kale apple walnut salad in large white bowl with wooden serving tongs

Kale Apple Walnut Salad with Cider Dressing

  • Author: Caitlin Shoemaker
  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 Minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2 to 4 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: No-Bake
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


This Kale Apple Walnut Salad with Cider Dressing is the perfect fall salad recipe! Sweet apples, crunchy walnuts, and tender kale drenched in a tangy apple cider dressing. Vegan, Grain-Free.


For the Cider Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup (80 mL) extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons grade A maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 small garlic clove, grated (or 1 tsp garlic powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Salad:

  • 1 bunch kale, de-stemmed and chopped
  • 1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
  • 1 honeycrisp apple, diced (or other apple of choice)
  • 1/2 cup (55 g) walnuts, chopped
  • Black pepper, to taste


  1. Make the Dressing: add the oil, vinegar, maple syrup, mustard, garlic, and salt to a small mason jar. Seal the jar well and shake vigorously until emulsified, about 20 to 30 seconds.
  2. Massage: Add the chopped kale to a large bowl and pour 3/4 of the dressing over it. Use clean hands to massage the dressing into the kale for 45 to 60 seconds, until the kale is tender and has reduced in volume.
  3. Mix: Add the parsley, apple, and walnuts to the bowl with the kale and top with the remaining dressing, plus black pepper to taste. Use salad tongs or two large spoons to mix everything together well.
  4. Serve as desired; leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.


  • Oil-Free: Make this Tahini Dressing instead, using cider vinegar instead of lemon juice!
  • Nut Substitutions: this recipe would also be delicious with pecans instead of walnuts, or with pumpkin seeds for a nut-free option!