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Hearty Kale Salad with Tahini-Maple Dressing

Our family has loved this Hearty Kale Salad with Tahini-Maple Dressing for years. Our mom used to make some version of it all the time. And during those years, it’s gone through many iterations – and names.

Hearty Kale Salad

So here’s the thing: We’ve always called it “Whole Earth Salad,” a name that seemed perfectly fitting. And then when we were about to write down our version of it, we did some research and made a funny discovery. We learned that the concept for this salad probably came from the Whole Earth Center, a deli in Princeton near where our mom used to work. Their “Whole Earth Salad” is famous and has many devotees. Although our version of it has since taken a different track from the Whole Earth Center’s, we want to give credit to them for the inspiration.

This hearty kale salad has it all: Lots of colors, crispy and crunchy textures, and a tangy-sweet dressing that’s irresistible.

We’ve included an option of adding chicken or tofu, but we’ve always loved this salad just as it is.

Hearty Kale Salad with Tahini-Maple Dressing

A colorful and crunchy salad with a delicious tangy-sweet dressing.

Course Main Course, Main Dish/Side Dish, Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword kale, maple syrup, quinoa, salad, tahini, vegan, vegetarian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6


For the salad:

  • 1 large bunch kale (approximately 6 ounces)
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 1/4 head purple cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup cashew pieces
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup chopped cooked chicken or tofu (optional)

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • juice of one lemon


For the Salad

  1. Separate kale leaves from thickest part of the stems. Finely chop the kale and place it in a large salad bowl. Add the carrots, purple cabbage, quinoa, cashews, and raisins, and toss to distribute evenly. (Add chicken or tofu if using.)

For the Dressing

  1. Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients. Pour over the salad just before serving.

Hearty Kale Salad

Here are some notes about preparing the salad. If you like your kale softened a little bit, you can make the salad and add the dressing ahead of time. It will keep well in the refrigerator for up to two days. However, hold off on adding the cashews until just before you’re going to serve the salad.

This salad has the benefit of being vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free.

P.S. Looking for another hearty kale salad? Check out this Fig Millet Kale Salad.

Blogger disclosure: This post contains links to our Amazon affiliate account.

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