Harvest Waldorf Kale Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

Harvest Waldorf Kale Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

Harvest Waldorf Kale Salad with Maple Vinaigrette is a lightened up and filling salad recipe for fall with a harvest of dark leafy greens, fresh seasonal produce and lean protein that makes an entrée salad with nutritious ingredients and satisfying flavors!


It was among one of Bobby Deen’s lightened up recipes for fall

 in the Sept/Oct 2014 issue of Cooking with Paula Deen magazine.

My grocery store sells bags of triple washed chopped kale that makes assembling the salad extra quick and easy.


The slightly bitter kale is a delicious counterpoint to crisp sweetness of the apples, creamy dressing, and the crunch of the toasted walnuts. I made a couple of changes to the salad, substituting blue cheese for goat cheese, and adapted the dressing to our taste; adding maple syrup for the sweet note instead of molasses, a bit of Dijon mustard and substituting balsamic for sherry vinegar.

Massaged Kale

To make the kale in your salad more palatable, give it a massage!

Remove the fibrous ribs of the kale, chop or shred your kale then gather your bunches in your hands and massage them, rubbing the leaves and pieces together. Do this for 2 – 5 minutes until you notice the leaves begin to darken, soften, and shrink in size. You don’t need to add anything to the kale to break them down, but you can add a bit of olive oil and salt to speed up the process.


Harvest Waldorf Kale Salad with Maple Vinaigrette,

 adapted from Cooking with Paula Deen, Sept/Oct 2014

Vinaigrette Ingredients

1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons Maple syrup

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


Salad Ingredients:

4 Gala or Fuji apples, chopped (I used Honeycrisp)

3 carrots, shaved into ribbons

3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken

3 cups shredded or chopped kale

1 cup toasted walnuts

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

Salt & pepper to taste


For dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for up to two days.


For salad: In large bowl, toss together all ingredients. Divide among serving plates, and drizzle with dressing; serve immediately.

Makes 4 – 6 servings


You can find a printable recipe here.

Harvest Waldorf Kale Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

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  20 comments for “Harvest Waldorf Kale Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

  1. November 5, 2014 at 6:08 am

    Sounds like a great lunch Mary! Pretty colors too:@)

  2. November 5, 2014 at 7:04 am

    What a perfect, healthy Fall meal, Mary! I love that the salad includes some protein punch from the chicken and a sweet note from the maple syrup and balsamic.

  3. linda kemp
    November 5, 2014 at 7:50 am

    This looks yummy. I love the idea of massaging the kale leaves. I bet the grandkids would love that :-) Have a wonderful day.

  4. November 5, 2014 at 8:00 am

    Thanks for this recipe! I love kale salad. My daughter had so much in her garden and I ate kale ceaser salad this summer . Now I have another salad for a change. I believe she is still getting some out of her garden. Yum! Have a great day and thanks for sharing.

  5. November 5, 2014 at 8:18 am

    I use rotisserie chicken often in our “dinner salads”… I have not made it with kale yet…I never knew that massaging the kale can really make a difference in its texture!….this is on my dinner list this week…thanks for the recipes!…Looks wonderful!…pinning away!!

  6. November 5, 2014 at 10:19 am

    This looks like a delicious take on Waldorf Salad. Waldorf Salad is a favorite of mine.

  7. November 5, 2014 at 10:20 am

    Mary, I’m not a fan of eating kale, but will try your trick. The salad looks delicious, and your shots are incredible. Your photography skills amaze me!
    I just finished planting winter annuals in the garden, and today we are having a steady rainfall. Glad I got it all in the ground yesterday. ‘-)
    Thanks for the recipe!

  8. November 5, 2014 at 10:22 am

    With the addition of chicken, sounds like a perfect dinner to me.

  9. November 5, 2014 at 10:24 am

    I think I am healthier just for reading this post Mary! I must massage my kale and see if I like it better, I am trying to become a fan :) I love the substitutions you made, I think I could eat bleu cheese and maple syrup in just about anything!!

  10. franki
    November 5, 2014 at 10:28 am

    I loved the “little pitcher’s” for the dressing…hmmmm…do I need “little pitcher’s” for my Thanksgiving table…hmmm…franki

  11. November 5, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    I have never tasted kale but this salad makes me want to. Thanks for the tip on massaging it:) The dressing sounds scrumptious!

  12. November 5, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    Gorgeous presentations. It looks and sounds delicious! Your header is stunning.

  13. November 5, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    Mary, I copied your recipe because we have kale growing in our garden. I will, of course, have to sustitute something else for the chicken because we have the chicken curse going on here! I have heard of massaging kale but I’ve never done myself.This looks like a fantastic salad!

  14. November 6, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    looks delish, i love the dressing, but i am holding off on kale, YUCK, give me the gold old spinach days, i refuse to be brow beaten into the year of kale ;-)

  15. Ann Schermer
    September 9, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    Found this Kale Waldorph salad yesterday, bought the items I knew I needed and made it tonight. My tastingng of it is great, just hope the husband likes it to.

  16. November 8, 2017 at 11:22 pm

    Thank you salad was amazing

    • November 9, 2017 at 6:31 am

      Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for letting me know Anita!

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