Kale Slaw

Kale Slaw 2

Kale Slaw is a vibrant salad that just gets better as it sits in the refrigerator. Use it as a side dish to add a healthy dose of fiber and crunch to any meal, and then pack the leftovers for lunch.

Kale Slaw with Lemon Sesame Dressing

kale slaw is so yummy you’ll forget it’s also healthy

In the dog days of summer we often resort to visiting the salad counter at our favorite grocery store… we pick out an assortment and call it dinner. It’s a great dinner, one of our favorites, as a matter of fact. And one of our staples is Kale Slaw. It’s the salad that won me over to kale, a vegetable that I’ve systematically avoided for years. I think the key is that the kale is finely shredded, so it’s tender. The Asian inspired lemon/sesame dressing has something to do with it, too. It’s  slightly sweet which counters the bitterness in the greens. And then there’s the perfect chewy/crunchy accent of the sunflower seeds. The whole thing is minimal, but strikes the perfect Zen balance. I rarely make anything twice, much to the disappointment of my family, but I’ve been tossing this together once a week all summer.

Kale leaf

Kale is incredibly healthy, so I’m so happy to finally have a reason to buy it. It’s not a lettuce, but a vegetable in the super nutritious  broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussel’s sprout family. Up until now, I’ve mostly had it cooked, in soups or stews, but I think I like it raw best. Thanks to this Kale Slaw I now have a reason to put kale in my grocery cart every week. I feel so virtuous ๐Ÿ™‚

fresh kale leaves for Kale Slaw

The last time we bought this slaw we were going to try to remember to keep the container with the ingredients printed on the label, but we forgot. All we came up with was sunflower seeds and lemon. It was a good start. I filled in the gaps pretty easily. A little carrot for sweetness, radicchio for color and to echo the bitterness of the kale. Definitely honey in the dressing to balance all that lovely bitterness. I used sesame oil which gives the dressing a real punch. It’s kind of a health food/Asian fusion salad, and it’s VERY good.

what you’ll need:

  • kale ~ there are 2 basic types and I like lacinato for this salad (see photos above) it’s more tender than the curly type.
  • carrots ~ they sweeten the deal.
  • radicchio ~ adds beautiful color and a great flavor.
  • sunflower seeds ~ adds more crunch and nutrition.
  • goat cheese ~ silky goat cheese adds a bright tang and fabulous contrast in texture.
Kale Slaw with Lemon Sesame Dressing

make your kale slaw ahead!

Kale Slaw is one of those rare salads that you can throw together in the morning and it will still be crisp and fresh at dinnertime because kale is such a sturdy green. I love it because it’s the perfect fresh accent to anything you’re serving. It’s ideal for picnics or outdoor entertaining in the warmer weather, too, because it won’t wilt, and there’s no mayo to spoil.

Kale Slaw in a wooden bowl

more reasons to love kale

Kale Slaw 2
3.5 from 16 votes

Kale Slaw with Lemon Sesame Dressing

Kale Slaw is a vibrant fall and winter salad ~ this side dish adds a healthy dose of fiber and crunch to any meal, and then pack the leftovers for lunch!
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Yield 8 servings
Calories 69.79kcal
Author Sue Moran


  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/2 small head of radicchio substitute red cabbage
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
  • feta or goat cheese for garnish optional


  • 1/8 cup sesame oil
  • juice of 2 small lemons
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste


  • Rinse the kale and then remove any large center ribs. Stack the leaves and, with a sharp knife, cut them into fine shreds. Peel the carrot and shred it. Remove the outer leaves from the radicchio and then finely shred that as well. Put all in a bowl.
  • Make the dressing by mixing all the ingredients together in a mason jar or small bowl Shake or whisk well to combine. Taste to adjust any of the ingredients.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad. Use enough to moisten everything, but not soak it Let the salad sit for an hour or two in the fridge if you like, before serving. Toss with the sunflower seeds just before eating, and top with the cheese, if using.


Calories: 69.79kcal | Carbohydrates: 6.87g | Protein: 1.78g | Fat: 4.71g | Saturated Fat: 0.61g | Sodium: 134.14mg | Fiber: 1.7g | Sugar: 3.44g
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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  • Reply
    Jean | DelightfulRepast.com
    July 15, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    We love raw kale, and your salad looks wonderful! I’ve been on a vegetable salad binge lately, so this fits right in!

  • Reply
    Shari Kelley
    July 15, 2014 at 11:10 am

    Such a pretty salad! I have Kale left in my garden so thanks for this yummy recipe.

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    July 15, 2014 at 9:43 am

    I still have kale in the garden so I’ll have to give this a try. It is very pretty and sounds wonderful.

  • Reply
    July 15, 2014 at 9:42 am

    That looks so fresh and delicious. Kale is a wonderful veg. We grow it down on our plot – annoyingly the pigeons are rather fond of it too.

  • Reply
    July 15, 2014 at 9:03 am

    Love this salad and the dressing, enjoy recreating recipes at home, that’s one of the best side effects of going out.

  • Reply
    July 15, 2014 at 7:55 am

    I think you left out the sunflower seeds! Looks delicious ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    July 15, 2014 at 7:41 am

    Beautiful salad! I just made a “massaged kale” salad a couple of weeks ago, and was surprised by how much we enjoyed it. Plus, as you mentioned, it stays tasty and with enough crunch even hours later, or next day, if you don’t go overboard on the amount of dressing

    love this!

  • Reply
    Thalia @ butter and brioche
    July 14, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    a definite recipe i will be saving to recreate as my lunch time meal. thanks for sharing – looks delicious!

  • Reply
    Helen @ Scrummy Lane
    July 14, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    This is such an easy, tasty-sounding side.
    I smiled a bit at your comment about never making anything twice. #foodbloggerproblems !

  • Reply
    July 14, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    Hooray for kale! I too have discovered that a kale salad will hold up for a good long time in the refrigerator — so convenient, and delicious besides. ๐Ÿ™‚ Vegetables!!

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