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Kale Salad with Pumpkin Seeds

Kale salad with pepitas, dried cherries, cotija cheese, and lemon-parsley dressing is a wildly crunchy and nutritious healthy salad recipe.

Kale Salad with Dried Cranberries, Pumpkin Seeds, and Lemon Parsley Dressing

How was your weekend? Are you enjoying all the daylight hours? Has it warmed up in your neck of the woods yet? We enjoyed 70-degree weather over here in No Winter’s Land, and it already feels like summer. Summer = bikinis = salad, yes?

I’ve been on a quest to copycat my three favorite kale salads from restaurants in town. Like I told ya last week in my recipe post for Copycat Trader Joe’s Curried Chicken Salad this is what we recipe developers do when we get bored of our own cooking.

We make Other People’s Recipes (OPR). A few months ago, I posted a Lemony Kale Salad with Parmesan Crisps (copycatted from Campo).

I then posted this Spicy Kale Caesar Salad with Roasted Garlic (copycatted from Bowl), and finally, I’m posting the Highway to Kale, from Laughing Planet. You guys it’s so full of goodies, I can hardly wait for you to eat it!

What is the kale is the Highway to Kale?


Ingredients for This Kale Salad:

It involves lots of dino (lacinato) kale, pumpkin seeds, dried cherries, and a little sprinkle sprinkle of cotija cheese on top.

Wrapped up in the most bangarang lemon-parsley dressing in all the land. The lemon-parsley dressing is the real clincher for this salad. It’s so flavorful and unique, plus did you know parsley is ridiculously good for you?

It’s high in Vitamin K, followed by Vitamins C and A, and is pegged as a cancer-fighting food (learn more about parsley here).

This bowl has all my favorite salad elements: The crunch, the sweet, the cream. Just put a ring on it, already!

Kale Salad with Dried Cranberries, Pumpkin Seeds, Cotija Cheese, and Lemon Parsley Dressing

You guys, I have a sneaking suspicion you’re going to addict yourself to this salad. Unlike most of my salad recipes, there’s zero cooking involved. The thing goes down real easy, and need I tempt you further by telling you this healthy salad will clean you right out? It will. Super digestive stimulant right here!

Can we talk about your digestive system a little more? Just kidding, that’s awkward.

More Nutritious Salad Recipes:

We’re on the highway to kale!

Kale Salad with Dried Cranberries, Pumpkin Seeds, Cotija Cheese, and Lemon Parsley Dressing

Highway to Kale Salad

An amazing crunchy kale salad with carrots, dried cherries, pumpkin seeds, and cotija (or feta) cheese.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
1 Large Salad


Lemon-Parsley Dressing:

  • 1 cup grapeseed or olive oil
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon stone ground mustard
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • ½ cup flat leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

Kale Salad:

  • 8 ounces lacinato and red leaf kale, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds, pepitas
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • ½ cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup cotija cheese, grated + more for serving*


Prepare the Lemon-Parsley Dressing:

  • Add all ingredients for the dressing to a small blender or food processor. Blend until completely smooth.

Prepare the salad:

  • Add all ingredients for the salad to a large serving bowl. Add desired amount of lemon-parsley dressing and toss well to coat. Serve heaping bowlfuls of salad with additional cotija cheese grated on top.


*You can replace the cotija cheese with feta or goat cheese if you prefer.
This makes a huge salad for one or a side salad for two people.


Serving: 1Salad - Calories: 892kcal - Carbohydrates: 91g - Protein: 18g - Fat: 108g - Fiber: 19g - Sugar: 44g
Course: Lifestyle
Cuisine: American
Keyword: entrée salad recipe, Highway to Kale, kale salad, Laughing Planet, vegetarian salad
Servings: 1 Large Salad
Calories: 892kcal
Author: Julia
Recipe Rating

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Saturday 21st of March 2015

Bad news bears for the.boy, but if it were socially acceptable to marry kale salad, I probably would have. Just saying. Especially THIS ONE which has everything fun in it. It's like a party salad. Totally a thing.

Kelsey @ Snacking Squirrel

Tuesday 17th of March 2015

Oh I bet this is delicious!!!


Tuesday 17th of March 2015

I am seriously craving this salad right now. It looks so full of flavor and nutritious stuff. Love the dressing!


Wednesday 18th of March 2015

Heck yeah, the dressing's where it's at! Thanks Julia!


Tuesday 17th of March 2015

That lemon parsley dressing sounds divine! I love the no cooking for this salad and it looks like it would make a fantastic lunch. This one's going to be made real soon.

Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama}

Monday 16th of March 2015

Clearly I am living in the wrong place because no restaurants around me make kale salads like this. I guess I'll just have to use your recipe and make my own!!

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