This Kale Salad with Cranberries is a perfect entertaining salad that is brimming with flavour. It is gluten and dairy free, as well as vegan and top 8 allergen free.
- Why We Like This Recipe
- The Ingredient Low Down
- Instructions/ Directions and Tips to make Kale Salad with Cranberries
- Variations /Adaptations
- Storage and Reheating Instructions
- How to Cranberry, Pear, and Kale Salad as Leftovers for Lunch
- Top Tip
- What To Serve With
- Other Recipes You May Enjoy
- If you have made this recipe please leave a comment below and rate our recipe.
- We would love to hear from you!
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Why We Like This Recipe
This is a fun salad to serve for family gatherings. Cranberry, Pear and Kale Salad is colourful and full of flavour so we find our kids eat more of any salad when they find it visually appealing. We have been making this salad in a wreath shape for our holiday gatherings. The wreath shape makes it interesting for the kids to eat and helps us get more veggies into them.
- Diced Pear
- Satsuma or Tangerine Oranges
- Fresh Cranberries
- Lime Juice
- Pumpkin Seed Oil
- Maple Syrup
- White Wine Vinegar
- Fresh Rosemary
- Salt and Pepper
See recipe card for quantities.
The Ingredient Low Down
We bought 2 good sized heads of kale and stripped the leaves from the really tough middle rib. This rib is really bitter and hard to chew. We then tore the kale into bite sized pieces and washed it well. After drying the kale it had to have its massage. Kale can be really tough and hard to chew so if you are eating it raw like in this salad. The trick is to rub the leaves and massage them with your hands to help break down the toughness in the leaves. They will start to go a bit of a different colour as the leaves soften and break down.
We used 2 pears. The Bartlett pears are our favourite but any pear will work. The pears have been used as fresh dice pieces and as candied in this recipe.
We made pear simple syrup by using 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar along with 2 cored and diced pears. It was in a light simmer for 15 minutes. When finished the pears were removed and placed on sheets of waxed paper to cool in the fridge. If making the simple syrup they may as well be used.
Satsuma or Tangerine Oranges
We use the small easy to peel really sweet ones and separate each segment from the others. Then cut each segment in 3 to make them really easy to eat. In total, we used 2 satsumas. You can use as many as you’d like or even use the canned in syrup or water ones. Just drain them (save the syrup for drinks) and use them on the salad.
We chose to use fresh cranberries but you can switch them for dried ones, if preferred.
We used the leaves from watercress to add a bit of flavour and texture to the salad. The leaves are soft and have a peppery taste.
These are just the green seeds from pumpkins. Inside the white ones you dig out of your Halloween pumpkin is a green seed. This is those seeds inside that we used here. They come raw and we use them both raw and toasted in a pan but raw was quicker for a salad for us.
We squeezed limes to get the juice. Using fresh lime juice means less chances of cross contact in a factory for us. Generally one lime gives 2 tablespoons of juice.
Pumpkin Seed Oil
This is a really flavourful oil so only a bit is used. You can use canola or olive oil in place of it. Changing it will change the dressing taste. Pumpkin seed oil has a super low smoke point so it should only be used cold. It can be tough to find in North America but may be substituted for a safe oil.
To add sweetness in the dressing and keep it vegan we use maple syrup. If you are not vegan you can use honey but as it comes from animals it is not vegan friendly. Use the real maple syrup and not flavoured corn syrup. It is thinner than the fake syrup.
White Wine Vinegar
If white wine vinegar isn’t safe for you can use apple cider vinegar or rice wine vinegar. It will add a bit of tang to the dressing and help break down the kale a bit.
The fresh variety is best for this recipe. It has a bit more flavour and is better in the dressing than dried. If you need to use dried, cut the amount to ⅓ a teaspoon instead of 1 teaspoon.
Instructions/ Directions and Tips to make Kale Salad with Cranberries
1- In a large bowl place the kale.
2- Sprinkle on the pear, oranges, cranberries, watercress, and pepitas.
3- Mix all the ingredients for the dressing together in a small bowl and whisk gently to combine.
4- When ready to serve, the salad drizzle with dressing.
Hint: Make the Cranberry, Pear and Kale Salad in advance and add the dressing at the last minute to help ease the dinner timings.
- Lettuce - Instead of kale you can use spring mix, or spinach, romaine lettuce or any lettuce you’d like.
- Pomegranates - In place of cranberries you can use pomegranate seeds on the wreath salad.
- Sunflower Seeds or Chickpeas - If pumpkin seeds are not safe for you you can use raw shelled sunflower seeds or our favourite - roasted chickpeas.
- Spicy - add a bit of chilli oil to the Cranberry, Pear and Kale Salad dressing instead of some or all of the pumpkin seed oil.
- Coconut and Pineapple- for a tropical taste replace the pears with pineapple and add a bit of coconut flakes on the salad.
- Creamy Dressing - instead of using a vinaigrette you can use a dairy free ranch dressing or the dill one from our cobb salad.
There isn't really a lot needed for this Cranberry, Pear and Kale Salad. A plate or bowl to mix and serve the salad are two of the biggest pieces of equipment.
Knife and cutting board along with measuring spoons and cups are all needed to prep the ingredients and measure them.
Storage and Reheating Instructions
In a well sealing container store the Cranberry, Pear and Kale Salad with dressing in the fridge for up to 30 minutes. With the dressing on the side it can be stored for up to 24 hours. We also recommend storing the oranges on the side, too.
This kale salad with cranberries doesn’t freeze well. We do not recommend freezing it for storage.
How to Cranberry, Pear, and Kale Salad as Leftovers for Lunch
Send the vegan salad in a well sealing container and the dressing separately. What we do to stop the dressing from leaking out is to put it in a small container in the salad container. This way if it leaks it will only leak on the kale salad with cranberries and not all over the backpack. Don’t forget to send a fork.
To make a Cranberry, Pear and Kale wreath salad - Take a plate that you’d like to serve the salad on and take a small bowl and flip it upside down in the middle of the plate. The bowl should leave at least 2 inches around the outside to put the salad on.
Build the kale salad with cranberries starting with the kale on the exposed part of the plate. Then dot with diced pear, satsuma pieces, cranberries, watercress, and pumpkin seeds. Put them around on the kale so they look like ornaments on a wreath. Tuck a couple of pieces of rosemary around the edges. Remove the bowl carefully. Fix any parts that moved when the bowl was removed. Put the dressing in a small dish in the middle or pour on the salad. This works for salads served family style or individually.
For garnish when making the salad into a wreath salad shape use a couple of fresh rosemary sprigs around the edges poking out like boughs. We also cut the cranberries in slices to look pretty on the salad rather than chopping them.
What To Serve With
This wreath salad is the perfect side dish for holiday dinners or potlucks. We serve Cranberry, Pear and Kale Salad with roast dinners like meatloaf or shepherd’s pie. It is enough for lunch alone but is best as a side for dinner.
To make it a meal salad add protein like a thyme chicken breast, proscuitto for those who enjoy meat. To keep it a vegan salad but upgrade it to a meal consider adding falafels or grillled jackfruit.
Other Recipes You May Enjoy
If you have made this recipe please leave a comment below and rate our recipe.
We would love to hear from you!
- Knife and Cutting Board
- Measuring spoons and cups
- 6 C Kale ribs removed, torn and massaged
- ½ C Diced Pear optional candied if desired
- 2 Satsuma or Tangerine Oranges peeled, segmented and cut in three
- 3 Tbsps Fresh Cranberries chopped
- 2 Tbsps Watercress
- 2 Tbsps Pepitas green pumpkin seeds
- 4 Tbsps Lime Juice about 2 limes
- 3 Tbsps Pumpkin Seed Oil or olive oil
- 2 Tbsps Maple Syrup
- 2 Tbsps White Wine Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Chopped Fresh Rosemary
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- ⅛ teaspoon Pepper
- 1- In a large bowl place the kale.
- 2- Sprinkle on the pear, oranges, cranberries, watercress, and pepitas.
- 3- Mix all the ingredients for the dressing together in a small bowl and whisk gently to combine.
- 4- When ready to serve, the salad drizzle with dressing.
- Contact the manufacturer of products, regarding cross contact and ingredients, to ensure they are safe for you
- Always check ingredients for allergens
- Do not use the same utensils on allergen free food, that previously touched allergens
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods