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Kale Cranberry Salad on a white plate

Kale Cranberry Salad (Vegan, Gluten Free)

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6
This 15-Minute Kale Cranberry Salad is sweetened with dried cranberries and a sweet tahini dressing, and loaded with crunchy bites of sunflower seeds and sliced almonds.



  • 1 Medium bunch kale - curly kale, washed, stems removed and finely chopped (about 6 cups)- organic preferred
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil - can omit if oil-free
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice - about 1 medium lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground sea salt
  • 1/4 black pepper - freshly ground
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas/garbanzo beans - drained
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds - see notes for nut-free option
  • 1 cup red cabbage - finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup fresh parsley - finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds - unsalted

Sweet Tahini Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup tahini - sesame seed paste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice - about 1 medium lemon
  • 1 tablespoon organic maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper - or to taste
  • 1/3 cup warm water


  • Prepare the kale by removing the leaves from the tough stems (discard the hard stems). Chop the kale into fine pieces, wash then add to a salad spinner to remove moisture if necessary. Then add the chopped kale to a large bowl.
  • Drizzle the kale with the olive oil, and then add the 2 tablespoons lemon juice, salt and pepper. Note: if oil-free, you can omit the oil. Using your hands, massage the kale for a couple minutes to break down the texture. Set aside.
  • Next make the Sweet Tahini Dressing by mixing all of the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Stir with a small whisk until blended. Set aside to thicken.
  • To the large bowl of chopped kale, add the dried cranberries, can of chickpeas (drained), sliced almonds, sliced red cabbage, chopped parsley and sunflower seeds. Then add the dressing and stir until combined, using salad servers or even tongs. Let sit for a few minutes so the kale can absorb the flavors. Serve.
  • Because kale is a tougher green, this will last in the fridge (in an airtight container) for a couple days with the dressing mixed in. But if you plan to make ahead of time, I recommend (for best flavor/taste), to keep the salad and dressing separate, and add the dressing immediately before serving. Serves 6.


  • For nut-free, omit the almonds and add additional sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds.
  • Curly kale works well for this recipe, but other varieties will also work.
  • The tahini dressing will thicken as it sits. If the dressing it too thick for your liking, you can add warm water in 1 tablespoon increments until it's at your desired consistency.


Calories: 288kcal | Carbohydrates: 37.4g | Protein: 9.1g | Fat: 13.9g | Sodium: 323mg | Sugar: 18.1g
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