Whether you’re a salad aficionado or just looking to add more greens to your diet, this Blueberry, Apple, Cranberry and Kale Salad with Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette has it all: flavor, nutrition, and a little bit of indulgence.
Imagine a vibrant kale salad party on your plate, where crisp bacon, creamy balsamic vinaigrette, and a symphony of flavors come together for a wholesome shindig. This healthy sensation features nutrient-packed kale, sweet apples, and antioxidant-rich blueberries, all dancing harmoniously with crispy bacon and a luscious goat cheese twist. It’s a taste explosion, and your taste buds are on the guest list!
- What makes this salad healthy?
- Why you’ll love this cranberry and kale salad recipe
- Here’s the ingredients you’ll need to make a Winter Kale Salad
- Ingredients for the kale salad
- Ingredients for the dressing for the salad
- How to make kale salad
- TIPS AND FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- Blueberry, Apple, Cranberry and Kale Salad Recipe
What makes this salad healthy?
Kale, the superstar of this dish, is a nutritional powerhouse. It’s loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. You’re getting your daily dose of vitamin A, C, and K, all in one plate. Plus, kale is an excellent source of fiber, which aids in digestion and helps you stay full for longer.
In addition to kale, we’ve thrown in some fantastic ingredients that amp up the health factor. Quinoa provides a boost of protein and fiber. Apples add natural sweetness and a dose of antioxidants, while blueberries and dried cranberries offer a burst of fruity flavors along with more antioxidants. Sunflower seeds bring a delightful crunch and healthy fats. And don’t forget the goat cheese, which adds creaminess with a tangy twist.
Why you’ll love this cranberry and kale salad recipe
There’s something magical about the combination of crispy bacon and sweet, creamy balsamic vinaigrette. It’s a flavor symphony in your mouth! This salad manages to strike the perfect balance between healthy and indulgent, making it a great choice for both everyday meals and special occasions.
You’ll love this salad because it’s:
- Bursting with flavors: From the savory bacon to the sweet apples and tangy goat cheese, each bite is a delightful mix of tastes.
- Easy to make: With a straightforward recipe and common ingredients, you can whip this up in no time.
- Versatile: You can enjoy it as a side dish, a light lunch, or even as a dinner main course with some added protein like grilled chicken or tofu.
RELATED: Summer Berry Spinach Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing – Boost your immune system this summer with this healthy and incredibly simple spinach salad topped with raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, almonds, a squeeze of lemon, and a simple balsamic vinaigrette dressing.
Here’s the ingredients you’ll need to make a Winter Kale Salad
Here’s what you’ll need to create this culinary masterpiece:
Ingredients for the kale salad
- Cooked quinoa
- Chopped kale (remove stems)
- Honeycrisp apples
- Dried cranberries
- Sunflower seeds
- Goat cheese
Ingredients for the dressing for the salad
- Olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- Dijon mustard
- Brown sugar
How to make kale salad
This salad comes together quickly in 5 easy steps.
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Step 2: Lay out the bacon slices on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 16-17 minutes, or until they reach your desired level of crispiness. Once done, place the bacon on a paper towel to absorb any excess grease, then chop it into tiny bite-size pieces.
Step 3: For the salad, begin by removing the stems from the kale and chopping it into tiny, bite-sized pieces. Dice the apples.
Step 4: To prepare the dressing, combine all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk vigorously until you achieve a smooth and creamy consistency.
Step 5: Now, it’s time to assemble the salad. In a large bowl, combine the kale, quinoa, diced apples, blueberries, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, goat cheese, and chopped bacon. Drizzle the creamy balsamic vinaigrette over the top. Toss everything together until the salad is evenly coated with the dressing. Serve it up and enjoy!
Make this Quinoa and Kale Salad Recipe, then check out my Montreal Steak Salad with Pears, Cranberries and Honey Mustard Dressing, Roasted Asparagus Caesar Salad, and Classic Waldorf Salad and more of my healthy salad recipes.
TIPS AND FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Read on for tips and substitution ideas on how to make this recipe, such as how to customize this salad, and how to store this salad.
Can I make this salad in advance?
Absolutely! This salad actually gets better as it sits, allowing the flavors to meld together. Just be sure to store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Can I meal prep this salad?
This salad is a great candidate for meal prep as it can last for several days when stored properly. When refrigerated in an airtight container, it can maintain its quality for up to 3-4 days. In fact, the flavors tend to meld together over time, making it even more delicious as it sits in the fridge. Just remember to keep the bacon bits and dressing separate until you’re ready to serve for the best results.
How do you make kale less bitter for salad?
To make kale less bitter, you can try massaging it with a bit of olive oil and lemon juice. Just remove the tough stems, tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces, and give them a good massage for a few minutes. This helps break down some of the bitterness and makes the kale more tender. Plus, it’s a great workout for your greens!
Can I make it vegetarian or vegan?
Yes, you can easily adapt this salad to your dietary preferences. Skip the bacon and use a plant-based mayo to make it vegetarian or vegan-friendly.
Can I use a different type of cheese?
Of course! Feel free to experiment with your favorite cheese or omit it altogether.
There you have it, a fantastic Quinoa and Kale Salad with a Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette that’s not only delicious but also packed with healthy goodness. So, what are you waiting for? Head to your kitchen and give it a try – your taste buds and your health will thank you!
Other healthy salad recipes to try
- Autumn Harvest Quinoa Power Bowl with Maple Balsamic Dressing – This hearty bowl is a celebration of seasonal flavors, featuring a wholesome grain base of quinoa cooked to perfection, roasted butternut squash and Brussels sprouts with a hint of thyme, and a vibrant mix of baby spinach, chickpeas, cranberries, pecans, and feta cheese.
- TikTok Quinoa Salad (aka The Jennifer Aniston Salad) – Made with roasted sweet potatoes, dried cranberries, red apple, spinach, sunflower seeds, protein-rich quinoa, and an apple cider vinaigrette, this gluten-free, plant-based recipe is a show-stopper!
- Fall Harvest Quinoa Salad – Made with roasted sweet potatoes, dried cranberries, red apple, spinach, sunflower seeds, protein-rich quinoa, and an apple cider vinaigrette, this gluten-free, plant-based recipe is a show-stopper!
For the Quinoa and Kale Salad:
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 8 cups of chopped kale (remove stems)
- 2 honeycrisp apples
- ½ cup blueberries
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- ¼ cup goat cheese
- 7 slices of bacon
For the Balsamic Dressing:
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 3 Tbsp mayo
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp honey
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Place bacon on foil lined baking sheet and cook for 16 - 17 minutes (or until desired crispiness has been achieved).
- Remove stems from kale and chop into tiny bite size pieces.
- Dice apples.
- Place cooked bacon on paper towel to drain any excess grease. Chop bacon into tiny bite size pieces.
- For the dressing, combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk vigorously until a smooth and creamy consistency has been reached.
- Assemble salad and enjoy!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 salad
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 600Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 25gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 1052mgCarbohydrates: 62gFiber: 11gSugar: 33gProtein: 19g
The provided nutrition information is an estimate and it does not take brands into account. I use an automatic API to calculate this information.