Getting greens on your plate doesn’t have to be difficult with this simple kale and spinach salad! Made with accessible, easy to find ingredients like cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and canned chickpeas, this colorful, simple side salad pairs well with any meal. It features a zippy lemon Dijon vinaigrette, and takes just about 15 minutes to prepare.

kale and spinach salad with in a salad serving bowl surrounded by a set of wooden mixing spoons, some ingredients, and a dish towel

As a Registered Dietitian, I believe everyone should have an easy side salad recipe in their back pocket to make any meal more nutritious.

Side salads are one of the best ways to add a few servings of vegetables to your plate, and they can be paired with anything, like salmon, cod, pasta dishes, burgers, soups, lasagna, and more.

If you’re still searching for your favorite side salad recipe, I’ve got you covered!

This spinach kale salad features a 50/50 mix of baby spinach and curly kale.

Using this blend of greens makes it easy to get a serving of super nutritious kale in your diet, even for those skeptical of this hardy green.

Besides these two greens, this salad uses simple, widely available ingredients: cherry tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, red onion, and canned chickpeas.

I used my zippy lemon Dijon salad dressing for this recipe. It would also be delicious using white balsamic vinaigrette, champagne vinaigrette, or my reader-favorite Greek yogurt salad dressing.

This dinner side salad recipe takes only 15 minutes to prepare and serves 4-6 as a side. Quick, easy, convenient, and healthy!

Vegan, gluten free, nut free, and dairy free.

spinach kale salad ingredients measured out

Ingredients

  • Kale: I used curly kale for this recipe. You could also use Tuscan/lacinato kale, or even baby kale! If you use baby kale, there is no need to massage it before adding the other salad ingredients.
  • Baby spinach: Baby spinach is better than mature spinach for salads, because it has a sweeter flavor.
  • Cherry tomatoes: Cherry tomatoes (or grape tomatoes) are juicy and sweet in a side salad.
  • Cucumber: I used mini cucumbers, because I like their crunchy texture and lack of seeds.
  • Red onion: Just a little chopped red onion adds zippy flavor.
  • Bell pepper: I recommend using red, yellow or orange bell pepper for this salad because they are sweeter than green bell pepper.
  • Canned chickpeas: Chickpeas add creamy texture and boost the nutritional value of this salad – they are loaded with fiber, plant-based protein, folate, and other micronutrients.
  • Lemon dijon vinaigrette: To make this dressing, you need lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, Dijon mustard, honey, shallot, salt, and pepper.

Kitchen equipment needed

  • Chef’s knife, 8 inch
  • Cutting board
  • Salad bowl
  • Salad mixing spoons
  • Measuring cups
  • Small mixing bowl
  • Small whisk or fork

Step-by-step instructions

cut up cherry tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, and red onion in small bowls on a wooden cutting board
1. Chop the red onion and bell pepper, cut cherry tomatoes in half, slice the cucumber.
hands massaging kale in a salad bowl
2. Prepare the kale and put it in your salad bowl with a bit of olive oil and salt. Massage the kale with your hands for 30 seconds to a minute, until it has softened. Read this post to learn how to prepare and massage kale, if you aren’t familiar.
spinach and kale in a salad bowl
3. Add the spinach to the kale and gently toss them together.
kale spinach salad with veggie toppings in a salad bowl
4. Top the greens with the cherry tomatoes, bell pepper, red onion, chickpeas, and cucumber.
lemon dijon dressing in a glass bowl with a small whisk
5. Make the lemon dijon dressing by whisking everything together in a small bowl.
Bowl of kale spinach salad tossed up with wooden salad spoons next to a small plated salad
5. Pour about half of the dressing over the salad, then use salad spoons to toss everything up. Serve cold!

Storage

Once you add the dressing, this salad is best enjoyed right away.

You can prepare the salad up to one day in advance – just store the salad and dressing separately covered in the fridge, and add the dressing right before serving.

Serving suggestions

Pair this side salad with any meal! Here are some healthy and delicious entree ideas:

spinach kale salad with veggies before being tossed together

Kale and spinach salad nutrition benefits

Kale and spinach are both super nutrient-dense leafy greens, bu they do differ in their nutrient composition.

By adding both to your salad, you get the best of both worlds!

Kale nutrition benefits

Kale provides tons of different nutrients!

Kale is in the cruciferous vegetable family, along with broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage.

These veggies have beneficial plant compounds called glucosinolates, which fight off inflammation, promote heart health, and reduce the risk of certain diseases.

One cup of raw kale provides:

  • 2.8 grams of dietary fiber (10% of your daily needs)
  • 2 grams of plant-based protein
  • 170 mg calcium (13% of your daily needs)
  • 1.1 mg iron (6% of your daily needs)
  • 161.47 mcg Vitamin A (18% of your daily needs)
  • 62.6 mg Vitamin C (134% of your daily needs)
  • 261.3 mcg Vitamin K (218% of your daily needs)
  • 0.616 mg manganese (27% of your daily needs)

Kale is also rich in antioxidants!

Spinach nutrition benefits

Spinach gets its deep green color from chlorophyll, which is also a potent antioxidant.

One cup of raw spinach has several nutritients:

  • 0.7 grams of dietary fiber
  • 140.7 mcg vitamin A (16% of your daily needs)
  • 58.2 mg folate (15% of your daily needs)
  • 8.4 mg vitamin C (9% of your daily needs)
  • 144.9 mcg vitamin K (121% of your daily needs)

Let me know if you love this post by leaving a comment or star rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration. Thanks for stopping by!

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kale and spinach salad with in a salad serving bowl surrounded by a set of wooden mixing spoons, some ingredients, and a dish towel

15-Minute Everyday Kale & Spinach Side Salad

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  • Author: Alex Aldeborgh, RD
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Category: side dish, salads
  • Method: No bake
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Getting greens on your plate doesn’t have to be difficult with this simple kale and spinach salad! Made with accessible, easy to find ingredients like cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and canned chickpeas, this colorful, simple side salad pairs well with any meal. It features a zippy lemon Dijon vinaigrette, and takes just about 15 minutes to prepare.


Ingredients

Scale

Kale spinach salad

  • 2 packed cups kale leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 packed cups baby spinach
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 mini cucumbers, sliced into half moons
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced small
  • 1/2 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Lemon Dijon vinaigrette

  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tbsp shallot or garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • Few grinds of black pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil


Instructions

  1. Add the kale leaves to a salad bowl, along with the olive oil and salt.
  2. Massage the kale with your hands to soften it and reduce bitter compounds, for about 1 minute.
  3. Add the spinach to the salad bowl and toss the spinach and kale together.
  4. Top the greens with the bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, and chickpeas.
  5. Prepare the lemon Dijon vinaigrette: whisk together all the ingredients, except the extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), in a small mixing bowl.
  6. Slowly drizzle the EVOO into the dressing, whisking vigorously until it is cohesive and emulsified.
  7. Pour about half the dressing over the salad and toss everything together. Add more dressing as desired.

Serve salad right away while cold.

Notes

Storage

Once you add the dressing, this salad is best enjoyed right away.

You can prepare the salad up to one day in advance – just store the salad and dressing separately covered in the fridge, and add the dressing right before serving.