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Kale Salad (with Cranberries)

Kale Salad with Cranberries is an easy to make salad that’ll actually fill you up! Loaded with fresh kale, feta cheese, crunchy walnuts, protein packed chickpeas and sweet cranberries, this salad really does have it all. The homemade dressing brings it all together beautifully! 

Tossing some cranberries into a dish is a great way of adding a touch of natural sweetness to it! We love using cranberries in so many different recipes, especially in the fall and winter months. Be sure to check out our Cranberry Chicken Salad and Apple Cranberry Walnut Salad.

Close up view of a salad with feta, cranberries and chickpeas.

Kale Salad with Cranberries 

This is a seriously satisfying salad. Toss it up and enjoy it for lunch or plate it next to your Thanksgiving day turkey… Either way, you’ll love every last freshly flavored bite!

Fresh, crisp kale serves as the base for this salad and gets tossed together with feta cheese, walnuts, chickpeas, and of course – cranberries!

All of those ingredients get tossed together in the most delicious sweet and tangy dressing that features maple syrup, Dijon mustard, and more. There’s SO much to love about this simple, yet stunning salad! 

How to Make Kale Salad with Cranberries

For the dressing:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Set aside.

For the salad:

  1. De-stem, wash, and dry the kale thoroughly. Chop the kale into small, bite-sized pieces, and transfer it to a large mixing bowl.
  2. Pour about two thirds of the dressing over the kale, and use your hands to massage the dressing into leaves. Massage several minutes until the kale is soft and slightly wilted.
  3. Add the walnuts, feta, chickpeas and cranberries to the bowl and toss again.
  4. Serve the salad on a large platter or individual plates with the remaining dressing on the side or drizzled over the top.
Collage showing how to make a kale salad.

Tips and Variations 

  • Not a fan of maple syrup? Swap it for some honey! No matter which sweet ingredient you go with, try to get a good quality version of it. Pure maple syrup (the thinner kind) or organic raw honey will lend the best natural flavor to the dressing. 
  • Try to use freshly ground black pepper in your dressing. It has a potent flavor that really helps to balance the sweet ingredients at play. 
  • The olive oil in the dressing can be swapped with avocado oil if preferred! Just try to use a good quality one either way you go. 
  • Use half kale and half romaine if an all kale salad is too much roughage.
  • Toast the walnuts ahead of time to bring out their flavor. Just be sure to let them cool before adding them to the salad.
  • Add some thinly sliced purple onions for a bit of tanginess and a pop of color.
Salad on a plate with cranberries and chickpeas.

Storage:

In the fridge: Serve this Kale Salad with Cranberries immediately for the best flavor and texture. Storage is not recommended. However, the individual components can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.

Top down view of a kale salad with toppings.

Kale Salad with Cranberries

5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 468kcal

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Ingredients

Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup may substitute honey
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Salad

  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 1 (15 ounce) can of chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup walnuts halved
  • ½ cup feta crumbled
  • cup cranberries dried

Instructions

For the Dressing:

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Set aside.
    3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
    3 tablespoons maple syrup
    1 ½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

For the Salad:

  • De-stem, wash, and dry the kale thoroughly. Chop the kale into small, bite-sized pieces, and transfer it to a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
    1 bunch of kale
  • Pour about two thirds of the dressing over the kale, and use your hands to massage the dressing into leaves. Massage several minutes until the kale is soft and slightly wilted.
  • Add the chickpeas, walnuts, feta, and cranberries to the bowl and toss again.
    1 (15 ounce) can of chickpeas
    ½ cup walnuts
    ½ cup feta
    ⅓ cup cranberries
  • Serve the salad on a large platter or individual plates with the remaining dressing on the side or drizzled over the top.

Notes

*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of 1 small salad. Actual calories will vary.
 
*Doubling or tripling this recipe has not been tested. Therefore, we can not guarantee the outcome of adjusting the ingredients.
 
*For more information, tips, and answers to frequently asked questions, please refer to the post.
 
*Photos courtesy of Elizabeth Vargas Photography.

Nutrition

Serving: 1small salad | Calories: 468kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 875mg | Potassium: 496mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 1545IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 218mg | Iron: 4mg
Recipe Rating