This Kale Date Almond Salad with earthy kale, dates, and protein-rich almonds and hemp hearts tossed in a sweetened lemon dressing is a delicious combination of savory and sweet!
Kale, kale, and more kale!
I hope you all love it as much as me because I have another kale recipe for the collection. And if you don’t love it, maybe this simple and easy salad will make you a kale lover!
I love finding gems like this with such positive feedback (even non-kale lovers loved it). I’ve brought the two inspirations together, creating a simple, classic kale salad to enjoy time and time again.
Whether serving for a crowd or simply for yourself, you’ll love the ease of this kale salad. Pair it with a slice of whole-grain bread and you have yourself a nice light, healthy lunch or dinner.
What Type of Kale Should I use?
My favorite kale for this recipe is baby kale. It’s tender and can be eaten without the need of ‘massaging’ to tenderize it.
If using full-grown kale, the lemon dressing will help to soften it. The full-grown kale you find in bunches will benefit the most from a little marinating. It can really make a big difference for those who have a hard time eating raw kale. For the most tenderizing effect, I would suggest leaving the kale in the lemon mixture for an hour or so, even overnight, covered, in the fridge.
Use your favorite dates. I’ve used 8 medjool dates here. Use as many as you like. I like to get at least one piece of date in every bite.
Tip: Only add the dates when ready to serve, or they’ll get soggy and mushy. Dried figs would also work well here.
Almonds and hemp hearts are rich in protein and essential vitamins. The almonds add texture and the hemp hearts add a dose of healthy omegas.
How To Make Kale Date Salad
Start with adding the lemon, maple syrup, red pepper flakes, and pinch of salt to the bottom of a large bowl (shown above), giving a good stir to combine.
Add the kale and onion, and toss to coat (shown below). This helps ‘massage’ the kale, making it soften and ease the bitterness. Let rest for at least 10 minutes, tossing every so often.
When ready, assemble your salad in individual bowls by adding a portion of greens and topping with dates, almonds, and an optional dusting of vegan parmesan.
It’s simple, light, and refreshing – even on a chilly day, it was a perfect fresh salad!
Enjoy this healthy salad as a light lunch or dinner. We hope you love it as much as we do!
More Healthy Salad Recipes!
- Kale + Red Cabbage Slaw Salad
- Strawberry + Spinach Salad + Poppyseed Dressing
- Vegan Cobb Salad
- Vegan Caesar Salad
If you try this kale date salad recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.Print
KALE, DATE & ALMOND SALAD + LEMON DRESSING
Savory and sweet, this vegan kale salad with dates and almonds is an easy way to love your kale. Makes for a light lunch or dinner and pairs great with a slice of whole grain bread.
- Prep Time: 10 min
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: Serves 4 1x
- Category: Salad
- Method: mix
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
- juice of 1 large lemon
- 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
- pinch of salt
- pinch of red pepper flakes or fresh cracked pepper
- 5 oz. package baby kale or 1 large bunch lacinato or curly kale (stem removed and julienned)
- ⅛ red onion (or 1 small shallot), thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, optional
- 8 dates, seeds removed and chopped
- ⅓ cup slivered almonds
- 3 tablespoons hemp hearts
- almond parmesan or Violife Vegan Parm
In a large bowl, combine the lemon juice, maple syrup, salt and red pepper flakes, add the kale and shallots, mix well. If using large leaf kale, let set for at least 20 minutes (or overnight in the fridge) making sure to toss a few times. If using baby kale, serve right away as baby kale is tender ready.
Before serving add a drizzle of the optional olive oil, toss well. Add in the dates, almonds, hemp hearts and light dusting of almond parmesan or shaved vegan parm.
Try toasting the almonds on the stove if you like. To do this, place almonds in a pan over medium heat (no oil needed), stir frequently until almonds change color slightly, about 1 – 2 minutes.
Do not add dates until serving time. If you add them before they may become soggy.
Try using dried figs in place of dates.
For the most tender kale (if using large leaf), let marinate in the lemon juice mixture, covered, in the refrigerator overnight, tossing once or twice.
Keywords: kale date salad, kale date salad recipe
Updated: This recipe was originally published in January 2016. It has been retested and updated with new photos and helpful tips in August 2021.