An Easy Kale Salad for Christmas Eve

Getting the menu right for a holiday is all about balance. I try not to, for example, have too many carb-heavy dishes because you don’t want your guests to feel bloated. Plus, I’m really all about the sides. Plus, the sides can be so colorful! I love the sweetness and the crunchieness of this salad paired with the creamy bolognese pasta I’m serving up on Christmas Eve.

Can I let you guys in on a little secret? I don’t like kale. Well, I didn’t. And I was like, “you have to massage your kale? Too much work.” This coming from the girl who goes to 4 grocery stores every weekend just to shop for the week. I mean, really? So anyway, I made this salad, and I massaged the kale, because nobody has time for bitter kale, and I actually apparently really like it!

I like to have a salad that has a lot of toppings, savory and sweet. Every bite is a little surprise and you never get just a mouth full of kale. Maybe that’s why I ended up enjoying this dish?

So I opted for croutons, red onion, dried cranberries, pomegranate seeds (’tis the season to put them on everything), candied pecans and I would serve with a goat cheese or Gorgonzola on the side so folks can decide if they want a cheese on their salad.

Kale Salad with Pomegranates & Candied Pecans

Sweet and savory, all the flavors in this dish come together for a great side to balance a main, from meat to pasta! 
Prep Time 15 mins
Course Side Dish
Servings 6


  • 1 lb kale washed, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1/4 cup red onion thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup candied pecans
  • 1/2 cup croutons
  • 1/4 cup goat or gorgonzola cheese optional
  • 1/4 cup, plus 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp set aside for kale
  • 1/4 cup white wine or balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup dijon mustard
  • salt & pepper to taste


  • Place kale in a large bowl, and drizzle 1 tbsp of olive oil over kale. Massage the kale for 2-3 minutes to take away bitterness.
  • Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. 
  • Add cheese if using, or keep aside for guests to add to their own dish. 
  • In a mason jar or blender, combine olive oil, vinegar and dijon mustard. Blend until combined (or shake until combined). Taste for salt and pepper. 
  • Add dressing and toss salad, or serve dressing on the side.
  • Enjoy! 
Keyword kale salad, side dish

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