gluten-free paleo salads sides vegan

Simple Kale Tahini Salad

October 1, 2023

This Simple Kale Tahini Salad makes the perfect dinner base or side dish for a quick and healthy weekday meal. Pair it with some protein or eat it on the side for a healthy dose of greens. 

Kale salad with peptias and cranberries in a blue bowl

Why Make This Salad:

It’s not a hard sell on why you’ll want to make this kale salad. Not only is it healthy, but it actually tastes delicious!

  1. It’s Healthy – I mean it’s a kale salad amIright?! Kale provides plenty of fiber and folate and the creamy tahini dressing contains sesame seeds which are loaded with iron!
  2. It’s Fast – Other than massaging the kale which requires a bit of elbow grease, this kale tahini salad comes together quickly.
  3. It Keeps – unlike most salads, this kale salad will actually keep in the fridge. Kale is a hearty green that holds up and won’t wilt like most salads.
  4. It Tastes Great – Kale paired with this creamy lemon tahini has delicious flavor with a little crunch from pepitas and sweetness from cherries.

Ingredients Needed:

  • Kale – you can use regular curly kale or tuscan kale (also known as lacinato kale). Either will work.
  • Lemon – Not only does it add flavor but it also contains vitamin C which can help boost iron absorption from kale leaves (source). Lemon is also used in the dressing.
  • Olive oil – I like using extra virgin olive oil. Olive oil + lemon juice are used to massage kale to make it easier to digest.
  • Sea salt – feel free to adjust to sodium preferences.
  • Dried cherries – I love the taste of dried cherries but feel free to swap them in place for other dried fruit like cranberries or raisins.
  • Pumpkin seeds – sometimes called pepitas.
  • Tahini – effectively ground up sesame seed paste. It gives this kale salad a creamy taste but it’s still dairy-free!
  • Garlic – ideally use freshly minced garlic.
  • Maple Syrup – adds some sweetness to the dressing. You could also use honey if you aren’t vegan.
Graphic showing raw kale on left side and massaging kale in bowl on the right side.

How to Make Kale Tahini Salad:

Just a few simple steps are required to make this kale tahini salad!

  1. Assemble salad – Prep kale and add to a large mixing bowl with lemon juice, olive oil and sea salt. Massage liquid until kale until it has completely wilted. This will take around 3-5 mins. Top salad with dried cherries and pumpkin seeds.
  2. Make dressing – In a small bowl whisk together all ingredients for tahini dressing. Toss salad with tahini dressing and serve.

Easy Swaps + Substitutions:

Add protein – You could always turn this kale salad into a complete meal by adding a protein. Rotisserie chicken, grilled steak or even crispy chickpeas are all great additions.

Add in veggies – I consider this kale tahini salad a base so feel free to add in any other veggies you prefer e.g. cucumbers, bell peppers or even roasted butternut squash!

Use fresh fruit – you can always substitute the dried cherries with fresh fruit. Pomegranate seeds, chopped apples, pears etc…

Add cheese – this salad is technically vegan but if you wanted to add some cheese, I highly recommend it! Parmesan cheese or even feta are great additions.

close up of kale tahini salad in a blue bowl

Storage Instructions

I personally prefer eating this kale tahini salad fresh, but what’s great about kale is that its texture holds up quite well even after storing.

I find it will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days in an airtight container. For best results avoid dressing before storing leftovers but if you’ve already pre-dressed it, it will usually keep for 1-2 days.

More Healthy Salad Recipes


Simple Kale Tahini Salad

This Kale Tahini Salad makes the perfect dinner base or side dish for a quick and healthy weekday meal. Pair it with some protein or eat it on the side for a healthy dose of greens.

  • Author: Davida Lederle
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern
  • Diet: Vegan



tahini dressing:


  1. Remove kale from stem and cut into small pieces.
  2. Add to a large bowl and top with lemon juice, olive oil and sea salt.
  3. Massage liquid until kale until it has completely wilted. This will take around 3-5 minutes.
  4. Top with dried cherries and pumpkin seeds.
  5. In a small bowl combine all ingredients for tahini dressing.
  6. Pour tahini dressing onto salad and toss to combine.

Keywords: kale tahini salad, kale salad with tahini

overhead image of a kale tahini salad with pumpkin seeds and cranberries in a blue bowl.


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  • Reply
    November 9, 2021 at 12:38 pm

    Thanks sharing this article

  • Reply
    Roger Henley
    August 17, 2021 at 7:30 am

    5 out of 5 from my side for this recipe i would love to try this recipe. thanks

  • Reply
    Judy Ha
    April 1, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    Made this and eating it now. OMG So good. Thank you for this idea!!!!!!

  • Reply
    Heather @Gluten-Free Cat
    May 25, 2016 at 5:53 pm

    I have a bunch of kale just screaming to be transformed into this incredible looking salad! (And I’ll always work for chocolate.)

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      May 26, 2016 at 9:51 am

      How could I forget about chocolate?! I’d work for chocolate too 😉

  • Reply
    Stella @ Stellicious Life
    May 24, 2016 at 11:52 am

    Love your sassitude Davida, never hold it in. And I also love to hear it loud and clear, because it reinforces my belief in myself and my work, because although I find it as obvious that you don’t work for free, sometimes I have a harder time seeing it as obvious regarding myself. I mean, sure there are some exceptions when even if you work free there are some benefits to you that make the whole arrangement beneficial, but what I meant to say I need to have more confidence in my own worth and quality of work. And such messages from you and other successful bloggers really help in that, so THANK YOU!! 🙂

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      May 26, 2016 at 6:23 pm

      Thanks so much, lovely! Means the world to me to know my experiences have impacted you. Keep valuing your time and your work! You are WORTH IT!

  • Reply
    Beverley @ Born to Sweat
    May 24, 2016 at 11:45 am

    hahaha Davida i LOVEEE the sassitude. its a good look for ya.
    and i agree, the kale salad at Gusto is insanely good. But sometimes i’d prefer to save my money and eat at home. Going to try this soon!!

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      May 26, 2016 at 6:22 pm

      True story…I’ve paid $15 to have that salad delivered (and I live a block away). The things I’ll do for that damn salad haha

  • Reply
    May 23, 2016 at 7:09 pm


    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      May 24, 2016 at 9:49 am


  • Reply
    May 21, 2016 at 6:06 am

    Kale + Tahini is the best combo!

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      May 24, 2016 at 9:53 am

      I couldn’t agree more!

  • Reply
    Sam @ barrister's beet
    May 20, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    That must be so frustrating! Stick to your guns. You’re worth it!

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      May 24, 2016 at 9:53 am

      Thanks, lady! Appreciate the support!

  • Reply
    Dani @ Dani California Cooks
    May 20, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    So bizarre – I am actually eating a kale and tahini salad right now. Great minds think alike!

  • Reply
    May 20, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    Sweet potatoes. I’d definitely work for sweet potatoes! 😀 This kale salad looks like such a stunner! Seriously craving.

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      May 26, 2016 at 6:24 pm

      Oh the things I would do for sweet potatoes!

  • Reply
    May 20, 2016 at 9:09 am

    This post had me laughing the whole time! Perfection, my friend.

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      May 26, 2016 at 6:24 pm

      hehe thanks girlfriend! Glad I can make you laugh!

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