This Kale Salad with Cranberry Dressing is the perfect antidote for all of the holiday sweets! Light, fresh, and full of flavor—this kale salad will be a perfect addition to your holiday table!
This time of year I feel like I am eating treats and sweets just about non stop. Everywhere I turn there is a new peppermint candy that I just must try, or a coffee shop selling eggnog lattes, and buffet tables full of goodies. In the midst of all that I also find myself craving fresh foods. (That said, I have a line up including eggnog, marshmallows and cookies for you in the next week. I know—I have a problem!) But first—a Kale Salad with Cranberry Dressing! Perfectly festive, and super fresh. It’s a must have for your holiday spread!
Kale Salad with Cranberry Dressing
This kale salad with cranberry dressing is a winter update to my Big Chickie kale salad. I’ve loaded it up with dried cranberries, quinoa and pumpkin seeds. If your family can have nuts I think toasted pecans would also be delicious. For the dressing I blend up fresh cranberries with orange juice and a few other simple ingredients to make a beautiful vibrant pink color!
Always massage your kale!
My simple trick to make a kale salad more easily chewed and digested is to massage the kale first. Simply drizzle half of the dressing over the cut washed kale and massage it with both hands for about two minutes. This helps to break down the kale—you’ll see a visible difference. The kale reduces in size by about a third. Then add the other ingredients in, along with the rest of the dressing, and toss. The beauty of a kale salad is that leftovers keep in the fridge for several days and it doesn’t lose it’s crunch! That is, if you have any leftovers!
More Holiday Recipes That You Will Love!
- Traditional Vegan Stuffing for the Holidays
- Dairy Free Onion Gravy for the Holidays
- Holiday Orange Spice Cake in the Instant Pot!
- French Onion Puff Pastry Cups
- Air Fryer Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary
- Easy Vegan Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts
Let’s Make Kale Salad with Cranberry Dressing!
This salad would be perfect for your Christmas Day dinner, served along side of my Seitan Marbella. Or follow the vegan stereotype and bring this salad to your next party—I brought mine to brunch at my church this morning and the bowl was completely wiped clean! It’s a great dish to serve to a crowd because it is vegan, gluten free, dairy free, nut free, and paleo! Just about anyone could enjoy it! Be sure to leave a comment below and let me know how you like it!
Kale Salad with Cranberry Dressing
For the Salad:
- 1/2 cup quinoa cooked in 1/2 c water (see below)
- 2 bundles kale
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped
- 1 cup carrot (about 3-4 big ones)
- small shallot, finely sliced
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (I use allergen free Gerb's Seeds)
For the Dressing:
- 4 Tablespoons olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons orange juice (I just squeeze 3 clementines)
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/2 cup fresh cranberries (if frozen, be sure to thaw before blending)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- Rinse your quinoa. Place quinoa in a pot with 1/2 c of water and bring to a boil. Cover with a lid and reduce to low and allow it to cook for about 20 minutes while you prep the rest of the salad.
- Destem the kale, and cut into small bite size pieces. Wash well and place in your serving bowl. Set aside.
- Place all dressing ingredients into your blender and blend until smooth. Pour half onto the kale and set the rest of the dressing aside. With clean hands—there are no better tools!—dig into the kale and massage for about 2 minutes. Once the kale has broken down slightly (you will actually see it get a bit darker and wilt slightly), set it aside and finish prepping the rest of your salad.
- Grate your carrots (I use my julienne peeler) and add them to the salad. Add finely sliced shallots, chopped dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, and remaining dressing. Remove cooked quinoa from the pot and add it to the salad bowl and mix everything well. Serve right away! Enjoy!