Kale Waldorf Salad


Best kale salad ever! A kale waldorf salad with apples, celery, walnuts, dried cranberries, and tangy mayo dressing

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Come fall, one of our favorite things to make with the apples and walnuts from our trees is a Waldorf salad. Here’s a fresh take on this American classic—a kale version.

In it we have subbed in kale for the lettuce, dried cranberries for the grapes, and hold everything together with a tangy mayo dressing.

Why kale?

Well, we all know that leafy greens are good for you. But the great thing about using kale in a salad is that you can make it in advance, even a day ahead.

A dressing that would quickly wilt into a saggy mess the sturdiest of lettuces, will have a tenderizing effect on kale, making the raw kale deliciously easy to eat.

The slight bitterness of the raw kale is balanced by the sweetness of the apples and cranberries. The mayonnaise dressing with Dijon and vinegar help brighten all of the flavors.

Kale Waldorf Salad Recipe

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4



  • 1/3 cup of mayonnaise
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smooth Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper


  • 2 large sweet red apples, cored, and chopped
  • 1 cup of sliced celery
  • 1 cup lightly toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
  • 2 cups (packed) sliced kale leaves (tough ribs removed before slicing)


1 Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a medium sized bowl.

2 Place the apples, celery, walnuts, dried sweetened cranberries, and kale in a serving bowl.

3 Add the dressing to the salad and gently toss to combine. Add more salt and pepper to taste.


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Kale Waldorf Salad

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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23 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Saskia Mills

    This is so delicious! The whole family loves it, including the picky teens. Still great as lunch the next day, which is hard to accomplish with a salad. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Kate

    Excellent recipe! Definitely will be making this again soon. I did make my dressing with plain Greek yogurt instead of mayo and couldn’t tell the difference. I don’t think it was too acidic.

  • Monica S.

    Tried this recipe for the first time for a potluck at work…. Delish! Many really liked the combined flavors and dressing was light and the perfect amount! Many times the dressing in recipes is too much and sits at the bottom of the serving bowl. This dressing clung nicely to every piece! I used kale and celery that came in my CSA this week. Will be a keeper recipe for sure! Thanks for sharing, Elise~

  • Lisa

    Your cranberry sauce and this Waldorf Kale salad will be on our Christmas table tomorrow. Thanks for the recipes and Happy Holidays!

  • Leisa

    Update: I made this recipe last evening as a test run for TG side. As I suspected, this dish will be a nice foil to brighten some of the dinner’s tones while honoring fall’s vegetable and fruit residents. I bought a bag of mixed baby kale arugula chard and spinach as that was what was at the store. I used the chiffonade technique to break them down further. (I had also seen another recipe for such greens as a base for a coleslaw with apples with a poppy seed dressing).

    Outside of the leaf prep, I would not change a thing about the recipe. I really enjoyed it. Thanks Elise!

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