Kale Salad with Apple, Pear and Roasted Pecans is loaded with sweet, tangy, creamy flavors and plenty of crunch for a nutrient-dense powerhouse meal!
Massaged Kale Salad with Apple, Pear, Gorgonzola and Roasted Pecans

This may just be my favorite kale salad recipe yet! 

Mixed up with shredded apple, sliced pear, plenty of pecans, and lots of gorgonzola cheese, this salad is anything but borning! Tying it all together is an easy balsamic vinaigrette.

If you aren’t a fan of hoe much chewing kale requires, I’ve got you!

I massage kale prior to using it in salads, which helps break down some of the fibers to loosen it up, thus making it easier to chew.

Massaged Kale Salad with Apple, Pear, Gorgonzola and Roasted Pecans

Kale is a powerful vegetable.

In just one cup of kale, you get 130 times the amount of Vitamin K and 3 times the amount of Vitamin A you need for the day and are benefited with a high density of antioxidants on top of anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.

Kale and other cruciferous vegetables are known to lower the risk of bladder, breast, colon, ovary and prostate cancer. Plus fiber

While kale is not extremely appetizing to some people, there are ways of dressing this hottie up and taking it for a spin.

Most of the kale we consume in my house is in our breakfast eggs, but massaged kale salads make a consistent appearance when it’s warm outside. The key to kale salads is massaging lemon juice into the leaves and allowing the lemon juice to soften and break down some of their toughness.

Then adding goodies like fruits, avocado, nuts, cheese and homemade dressing brings you to a happy, delicious place that doesn’t put you in a post-burrito stupor. No lie.

Oh hey kale, you’re looking mighty fibrous.

kale salad

Separate the kale stems from the leaves. You can use the stems in a green superfood smoothie, chop them up and add them to the salad or feed them to your dog. Give the leaves a rough chop.

kale salad

Drizzle lemon juice over the leaves

kale salad

Massage leaves using both of your hands. Really get in there!

kale salad

And then make a house a home, son!

Massaged Kale Salad with Apple, Pear, Gorgonzola and Roasted Pecans

Serve this up as a main dish for a meatless meal or enjoy it as a side dish to go alongside your entrée. 

More Kale Salad Recipes:

Massaged Kale Salad with Apple, Pear, Gorgonzola and Roasted Pecans

Kale Salad with Apple, Pear and Roasted Pecans

5 from 1 vote
Kale Salad with Apple, Pear and Roasted Pecans is nutritious and a fabulous way of taking in your greens!
Prep Time 12 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes
Servings: 3 Servings


For the Salad

  • 1 head green kale
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1 Fugi apple shredded
  • 1 Bosc pear thinly sliced
  • 1 cup raw pecans roasted
  • ½ cup gorgonzola cheese or desired amount

For the Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon honey


  • Prepare the balsamic vinaigrette by whisking all ingredients together until the oil and vinegar do not separate and the dressing appears creamy. You can also put the ingredients in a blender and blend. Set aside.
  • Remove the kale leaves from their stems and either discard the stems, chop them to add to the salad or save them for a green smoothie.
  • Give the kale leaves a rough chop and put them in a large salad bowl.
  • Squeeze the lemon over the leaves (about 1 tablespoons of lemon juice).
  • Massage the kale leaves with both of your hands for 30 seconds or so. Allow kale leaves to sit in the lemon juice 10 minutes. This helps soften the leaves and break down some of the tough fiber.
  • While the kale leaves are sitting, peel the apple and shred it using a box grater. Slice the pear.
  • Spread the pecans on out on a cookie sheet and roast them at 350 degrees F for 5 to 10 minutes until they get some color and they are fragrant. Careful not to leave them unattended as they burn easily!
  • Add the shredded apple, sliced pear and roasted pecans to the salad bowl with the kale leaves. Toss the salad with desired amount of balsamic vinaigrette and sprinkle with feta!


Serving: 1Serving · Calories: 651kcal · Carbohydrates: 33g · Protein: 10g · Fat: 54g · Fiber: 10g · Sugar: 20g
Author: Julia
Course: Lifestyle
Cuisine: American
Keyword: healthy kale salads, kale salad with apple, massaged kale salad recipe, vegetarian salad recipes
Did You Make This Recipe?I want to see it! Tag @the.roasted.root on social media!
Julia Mueller
Meet the Author

Julia Mueller

Julia Mueller is a recipe developer, cookbook author, and founder of The Roasted Root. She has authored three bestselling cookbooks, – Paleo Power Powers, Delicious Probiotic Drinks, and The Quintessential Kale Cookbook. Her recipes have been featured in several national publications such as BuzzFeed, Self, Tasty, Country Living, Brit.co, etc.

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Questions and Reviews

  1. Ha ha…love the post! The salad looks delicious. I have to try out Kale…your recipes are tempting me:-)

  2. Your salad looks delicious! (And I have a pair of jeans that mysteriously shrunk too..lol). Thanks for featuring our Tuscan Kale Salad too!

  3. OK so yes, I would definitely choose a melty, cheesy burrito over kale most days… but I do love me some kale and when it’s in this salad? DELICIOUS.1

  4. You just might get me to try raw kale! I’ve been reading about the whole massaging kale thing…I think you sold me. PS. I bought a head of butter lettuce at the farmers market this weekend and thought of those yummy tacos!

  5. Such a gorgeous, flavorful salad! I love all the ingredients you added and that tasty sounding vinaigrette! Great recipe, Julia.

  6. lady I would take the kale salad over the burrito any day!!! And that is no lie!!! This looks so scrumptious. if you ever want to swap kale recipes let me know. I’ve got a bunch up my sleeve!

  7. “scrumtrulescent”

    ^^Best word ever. Maybe best reserved for burritos, but you just added some of my favorite salad accompaniments to this salad, so I can’t say this one isn’t “scrumtrulescent” in it’s own right. 🙂

  8. I really must try making kale salads more often. I love the ingredients you’ve included here! Is there any better combination than pear + gorgonzola?