Massaged Kale Salad is a terrific way to enjoy this healthy, flavorful green! An easy manual technique will make you a kale fan!

Before the days of baby kale, putting kale in a salad could give your jaw a workout. But a simple technique makes for a delicious salad no matter the type of kale greens are used.

Massaged Kale Salad topped with tomatoes and seeds in a white bowl

Massaged Kale Salad

Yup, I’m a wee bit late jumping on the massaged kale salad bandwagon that hit the net over the past year. All it took was a nudge from my brother-in-law (yes, this is the brother of my picky hubby) to find some kale recipes for his family. Apparently, their CSA deliveries were heavy on greens and they needed some palatable options. I referred him to a kale salad recipe on Epicurious…which he immediately tried and gave extremely positive feedback.

I tweaked the original recipe by using tomatoes instead of mangoes and sprinkling with salted sunflower seeds versus pepitas. I made a small batch, knowing that there wasn’t going to be any miraculous change in the hubby’s palate.

Massaged Kale Salad in a white bowl with toppings of seeds and tomatoes

Easy Kale Salad Recipe

I recommend using baby kale so you don’t have to deal with any tough ribs or leaves, but it’s not mandatory. But a word of caution if you have even a wee paper cut on your hands…the massaging process will sting! And I was truly surprised how much I enjoyed this simple salad preparation. I will be whipping up this massaged kale salad again. Maybe if I don’t mention the “k” word, the hubby might give it a shot!

Massaged Kale Salad | With tomatoes and sunflower seeds, this salad is healthy and delish!

Massaged Kale Salad

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Yield 4 servings

A massaged kale salad with cherry tomatoes and sunflower seeds


  • 10 ounces baby kale
  • Juice of one lemon, divided
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 2-3 tablespoons salted sunflower seeds


  1. In a large bowl, mix kale, the juice of half the lemon, a bit of kosher salt and a drizzle of olive oil. With your hands, massage the kale for about 2-3 minutes.
  2. In a glass measuring cup, whisk the rest of the lemon juice with the honey and black pepper to taste.Slowly drizzle in the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil, whisking constantly to allow for emulsification.
  3. Drizzle the kale with the dressing and toss. Add tomatoes and sunflower seeds, toss again and serve.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 342Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 25gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 2089mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 5gSugar: 7gProtein: 8g


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