Squeaky clean summer kale salad with avocado, red onion, pumpkin seeds, and lemon-basil dressing.

You guys, I almost did something silly. I almost named this salad, “The Best Damn Kale Salad Ever.”


In spite of the fact that it really is quite good, I decided I had better stay away from any “Best Of” statements when it comes to kale…because have you caught wind of the kale opinions out there? It’s savage, man! Better to play it safe.

Lemon Basil Kale Salad with grapes, pumpkin seeds, and avocado | TheRoastedRoot.net #healthy #salad #recipe #detox #vegan #vegetarian

After tossing the “Best” attribute out the window, I thought I could name this salad, “The You Just Turned 30, So Here’s Your Bowl of Rabbit Food Salad. Sorry About it.”

…Because I turned 30 last week, so I’m going to need lots of kale.

I’m a little concerned about what this 30 thing entails. Not because the number itself sends me into an otherworldly amygdala breakdown (when it comes to age, I just can’t even give a care), but because of what the landmark 3-0 represents. Basically? Cellulite + the expectation of adultly conduct. Age-appropriate clothing, slang, luggage, wall art, and food? I just don’t even know how to behave. Does not compute. Amygdala overload. Powering…down…

Just kidding, I’m still here.

Thoughts on eye cream?  Warm lemon water in the morning? Words of wisdom on staving off the thigh nuggets as long as humanly possible? I’m taking all colors of advice and user’s manuals here, folks. 

Lemon Basil Kale Salad with grapes, pumpkin seeds, and avocado | TheRoastedRoot.net #healthy #salad #recipe #detox #vegan #vegetarian

In celebration of the big 3-0, the man and I drove up to Bend, Oregon for a five-day eating, drinking, and mountain biking extravaganza. This was my third time visiting Bend, and each time I go, I’m more and more impressed by its badassedness. The food and drink alone can keep you entertained FOR HOURS, and also the trails are boat loads of fun. Scenery? On point. Hiking/biking/trail running? Super filthy.

All this to say, I may have overdone it on the food and alcohol sitch, which is exactly where this beautiful kale salad comes into play. It un-writes all the wrongs. Okay, maybe not all of the wrongs, but it’s a pretty powerful cleanser.

Kale. Grapes. Dried cranberries. Red onion. Pepitas. Avocado. Lemon Basil Dressing. You’ve got it made. This is our gateway to an easy go-to summer kale salad. Add, subtract, multiply, divide…you can approach this thing in an innumerality (<- made up word) of ways.

Lemon Basil Kale Salad with grapes, pumpkin seeds, and avocado | TheRoastedRoot.net #healthy #salad #recipe #detox #vegan #vegetarian

Full disclosure: this salad lacks cheese. And potentially a runny egg. I’d suggest adding them both for a more filling meal.

The dressing is a simple combination of lemon juice, olive oil, and fresh basil. You can use whatever herbs you have on hand, or skip the herbs altogether. Also check out my Kale Salad with Pumpkin Seeds, Dried Cherries, Cotija Cheese, and Lemon Parsley Dressing for more kale inspiration, as that is what this salad is modeled after.

What else? Do you want to see a Things to Do and Places to Eat in Bend post? Would it be useful for your upcoming summer travels? Or do you want to take a peep into the way I spend my free time? Be forewarned, it’s messy.

The Best Dayum Kale Salad Evah.
Keep calm and Kale Salad On. <- don’t hit me.

Lemon Basil Kale Salad with grapes, pumpkin seeds, and avocado | TheRoastedRoot.net #healthy #salad #recipe #detox #vegan #vegetarian

Lemon Basil Kale Salad with Avocado

4.25 from 4 votes
Lemon Basil Kale Salad with Avocado is a fresh herby delicious salad recipe
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings: 2 Servings


Lemon Basil Dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar or pure maple syrup
  • 2 leaves large fresh basil finely chopped
  • 1 clove small garlic minced

Kale Salad:

  • 1 large bunch lacinato kale chopped, or kale of choice
  • 1 ripe avocado peeled and diced
  • 1 cup grapes halved
  • 1/3 cup red onion thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries


  • In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the dressing.
  • Add the kale to a serving bowl and drizzle in desired amount of dressing. Toss well to coat, and allow kale to sit at least 10 minutes to let the acidity from the lemon soften some of the fibrousness of the kale.
  • Add the remaining ingredients for the salad to the serving bowl and toss everything together. Serve alongside your favorite entree, or add grilled chicken to make a meal of it.
  • Add cheese (such as goat or feta) and runny egg as necessary.


Serving: 1grams
Author: Julia
Course: Salads
Cuisine: American
Keyword: dairy free, easy healthy recipes, gluten free, gluten free recipes, healthy meals, healthy recipes, paleo recipes
Did You Make This Recipe?I want to see it! Tag @the.roasted.root on social media!

More Kale Salad Recipes:

Crunchy Mandarin Kale Salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

Cranberry Kale Salad with Roasted Pecans and Feta

Massaged Kale Salad with Avocado and Pickled Red Onions

Lemony Kale Salad with Parmesan Crisps

Thai Chicken Chopped Kale Salad

Baby Kale Salad with Strawberries, Goat Cheese, and Strawberry-Mint Vinaigrette

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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4.25 from 4 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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Questions and Reviews

  1. I’m so happy to hear you had an awesome birthday! I wish we could have spent more time in Bend on our trip because it looks freakin’ amazing. Remote yet still has all of the conveniences that peeps like you and I love (i.e. kale salads).

    My advice for you on turning 30 is not to even think about it. You look like you’re in your 20’s so in my mind that means you are. 😉

    And if you keep eating kale salads like this you won’t need any eye cream or lemon water. It’s so fresh and so clean, clean!

    1. You, me, G, and B should meet up in Bend and just…live there…gah it’s SUCH a cool town! Thanks for the 30s advice. I’m pretty cool with the whole thing so long as I continue getting carded at bars. The second that stops happening? Amygdala explosion FO SHO. Kidding, not kidding 😉 xo

  2. Hahaha, “cellulite + the expectation of adultly conduct.” That line killed me. I’m so happy you guys had such a great time in Oregon! I’ve never been to Bend before, but I soooo want to go. Currently, my 30th birthday plans are to go ride around Sacramento in one of those obnoxious brew bikes and drink with my friends all day. Sounds so trashy compared to what you did! Hah!

    I would like to think of the 30s as being the decade of awesome–when we have a better idea of what to do with our lives and we’ve figured out how to have a good night drinking without major hangovers the next day. Welcome to your decade of awesome!

    Cheers to your birthday! A kale salad a day keeps the wrinkles away, right? 😉

    1. YES! Cycle pubs are fun…that’s an awesome way to spend your 30th! I’m definitely up for treating the 30s decade as a massive vacation/party…but, like, one where we continue to save for retirement and make good decisions and have minimal hangovers. Can’t wait to hear how your 3-0 goes!

  3. Happy happy belated birthday!!! It sounds like you had such a great time in Oregon! It’s on my bucket list of places to visit … the husband goes there all the time for work, I really need to tag along and then make a trip of it!

    ANYWAY. haha oh 30. I’m turning 32 later this summer and it just is so weird to me. I feel like college, etc. wasn’t all that long ago!!! Oh! And this salad sounds delicious!!

    1. Thanks, girl! Yes, you and your hubs really must go to Bend! It’s such an awesome vacation spot for people who love to recreate and for those who like great food, beer, and wine!

      It is weird how quickly time flies…high school feels like yesterday. Cheers to having the wisdom to rock at life while still feeling youthful 😉

    1. Awesome! I’m so glad to hear it. I’ll be posting about fun things to do and great restaurants to visit soon 🙂 Thanks so much for the feedback!

  4. Happy Belated Birthday! 30 is young! You will love your thirties I think. 🙂 This salad looks amazing!

  5. Happy Birthday! Nah, 30 is just 30. Cellulite comes with fat, no matter age. Fat comes with wine and ice cream haha. 30’s are awesome – you are still young but not as dumb when in 20’s.:)
    Salad looks great. I will pin it. Yes, for Bend post and free time post. I love reading how others are living a dream. My dream life consists cooking, cleaning, laundry, 2 noisy boys and hockey rinks. So, yes to fun posts.

    1. LOL Wine + ice cream = cellulite…I love it! 30 feels pretty cool so far, and I agree – living a youthful life while having much more wisdom feels like REAL living. I’ll definitely be posting about Bend – thanks so much for sharing your interest! Cheers to you and your dream – there’s nothing more beautiful than growing a happy, healthy family! xo

  6. Happy happy birthday, Julia! You just keep on behaving the way you want and age thing will just take care of itself…take that from someone who left their 30’s a while ago. The goal is to defy age by not acting one’s age. lol
    I think this kale salad would definitely help detox after a wild weekend — I love everything you’ve got in here. And it sounds like I need to go to Bend, Oregon!

    1. Thanks, gorgeous! Defying time via letting my true tween shine is definitely something I can do! Here here!

  7. 30? Truly not a problem. Life up to 50 is not the easiest for sure, but from the vantage point of 75 years you just need to know life just keeps getting better. Really. Easier, more fun, more comfortable, less angst. And all those good things you think you won’t have in your life when you get older – they can be, and they will be even better. Practice makes perfect. Yes, your body will do strange things but you won’t care – everybody else looks like that too. Just keep eating that Kale and sharing the gift of you and your talent to others. Take care of yourself and your Self. The best is yet to come.

    1. This is probably the wisest and most thoughtful comment I’ve ever received. Truly, I thank you for the perspective and what you’ve given to the conversation! I’m looking forward to what’s to come – continuing to derive more and more enjoyment out of life, always growing and evolving, living life with grace. I already see my self at 30 as a huge improvement over my self at 20 – you said it – it’s comical how different the vantage point is! I’m sending my warmest wishes to you and your journey through this incredible life…you’re rocking it! 😀 xoxoxo

  8. Just finished eating this delicious salad but noticed that you missed the cranberries in the ingredients list.