Healthy should always taste as good as this Kale Salad! It’s packed with creamy goat cheese, juicy orange, chewy cranberries and crunchy pepitas, and it’s tossed in a tangy citrus dressing.  It’s refreshing and delicious, and may be made entirely in advance!

Kale Salad with Goat Cheese, Cranberries, and Orange | flavorthemoments.com

Christmas has always been a huge baking fest for me, but I just haven’t gotten into it yet.  I’ve been into healthier food since my Thanksgiving pie baking spree, so I’ll definitely take a bowl of salad over a Christmas cookie right now!

This Kale Salad with Goat Cheese recipe was inspired by a salad that I tried at one of my favorite restaurants recently.  I love kale, so I’m always looking for more ways to change things up.

Some of my favorites include my kale brussels sprout salad, kale slaw and holiday salad.  I simply can’t get enough!

Kale oftentimes gets a bad rap for being bitter and fibrous.  I always remove the tough stems, which is responsible for most of the bitter flavor and fibrous texture.

The best way to make kale soft and tender is to give it a massage.  It makes a world of difference!  See my massaged kale salad for more information.

angled overhead shot of kale salad recipe in serving bowl

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • This kale salad with goat cheese is crisp, refreshing and packed with texture and flavor.
  • Kale is nice and hearty, which keeps your salad from wilting down even after it’s tossed in the dressing.
  • This salad may be made ahead of time, which makes it perfect for meal prep and entertaining.

Recipe ingredients:

This salad only includes a few ingredients, including the homemade citrus dressing.  

  • Kale (one bunch of lacinto or curly varieties).  I prefer to purchase it by the bunch in order to remove the tough, fibrous stems.  All pre-chopped varieties includes those fibrous, bitter stems.
  • Orange.
  • Goat cheese.
  • Dried cranberries.
  • Green onions.
  • Pepitas (or your favorite nuts or seeds).
  • Olive oil.
  • White balsamic vinegar or your favorite.
  • Dijon mustard.
  • Maple syrup.
overhead shot of citrus kale salad with fork alongside

How to make this recipe:

  • Prep the kale.  Wash it and blot it dry with a towel, then tear it into bite sized pieces and place in a bowl.  Discard the tough inner stems.
  • Prep the orange.  Peel the orange and cut into slices.  Cut each slice into triangular sized bite-size pieces.
  • Prep the green onions.  Slice the green onions thinly on the bias.
  • Prepare the dressing.  Place the olive oil, orange juice, vinegar, dijon mustard, maple syrup and salt and pepper to taste in a jar.  Secure the lid on the jar on shake vigorously until emulsified.
  • Assemble the salad.  Add the orange, green onion, goat cheese, cranberries and pepitas to the bowl of kale.  Toss with the desired amount of dressing until well coated (you may not need all the dressing).

Recipe tips

  • Kale may be prepped a day ahead in a zip top plastic bag or bowl covered with plastic wrap.  See this massaged kale salad to see how to massage kale to make it soft and tender.
  • Baby kale may be used, but you should not assemble your salad until just before serving as it will wilt quickly.
  • I purchased pre-toasted pepitas in the refrigerated section of my supermarket. You can also purchase them raw and toast them on a rimmed baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for about 5-10 minutes or until fragrant.
close up of citrus kale salad in a bowl with dressing in background

More kale recipes you’ll love:

Did you try this recipe?  If so, be sure to leave a review below and tag me @flavorthemoments on Facebook and Instagram!

Citrus Kale Salad in bowl with dressing and ingredients on a cutting board

Kale Salad with Goat Cheese, Cranberries and Orange

Kale Salad with Goat Cheese, Cranberries and Orange is the perfect salad for every day or entertaining! It's tangy, refreshing and so easy to make!
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Ingredients

For the dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the salad:

  • 1 bunch lacinto kale tough stems removed and leaves chopped or torn (about 8 cups)
  • 1 large navel orange (or 4 clementines) peeled, then sliced widthwise and cut into triangles
  • 2 green onions both white and green parts, sliced
  • 3 ounces crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup toasted pepitas*

Instructions 

Prepare the dressing:

  • Place the orange juice, vinegar, maple syrup, dijon, and lemon juice in a small bowl and whisk till combined. Whisk in the extra virgin olive oil, and salt and pepper, to taste.

Prepare the salad:

  • Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Add the desired amount of dressing and toss to coat. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • Kale may be prepped a day ahead in a zip top plastic bag or bowl covered with plastic wrap.  See this massaged kale salad to see how to massage kale to make it soft and tender.
  • Baby kale may be used, but you should not assemble your salad until just before serving as it will wilt quickly.
  • *I purchased pre-toasted pepitas in the refrigerated section of my supermarket. You can also purchase them raw and toast them on a rimmed baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for about 5-10 minutes or until fragrant.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g, Calories: 220kcal, Carbohydrates: 17g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 7mg, Sodium: 157mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 13g

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

Did you try this recipe?Be sure to tag @flavorthemoments with the hashtag #flavorthemoments on Instagram so I can see what you made!

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