This kale and apple slaw is a delicious side dish for any meal. It’s got a cravable crunchy texture and is filled with nutritious ingredients including kale, green apples, cabbage, carrots, and almonds. It’s tossed in the most delicious creamy tahini apple cider dressing that everyone will love!

white bowl filled with kale slaw salad, surrounded by a few ingredients and a white napkin with a fork and knife

As a Registered Dietitian, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that I love kale. I’ve got plenty of nutritious recipes with kale here on the blog, including kale salads, pasta with kale, and even kale pesto!

This kale apple slaw is definitely a new favorite kale salad recipe of mine! It has the best crunchy texture and it’s super easy to make. Kale slaw salad can be prepared in advance since kale doesn’t get soggy like other greens, making it a great option for meal prepping.

This recipe is vegetarian and gluten free. You can easily make the recipe vegan by using maple syrup instead of honey in the dressing. This recipe comes together in about 20 minutes, and it makes a big batch, serving 6-8 people as a side dish.

Step-by-step video

Ingredients in kale slaw with apples

Here is everything you need to make this recipe, including the ingredients needed for the salad dressing:

  • Kale: I used curly kale, but you can use another kale variety, such as lacinato/dinosaur kale.
  • Red cabbage
  • Carrot
  • Green apple
  • Almonds
  • Shallot
  • Tahini
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Honey
  • Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper

Kitchen tools needed

You’ll need a good chef’s knife for all the chopping, a metal baking tray on which you can toast the almonds, and a small jar to prepare the dressing in. A julienne peeler is also helpful for shredding the carrot, but you can always just chop it up into matchsticks with your knife.

kale apple slaw ingredients measured out on a light grey backdrop

How to make kale apple slaw

  1. First, toast the almonds in the oven for about five minutes. Don’t skip this step! It brings out better flavor and a crunchier, more desirable texture in the almonds.
  2. Finely chop the kale, thinly slice the red cabbage, and cut the apple into thin matchsticks. Add them to a large mixing bowl.
  3. Peel and julienne the carrot using a julienne peeler, or cut it into thin matchsticks. Add it to the bowl with the other vegetables.
  4. Roughly chop the toasted almonds. Add them to the mixing bowl.
  5. Combine all the dressing ingredients together in a small jar, like a mason jar: olive oil, tahini, apple cider vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, minced shallot, salt, and pepper. Close the jar and shake it up until everything is well combined.
  6. Pour the dressing over the slaw ingredients and use salad spoons to thoroughly toss everything up. Add a shake of salt and pepper to taste.

How to prep kale

If you bought a bunch of curly or lacinato kale to make this slaw, it’s important to prepare it properly! Here’s How to easily prepare kale for this salad, or any other kale recipe you may have:

  • Run a knife down the length of the kale leaves as close to the tough stem as possible to remove the leaves. Repeat on the other side.
  • Discard the kale stems (or save them to add to smoothies or homemade veggie broth).
  • Break up the kale leaves into bite size pieces using your hands.
  • Thoroughly wash the kale under cold running water. Dry it using a clean towel or in a salad spinner.
  • For this recipe, you’ll then want to chop up the kale into fine pieces with a chef’s knife.

Do I need to massage kale for this recipe?

Since the kale is finely chopped, there is no need to massage the kale for this recipe! The chopping action breaks it down enough to a suitable texture for eating it raw.

close up of kale slaw with apples before being mixed together

How long does kale slaw last?

This kale slaw will stay good for 2-3 days after it is prepared! This makes it a great salad option for meal prepping.

Store leftover kale slaw in an airtight container in your fridge. You may notice the apples beginning to brown as they sit, but they are still perfectly fine to eat.

Kale nutrition benefits

Since kale is packed with nutrients, there are certainly benefits to eating kale! Just one cup of raw kale provides:

  • 2 grams of dietary fiber
  • 3 grams of plant-based protein
  • Over 100 percent of your daily Vitamin C needs
  • Over 200 percent of your daily Vitamin A needs, from beta-carotene
  • Over 600 percent of your daily Vitamin K needs
  • Other micronutrients, including calcium, manganese, copper, and potassium

Additionally, there are several antioxidants found in kale, including Vitamin C, beta-carotene, flavonoids, and polyphenols. Antioxidants help fight inflammation, keep our cells healthy, and protect against certain diseases.

bowl of kale apple slaw on a light grey backdrop

Red cabbage nutrition benefits

Cabbage is a very healthy food to include in your diet. One cup of red cabbage provides:

  • 2 grams of dietary fiber
  • 1.3 grams of plant-based protein
  • 993 IU Vitamin A (20 percent of your daily needs)
  • 50.7 mg Vitamin C (85 percent of your daily needs)
  • 34 mcg Vitamin K (42 percent of your daily needs)

Red cabbage is rich in different types of antioxidants, which help keep our cells healthy and fight inflammation. Red cabbage has even more antioxidants than green cabbage, but both are nutrient dense foods.

Red cabbage contains both soluble fiber (about 30 percent) and insoluble fiber (about 70 percent). Both types of fiber are important in our diets. Soluble fiber in particular can help reduce blood cholesterol levels and enhances gut health.

Let me know if you love this recipe 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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white bowl filled with kale slaw salad, surrounded by a few ingredients and a white napkin with a fork and knife

20-Minute Crunchy Kale Slaw with Apples

  • Author: Alex Aldeborgh
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: serves 68 as a side 1x
  • Category: Salads
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This kale and apple slaw is a delicious side dish for any meal. It’s got a cravable crunchy texture and is filled with nutritious ingredients including kale, green apples, cabbage, carrots, and almonds. It’s tossed in the most delicious creamy tahini apple cider dressing that everyone will love!


Ingredients

Scale

Kale and Apple Slaw

  • 1/2 cup whole raw almonds
  • 4 packed cups curly kale, chopped finely
  • 2 cups red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and julienned
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, cut into matchsticks

Tahini Apple Cider Dressing

  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp shallot, minced
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spread out the almonds on a metal baking sheet.
  3. Toast the almonds in the oven for 4-6 minutes – they will be done when they are fragrant. Set aside to cool.
  4. Add the chopped kale, cabbage, carrots, and apples to a large salad bowl.
  5. Once the almonds are cool enough to handle, roughly chop them up.
  6. Add the almonds to the salad bowl.
  7. Combine all the dressing ingredients in a small jar. Close the jar and shake it up well to combine all the ingredients.
  8. Pour the salad dressing over the salad. Use salad spoons to toss everything together so the salad is coated in the dressing.

Notes

How long does kale slaw last?

This kale slaw will stay good for 2-3 days after it is prepared! This makes it a great salad option for meal prepping.

Store leftover kale slaw in an airtight container in your fridge. You may notice the apples beginning to brown as they sit, but they are still perfectly fine to eat.

Keywords: kale apple slaw, kale slaw with apples, kale salad with apples