Fall Harvest Kale Salad

A deliciously flavorful fall harvest kale salad made with marinated kale, honey crisp apples, sweet potatoes, cranberries, creamy goat cheese, and a honey vinaigrette dressing. This salad is so satisfying, and can be used as a meal or a side!

Okay, so I know what you’re thinking- kale is kale. But I promise you, this salad actually makes kale taste GOOD. The combination of honey crisp apples, roasted sweet potatoes, creamy goat cheese, and the slight sweetness of honey is just to die for! While this is a simple salad recipe, follow my tips for making sure your kale tastes amazing!

fall harvest kale salad ingredients:

Kale: Kale gets a lot of hate compared to other greens (spinach, arugula, romaine, etc). But I truly LOVE kale. It just feels so hearty and full of nutrients. But trust me, the other ingredients make kale taste out of this world!

Sweet Potato: My preferred way of cooking sweet potatoes is by dicing them into cubes and roasted in the oven. They get perfectly crispy on the outside while still being soft on the inside. I season them with a little garlic powder and flakey sea salt and voila!

Honey Crispy Apple: THE BEST at this time of year!

Dried Cranberries: The dried cranberries in this salad add a touch of sweetness and texture. They complement the other ingredients perfectly. Try to use cranberries with no added sugar.

Walnuts: The walnuts in this salad are totally optional but they add a great layer of texture and flavor that compliments the other ingredients nicely.

Goat Cheese or Feta: I’ve made this salad with both goat cheese and feta, and they are both delicious! It’s all personal preference here. If you’re apprehensive about trying the cheeses, I encourage you to try something new! They are absolutely delicious and especially in this salad. And for reference: feta is slightly milder than goat cheese.

tips for using kale in a salad:

Remove Stems: Before I wash and dry my kale, I remove the stems. Removing the stems is a crucial part of making a kale salad not so tough. I like to gently pull the leaves from the thick stems and add the kale leaves to a colander or salad spinner to wash afterward.

Wash and Dry: Do so after you remove the leaves from the stems to save you time & effort. You can use a colander or a salad spinner to wash. To dry, I put the wet leaves in between two paper towels and blot. Let sit for about 10 minutes or so to absorb most of the water!

Massage your kale: This step may seem weird if you’ve never done it, but being that kale is a rougher green (opposed to something softer like spinach or arugula) I like to massage the dressing into the leaves before adding the toppings. The olive oil and vinegar in the dressing will break down those tough fibers and soak into the leaves making it much easier to digest.

fall harvest kale salad
fall harvest kale salad

Fall Harvest Kale Salad

Lexi Finke
A deliciously flavorful fall salad made with marinated kale, honey crisp apples, sweet potatoes, cranberries, creamy goat cheese, and a honey vinaigrette dressing. This salad is so satisfying, and can be used as a meal or a side!
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Prep Time 30 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

For Salad:

  • 1 bunch kale stems removed
  • 1 sweet potato diced & roasted
  • 1 honeycrisp apple sliced
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup walnuts chopped
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese or feta

For Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tbsp balsamic or red wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp apple juice
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

Instructions
 

  • Start by prepping all of your ingredients. Remove kale from stems and rinse (or buy pre-cut, pre-washed kale). Make sure the kale is mostly dry after rinsining using a salad spinner or paper towels. Dice the apple into small pieces.
  • Dice the sweet potato in to small cubes. Roast in the oven at 400 degrees F for about 20 minutes (or in the air fryer for 10 or so). I like to have the sweet potato prepped and ready to go beforehand to save time.
  • Assemble your salad. Add kale, apples, roasted sweet potatoes, dried cranberries, walnuts, and goat cheese. Add some dressing and toss.
  • Optional: Massage your kale using your hands by adding the dressing to the kale before the toppings.

Notes

Store the salad (dry) and salad dressing separately for any leftovers.
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