Vegan kale salad recipe with red cabbage, dates and toasted almonds. Delicious as a hearty kale salad and perfect for cold winter days. It’s an easy lunch but can also be used as a light dinner. Or use as a delicious side dish.

Vegan kale salad recipe

Vegan kale salad recipe with red cabbage

The colour combination in this kale and red cabbage salad makes me happy. I love the colour of red cabbage anyway, and combined with the beautiful green of kale, this is a perfect winter salad. You will need to massage the kale to get that glossy look and to wilt the kale enough to make it edible.

Sounds crazy, but it really does taste better! To achieve this effect, simply massage the kale with a little coarse salt and a little olive oil. Make sure you use a good quality extra virgin olive oil as this will determine the final result. 

Ingredients for the kale salad

Massage the kale

Kneading or massaging the kale will shrink it slightly and give it a nice shine. When you eat kale raw, it is quite chewy. If you have massaged it, the leaves will be softer and much nicer to eat. I can still remember the first time I read about this way to treat raw kale and I was intrigued. And it works perfectly! So if you’ve been hesitant about using kale in it’s raw form think again. The red cabbage can simply be chopped into small pieces. Don’t let the pieces be too big or it will be too crunchy. 

Apart from the kale and the red cabbage this delicious vegan kale salad has chopped almonds, dates, nutritional yeast and a delicious kale salad dressing recipe. The dates are chopped and added to the salad. If you’re not a big fan of dates you can easily substitute them for dried cranberries or raisins. Even dried apricots will work really well here. It’s a great recipe to vary anyway, so feel free to add whatever you like.

Vegan kale salad recipe

With nutritional yeast

As this is a vegan kale salad I’ve substituted parmesan cheese for nutritional yeast. It is not the same by any means, but the yeast does give it a cheesy flavor and it is used a lot in the vegan kitchen. You can even make a vegan parmesan cheese mix with it. In this particular salad you simply sprinkle some of it over the kale salad for extra flavor.

In the dressing I’ve added mustard, maple syrup, coconut aminos and lime juice. Lemon juice will work fine too. If you don’t mind it being vegan or not you can also add honey to the dressing. You simply mix the dressing ingredients together and add it to the kale and red cabbage.

Vegan kale salad recipe

Additions and variations

Now as I mentioned this delicious and easy vegan kale salad can be adjusted to your liking. If you want it to be a bit more filling add some white beans to the salad. I also like to add some red onion for crunch and sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds work great here too. Pine nuts would be a good addition too.

While I love lacinato kale as well, I am not sure it will work as well here. The lacinato kale is a bit tougher and I have not tried eating that raw. I would stick to regular curly kale for making this salad. I actually use pre-chopped kale for this which is the easiest way to make this but oviously you can buy whole kale and chop it into smaller pieces. Make sure to wash the kale leaves properly in a lot of water and use a salad spinner to remove any excess moisture. I like to add a little bit of salt to the cleaning water to make sure any remaining critters are removed.

Closeup of the vegan kale salad

Even better the next day

Now the fun part about this healthy kale salad that it gets better the next day. When you add the dressing already to the raw kale salad the flavors have time to infuse through the salad making it the perfect recipe to take along to work. You can keep it in a large serving bowl in the fridge but using an airtight container would be a better option so the kale doesn’t absorb any of the other flavors of the food that’s in the fridge. If using a salad bowl make sure to cover it with plastic wrap too.

Making it a main dish

If you want to make this vegan kale salad recipe into a main dish, you can do a couple of things. If you want to stick to vegan you can add some beans as I mentioned before. You can go for white beans or you can use chickpeas or another kind of bean you prefer.

If you are ok to eat meat you can add some pieces of chicken or fish to te salad.

Vegan kale salad recipe

Kale salad with red cabbage, dates and almonds

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√Delicious kale salad √Vegan salad √with crunchy almonds and red cabbage √Perfect to for meal prep or lunch on the go
Decorative clock showing preparation time
Prep time 5 minutes
Cooking time 15 minutes
Total time 20 minutes

4 people


  • 300 g kale sliced
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch coarse sea salt
  • 200 g red cabbage finely sliced
  • 5 Medjool dates pitted and finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
  • 100 g toasted almonds chopped roughly for the topping


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • ½ tsp maple syrup

  • To make the salad, place the kale in a large bowl and add the olive oil and some coarse sea salt. Massage the kale with your hands until it shines and shrinks nicely.
  • Add the red cabbage and mix in the sliced dates, nutritional yeast flakes and chopped almonds.
  • Make the dressing by mixing the olive oil with the coconut aminos, lime juice, mustard and maple syrup. Mix well and serve with the salad.
  • The salad also keeps well, making it ideal for a healthy lunch on the go.

Nutrition Information per portion

Calories: 412kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 18g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 96mg | Potassium: 854mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 8096IU | Vitamin C: 99mg | Calcium: 301mg | Iron: 3mg


The nutritional values above are calculated per portion. The details are based on standard nutritional tables and do not constitute a professional nutritional advice.

Did you make this recipe?Mention @insimoneskitchen_ or tag #insimoneskitchen!

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Simone van den Berg

Food blogger from the Netherlands. Loves good food. Likes to create healthy and easy recipes for daily use, but also loves the occasional sweet dish. Lives in the Netherlands with her two cats; Humphrey and Buffy. Profession: Food photographer, food blogger, recipe developer and nutritionist