kale with spinach or something else( he thinks that kale has bitter taste). Have you tryed substituting it? Thanx Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 16, 2016

      Hi Tanya, I think spinach would be ok but add dressing to taste and you don’t want to marinate the salad in advance since spinach wilts much quicker. Also, you might use less craisins so they don’t overwhelm the salad. P.S. Once kale has had time to marinate, I haven’t noticed a bitterness when using fresh kale. Reply

  • olga
    November 12, 2016

    I made this to use up left over kale from Zuppe Tuscana. Wow, I was surprised how good it tasted!, even my husband liked it. Definitely will make a batch for Thanksgiving. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 12, 2016

      I’m so happy you enjoyed it!!! You’ll have to try the kale and blueberry one as well – it’s a little different but also very good! Reply

  • Tzivia
    November 8, 2016

    Wow mmmmm yummmm another really great awesome hot salad recipe must try Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 8, 2016

      You won’t be dissapointed Tzivia 😄. I would love to hear your review. Reply

  • Jan hunter
    November 6, 2016

    Making for Thanksgiving Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 6, 2016

      Great choice!! 🙂 Reply

  • Ellen suchniak
    November 6, 2016

    I appreciate that kale holds up so well, and I’m planning this for my volunteers serving the homeless to have something to eat also. I wonder if shallots would work, since sometimes red onion can be strong. Yours is my FAVORITE blog. I love your family updates included. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 6, 2016

      Thank you Ellen, yes shallots would work great! 🙂 Reply

  • Joanne
    November 3, 2016

    Had everything in the house to make this for dinner except the kale. Going to substitute spring mix as I have a big Costco container of it. I have the dressing ready to go and its super yum! Thanks for the inspiration to eat more greens! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 3, 2016

      You are very welcome Joanne 😁. There is no need to marinate the salad if using spring mix. Let me know how it turns out 😁. Reply

  • Olga
    November 3, 2016

    Hi,Natasha. Sure looks good. Kale is very healthy for you and if u have low irion it helps too. What if I don’t have pears,what other fruit will work? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 3, 2016

      Hi Olga, that is a great point about iron in kale! Thank you for sharing that with us! 🙂 You can use 2 apples instead and it will be just as delicious 🙂 Reply

  • November 3, 2016

    This looks so healthy and delicious! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 3, 2016

      Thank you so much Sara! 🙂 Reply

  • Elizabeth
    November 2, 2016

    First Comment! This lookes really healthy and delish! Will make this when I have a day off! Perfect for my lunch. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 3, 2016

      I hope you LOVE it!! 🙂 Thanks for the first comment! You’re awesome 🙂 Reply

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