Kalyn's Kitchen

Baby Kale Salad with Apples

I really love this Baby Kale Salad with Apples, and if you haven’t had raw baby kale in a salad you might be pleasantly surprised how good this is! I love the sunflower seeds, but use any nuts you prefer. 

PIN Baby Kale Salad with Apples to try it later!

Baby Kale Salad with Apples two bowls of finished salad

There’s no doubt about it, I’m seriously smitten with the Earthbound Farm Baby Kale Mix that suddenly appeared at the Fresh Market store by my house. I’ve been buying it every time I see it at the store (and so is everyone else apparently, because about half the time they don’t have any.)

Making a salad with the raw baby kale was a snap and I loved this Baby Kale Salad with Apples.This salad couldn’t be simpler; it’s just raw baby kale, apples tossed in a lemon-Dijon vinaigrette, and crispy sunflower seeds adding a little crunch. The dressing for this is slightly sweet, so maybe this would be a good one to try out on family members who are on the fence about raw kale. And if you’re not a fan of sunflower seeds, use any nuts you’d enjoy in a salad like this.

Do you have to use baby kale?

Although you might be able to make this Kale Salad with Apples with bigger leaves of kale, once the leaves get bigger some varieties of kale are pretty strong to be eaten raw. I’ve had good luck with Red Russian Kale in salads, so if you can’t find the baby kale, I would recommend that.

Baby Kale Salad with Apples process shots collage

How to Make Baby Kale Salad with Apples:

(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)

  1. I used the small package of Earthbound Farm Baby Kale Mix, which is the perfect amount for a salad like this. I crisped the kale by giving a cold water bath in the salad spinner. Be sure to spin very dry so the salad doesn’t get soggy.
  2. Mix together the white balsamic vinegar (affiliate link), lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and Monkfruit Sweetener (affiliate link) or sweetener of your choice, and then whisk in the olive oil to make the dressing.
  3. If you have this OXO Good Grips Apple Corer (affiliate link), it makes cutting up the apple a breeze.
  4. After I cored and sliced the apple, I cut each section into chunks and then tossed it with about half the dressing. (The lemon in the dressing will keep the apples from turning brown, so be sure all the pieces are coated with dressing.)
  5. Toss the baby kale with the rest of the dressing, or enough that it’s well moistened. Then add the apples and sunflower seeds and toss again.
  6. Serve Raw Baby Kale Salad with Apples and Sunflower Seeds right away and enjoy!

More Tasty Salads with Raw Kale:

Raw Kale Salad with Pecorino (or Parmesan) and Lemon from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Cauliflower and Kale Salad from Steamy Kitchen
Kale and Romaine Caesar Salad from Kalyn’s Kitchen

Baby Kale Salad with Apples

Baby Kale Salad with Apples

Yield 4 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

I love this Baby Kale Salad with Apples, and if you haven't had raw baby kale in a salad you might be pleasantly surprised!


Salad Ingredients

  • 5 oz. mixed baby kale leaves
  • 1 large apple (see notes)
  • 1/4 cup dry-roasted sunflower seeds (see notes)

Dressing Ingredients

  • 2 tsp. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp. sweetener of your choice
  • 1 tsp. white balsamic vinegar (see notes)
  • 2 T + 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil


  1. If you can’t find the mixed baby kale leaves I highly recommend Red Russian Kale for this salad instead of other kale varieties (I used Earthbound Farm Baby Kale Mix).
  2. If using Red Kale, cut away the rib in each leaf and chop the kale into bite-sized pieces. The baby kale does not need to be chopped.
  3. Whichever kale you use, if it is even a little bit wilted I would crisp it in a salad spinner (affiliate link) with very cold water and then spin dry (or dry with paper towels, until it’s very dry.)
  4. Mix together the white balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and sweetener, and then whisk in the olive oil to make the dressing.
  5. Core the apple, cut into slices, and cut each slice into chunks.
  6. Put apple pieces in a small bowl and toss with about half the dressing, making sure each piece of the apple is coated with dressing.
  7. Put the kale into a bowl large enough to hold all the salad, add the rest of the dressing and toss to coat.  (If you don’t like much dressing, you may not need it all.)
  8. Add the apples coated with dressing and sunflower seeds and toss again.


I used a Honeycrisp apple, but any flavorful apple will work. Red apples will look prettier! Use any nuts of your choice. I'd use Monkfruit Sweetener (affiliate link) for this recipe, but use any sweetener you prefer. White balsamic vinegar (affiliate link) will be perfect for this, but any mild white vinegar will work.

This was not bad after being in the fridge overnight, but next time I would only mix as much salad as I could eat at that time.  Refrigerate the extra kale and apples and dressing mixture separately and toss together with the sunflower seeds right before you’re eating the leftovers.

Recipe created by Kalyn, probably with inspiration from this Kale and Apple Salad.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 228Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1999mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 5gSugar: 8gProtein: 7g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

South Beach Diet / Low-Carb Diet Suggestions:
The use of apples in this Raw Baby Kale Salad with Apples and Sunflower Seeds makes it limited for phase 2 or 3 of the original South Beach Diet, and it’s important to use an approved sweetener if you’re making it for South Beach. Even though it has fruit, when it’s made with fruit this salad is pretty low in carbs because there’s only one apple in four servings.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Salad Recipes to find more recipes like this one. Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Pinterest image of Baby Kale Salad with Apples

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    28 Comments on “Baby Kale Salad with Apples”

  1. I found baby kale at my Fred Meyer (Kroger in OR) by chance. Bought it, searched the web and found your recipe and site. Awesome!

  2. I am so going to have to look for baby kale!

  3. Thanks Katya and Kaitlin. I really can't wait to make this again!

  4. Wow, what a deliciously fresh looking salad – perfect for spring! I have been coming to your blog for years now (actually you were the very first food blog I followed!) and you continue to be such an inspiration. Such a wonderful site and beautiful photography. Thanks Kalyn!

  5. It looks very appetizing! Yummy Yummy

  6. So glad you liked it!

  7. Loved, LOVED, this salad! I used a product called Kale Greens from Glory Foods…not baby kale, but still tender and delish. Even my DH, who wrinkled his nose at kale, loved it. A real keeper!

  8. Jeanette, I can tell I need to check out my farmers market for Kale, or wait until I have it in my garden!

    Thanks Kelly! Loved the combination with apples.

  9. I'm hooked on it as well. Makes it so easy to serve a great salad like this quickly. Apples are such a perfect choice and I love the vinaigrette!

  10. Can't wait for our local farmer's market to open – they have the best fresh baby kale. Pinning this so I can make this when I get my stash of baby kale.

  11. I've been buying up the baby kale mix like CRAZY…I always have it in my fridge. At all times. I just love to incorporate it into just about every meal. 🙂 I've been dreaming of a raw kale salad lately and I think this may just be it!

  12. Love the sound of this, Kalyn. I will have it tomorrow…need all sorts of veggies every day to get slimmmer before my niece's wedding, so thanks for all the help. I had a gazpacho soup with mango yesterday at an event…delicious…I will check and see if you have a recipe for one on your site.

  13. Hey Kalyn,

    I will visit my farmers market tomorrow to see if they have the baby kale, I wanted to make this salad today but my local store didn't have it

    Thanks for showing us the pictures and how it looks like, I am always looking for recipes and I have hard time finding ones with real pictures!

    Thanks again!

  14. Caroline, the farmers market in Utah doesn't open until mid-June. 🙁

  15. Guys, check your farmer's market! That's where I get my baby kale. I love the idea of tossing it with a dijon vinaigrette!

  16. Lori, I think rasberries and raw kale sounds great!

    Mother Rimmy, so far I can only find it at Fresh Market and Whole Foods in Salt Lake, but it's a fairly new product so I'm guessing more stores will be getting it.

    Fabiola, thanks. I really liked the combination.

    Lydia, hope one of them will get it for you!

  17. When you first posted about this kale, I ran right out to my local market, and then another, and a third, and nobody had it. I asked the produce manager at each market to think about stocking it, so I have my fingers crossed.

  18. I love this recipe! It feels so fresh and simple but flavorful. I cant wait to try this. Another thing I am loving right now is white balsamic vinegar. I used it all the time a while ago, but recently started using it again. And well, kale of course, cant get enough of that. Thank you for the great idea!

  19. I haven't seen baby kale in my produce section. I'll have to ask the clerk. I'll bet the flavor isn't quite as bitter – perfect for a salad.

  20. This looks wonderful. I'm such a kale salad fan. The version I'm looking to create today has raspberries in it!