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This is the Ultimate Chopped Kale Salad with Honey Dijon Dressing — It’s chock full of savory salami, sharp cheddar cheese, Kalamata olives, and cucumbers. And don’t get me started on the homemade dressing! It’s a delicious Honey Dijon vinaigrette with a tangy-sweet flavor. 

chopped kale salad on a serving plate with a linen napkin and a gold fork to the side on a table.

This isn’t any regular salad — everything is chopped into bite-sized pieces — with crunchy veggies, shredded kale, and flavorful dressing all tossed together in a large serving bowl.

It’s the perfect side for a delicious entre, or make it a meal by adding protein, like grilled or lightly fried chicken.

While this isn’t always the case, it’s no mystery that getting the men in our lives to enjoy a healthy salad can be challenging. It can be a chore to encourage our hard-to-please teens and picky children to take just one bite, too. 

Well, my chopped kale salad is man approved! It’s so flavorful and has many satisfying textures that entice even the pickiest of eaters — see for yourself!

I first shared this easy kale salad in my book, The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook, but today I’m adding a few more ingredients to amp up the salad for even more delicious flavor.

ingredients for chopped kale salad on a table.

Key ingredients & substitutions for the Best Kale Salad

  • Kale | Add finely chopped kale to a large bowl to get this recipe started! Use curly kale or regular, whichever you prefer. You may even wish to toss a handful of chopped red cabbage into the mix.
  • White wine vinegar | White wine vinegar gives the salad dressing a tangy flavor and helps it to emulsify. Other vinegar can be used as a substitute, like white vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
  • Honey | Add a rich sweetness to the dressing with your favorite brand of honey. Or replace it with maple syrup, if necessary.
  • Dijon mustard | The bulk of the flavor for the dressing comes from just a spoonful of Dijon mustard. If desired, swap this ingredient for stone-ground mustard.

tip

  • Keep an eye out for deep green kale without brown or yellow coloring. The softer the leaves are, the better it will taste. Tougher leaves tend to be more bitter.
  • Olive oil | The final addition to the salad dressing is tasty extra-virgin olive oil.
  • Salt and pepper | Use sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to season the dressing and garnish the salad.
  • Salami | The sharp flavor of diced Italian dry-cured salami is the perfect addition to this hearty salad. If Italian dry-cured isn’t your favorite type of salami, feel free to use another style.
  • Cheese | The bitter notes of kale pair well with the strong taste of aged sharp white cheddar cheese cut into small cubes.
  • Cucumber | Add texture and bursts of refreshing flavor with an English cucumber cut into small cubes.
  • Banana peppers | If preferred, toss some chopped banana pepper rings sliced in half.
  • Olives | Lastly, complete this salad recipe with pitted and halved Kalamata olives. DELISH! 

Must-Have Salad Spinner

Another great product by OXO, this salad spinner is easy to use and very durable.

  • one-handed operation 
  • elegant, clear bowl is perfect for serving
oxo salad spinner

How to make a good chopped salad with hearty kale

Make a healthy and nutritious salad that everyone will love in just three simple steps!

removing the leaves from kale stalks and chopping them in a food processor.

STEP 1 | Prep the kale

Begin by removing the woody stems from the kale leaves using a sharp paring knife to cut into either side to remove the tough ribs from the kale. Discard the kale stems.

Rinse and spin the leaves dry in a salad spinner. Next, chop the hearty greens into small pieces (see tip below) and place the kale in a large mixing bowl.

tip

  • The easiest way to prepare the kale is to place it in the bowl of a food processor and pulse it a few times to chop it into small bite-size pieces quickly.

Must-Have Food Processor

This Ninja Professional Food Processor doubles as a blender to make the smoothest smoothies, too!

  • 4 versatile functions
  • process tough ingredients with ease
  • easy clean-up.
ninja food processor
chopped kale, salami, cucumbers, sharp cheddar cheese, and pepperoncini in a large salad bowl.

STEP 2 | Prepare the hearty salad add-ins

Now that the kale is ready, cut the salami, cube the cheese, dice the cucumber, and drain the peppers and olives. Place all these on top of the kale.

STEP 3 | Whisk the kale salad dressing

whisked vinaigrette in a bowl, then being poured over ingredients for a chopped kale salad.

Whisk together the white wine vinegar, honey, and Dijon mustard. Then, slowly add olive oil while whisking vigorously until the mustard dressing is emulsified, seasoning with salt and pepper, if desired.

STEP 4 | Toss salad ingredients, garnish, and serve

In a large salad bowl, toss the kale, salami, cheese, cucumber, banana peppers, and olives with enough vinaigrette to lightly coat the ingredients. And finally,  garnish the hearty chopped kale salad with freshly ground black pepper, serve, and enjoy!

tip

  • More tasty topping ideas include toasted sunflower seeds, pine nuts, and salty parmesan cheese.

Delicious Variations

The sky is the limit with this salad. Take stock of what you have and then mix and match until you have the combo you like best. Here are a few ideas to help you get started:

  • Substitute turkey in place of the dry-aged salami for a healthier salad
  • Try freshly shaved Parmesan cheese instead of the sharp cheddar
  • Swap out the pepperoncini and olives for dried cranberries and chopped apples for a sweeter salad
  • For a little crunch, toss in a few toasted almonds, walnuts, or pine nuts
  • Raid the fridge and toss in any of the following ingredients if you have them on hand: carrots, artichoke hearts, or grape tomatoes.

If you’re a fan of kale salads, you must try my Chicken Kale Caesar Salad with radishes and roasted almonds, Chicken Kale Salad with Thai Peanut Vinaigrette, or this refreshing and nutritious Kale Slaw– YUM!

tossing the vinaigrette and other ingredients together for a chopped kale salad.

Frequently asked questions

Should you let the kale sit in the dressing?

For many salad recipes, it helps to massage the dressing into the kale to soften the leaves and create a better flavor. However, you can allow the kale to sit in the dressing for some time instead — that is, if it has acidity to it. For today’s salad recipe, feel free to let the leaves sit in the dressing until they soften some.

How do you make kale less bitter?

As mentioned above, messaging kale is an excellent way to remove some bitter flavors.

How long will a dressed kale salad last in the refrigerator?

This recipe is a great option for meal prep because it keeps well in the refrigerator for 3 or 4 days, even after it’s been dressed!

Store the leftover kale salad in an airtight container and place it in the fridge. Then, enjoy it later as a quick lunch, snack, or dinner side dish.

What dressing goes on a kale salad?

Keep it as simple as little fresh-squeezed lemon juice and olive oil, or try my Homemade Greek Salad Dressing or creamy Basil Buttermilk Dressing.

using salad tongs to place a serving of chopped kale salad on a plate.

Serving suggestions

Salami kale salad is a great side for Pan Seared Scallops with Lemon Butter and easy Instant Pot Jasmine Rice. Or, for something more filling, try my Air Fryer Chicken Cutlets and fluffy, buttery Baked Potatoes.

Eating kale is good for you

According to the Mayo Clinic, “Kale is a nutrition superstar due to the amounts of vitamins A, K, B6 and C, calcium, potassium, copper and manganese it contains. One cup of raw kale has just 33 calories and only 7 grams of carbohydrate.”

chopped kale salad on a serving plate with a gold fork to the side on a table.

Behind the recipe: Easy Chopped Kale Salad with Salami

For many, kale is a relatively new green that’s been incorporated into delicious salad recipes and countless delicious sides and entrees. It may be a trendy green now, but kale has been grown and consumed for almost 4,000 years!

In 2007, the hardy green returned to modern menus after a restaurant or two began adding it to salads and other recipes.

By now, kale is a pretty typical ingredient to see around. Chefs are constantly discovering new and exciting ways to add this bitter veggie to tasty creations. 

chopped ingredients in a bowl and vinaigrette in a bottle for chopped kale salad on a table with a cutting board with salami and kale leaves.

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Your shares are how this site grows, and I appreciate each one. Do you know someone who would enjoy this recipe? I’d love it if you would share it on Facebook or Pinterest!

chopped kale salad on a serving plate with a linen napkin and a gold fork to the side on a table.

Ultimate Chopped Kale Salad with Honey Dijon Dressing

This is the Ultimate Chopped Kale Salad with Honey Dijon Dressing– It’s chock full of savory salami, sharp cheddar cheese, Kalamata olives, and cucumbers. And don’t get me started on the homemade dressing!
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 581 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 5 cups kale finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup Italian dry-cured salami diced
  • 1 cup aged sharp white cheddar cheese cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 cup English cucumber cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 cup banana pepper rings chopped
  • 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives sliced in half

Instructions
 

  • Remove kale leaves from stems, rinse, and spin dry in a salad spinner. Chop into small pieces (see tip).
  • Whisk together white wine vinegar, honey, and Dijon mustard. Slowly add olive oil while whisking vigorously until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
  • Toss kale, salami, cheese, cucumber, banana peppers, and olives with enough vinaigrette to lightly coat the greens. Garnish with freshly ground black pepper and serve.

Notes

  • Keep an eye out for deep green kale without brown or yellow coloring. The softer the leaves are, the better it will taste. Tougher leaves tend to be more bitter.
  • The easiest way to prepare the kale is to place it in the bowl of a food processor and pulse it a few times to chop it into small bite-size pieces quickly.
  • More tasty topping ideas include sunflower seeds, pine nuts, and salty parmesan cheese.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 581kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 23gFat: 46gSaturated Fat: 15gPolyunsaturated Fat: 29gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 92mgSodium: 1574mgFiber: 5gSugar: 12g

Life Love and Good Food does not claim to be a registered dietician or nutritionist. Nutritional information shared on this site is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

Keyword chopped salad, easy recipe
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was.
Sheila Thigpen, blogger

About Sheila Thigpen

Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer

Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.

Please share!

Your shares are how this site grows, and I appreciate each one. Do you know someone who would enjoy this recipe? I’d love it if you would share it on Facebook or Pinterest!

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