kale salad with cranberries in a wooden salad bowl with quinoa to the side

Massaged Kale Salad with Cranberries

This easy Massaged Kale Salad with Cranberries is made with sweet Tuscan kale. A simple dressing is massaged into the kale to make the leaves tender. Topped with feta and served with quinoa, this is a perfect salad for packed lunches or potlucks. 

Course Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword Kale Salad
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 381 kcal
Author Katie Trant


Soak the cranberries:

Make the salad:

  • 8 oz Tuscan kale de-stemmed and sliced into ribbons
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds toasted
  • 2-3 green onions finely sliced
  • 2 Tbsp fresh dill minced
  • 4 oz feta crumbled
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa from 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa

For the dressing:

US Customary - Metric


  1. In a small bowl, combine the dried cranberries with 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar. Set aside so the cranberries can plump up while you're preparing the rest of the salad.

  2. In a small pan over medium heat, toast the sunflower seeds. Toss frequently until they're lightly golden and fragrant.

  3. Prepare the kale: Give it a good rinse, then pat dry and de-stem the leaves. You can cut the thick stems out with a sharp knife, or hold the base of the stem in one hand and pull the leaf from it with the other. Stack the de-stemmed leaves on top of one another, and using a very sharp knife, slice them into very thin ribbons. Place into a large bowl.

  4. Drain the cranberries, reserving the liquid to use in the dressing.

  5. In a small bowl whisk together 1 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (drained from the cranberries), olive oil, grainy mustard, smooth Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper.

  6. Place the kale ribbons in a large bowl. Add a little bit of dressing and use your fingers to massage it into the kale until tender, approximately 30 seconds. 

  7. Add the with sunflower seeds, cranberries, smoked feta, dill, green onions, and quinoa (if using). Pour the remaining dressing over the salad, and give everything a good toss.

  8. Let the salad stand for about 10 minutes before serving - a longer stint in the fridge is perfectly fine.

Recipe Notes

Nutrition Facts
Massaged Kale Salad with Cranberries
Amount Per Serving
Calories 381 Calories from Fat 171
% Daily Value*
Fat 19g29%
Saturated Fat 4g20%
Cholesterol 16mg5%
Sodium 258mg11%
Potassium 519mg15%
Carbohydrates 40g13%
Fiber 4g16%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 12g24%
Vitamin A 3905IU78%
Vitamin C 46.3mg56%
Calcium 181mg18%
Iron 3.3mg18%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.