Need a delicious salad recipe that’s full of flavor and takes just a few minutes to make? This recipe has it all – crisp sweet apples, savory bleu cheese and antioxidant-rich kale tossed in a light vinaigrette that my whole family loves.
Through the magic of massaging – aka a technique that involves scrunching the leaves in your hands – this recipe transforms kale from tough to tender while increasing nutrient bioavailability. We’ve been making a similar version for years, but my daughter recently requested a variation with bleu cheese and apples. We tried a few but found that we were always adding extra cheese and apples and well . . . here we are, recording our favorite version so that we can easily find it later, and hoping you love it as much as we do.
Quick Tip: Unlike many salads which tend to get soggy when stored in the fridge, this recipe keeps well for a day or two, so I often make a double batch for easy meals throughout the week. The only thing to keep in mind is that it’s best to add the apples at the last minute so they’re crisp and fresh.
Easy Kale Salad Recipe With Apples & Bleu Cheese
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 8 cups raw kale, de-stemmed and chopped into 1-2 inch pieces (I prefer lacinato kale, but curly kale works, too!)
- 1 cup apples, diced into small pieces (Honeycrisp, Gala, Fuji, and Pink Lady are all good options)
- ⅓ cup raw sunflower seeds
- ¾ cup bleu cheese crumbles
- Place chopped kale in a large bowl.
- In a small bowl or cup, mix together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, salt and 1 tablespoon of the bleu cheese.
- Pour the mixture over the kale. Using clean hands, massage the kale (aka scrunch it with your hands) for 2-3 minutes while making sure that it all gets coated with the olive oil mixture. Massaging makes raw kale more tender and enjoyable, but the “sweet spot” for everyone is a little different. I massage until the kale leaves look just a little wilted.
- Add the diced apples, sunflower seeds and remaining blue cheese crumbles to the bowl. Toss to combine and serve.
- Store leftovers in the fridge an airtight container for up to two days.
More Salad Recipes To Try
Easy Greek Salad – Bursting with crisp cucumbers, plump tomatoes, creamy avocado, crunchy bell pepper and the all important flavors of feta and kalamata olives, this side dish is tossed in a super yummy vinaigrette that will wake up your tastebuds.
Mexican-Style Chopped Salad – This chopped salad pairs creamy avocado with crisp veggies and the distinctive flavors of cumin, cilantro and lime.
Caesar Salad Dressing – This creamy dressing is delicious over crisp romaine lettuce, and also makes a fantastic marinade for steak or chicken, dip for homemade chicken wings, or sauce for baked fish. Here’s a dairy-free version if you need it.
Gluten-Free Croutons – Crunchy, savory and super simple to make, these homemade croutons are so delicious over salads that are drizzled with creamy ranch, homemade Thousand Island, or Caesar salad dressing. They can also add a pop of flavor to soups like French onion, broccoli cheese, and the beloved classic, tomato soup.
Massaged Kale Salad With Lemon – Light and lemony, this simple salad is a delicious way to enjoy one of the most nutrient-dense veggies available.
Chicken Salad With Apples – This salad is one of my favorite ways to keep lunch simple, especially toward the end of summer when it’s super hot outside. It’s sweet with a bit of tang, and the apples and pecans or walnuts give it just the right amount of crunch.