Healthy Kale Crunch Salad Recipe (Low-Carb)

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Get ready to enjoy a super yummy Healthy Kale Crunch Salad. This low-carb and keto-friendly salad is filled with fresh, crunchy kale, tasty nuts like almonds and walnuts, sweet blueberries, and a delicious Dijon dressing that you’ll absolutely love!A close-up view of a vibrant Kale Crunch Salad with blueberries and toasted nuts served in a white bowl, showcasing the colorful ingredients and tantalizing textures, accompanied by a blue banner with yellow and white lettering highlighting the salad name.

 

 

There are so many different ways to make a kale crunch salad, but I really love this recipe the most. It’s got the perfect mix of flavors and textures that make every bite super tasty. The toppings I picked, like crunchy almonds, walnuts, juicy blueberries, and a yummy Dijon dressing, go well with the soft kale.

Ingredients For Healthy Kale Crunch Salad:

  • Kale: The main base of the salad.
  • Green cabbage: Adds crunch and a slightly sweet flavor.
  • Blueberries: Gives a bright and sweet flavor to the recipe.
  • Red onion: A sharper flavor within the salad mix.
  • Walnuts and Almonds: Gives a great and nutty crunch!
  • Apple Cider and Dijon Mustard vinaigrette: Ties all the ingredients with a slightly sweet and savory flavor.

A process image showing a mixture of chopped kale and shredded cabbage in a white bowl, with a wooden spoon placed next to it, set against a clean white background, illustrating a step in the preparation of the Kale Crunch Salad recipe.

Steps For Making Easy Low-Carb Kale Crunch Salad Recipe

*this is a step-by-step guide for visual learners; scroll to the bottom of the post for complete recipe instructions

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Mix the chopped walnuts and sliced almonds on a baking sheet and toast oven for 2-4 minutes, stirring halfway through. Remove from the oven and let them cool completely.

 A process image depicting the Kale Crunch Salad mixture of chopped kale, shredded cabbage, fresh blueberries, and sliced red onions in a white bowl, with a wooden spoon nearby, set against a white background, showcasing the colorful ingredients being combined in the salad preparation.

Step 2: Wash and dry your kale, then remove the tough stems. Chop the kale into bite-sized pieces and place it in a large bowl. Then, add the shredded green cabbage, fresh blueberries, sliced red onion, toasted walnuts, and toasted sliced almonds to your bowl with the kale.

Tip: I used a prewashed chopped bag of kale to save time.

A close-up image of the completed Kale Crunch Salad in a white bowl, featuring a mixture of kale, cabbage, blueberries, red onions, and toasted nuts, with a stream of Apple Cider and Dijon Mustard vinaigrette being poured over the top, highlighting the final step in preparing this delicious and healthy salad.

Step 3: Make the homemade Apple Cider and Dijon Mustard vinaigrette dressing. (The ingredients and instructions for the dressing are in the recipe card, or you can use your favorite store-bought version.) Drizzle it over the salad and mix until everything is well-coated. Let the salad sit for about 20 minutes so the kale softens slightly and the flavors are combined. Enjoy!

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Top Tips And Tricks For Making Crunchy Kale Salad

  • Massage the kale: After chopping your kale, sprinkle a pinch of salt and drizzle a small amount of the vinaigrette over the leaves. I like to massage the kale with my hands for a couple of minutes—it sounds crazy, but it helps soften the leaves!
  • Toast the nuts in a dry skillet: If you don’t want to use the oven, you can easily toast the nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat. Just make sure you stir often to prevent burning and remove from heat once lightly golden.
  • Use a mandoline for even slicing: If you have a mandoline slicer, you can easily get evenly thin red onion and cabbage slices.
  • Save time with prewashed and cut produce: I like to save time when I can, so I used a bag of prewashed and cut kale, pre-shredded cabbage mix, and pre-sliced almonds! 
  • Dress the salad lightly: I always start with less dressing than I think I need and then add more as needed. My hubby, on the other hand, wants every single drop of salad dressing on his.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this salad ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the individual ingredients ahead of time. But it’s best to store them separately and toss the salad just before serving to keep the greens fresh and crisp.

Is it necessary to toast the nuts?

Toasting the nuts improves their flavor and crunch. But if you’re short on time, you can skip this step.

Can I use frozen blueberries instead of fresh ones?

I recommend fresh blueberries for the best texture and flavor. While you can use frozen berries if you thaw and pat dry before adding them to your kale salad, I personally prefer to use only fresh ones. Frozen berries, due to their water content, will add a bit of moisture to your salad.

How can I make the kale less bitter?

Massaging the kale leaves with dressing helps soften them and remove that bitterness.

Can I use a different type of vinaigrette?

Yes, you can feel free to use your favorite vinaigrette or experiment with different dressings!

How can I make this salad more substantial for a main course?

I like adding grilled chicken to min, but you could add other proteins such as shrimp or steak.

Can I add cheese to this salad?

Of course! Gary’s favorite additions are crumbled feta or goat cheese. I won’t touch either with a ten-foot pole, so my go-to is shaved Parmesan. 🤣

How many servings does this recipe make?

This recipe makes about 8 side dish servings or 4 main course servings.

Serving and Storage Instructions:

  • Storage Instructions: If you’re preparing the salad in advance, store the chopped kale, shredded cabbage, sliced red onion, and toasted nuts separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator. Wash and dry the blueberries, then store them in a separate container in the fridge.
  • Serving Instructions: When ready to serve, toss the salad ingredients in a large bowl and drizzle with your desired amount of vinaigrette. If you have any leftover dressed salad, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1 day if you prefer it super crisp and fresh. I like it on the second day as the kale is softened, and the dressing tastes a bit stronger.

Recipe Variations

  • Greens: Substitute kale with spinach, arugula, or a mix of baby greens.
  • Cabbage: Use red cabbage or Napa cabbage instead of green cabbage.
  • Berries: Replace the blueberries with raspberries, blackberries, or sliced strawberries.
  • Onion: Substitute red onion with thinly sliced shallots or scallions.
  • Nuts: Use pecans, pistachios, or cashews instead.
  • Protein: Add grilled chicken, sliced steak, or shrimp for a more substantial meal.
  • Dressing: Try a balsamic vinaigrette, honey mustard, or lemon-herb dressing.
  • Herbs: You can include fresh herbs like mint, basil, or cilantro for added flavor.
  • Avocado: Add diced avocado for creaminess and healthy fats.
  • Roasted vegetables: Try roasted beets, sweet potatoes, or butternut squash.

More Keto Salad Recipes:

A square image featuring the visually stunning Kale Crunch Salad in a white bowl, set against a crisp white background, with a pop of color from the vibrant yellow cloth and fresh lemon slices, emphasizing the salad's beautiful presentation and tantalizing appeal.
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Healthy Kale Crunch Salad (low-carb and keto-friendly)

This vibrant and refreshing Kale Crunch Salad combines nutrient-rich kale, crisp cabbage, juicy blueberries, and crunchy toasted nuts, all tossed in a tangy Apple Cider and Dijon Mustard vinaigrette, creating a delicious and healthy dish that's perfect for a light lunch or side salad.
Prep Time15 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Course: Dinner, lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American, casual
Servings: 8
Calories: 214kcal
Author: Kasey Trenum

Ingredients

Kale Crunch Salad Ingredients

  • 8 cups Chopped Kale
  • 4 cups Shredded green cabbage
  • 2/3 Cup Fresh Blueberries (rinsed & patted dry)
  • 1/2 Red Onion (peeled and thinly sliced)
  • 1/4 Cup Raw Walnuts, chopped
  • 1/3 Cup Sliced Almonds

Cider Vinaigrette Dressing

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Spread the chopped walnuts and sliced almonds evenly on a baking sheet and bake for 2-4 minutes, stirring halfway through. The time will vary depending on the size of your chopped walnuts and sliced almonds.
  • Once they are fragrant and lightly golden, remove the baking sheet from the oven and set aside to let the nuts cool completely.
  • Rinse the kale thoroughly and shake off excess water by patting the leaves dry with a clean kitchen towel. Remove the tough stems by stripping the leaves. * I use a bag of prewashed chopped kale.
  • Chop the kale leaves into bite-sized pieces and place them in a large mixing bowl.
  • Rinse the green cabbage and remove any damaged or wilted outer leaves. Cut the cabbage into quarters, and remove the tough core from each quarter. Then, thinly slice the cabbage quarters crosswise to create shreds.
  • Add the shredded cabbage to the bowl with the kale.
  • Add the rinsed and dried blueberries, sliced red onion, and cooled, toasted nuts to the bowl with the kale and cabbage.
  • To make the dressing for the kale salad, grab a bowl or a jar and whisk together the apple cider vinegar, sugar-free maple syrup, minced garlic, onion powder, Dijon mustard, sea salt, lemon zest, and a few grinds of black pepper until well combined.
  • Slowly drizzle in the extra-virgin olive oil while continuously whisking to create an emulsion. If using a jar, you can shake it after adding the olive oil. This will help the dressing become smooth and well-blended. I like to use an immersion blender.
  • Drizzle the Apple Cider and Dijon Mustard vinaigrette over the salad ingredients. Gently toss the salad using tongs or salad servers until all the ingredients are well coated with the vinaigrette.
  • Let the salad sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes before serving to allow the kale to soften slightly. Give the salad a final toss, and enjoy!

Notes

The nutritional info for this recipe does not include carbs from the sugar alcohols or sweeteners in the maple syrup, as most subtract to calculate net carbs. 
Top Tips And Tricks For Making Crunchy Kale Salad
  • Massage the kale: After chopping your kale, sprinkle a pinch of salt and drizzle a small amount of the vinaigrette over the leaves. I like to massage the kale with my hands for a couple of minutes—it sounds crazy, but it helps soften the leaves!
  • Toast the nuts in a dry skillet: If you don't want to use the oven, you can easily toast the nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat. Just make sure you stir often to prevent burning and remove from heat once lightly golden.
  • Use a mandoline for even slicing: If you have a mandoline slicer, you can easily get evenly thin red onion and cabbage slices.
    Save time with prewashed and cut produce: I like to save time when I can, so I used a bag of prewashed and cut kale, pre-shredded cabbage mix, and pre-sliced almonds!
  • Dress the salad lightly: I always start with less dressing than I think I need and then add more as needed. My hubby, on the other hand, wants every single drop of salad dressing on his. 
Serving and Storage Instructions:
  • Storage Instructions: If you're preparing the salad in advance, store the chopped kale, shredded cabbage, sliced red onion, and toasted nuts separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator. Wash and dry the blueberries, then store them in a separate container in the fridge.
  • Serving Instructions: When ready to serve, toss the salad ingredients in a large bowl and drizzle with your desired amount of vinaigrette. If you have any leftover dressed salad, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1 day if you prefer it super crisp and fresh. I like it on the second day as the kale is softened, and the dressing tastes a bit stronger. 

Nutrition

Calories: 214kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 0.001g | Sodium: 180mg | Potassium: 329mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1742IU | Vitamin C: 59mg | Calcium: 106mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @kaseytrenumblogger or tag #kaseytrenumblogger!

A collage featuring two pictures of a vibrant Kale Crunch Salad with blueberries and toasted nuts, served in a white bowl with a wooden spoon, accompanied by a blue banner with yellow and white lettering showcasing the salad name.

 

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