Fall Kale Salad

fall kale salad

bowl of kale

two fall kale salads

Ah, fall. For sure my favorite season now that I’m living in the dirty South. Fall no longer means sub-zero temps and full-blown cold-weather depression is right around the corner. It just means it might get kinda chilly and could actually be classified as “cold” once or twice and then the whole city gets to shut down! My Midwest friends will appreciate this – last December I was walking across my courtyard to the gym, wearing shorts in 20-degree weather, and a person who lived in my apartment complex warned me that exposing any skin in these temperatures could cause immediate frostbite. Immediate frostbite. I’ll tell you what causes immediate frostbit. Iowa. This kale salad is too good. I make it year-round to get my daily dose of leafy greens and the best part is, I can make a big batch and it’ll stay good in the fridge for about 3 days. That’s the beauty of kale – it holds up. If I do make it ahead of time, I don’t massage it. As it sits, the acid from the vinegar will penetrate the leaves and soften them. And yes, I said I massage my kale. If you’ve been living under a rock for the past 2 years, you may not know that massaging your kale is totally necessary for a solid kale salad. It softens both the leaves and the bitterness typically found in a kale leaf. It’s time to take your relationship with kale to the next level. Don’t be afraid.I mix this recipe up according to season. For fall, I like to use pecans or walnuts, apples and pears. While in the spring or summer lemon juice is my acid of choice, balsamic vinegar works really well here. Pomegranates, cranberries, figs or dates would work well here too. Or even a few slices of roasted butternut squash. This recipe is really customizable, so go crazy. This salad has tons of fiber from the kale and fruit and healthy fats from the walnuts, feta, and olive oil. Top with a slice of pork tenderloin or chicken or have it on the side and you’ve got yourself a perfectly balanced lunch or dinner that will fill you up for hours. Let me know if you try it!

Fall Kale Salad

Author: Megan Kober, RDN, LD

Prep time: 15 mins

Total time: 15 mins

Serves: 4

Sweet, juicy apples and pears with crunchy pecans and creamy feta over massaged kale makes the perfect fall salad.


  • 1 large bunch of kale

  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1 Tbsp honey

  • 1/2 c sweet onion, sliced

  • 1/2 apple

  • 1/2 pear

  • 1/2 c pecans

  • 1/3 c feta cheese


  1. Wash kale, then remove the tough stems that run down the middle of the leaves.

  2. Thinly slice kale.

  3. Pour balsamic vinegar, olive oil and honey over the kale and sprinkle with salt.

  4. Massage. Just as it sounds, massage that kale. Rub between your hands. However you want to do it, do it for about 3 minutes.

  5. Top with remaining ingredients and give it a toss.


If making ahead for the week, no need to massage! Just mix up the dressing and pour over the leaves. Toss and let sit in the refrigerator. It’s up to you if you’d like to add the toppings now or later.

Mix it up with pomegranate, figs, dates, cranberries, squash, walnuts or parmesan.

This recipe goes GREAT with pork tenderloin!

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