The best kale salad is healthy, delicious and far from ordinary! Crunchy Cabbage and Kale Salad is loaded with good things and finished with an easy dressing recipe for kale salad that you’ll want to put on everything!
In case one of your resolutions is “mixing in a salad”, I’ve got just the one for you. I admit that unless you’re a rabbit, this dish probably wouldn’t even be a blip on your radar, but trust me, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and it’s so good, you won’t be able to stop at one bite of this Crunchy Cabbage and Kale Salad.
I know this because it’s now the most requested salad in our house. True story – when my daughter (home from college) tasted it — I heard a muffled “oh-ma-Gawd” through her very full mouth. After her second bite, she shrieked, “What did you put in here? CRACK?”
Thus, it has become known as Crack Salad in our house.
I almost named the post Crack Salad, but then I thought about the realities that implied and I decided that my calm, suburban life should continue unfettered by the likes of local law enforcement or the DEA.
Back to the salad — it has everything — aside from kale, cabbage and brussels sprouts, which make it much more interesting than plain lettuce, it also has crispy pancetta, tangy feta cheese, sweet cranberries, crunchy pecans and a lemony poppyseed dressing!
And if you’re resolution-ing this January, this salad will help you in that endeavor.
Crunchy Cabbage and Kale Salad
- 3 cups kale thinly sliced
- 1 ½ cups cabbage thinly sliced
- 1 large carrot peeled and grated
- 1 cup brussel sprouts stems removed, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup pecans roughly chopped
- ¼ cup pancetta diced
- ½ cup feta cheese
- 1 lemon zested and juiced
- 1 medium apple I used granny smith, sliced
- 1 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon dry mustard
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon onion grated
- ¼ cup + 2 teaspoons vegetable or grape seed oil
- ¾ teaspoon poppy seeds
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Place pecans on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
- Heat a small skillet over medium high heat. Add pancetta and cook until golden brown. With a slotted spoon transfer pancetta to a plate lined with paper towels.
- In a small bowl add the sugar, vinegar, dry mustard, kosher salt, oil, grated onions, lemon zest and poppy seeds. Stir to combine.
- In a large bowl, combine the kale, cabbage, brussel sprouts, carrot and cranberries. Add the lemon juice to the salad and toss to combine. Add pecans, pancetta and feta cheese. Dress the salad with enough salad dressing to evenly coat the greens, but don't overdo it. If there's leftover dressing, save it for another salad. Divide the salads among plates and tuck several slices of apple into one side of the salad. Serve.
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Sarah Walker says
Super tasty salad! My husband and I really enjoyed it and I am looking forward to having it for lunch tomorrow. Thank you!
Glad you and your husband liked the salad! It’s my daughter’s fave!
Pat Stoddard says
Made this for dinner tonight along with grilled chicken breasts. It was delicious. The toasted pecans and pancetta are a nice addition. The Shaved Brussel Sprout Quinoa Bowl just got demoted to second favorite salad.
LOL! Glad you enjoyed this one, Pat!
This turned out so delicious!! Doubled recipe for our group of 10. Left out pancetta for the dietary needs of hosts. I did decrease the amount of onion (my personal preference) – used about half. The guests raved about the salad! Thank you, Lisa!
I’m so glad they enjoyed it, Tracy!
Planning to try this recipe since we have garden-fresh kale, cabbage and carrots, and lemons from our tree! If I leave out the pancetta do you think it will still be as good?
Absolutely! You can make this salad vegetarian by skipping the pancetta, vegan by skipping the cheese, or omnivorous by adding chunks of roasted chicken — we’ve actually eaten it every way and it never fails to be delicious!
Kristina @ Vibrant Plate says
This salad sound absolutely amazing! Just tried shaved brussel sprouts recently for the first time, and we are hooked! Need to give this a go as well. Thank for sharing!
Well, this is a healthy addiction…
This sounds so delicious especially with the added pancetta and feta cheese!
Love all the texture and flavor in this salad!
Ben Myhre says
This looks like a super flavorful salad. I would definitely have this for a lunch
Elaine @ Dishes Delish says
Hehe. “Crack”. I’m intrigued and now I want to make it so I can see how delicious it is!! I love kale in salads, and pair it with cabbage and you’ve got a delicious taste treat! I’ll be making this soon Lisa!!
What a beautiful and delicious sounding salad! I had to laugh about your family name for it. You probably made a good decision not naming the post “Crack Salad”lol
I think it was a good call on the name too!
What a perfect salad! Wishing I had a big bowl of this right now. Love all the fun ingredients and textures and flavors!