Raw Kale Salad

While the boys were on break during the holidays we got really into kale. My older one prefers his steamed and tops it with ume plum vinegar and toasted sesame oil. The little one, however, joins us in eating my raw kale concoctions.

These raw salads are super healthy, crunchy and quite delicious. We are hooked on them.

Raw Kale Salad

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Servings 4


  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon celtic sea salt
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 orange, peeled and sliced


  • Chop the kale into thin ribbons (almost like a chiffonade)
  • Drizzle the kale with olive oil and sprinkle with salt
  • Massage the kale with your hands to soften it, then allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes
  • Add the lime juice, vinegar, onion and orange
  • Allow to marinate for 10 minutes
  • Serve
Prep Time 10 mins
Resting Time & Marinate Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 mins
Tried this recipe?Mention @elanaspantry or tag #elanaspantry!

I have made a different kale salad every night for a while now, so there could be a forthcoming kale salad series.  Stay tuned.


22 responses to “Raw Kale Salad”

  1. Shirely,

    Thanks again. I did follow the link from your site and read Allison’s Story. So sad! Yet so good that they figured it out. There are quite a few myths around celiac/diet and my hope is that with all of our efforts, these will be dispelled.


  2. Thanks, Elena, for the info on the ribs. I like the crunch myself in kale, romaine, etc., but your salad just looked so delicate and I had recently read a kale recipe where the ribs had been cut out, so I had to ask. ;-)

    Re: the spelt, just checked out your post. Yes, you’ve definitely “been there”! For folks who keep insisting spelt is safe or saying they eat it without issue, I remind them that 40% of individuals diagnosed with celiac have no symptoms. Then I share the story I shared in my post, Allison’s story (http://www.celiaccentral.org/What_is_Celiac_/Personal_Stories/Allison/135/). Allison’s symptoms would never have been attributed to the fact she was eating spelt, had her mother not read an article about spelt in Gluten-Free Living magazine. I sincerely believe that we must all do our best to dispel the myths that persist for the GF lifestyle … we just might save a life.


  3. VeggieGirl -Enjoy!

    Shirley -Thanks. I don’t cut out the ribs, I really like the crunch they add to the salad. Thanks again for sharing your spelt info; this is one of my pet peeves (I did a little spelt post a while back).

    cdecocina -If you decide to try this recipe with spinach (or any other green) please let us know how it turns out!

    Emily -Kale is definitely one of our family favorites. It’s so nutritious and tasty just by itself. Your salad sounds SO good with the avocado, lemon and seeds. I hope you enjoy your first baked cookie in 3 years! How exciting!

    juanna -Thanks!

    Alchemille -The vinegar does wilt the kale a little. I think the apple cider vinegar would be ok, I’ve used it in my other kale salads, it just has a completely different flavor. I’m not sure about the coconut vinegar. If you experiment with either one please let me know how it turns out.

    Hayley -Thank you!

    • i like to use rice vinegar. I add sesame oil, soy sauce and a lil hot sauce- goya brand and sriracha to be specific. YUM! also toss in some red cabbage…

  4. I love kale, I usually steam it or sautee it with onions and/or some spicy meat-natural sausages.
    I haven’t really tried it raw yet, on your picture it looks like the vinegar somewhat “cooks” or wilts the kale.
    Do you think it’d also work with different vinegars like apple cider vinegar (it boosts the absorption of calcium in greens) or even coconut vinegar (just got some, I haven’t used it yet)?
    Thanks ;).

    • The massaging on the kale is what makes it appear and ‘taste’ cooked. Completely changes the texture and color. Much more appealing.

  5. this recipe looks great… elana, you totally have my vote for the raw kale recipe series!

    i LOVE raw greens & make them a lot…i’ve tried many types of kale, collards, etc…they all work great, it just seems that some of the thicker varieties need a little more time to marinade. after about an hour even a really thick green will break down and absorb flavor.

  6. It’s funny that dark, scary-looking kale is actually very delicious in so many ways! My favorite raw kale salad is prepared the same way; by massaging the kale with oil and salt, then I add chopped avocado, green onions, cherry toms, fresh squeezed lemon, and raw sunflower or pumpkin seeds! Mmmm! I have not tried your combo here, but I will soon! I like that you’ve incorporated in-season oranges to this dish. My Honeyville almond flour came today! My husband laughed at me as I danced around the kitchen singing about cookies. This will be the first time I have been able to eat a baked cookie in 3 years. I will let you know how it goes, I can’t wait!

  7. I really like this salad. I´m sad that it´s difficult to find this type of kale here. The variety in Spain is thicker and bigger, and wouldn´t suit this recipe. But I think that I will try it with spinach, maybe.
    Thanks for sharing, I love your blog.

  8. Wow, this looks great. I have been trying to eat more kale (and many other greens), since I am deficient in Vitamin K. Very interesting on massaging the kale. Would have never thought of it, but it makes sense. Do you cut out the ribs as well? I love red onion in salads. Boy, the combo of all those flavors must be fantastic!

    Elana–Thanks so much for your kind words about my post on spelt, especially sharing the link! Just don’t want anyone who is GF unknowingly eating spelt with its unescapable consequences.


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Recipes » Salads » Raw Kale Salad