THIS SALAD. It’s crunchy, it’s creamy, it’s sweet & salty and it’s truly the perfect way to use your summer produce. We’ve been loving adding giant, fresh salads to our menu lately and this strawberry kale salad was absolutely perfect.
I’m calling it the “summer glow” strawberry kale salad because it will have you glowing from the inside out. All of those gorgeous veggies and fruits are tossed with my famous cilantro lime dressing for a wonderful meal prep lunch or side dish for your next BBQ.
Options to customize with your fav proteins, other veggies, and more below. Enjoy!
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Everything you’ll need to make this strawberry kale salad
If you’re growing fresh produce or are a regular at your farmer’s market, this salad is the perfect way to use up all of the goods. You’ll need:
- Kale: the base of this summery salad is, of course, kale! See below for our best tips for enjoying kale in salads.
- Strawberries: juicy strawberries give the kale salad the perfect amount of sweetness.
- Avocado: a little creaminess and heart-healthy fats.
- Corn: feel free to use raw, grilled or sauteed corn in the salad! I love adding raw or grilled corn. Learn the best way to grill corn here!
- Feta cheese: add some savory saltiness in every bite.
- Red onion: zippy red onion pulls the whole salad together.
- Pistachios: I love the crunch that roasted, salted pistachios add!
- For the dressing: we’re using my famous cilantro lime dressing that has the perfect kick of heat.
Make this chopped kale salad your own
This strawberry kale salad is super easy to customize with what’s in your fridge (or in your garden!) Here are some simple suggestions:
- Choose your produce: I think blueberries or sliced peaches would be a great swap for strawberries, and you could even use finely chopped broccoli in place of the kale.
- Go plant-based: simply omit the feta crumbles or use a plant-based version.
- Pick a cheese: on the other hand, I think this kale salad would be delicious with goat cheese or a sprinkle of grated parmesan.
- Add your fav crunch: feel free to use toasted sliced almonds in place of the pistachios.
Our favorite ways to add protein
Looking to make this strawberry kale salad a little heartier? Try adding:
- Cooked, chopped bacon for a savory, salty flavor.
- Grilled chicken breasts or my honey mustard chicken for a true summer flavor.
- Delicious maple glazed salmon or grilled shrimp marinated in extra cilantro lime dressing would be amazing.
- Grilled shrimp — feel free to marinade in extra cilantro lime dressing!
- One can of chickpeas keep the salad vegetarian
Don’t forget to prep your kale
Kale can be a tough green to enjoy when it’s completely raw, so don’t forget these simple tips for prepping it!
- Chop it small. Be sure to chop it very finely so that the bites aren’t too large. Use a sharp knife or salad chopper, or pulse the kale a few times in a food processor.
- Massage it. Add the cilantro lime dressing to the kale by itself first and toss it all together really well. You can even do this with your hands and “massage” the dressing in so that all of the kale is well coated.
- Let it marinate. That’s right, you’ll want to let the dressed kale sit for at least 15 minutes before adding the other toppings so that it soaks up all of the flavor. It makes all the difference.
Make it ahead of time
Looking to meal prep this summer kale salad? I recommend making the dressing, chopping up the kale, cutting corn off of the cob and slicing the strawberries & red onion, then storing all of those separately in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, prep your kale and add everything together with the avocado, feta and pistachios.
How to store this salad
This summer kale salad will stay good in the fridge for about 1-3 days in an airtight container.
Our fav salad tools
Check out more of our go-to kitchen essentials here!
More salad recipes you’ll love
- California Roasted Sweet Potato Kale Salad
- Grilled Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
- Vegan Curried Broccoli Chickpea Salad
- Summer Strawberry Spinach Salad with Avocado
- Avocado Peach Tomato Salad with Dilly Tahini Dressing
Get all of our delicious salad recipes here!
I hope you love this summer glow strawberry kale salad! If you make it be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked it. Enjoy, xo!
Summer Glow Strawberry Kale Salad
Beautiful strawberry kale salad tossed with fresh strawberries, sweet corn, creamy avocado and a delicious cilantro lime dressing. This fresh chopped kale salad is wonderful as-is and the perfect base for your favorite proteins! Enjoy as a seasonal side dish or lunch all summer long.
- For the dressing:
- 1 batch cilantro lime dressing
- For the salad:
- 6 cups finely chopped kale, stems removed
- 1 heaping cup halved strawberries
- 1 avocado, sliced or diced
- 1 cup corn, raw, grilled or sauteed (I prefer raw off the cob or grilled)
- 1/2 cup feta crumbles
- ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
- 1/4 cup shelled roasted and salted pistachios (or sub toasted sliced almonds)
- Optional protein add-ins:
- 8 ounces bacon, optional
- 2 grilled chicken breasts
First make your cilantro lime dressing. You can find the recipe here.
Add your finely chopped kale to a bowl. Remember you want to REALLY chop the kale very well. Pour the dressing over the kale and use tongs or clean hands to massage the dressing into the kale; you REALLY want to get it mixed well, so toss together for a few minutes to help break down the kale. Allow the dressing to sit with the kale for 15 minutes or longer to help the kale marinate with the dressing.
Finally add your strawberries, avocado, corn, feta crumbles, sliced red onion, pistachios to the bowl with the kale. Give it a gentle toss with tongs to combine everything. Serves 4. Salad will keep well in the fridge for 1-3 days.
To make vegan: leave off feta or use a plant based feta crumble.
If you want to make this a full meal or more heartier, I suggest adding some chicken or salmon. My honey mustard chicken or maple glazed salmon would be amazing with this salad. I also think bacon adds a nice salty element to the salad.
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats
This post was originally published on July 9th, 2021, and republished on June 10th, 2022.
will be making this soon can i use vegan feta and mushrooms as am a vegan i never had salad before perfect for my after office meals will dm you if i make this and let you know how it goes Thanks Ramya
Absolutely, vegan feta is a great swap in here! And of course, feel free to add mushrooms too 🙂
The dressing is the best!! I make it all the time! I’m going make this salad vegan, just leave out feta and add crispy tofu.
Oooh crispy tofu sounds so amazing in here! So happy you’re loving the dressing. Enjoy the salad!
So excited to get recipes
Yay! Hope you can try some soon!
Fantastic salad! I can see why you named it “summer glow”. We used cold smoked salmon for protein and it paired really well with the rest of the flavors.
Oooh smoked salmon sounds WONDERFUL in here! Great idea. So happy you enjoyed it 🙂
Absolutely delicious! Our new favorite salad.
I’m so happy you love it, Jen!
Literally, THE BEST salad ever! Already made it 2x in the last week because I had to have more. We followed the recipe exactly. It was bananas- so good! Made a great leftover as well. Make it now!!!
😍 Woohoooo! So glad that you’re obsessed with this one–I am, too.
This recipe is bomb! I have made this three times in the last week because my family can’t get enough of it! The slightly spicy cilantro-lime dressing is heavenly – I added half an avocado to make it a bit creamier, and it gave it the most luxurious texture! I sear a piece of salmon and serve it alongside the salad, and it is perfection! Also love to add pepitas and hemp hearts for a little extra crunch. Make this salad, you will not regret it!
Woohooo! Omg amazing idea to add avocado to the dressing. And YES to serving it with salmon and those extra seeds–yummmmm 🙂
Delicious! And with a little prep ahead of time (made the dressing yesterday), it was a very easy weeknight meal! I used sliced almonds and topped with grilled chicken. Healthy and filling!
Amazing! So glad to hear you loved this one, Courtney 🙂
Such a delicious, healthy and filling summer salad! I added the avocado to the dressing and just used kale, peaches and pine nuts because that’s what I had on hand. Will definitely be making this one again!
Yay! So happy to hear you loved it. Love the addition of pine nuts!
This salad turned out to be so nice, juicy & healthy! I loved it 🙂
YAY! Happy you enjoyed it, Sam!
Came out great! I’m definitely adding this one to the rotation. I used frozen corn sauteed in a tiny bit of olive oil to defrost and brown and pan-toasted raw pistachios. It lends itself so well to substitutions with the dressing and kale base.
Nice!! So happy it came out great 🙂 Thanks for the review, Kelly!
Refreshing and so easy to make! I used the cilantro dressing from Trader Joe’s and canned corn. Served with AKs honey garlic lemon salmon!
This is actually my new favorite salad recipe. I’m also extremely obsessed with the cilantro lime dressing and have been using it on all of my summer salads!
You’ll glow from within after eating this salad especially with some fresh strawberries 🍓 from the farmers mkt!! We enjoy this salad but the real taste definer is the Jalapeño lime dressing!! Super easy to make and is sure to please!!
Made this salad exactly as is and it is delicious! You don’t even realize you’re eating kale! Love the cilantro lime dressing and will use that again with some other salads.
Perfect way to get your greens in! Glad you loved it!
I omitted the corn and used monkfruit in the dressing to make it keto. The whole family loved it — truly delicious.
So glad it was a hit!