5 Minute Kale Salad with Simple Dijon Dressing

5 Minute Kale Salad with Simple Dijon Dressing

Growing up, was there anything more disgusting than the concept of spinach? I still remember being a kid and dreading the thought of soggy, overcooked veggies of my plate. There’s something about leafy greens that has the ability to provoke the most polarizing opinions in people. Enter my 5 Minute Kale Salad with Simple Dijon Dressing. 

I became vegetarian at 14. My mom liked to joke that I was a vegetarian that didn’t like vegetables. I mean, she may have had a point back then.

Now that I’m older and (arguably) wiser, I know that there are no bad vegetables, just bad recipes. 

If you don’t love a vegetable, you just haven’t found the way you love it prepared yet. That makes a big difference. 

But why should you give kale another shot? I’ve got a few great reasons for you.  

5 minute kale salad before massaging
Kale before it’s been massaged
Massage Kale
Massaged kale

The nutritional power of kale 

Kale is called a power-food, and with good reason. Just one cup of this green contains: 

  • Vitamin A: 206% of the DV 
  • Manganese: 26% of the DV
  • Vitamin K: 684% of the DV
  • Calcium: 9% of the DV
  • Vitamin C: 134% of the DV
  • Copper: 10% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 9% of the DV
  • Potassium: 9% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 6% of the DV

On top of that, this powerhouse is very high in antioxidants, making it one of the most nutrient-dense foods in existence. I don’t know about you, but those numbers make me really happy. 

If you’ve ever tried kale and found it to be too bitter or chewy, I have some good news for you. There are a few super simple ways to transform this green into something you will not only enjoy – but begin to crave. 

Tricks to make kale taste good

Remove your stems: Kale stems, while very nutritious, can be tough to chew and are the culprit for that bitterness you may have experienced in the past. By removing these stems, you are left with the dark leaves that are much easier to enjoy and digest. Simply hold the end of the stem in one hand, and run your fingers along the “spine,” and remove the leaf from the stem. Don’t feel like you need to toss them – you can freeze and save those stems for pesto or smoothies! 

Massage your leaves: Massaging the kale leaves helps to break down the toughness. It also gives the kale a softer texture and flavor. It may even help the kale be easier to digest! Win-win. To massage the kale: place the leaves in a large bowl, pour a bit of olive oil or salad dressing on top, plus a pinch of salt. Gently knead the leaves for about 3-5 minutes. You’ll be able to tell when they’re ready when the leaves have wilted a bit and changed color.

5 Minute Kale Salad meal prep tip

Once I learned how to prepare kale this way, I was hooked. It’s so nutritious, can be prepped in advance, and lasts forever. You can even whip up a batch of this salad and have it ready in the fridge for when the craving strikes (and believe me, it will.) Meal prepping salads is simply not something that would be possible with more delicate greens like arugula or spinach – so this is a great little hack! 

Kale Salad Ingredients

5 Minute Kale Salad with Simple Dijon Dressing 

This salad is one of those recipes that I come back to again and again. This 5 Minute Kale Salad is made up of ingredients that last for a long time in the fridge or pantry. It is simple, well-balanced, delicious, and makes a great side dish. I like knowing that we just annihilated an entire bunch of greens in one sitting. 

Simple Dijon Vinaigrette

5 minute kale salad with simple dijon dressing

5 Minute Kale Salad with Simple Dijon Dressing

A leafy green salad built with pantry staples - this will convert even those that don't love kale!
Prep Time15 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Keyword: kale, salad


  • 7 oz. kale 1 bunch
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup pickled red onions see recipe notes

Dijon Dressing Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste


  • Remove stems from kale and place in colander
  • Run warm water over kale leaves to slightly soften, and tear the kale into bite sized pieces with your hands
  • Turn the water off, sprinkle a dash of salt and a teaspoon of olive oil over the leaves, and continue to massage and work the kale leaves between your hands
  • Once the kale has turned bright green and has softened, (about 3-4 minutes) add to a mixing bowl
  • Combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl or jar, and stir to combine
  • Drizzle kale with dijon vinaigrette
  • Add cranberries, slivered almonds, and red onions. Toss to combine.


  • I like this recipe for pickled red onions.
  • The Dijon vinaigrette will keep for up to a week in a sealed container in the fridge. You may have some leftover, depending on how much dressing you prefer on your salad. 

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