Learn how to create a vibrant Kale Apple Slaw that's perfect for holiday gatherings but delicious year-round. This easy recipe combines the earthy bitterness of kale with the sweet crunch of apples for a side dish bursting with flavor and texture. Best of all, it's ready in just 15 minutes, making it a quick and easy addition to any meal. So come along, let's learn how to whip up this fresh, healthy, and undeniably tasty apple kale slaw together!
I'm excited to share with you something that has quickly become my go-to side dish — a vibrant and refreshing Kale Apple Slaw recipe.
This is not your average slaw, folks. It's a delightful mix of textures and flavors that's sure to elevate any meal.
Whether you're planning a barbecue, a holiday dinner, or just a simple weeknight meal, this slaw is a game-changer.
What makes this slaw so special? Well, it starts with fresh, curly kale - a nutrient powerhouse that not only adds a beautiful pop of green but also brings a unique earthy flavor. Then, we add in crisp apples for a sweet contrast.
I like to use a mix of Granny Smith and Honeycrisp apples, but feel free to use your favorites!
But wait, there's more! We're also adding in crunchy cabbage and carrots for even more texture.
And let's not forget about the homemade dressing — a tangy blend of apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, and Dijon mustard that ties everything in this vegan recipe together perfectly.
So, are you ready to take your slaw game to the next level?
Let's dive in and start making this amazing Kale Apple Slaw. I promise it's going to be love at first bite!
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: This oil adds a rich, fruity flavor to the dressing. If you're out of olive oil, you can substitute with avocado oil or grapeseed oil.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: It gives the dressing a tangy kick. White wine vinegar or lemon juice can be used as alternatives.
- Maple Syrup: This natural sweetener balances the acidity in the dressing. Honey or agave syrup could be used instead.
- Dijon Mustard: It adds depth and complexity to the dressing. Whole grain mustard can serve as a replacement.
- Sea Salt: It enhances all the other flavors. Table salt or kosher salt can be used if sea salt is not available.
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper: It adds a subtle hint of heat to the dressing. You could use white pepper if needed.
- Kale: This nutrient-rich green is the base of the slaw. When I can find it, I like lacinato kale or dinosaur kale in this kale apple salad, but curly kale is my go-to since that is what is easiest for me to find.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Used to soften the kale. Avocado oil or grapeseed oil can be used in its place.
- Red Cabbage: It adds color and crunch to the slaw. Green cabbage or radicchio can be used instead.
- Carrots: They bring sweetness and color to the slaw. Beetroot could be used as an alternative.
- Apples: Their tartness and crunch add a refreshing element to the slaw. You can use your favorite type of apple; pink lady, honey crisp, red delicious, and granny smith apples are all great options.
Step by Step Instructions
For the full recipe with measurements, see the recipe card at the end of the post.
Tips & Tricks
- Massage Your Kale: Massaging your kale with a bit of salt or dressing helps to break down its tough fibers, making it tender and easier to chew. This is key for any kale salad or slaw.
- Balance Your Flavors: The sweetness of apple pairs beautifully with kale's earthiness.
- Dressing Matters: A simple vinaigrette of apple cider vinegar, olive oil, and honey can bring out the best in your kale and apple slaw.
- Plan Ahead: This slaw tastes even better when it has time to marinate. Make it a day ahead for maximum flavor infusion!
- Add Some Crunch: Consider adding some toasted pecans, walnuts or sunflower seeds - they provide a delightful crunch that contrasts well with the softness of the slaw.
- Storage: Store leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for up to three days.
- Looking for a protein to complement the tangy and sweet slaw? Try an Air Fryer Turkey Breast. The crispy skin and juicy meat of the turkey is a match made in heaven for the crunchy, fresh slaw.
- Pair it with Instant Pot Mac and Cheese with Cream Cheese for a delightful contrast. The creamy, rich mac and cheese balances perfectly with the light, crisp slaw.
- If you're planning a gluten-free menu, our slaw goes wonderfully with Gluten-Free Stuffing. The earthy flavors of the stuffing and the bright, fresh notes of the slaw create a delightful duo.
- For a sweet and savory combo, serve the slaw alongside Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes. The natural sweetness of the potatoes pairs wonderfully with the tangy apple in the slaw.
- Lastly, don't forget about bread! Bread Machine Dinner Rolls offer a soft, fluffy counterpoint to the crunchy slaw, making for a well-rounded meal.
Can I Prep Kale Slaw Ahead of Time?
Absolutely, you can prep kale slaw ahead of time! In fact, one of the great things about kale slaw is that it's even more delicious after it's had a chance to marinate for a bit. You can prepare the slaw, put it in an airtight container, and store it in the refrigerator for up to two days.
In my experience, the acid in the dressing keeps the apples fresh for about two days, but if you are making this for entertaining, I recommend waiting until the day of serving to add the apples.
How Do I Make Kale Less Bitter?
Kale can indeed have a slightly bitter taste, especially when it's raw. But, there are some tricks to make it less bitter. My favorite method is to give it a good massage. Yes, you heard that right! Massaging your kale with a bit of salt and olive oil for a few minutes can do wonders. It breaks down the tough cell structure, bringing out the sweetness and making the kale more tender. Another method is to pair it with acidic ingredients, like the apples and dressing used in this slaw. The acidity can help to balance out the bitterness of the kale.
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- Blender (or Mason Jar and Lide)
- Large Bowl
More Veggie Sides to Try
- Craving a refreshing side? Try our Broccoli Apple Salad - with its crunchy texture and sweet-tart flavor, it's a delightful way to enjoy your greens.
- Looking for a quick, healthy dish? Our Instant Pot Fresh Green Beans are incredibly easy to make, yet packed full of vibrant flavor and nutrients.
- Want to level up your mashed potatoes? Give our Boursin Mashed Potatoes a whirl - creamy, garlicky, and downright addictive.
- If you're a fan of simple yet flavorful veggies, you'll love our Garlic Roasted Broccoli - it's perfectly crispy, tender, and loaded with garlic goodness.
- And don't miss out on our Garlic Butter Asparagus - tender-crisp asparagus spears tossed in rich garlic butter, it's a side dish that steals the show!
15-Minute Kale Apple Slaw
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bunch kale
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil.
- 2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
- 2 carrots grated
- 2 apples peeled and cut into matchsticks
- Combine the oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, dijon mustard, salt and pepper in a jar or blender. Process or shake to combine.
- Remove the kale from the stems and discard. Finely slice the leaves about ¼ inch thick.
- Put the kale in a large bowl and drizzle the oil over. Sprinkle with a little salt. Massage for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add the cabbage, carrots, and apple.
- Pour the dressing over the slaw and toss to combine.