Kale Salad Recipe


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Kale salad paired with an easy homemade spicy ranch is next level amazing. Top it off with avocado slices and crunchy chickpeas.

This post is sponsored by Klarbrunn.

Kale Salad With Spicy Ranch Dressing

This entire salad is so dang good, but I really can’t say enough good things about this oh so delicious homemade spicy ranch dressing

When I was trying to make this recipe, I was running into a problem with the first version I tested having too strong of a vinegar flavor. 

To fix that problem, I ended up omitting the buttermilk that so many people associate with ranch dressing, and letting the vinegar in the hot sauce provide all of that flavor. Seriously – game changing!

We’ve made so many batches of this dressing, and I can definitely say we’re eating a lot more salad just as an excuse to eat more of this dressing.

Pairing it with crunchy chickpeas, creamy avocado, and crisp kale is next level. It’s amazing as a light meal, and it also makes the perfect side salad that goes with pretty much everything.

I’ve partnered up with Klarbrunn to bring you this awesome salad. Their Pomelo Grapefruit Sparkling Water is a flavor that just tastes amazing with every single meal I’ve ever tried it with, and this salad is no exception. You can find out where to buy Klarbrunn here.

Kale salad next to a can of Klarbrunn sparkling water.

Should You Blanch The Kale?

It’s totally up to you! I prefer kale blanched, but I know a lot of people don’t want to break out a large pot to make a salad, so I wrote this recipe with blanching. Either way, I’d definitely recommend using curly kale for this salad.

If you decide to blanch the kale, boil the pieces for a minute or two, then immediately drain the water and run the kale under cold water to halt the cooking process. Not only does blanching the kale make it more tender, it also helps remove some of the bitterness.

If you don’t blanch the kale, be sure to massage the dressing in really well and then let the kale rest with the dressing for 5 minutes before serving.

Massaging kale infuses it with the dressing, and it also helps to break down the tough fibrous material. By massaging the kale, you make it easier to chew and digest, as well as making the kale much more tender and pleasant to eat raw.

A close up image of kale salad on a platter.

How Long Should I Roast The Chickpeas?

It totally depends on how crispy you want them. I like really crispy chickpeas, so I bake mine at 350 F for about 50 minutes.

If you don’t want them dehydrated and ultra crispy, you can bake them for less time.

A quick note on roasting chickpeas: If you’re going to bake these right before serving them, you don’t need to take the time to remove the chickpea skins – they’ll still get plenty crispy without that added step.

If you’re planning to serve them more than 30 minutes after they come out of the oven, you really do need to take the time to remove the chickpea skins. The skins trap a lot of moisture, and they’ll lose a lot of their crispness within a couple hours after coming out of the oven.

Keep In Touch

I’d love to hear what you thought of this recipe in the comments or on Instagram! @KeyToMyLime #KeyToMyLime

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A Pinterest pin image of kale salad with title text at the top.

Salad Recipes

If you love this recipe, be sure to check out our entire salad recipe section! Some reader favorite vegetarian salads are:

Yield: 4 servings

BEST Kale Salad Recipe

The best kale salad recipe.

Kale salad paired with an easy homemade spicy ranch is next level amazing. Top it off with avocado slices and crunchy chickpeas.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


Chickpea Croutons:

  • 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas (drained, rinsed, and dried)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Spicy Ranch:

  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon Frank’s Red Hot Sauce Original
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 medium clove garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon dehydrated onion flakes
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (plus more to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • 1 large bunch curly kale (about 12-15 large leaves of curly kale)
  • 1 avocado (pit removed and cut into slices)


Chickpea Croutons:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F (177 C).
  2. Place the washed and dried chickpeas on a large rimmed baking sheet. Toss with olive oil and salt to evenly coat.
  3. Bake for 40 - 50 minutes, stirring once, or until they’re crispy and golden.

Spicy Ranch:

  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor, and pulse to combine.

Kale Salad:

  1. Devein the kale and tear it into bite sized pieces. Wash and dry it.
  2. Place the kale in a large bowl, and pour the dressing over top of it. Massage it in with your hands, and allow it to rest for about 5 minutes.
  3. Plate the kale salad top with crunchy chickpeas and avocado slices.

Nutrition Information:

Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 376Total Fat: 29.5gCarbohydrates: 22.8gFiber: 7.2gSugar: 4.7gProtein: 7.6g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.


Tag @KeyToMyLime on Instagram so we can see your delicious meal!

You’ll love this delicious kale salad with spicy ranch! It’s the perfect side dish to any meal.

The best kale salad recipe.

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