Meet your new favorite fall salad! This Kale Apple Salad recipe is packed with nutritious ingredients, sweet and savory flavor and crunchy texture. It’s an easy, every day recipe that’s great for meal prep and is an elegant addition to your holiday meals!

Kale apple salad with pomegranate and pepitas

Seasons change, and each one provides an abundance of produce that I look forward to. When fall arrives, I can’t wait to get my fill of winter squash, persimmons, apples and pomegranate to name a few.

I love incorporating these ingredients into my daily salads, and this time of year kale is my green of choice. My butternut squash kale salad and holiday salad are staples in the fall, but my cravings for this Kale Apple Salad have no signs of letting up.

I love the bitter flavor of kale and radicchio, which I know many people don’t share. When the bitterness is paired with sweet ingredients like my radicchio salad, however, I’ve found that people are a lot more receptive.

This kale and apple salad is an addictive blend of bitter, savory and sweet flavors that will keep everybody coming back for more, and it’s pretty to look at too. 🙂

Kale apple salad in serving bowl with servers alongside

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • This kale apple salad is the perfect balance of flavors. The bitterness of the kale and radicchio pairs perfectly with the sweet apple and pomegranate, salty feta cheese, crunchy pepitas and tangy apple cider vinegar dressing.
  • Besides having great flavor, this fall salad has a great variety of textures and colors to make it extra appealing.
  • It’s healthy, nutritious, and is gluten-free and vegetarian.
  • This a great meal prep salad as the components may be prepped in advance.

Recipe ingredients

This kale apple salad recipe is a true celebration of fall. It’s packed with gorgeous fall produce and is tossed in a tangy dressing that brings everything together.

Kale apple salad recipe ingredients

Ingredient notes

  • Kale. I prefer to use a bunch of curly kale for this recipe for its texture, but Tuscan kale is also a great option. I don’t recommend using pre-chopped kale as it includes the tough, fibrous inner stems that are hard to chew. If you want to save time, baby kale is your best option.
  • Radicchio. I almost always have radicchio on hand in the fall and winter as it adds color and flavor to my salads. It’s a member of the chicory family, so it’s got a bitter flavor, but it pairs perfectly with the sweet apple and pomegranate.
  • Apple and pomegranate. These two ingredients add a great combination of sweet, tart flavors in this salad. They also add a nice crunchy texture and color! The apple may be substituted with pear or persimmon, and the pomegranate may be substituted with dried cranberries if you desire.
  • Feta cheese. Feta adds creaminess, as well as a salty, tangy flavor. Goat cheese would be a great substitute, or omit it altogether to make this salad vegan.
  • Pepitas. The pepitas truly make this kale apple salad special. They’ve got a great toasty, nutty flavor, they’re crunchy and they give this salad some added nutrition as well. They may be subbed with your favorite nuts or sunflower seeds.
  • Salad dressing. I highly recommend using my apple cider vinegar dressing for this salad. It may be made completely in advance, or you can use your favorite store bought dressing.
Kale and apple salad with pomegranate in a serving bowl

How to make this recipe

The main component of this kale apple salad recipe is prepping the kale. You can certainly purchase pre-washed and chopped kale, but I never use it because I can’t stand that it always includes the tough, fibrous inner stems.

Prepping kale isn’t really time consuming, and it can be done up to a couple of days in advance.

  • Prep the kale. Tear the leaves into pieces, discard the tough stems, and wash thoroughly. Drain, blot dry and massage for super tender kale!
  • Toast the pepitas. Place the pepitas on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 6-8 minutes in a 350 degree oven until golden brown and fragrant.
  • Prepare the dressing. The dressing takes all of 5 minutes and it may be made entirely in advance.
  • Prep the remaining ingredients and assemble. Chop the radicchio and apple, and place all ingredients in a bowl. Add the desired amount of dressing, toss well to coat and serve!
Kale and apple salad in a bowl with salad servers

FAQs

Which kale is best for salad?

Tuscan kale and curly kale are my favorite varieties to use in salad as they’ve got great flavor and they’re so hardy that they won’t wilt down once they’ve been tossed in dressing. For best results, tear the leaves into pieces, discard the tough inner stems and massage the kale until tender. Baby kale is a great time saving option as it’s prepped and ready to go!

Do you eat kale stems?

Kale stems are tough and fibrous, so they shouldn’t be eaten raw. When prepping kale for salad, simply tear the leaves into pieces, discard the stems and wash well.

Recipe notes

  • Find out how to massage kale in my massaged kale salad recipe.  You can skip this step to save time, but I highly recommend it as it softens the kale considerably and makes the salad even more enjoyable.  Baby kale may be used as a time saver if you prefer.
  • The kale may be prepped up to a few days in advance, making this salad great for meal prep.
  • You can change up this apple kale salad by using pear, goat cheese, dried cranberries, or your favorite nuts or seeds.
  • Omit the feta cheese to make this recipe vegan.
Kale apple salad with salad servers digging into bowl

More fall salad recipes you’ll love:

If you try this recipe I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment and rating below, or tag me at @flavorthemoments on Instagram!

Kale apple salad with pomegranate and pepitas

Kale Apple Salad Recipe

This Kale and Apple Salad will be your new favorite fall salad recipe! It's packed with nutrition, sweet and savory flavor and plenty of texture. It's tossed in a sweet, tangy apple cider vinegar dressing and makes an elegant addition to any holiday meal!
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Ingredients

  • 1 bunch curly kale or your favorite kale
  • 1 cup chopped radicchio
  • 1 small apple chopped
  • 1 cup pomegranate arils
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup pepitas
  • Apple cider vinegar dressing

Instructions 

  • Tear or chop the kale, discarding the tough inner stems. For nice, tender kale, massage it following the instructions in my Massaged Kale Salad recipe which is linked in the notes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the pepitas on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 6-8 minutes or until golden brown and fragrant. Cool slightly.
  • Place the kale, radicchio, apple, pomegranate, feta cheese and pepitas in a large bowl.
  • Add the desired amount of apple cider vinegar dressing, and toss well to coat (you probably won't need all of the dressing). Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • Nutrition information does not include the dressing as that information has been calculated in a separate post.
  • Find out how to massage kale in my massaged kale salad recipe.  You can skip this step to save time, but I highly recommend it as it results in nice, tender kale.  Baby kale may be used as a time saver if you prefer.
  • The kale may be prepped up to a few days in advance, making this salad great for meal prep.
  • You can change up this apple kale salad by using pear, goat cheese, dried cranberries, or your favorite nuts or seeds.
  • Omit the feta cheese to make this recipe vegan.

Nutrition

Calories: 109kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 11mg, Sodium: 149mg, Potassium: 248mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 2232IU, Vitamin C: 30mg, Calcium: 101mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

Tried this recipe?Mention @flavorthemoments or tag #flavorthemoments!

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