Crunchy Kale Salad with Garlicky Tahini Dressing

I dream about Crunchy Kale Salad with Garlicky tahini sauce often. It has so many wonderful flavors, it's easy to make, and filling enough to be enjoyed as a main course or side dish. This Crispy kale salad recipe is deliciously packed full of flavor. The Whole foods garlic tahini dressing adds richness, creaminess, and depth of flavor to this recipe.

Kale and tahini both are very nutritious ingredients. They are easy to find at most grocery stores and offer many health benefits. You can add them to the salad or customize it as per your liking to add more flavors and textures. Along with being so tasty and quick to make, this salad is a repeat maker, and will be in heavy meal prep rotation. You can prepare it in advance and refrigerate it for up to 3 days.

What is tahini?

I'm sure you've heard of or used tahini in Middle Eastern dishes. It is a creamy sauce or paste made from sesame seeds. Tahini has a rich, creamy, nutty, and earthy flavor. Tahini is known for its many benefits as well. It is not only nutritious but is also a rich source of antioxidants. It also offers antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

You can make tahini at home using sesame seeds, olive oil, salt, and lemon juice. Simply blend the ingredients until you get a fine paste. You can buy premade tahini as it is quick and convenient, at most grocery stores.

Ingredient breakdown

Here is everything you will need for the kale salad and the Vegan tahini dressing recipe:

For the Kale Salad

  • Kale: This leafy green is a superfood. It is loaded with nutrients like antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, and minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium. It is a very healthy ingredient with many wonderful benefits. It has a crunchy texture and a robust earthy flavor with a slight bitterness. It is widely used in the salad for its many benefits.
  • Red bell pepper: Adding red bell pepper not just adds color but a sweet and fruity flavor as well. You can replace it with yellow or green bell pepper as well.
  • Red onion: Red onions have a crunchy texture and a savory flavor.
  • Celery stalks: Celery stalks are also rich in nutrients. They have a salty and savory flavor with a hint of tartness.
  • Carrot: Carrot's sweet flavor neutralizes the flavors of other ingredients. Plus, it adds color to your salad as well.

For the Tahini Dressing

  • Tahini: The main ingredient for this salad dressing is tahini. It sets the base for this dressing. It has a creamy texture and a nutty flavor, and you can use premade tahini for this recipe. Moreover, you can also make tahini at home.
  • Lemon juice: Lemon juice has a citrusy and acidic flavor that cuts through the creaminess of this salad. It adds freshness to the dressing.
  • Onion powder: It adds a slightly sweet yet savory flavor to the salad.
  • Garlic powder: Garlic powder has a deep, savory, and garlicky flavor which adds to the flavor of this salad.
  • Nutritional yeast: This vegan ingredient is known for its savory, cheesy, and nutty flavor.
  • Soy sauce: A dash of soy sauce adds saltiness and an umami flavor to this dressing.
  • Water: Add water according to your need to adjust the consistency of this salad dressing.

How to prepare kale for a salad?

You can use kale just like any other leafy green by washing the leaves and chopping them. However, most people don't like its extra crunchy flavor. So, by giving the fresh kale leaves a massage, you can loosen them up and break down the bitterness of the delicious leafy green. All you have to do is wash the kale leaves, dry them and then chop.

Now add them to a bowl and drizzle olive oil on top. Start massaging the kale using your hands. Continue for 2 to 3 minutes until the leaves turn soft. The oil is not necessary but helps. You can also add lemon juice or salt for more flavor.

Variation ideas

The beauty of a salad is that you can add as many ingredients as you prefer to add more flavor and texture. Here are a few ideas that you can try to make this Crispy kale salad recipe more flavorful:

  • Chickpeas: Add roasted chickpeas to turn this Crispy kale salad into a protein packed one. They don't just add crunch but flavor to this salad as well as a fully balanced meal.
  • Almonds: Add nuts like almonds or walnuts to this salad. It adds more nutrients and crunch to this salad.
  • Pine nuts: Pine nuts have a delicious buttery texture and a mildly sweet flavor. It is an excellent addition to your salad as it offers many health benefits.
  • Avocado: Add avocados for a smooth creamy texture and boost of healthy fat.
  • Cherry tomatoes: You can also add cherry tomatoes to this salad. It adds a juicy pop of flavor to the dish.

Crunchy Kale Salad with Garlicky Tahini Dressing

Prep Time 15 minutes
Course Appetizer, Dinner, dope recipes, Lunch, Main Dish, raw, Salad, Sauces + Dressings
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings


Crunchy Kale Salad

  • 1 large bunch of kale
  • 1 medium red pepper
  • 1 small red onion
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 medium carrot

Garlicky Tahini Dressing

  • 1/4 cup
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • water


For the Salad:

  • Remove kale from the stem.
  • Chop kale as small as possible. Add to a large bowl and give it a quick massage with your hands (1 to 2 minutes).
  • Finely dice the red pepper, red onion, celery, and carrot. Add everything to the bowl.

For the dressing:

  • In a mason jar, add dressing ingredients and whisk together. Add water to bring desired consistency. You can also use a small food processor. Keep tasting and adjusting the dressing accordingly.
  • Serve: Top your salad with the garlicky tahini dressing, add your favorite toppings, give it a gentle toss, then enjoy as a side or your main dish.
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