Skip to Content

Lemon Basil Kale Salad with Avocado

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 | #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 | #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 | #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 | #healthy #salad #recipe #detox #vegan #vegetarian
Print Recipe Pin Recipe Save Recipe
4.25 from 4 votes

Lemon Basil Kale Salad with Avocado

Lemon Basil Kale Salad with Avocado is a fresh herby delicious salad recipe
Prep Time20 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Salads
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2 Servings
Author: Julia


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

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

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Tuesday 23rd of May 2023

A delicious summer salad! Thanks :)


Wednesday 24th of May 2023

My pleasure! So happy you enjoy it!

Carley Schweet

Wednesday 9th of October 2019

Beautiful recipe. Thank you for sharing it.


Thursday 10th of October 2019

My pleasure! xo


Saturday 27th of October 2018

No need to publish this but, Minor editorial comment, did you mean un-write or un-right?


Tuesday 13th of March 2018

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


Tuesday 13th of March 2018

Hi Edgar! Thank you for catching that. I added the cranberries to the ingredients list ;) xo

sydney rice

Monday 13th of June 2016

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.


Wednesday 15th of June 2016

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're rocking it! :D xoxoxo


Tuesday 14th of June 2016

This is an amazing comment! Thank you!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.