This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy.

This massaged kale apple salad is made with parmesan, walnuts, and a lemon garlic vinaigrette dressing. You only need 7 ingredients and it’s so simple to make! Recipe is vegetarian and gluten-free, with a dairy-free/vegan option.

Overhead photo of a kale apple salad with walnuts and parmesan in a serving dish.

This kale apple salad recipe was unintentionally created whilst cleaning out the fridge before a recent trip of mine. Isn’t it funny how those “use what’s in the fridge” meals sometime turn out the best?

I absolutely love the refreshing combination of the lemon vinaigrette and juicy apples here. Freshly grated parmesan adds a savoury touch, which also pairs beautifully with the apple’s sweetness.

And if you haven’t discovered the wonders of massaging kale – you are in for a treat. I promise it helps to convert a lot of kale sceptics, too πŸ˜‰

As a dietitian, I’m happy to share that this salad packs in a ton of nutrition benefits (highlighted below). I hope you enjoy it πŸ™‚

Want more delicious, hearty salad recipe inspiration? Check out my roundup of 15+ easy, healthy fall and winter salad recipes for more ideas!

Overhead photo of small bowls of ingredients on a wood cutting board.

Ingredients Needed

All you need to make this kale salad recipe are 7 simple ingredients:

Full ingredient measurements and detailed instructions are located in the recipe card at the bottom of this post!

Recipe Modifications & Ingredient Swaps

  1. For a nut-free version, you can swap walnuts with pumpkin seeds (pepitas), or omit completely.
  2. If you’d prefer, you can try this with another nut like pecans or almonds in place of walnuts.
  3. For a vegan or dairy-free version, simply swap the parmesan with a vegan alternative or omit it completely. You could try using some nutritional yeast instead, although it will change the flavour profile slightly! I always love nutritional yeast on salads though πŸ™‚

Can This Salad Be Made In Advance?

Yes! Kale salads hold up really well when made in advance. Their leaves don’t go limp; rather they start to absorb even more of the flavour!

If making in advance, I would recommend adding the apple just before serving in order to prevent browning.

That said, leftovers do keep quite well for a day or two – the lemon in the dressing helps to slow the browning process in the apples!

Overhead photo of kale salad ingredients in a large white bowl.

Kale Nutrition Benefits

Just one cup of kale provides over 100% of your daily needs for:

  • vitamin A (206%)
  • vitamin K (684%)
  • vitamin C (134%)

Kale is also a good source of other micronutrients like:

  • manganese
  • magnesium
  • potassium
  • calcium
  • copper
  • vitamin B6

That same cup provides 2 grams of dietary fibre, helping to keep your gut and heart happy. In addition to micronutrients, kale is also loaded with antioxidants, which prevent cellular damage and provide a multitude of health benefits.

Apple Nutrition Benefits

Apples are a great source of dietary fibre. One medium-sized, unpeeled apple contains almost 5 grams of fibre, or 17% of your daily fibre needs.

Apples are also good sources of micronutrients like vitamin C and potassium.

As well, they’re rich in various plant compounds that act as antioxidants, helping to prevent cellular damage.

Overhead photo of a kale apple salad with walnuts and parmesan in a serving dish.

More Kale Salad Recipes

Did you give this Kale Apple Salad With Parmesan & Walnuts Recipe a try? Let me know by leaving a comment and recipe rating below!

If you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram or Pinterest β€“ seeing your creations always makes my day. You can also subscribe to my email list to never miss a new recipe or nutrition education post!

Get the Recipe: Kale Apple Salad With Parmesan & Walnuts

This massaged kale apple salad is made with parmesan, walnuts, and a lemon garlic vinaigrette dressing. You only need 7 ingredients and it's so simple to make! Recipe is vegetarian and gluten-free, with a dairy-free/vegan option.
Overhead photo of a kale apple salad with walnuts and parmesan in a serving dish.
Print Pin
5 from 1 vote
Leave a Review

Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch curly green kale (or 2 smaller bunches)
  • 1 large apple (I used honeycrisp)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan, freshly grated (ideally parmigiano reggiano)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, raw

Salad Dressing:

Instructions

  • Remove the kale leaves from the tough stems. Wash and dry well. Using your hands, tear kale into smaller pieces. Place the kale into a large mixing bowl.
  • In a small jar, mix olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cover jar with a lid and shake dressing ingredients together.
  • Pour dressing over kale and massage with hands, really squeezing/kneading the dressing into the kale for about 1 minute (see recipe video if needed). The kale should be well-coated and start to soften. Let the kale sit in the fridge or at room temperature while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  • Core the apple and chop into smaller chunks. Grate the parmesan cheese. Add both ingredients to the kale salad along with walnuts.
  • Toss everything together well, seasoning with additional salt + pepper (if needed). Serve and enjoy!

Notes

*MAKING IN ADVANCE/LEFTOVERS:
  • Kale salads hold up really well when made in advance. Their leaves don’t go limp; rather they start to absorb even more of the flavour! You can safely prep the kale up to a day in advance.
  • I would recommend chopping and adding the apple just before serving in order to prevent browning.
  • That said, leftovers do keep quite well for a day or two – the lemon in the dressing helps to slow the browning process in the apples. Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge!
Β 
*RECIPE MODIFICATIONS:
  • For a nut-free version, you can swap walnuts with pumpkin seeds (pepitas), or omit completely.
  • If you’d prefer, you can try this with another nut like pecans or almonds in place of walnuts.
  • For a vegan version, simply swap the parmesan with a vegan alternative or omit it completely. You could try using some nutritional yeast instead, although it will change the flavour profile slightly! I always love nutritional yeast on salads though πŸ™‚

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know by leaving a recipe rating below, or by tagging @walderwellness on Instagram. I love seeing your beautiful creations!

Pin it for later:

Pinterest graphic for a kale apple salad with parmesan and walnuts recipe.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy.