This holiday kale waldorf salad has all the components of a perfect salad: the crunch factor, acidity, and a little bit of sweet. Although it’s a spin on the traditional waldorf salad recipe, we know you’ll love this version that incorporates the classic apple and walnuts with the added layer of chopped kale. Plus, it just looks beautiful and pops with color for a holiday spread, thanks to dried cranberries and fresh pomegranate seeds if you can get them!
We also lighten up the traditional mayo based waldorf dressing and use yogurt instead for a creamy dressing with extra tang. If you’re dairy-free, you can use an unsweetened plain coconut or almond based yogurt instead of regular yogurt.
Not only does our hearty friend kale stand up well to the creamy dressing (this salad will store well in the fridge for a couple of days even when dressed), but it enhances the nutritional benefits of this recipe.
Kale is part of the cruciferous vegetable family, which also includes veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and brussels sprouts. The cruciferous vegetables are rich in a phytochemical called glucosinolate. Glucosinolates are studied for their neuroprotective properties. They activate a specific neuron pathway in the brain that supports antioxidant activity. This then protects the brain from neurodegeneration.
We love to think about how nutrients in food support our bodies and deliver so many amazing benefits to our cells. It just adds an extra level of awareness to a meal beyond simply noticing the flavor of the food. Why not add this to the list of things to be grateful for during the holidays?
Holiday Kale Waldorf Salad
- 1 small bunch green kale stems removed and leaves chopped finely
- 1 granny smith apple diced in cubes
- 1 pink lady or gala apple diced in cubes
- squeeze lemon juice
- 2 ribs celery sliced in thin pieces
- 1/3 cup walnuts chopped roughly
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries ideally fruit juice sweetened
- 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds optional
- 1/3 cup plain, unsweetened yogurt (can use dairy free)
- 1.5 tsp dijon mustard
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- pinch sea salt
- Clean off the kale well. We like to wash it in a colander and then spin dry in a salad spinner. Pull the leaves off the stems and then chop the leaves finely with a knife.
- Chop the apples in small cubes. Squeeze some lemon juice over top to prevent them from browning. Slice the celery into thin pieces and chop the walnuts roughly with a knife.
- Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl or mason jar.
- Combine all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Pour in the dressing and toss together. We like to sprinkle the pomegranate seeds over top as a pretty garnish before serving (or you can toss them into the salad with the other ingredients).
If you’re looking for other winter inspired salad recipes, we love this other one that we made last year: Roasted Radicchio and Yellow Beet Salad with Blood Orange. We’d love to see if you make this holiday kale waldorf salad! Please do share any photos you take with us on social media and tag us Instagram or Facebook.