Baby Kale Salad with Bacon, Blue Cheese, and Cranberries
Baby Kale Salad with Bacon, Blue Cheese, and Cranberries is hearty salad, tossed in a balsamic maple vinaigrette. It’s sweet, savory, and completely addicting!
As I told you last week, my kids are back in school. It was a fun summer, but I’m eager to get back to the grind here at FTM.
I did just enough with the blog to stay afloat over the summer posting 2 recipes a week, because my typical 3 posts would have made everyone in my family suffer!
It was nice taking the time off, but trying to get the creative juices flowing to create more recipes so I can stay ahead of game the way I like to be is tough.
Lucky for me, I did get plenty of inspiration when I was out of town through the usual channels — food magazines, cookbooks, other blogs that I follow, and one of the best ways is eating out in restaurants.
Sometimes just scouring the menu at a restaurant gets the old wheels turning, and I make notes on my phone, which can be annoying to anyone sitting with me at the table. 😉
This Baby Kale Salad with Bacon, Blue Cheese, and Cranberries was inspired by a salad I had in one of our summer stops in Truckee, CA.
We go up to Truckee every year, and being the coffee lover that I am, I look forward to hitting Wild Cherries Coffee House where they have the best coffee, and great food, too.
On our way out of town, I grabbed the kale salad at Wild Cherries, and loved it. It had a caesar dressing and was considerably different than this one here, but I tailored this toward what I had in my pantry and fridge.
Kale salads are always right up there with my favorites — I love the hearty greens! While I love using dinosaur and other kale varieties, they may be too bitter for some.
If you’re one of those people, baby kale is the thing for your. The leaves are more delicate, and there’s less bitterness, but they’re still nice and hearty!
This salad is so addicting because it has all of the elements — sweet, savory, crunchy, chewy, and plenty of umami from the bacon and blue cheese. Add a tangy balsamic vinaigrette with a hint of maple syrup, and you’ve got yourself a salad you won’t be walking away from any time soon.
This salad is great as-is, but if you want to make it more of a meal, it would be great served up with some grilled chicken or steak.
It will also be phenomenal for holidays and dinner parties because it’s a stand-out! Isn’t it sad that I’m already thinking out holidays? I am, and I can tell you right now, this salad will be part of my holidays in some form.
And many other days in between. 🙂
See all of my Salad recipes.
More kale recipes you’ll love:
- Broccoli Kale Salad
- One Pot Pasta e Fagioli
- Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad
- Kale Cherry Salad
- Kale Pesto by Pinch of Yum
- Kale Salad
- Kale Slaw
- Kale Smoothie
- White Bean Kale Soup
Did you try this recipe? If so, be sure to leave a review below and tag me @flavorthemoments on Facebook and Instagram
Baby Kale Salad with Bacon, Blue Cheese, and Cranberries
- 5 ounces baby kale
- 4 slices of crumbled bacon cooked according to package instructions
- 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese such as Castello
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup pecan pieces toasted*
- 1/3 cup chopped red onion
- Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
Prepare the vinaigrette:
- Place the vinegar, maple syrup, mustard, and salt and pepper in a medium bowl and whisk until combined. Add the olive oil to the vinegar mixture while whisking constantly until emulsified. Set aside.
Prepare the salad:
- Place the kale, bacon, blue cheese, cranberries, pecans, and red onion in a large bowl. Toss with the desired amount of vinaigrette, being careful not to overdress. Serve immediately, and enjoy!
- Although baby kale leaves are fairly sturdy and won’t wilt as easily, this salad is best when dressed right before serving.
- Cooking time includes toasting the pecans and cooking the bacon simultaneously.
- *I used pre-toasted pecan pieces from Trader Joe’s. If you need to toast your own, place the pecans on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes or until fragrant.
Recipe by Flavor the Moments.
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.
47 Comments on “Baby Kale Salad with Bacon, Blue Cheese, and Cranberries”
Yum! I have soft spots for bacon and blue cheese 🙂
So do I, Laura — so do I! 🙂
This salad looks delicious, Marcie! Love the bacon and blue cheese – definitely the best flavour combo!
Thank you, Jess! These flavors are some of my favorite! 🙂
This is such a pretty salad, Marcie! The more I try kale, the more I get to like it. I’m loving the dried cranberries and blue cheese in here. One of my favorite combos! Pinned!
Baby kale is definitely more mild — the other varieties can be way too bitter for some people! Thanks, Gayle, and I appreciate the pin! 🙂
I am such a fan of baby kale! Love this salad 🙂
Baby kale is so delicious! Thank you, Medha! 🙂
What a beautiful looking salad, Marcie! I am loving those chunks of blue cheese and pecans. And, don’t even get me started on the bacon! 🙂 Red onion? Oh yea, one of my BFFs. You’ve hit all the notes here, so you know where this is going! In my tummy and my Pinterest board!
Haha, thanks, Kristi! I ate the entire bowl when I was done taking pictures of this bad boy! 🙂
Sounds like you had a pretty busy summer, I can see how you’d be a bit relieved for things to quiet down. Love the looks of this salad! Looks delicious!
It’s nice to be back in a routine, but I’m not totally sure things have quieted down. haha At least the house is quieter when the kids are school? Thanks so much, Denise! 🙂
This salad looks so stunning and heavenly, Marcie! Blue cheese and pecan combo is amazing! 🙂
Thank you, Anu! The blue cheese gave this so much flavor!
Dear Marcie, This is my kind of salad. I could make a meal out of this. I’m glad you had a nice summer- and hopefully a relaxing one! It’s good to take a bit of break..it gives a fresh perspective on things. xo, Catherine
I did make a meal out of this, Catherine…right after I took the photos. haha Thanks so much, and hope you’re having a wonderful week! 🙂
Hi Marcie! It does feel weird to not be able to spend as much time on blogging as you’d like, doesn’t it? I’m in that position too right now 🙁
Just love the sound of this salad. The cheese/greens/bacon/fruit combo is one of my favourite, and I think you’ve chosen the perfect dressing for this, too!
Happy ‘kids back at school’! 😉
Hi, Helen! I wasn’t able to visit as many blogs this summer, and I missed so many (yours included)! I hope things change for you soon, but just keep enjoying it and doing what you can WHEN you can! Thanks so much, Helen! 🙂
Marcie, I love this salad! I’ve been eating salads like this all summer long! love the kale and chopped red onion!!!
I could eat this every day! Thanks, Alice! 🙂
I have to admit I’m a little jealous that back to school time means more blogging time for you, because as a teacher it means quite the opposite for me. 🙂 I hope you keep finding your recipe inspiration! This salad looks like a great addition to any meal. You’ve got me wanting to try baby kale!
Your craziness is just ramping up with school, isn’t it? Being a teacher and mom is hard work, and I seriously don’t know how you have a blog, too! I hope you find a routine that fits for you, Kristine. 🙂 You’ve got to try baby kale…it’s so delicious! 🙂
I love all the flavors of this salad! I never think to use baby kale for a salad, but I’m buying some the next time I go to the store. 🙂
Baby kale is so good, and it’s easier to deal with than regular kale when you’re short on time…or just plain lazy like I get sometimes! Thanks, Christin! 🙂
So glad you were able to take a little bit of time during the summer – we all need that 🙂 I am hoping once my oldest starts school in 2 more weeks it will be less hectic too. I am such a big fan of kale and am always looking for ways to use it up. This salad is gorgeous, love the cranberries and pecans in here!
It was nice, but I am happy to be back in a routine now. 🙂 It’s so amazing how different it is having only one child around when one goes to school! Definitely less chaos! Thanks, Kelly, and enjoy your last days of summer with your little man! 🙂
Oh gosh I’m with you – I cut back some this summer too just with so much travel and family stuff … but I’m finding it hard to sort of get back into my normal groove! I just keep trucking and figure the inspiration will come back 🙂
And this salad … totally my style. It looks amazing!
It felt strange to cut back and I wasn’t sure how I was going to get back to 3 posts a week! Let’s just say I’ve been in the kitchen and behind a lens A LOT. 🙂 Good luck getting back at it, and hope you’re having a great week! 🙂
There is a part of me that looks foward to things picking up and getting back into a routine too! It is so important to kick back and relax a bit though. This salad is perfect for soaking up the last of summer!
I was looking forward to the routine, but it was nice to take a break. My kids are getting so old I’m trying to savor every bit of time with them! Thanks, Ashley, and hope you’re having a great week! 🙂
Kale IS amazing! I could eat it ever single day, and it sounds like you feel the same way! 🙂
You sound as excited about this salad as I am, Arpita — thank you! 🙂 I totally couldn’t stop eating it!
This looks like an awesome combination! You definitely hit all the flavor and texture combos spot-on! Yum!!
Thanks, Jess! I just love salads like this! 🙂
I love kale salads, but I happen to live with someone who is a little ehh on kale. I bet he would just love this salad Marcie! All of these flavors sound so great combined.
Maybe the other ingredients here would camouflage the kale and your husband would like it? Just maybe? Thanks, Alyssa! 🙂
Hey, you did a good job this summer if you were able to post twice a week. I often only posted once every couple of weeks because I was just so busy with the kids. This salad looks so tasty!!
This is a beautiful salad Marcie! I just love all the fresh seasonal produce and vibrant colours.
Thank you,Thalia! Hope you’re having a great weekend!
This salad looks so refreshing! Perfect for summer!
Thanks, Nancy! 🙂
I’ve only used baby kale a handful of times …. I think I just found how I’ll use it the next time! 🙂
It’s amazing in this salad! 🙂
You know I love my salads Marcie! Lots of yummy flavors going on here!
Yes, you do! haha Thanks, Deb!
I love the simplicity of this salad….the flavors are perfect!
This looks so bright, crisp, and tasty! Kale is so yummy, especially baby kale. I could eat this daily. Thanks for sharing.