Bring on the flavour!! This yummy blueberry kale salad is tossed with spicy marinated beets, crunchy almonds and a hint of fresh mint in a creamy balsamic vinaigrette so juicy and vibrant that this easy massaged kale salad is sure to be a hit!

kale and blueberry salad on white plate with fork
This fresh, juicy and flavourful blueberry and kale salad comes together in just 20 minutes with a couple storebought helpers!

I will forever be in love with kale salads, whether it’s a classic vegan kale caesar salad, a make-ahead kale and quinoa salad or a winter-y kale panzanella. Which is good, because I have 5 kale plants currently growing in the garden so I need to eat them on repeat just to keep up!!

You probably think it’s because I’m a dietitian and while yes, I have to admit that kale is absolutely packed with nutrition, the real reason why kale is legitimately my favourite leafy green is because it has SO much more texture and flavour than lettuces.

I’m firmly in the more is more camp when it comes to plant-based recipes and I love a salad that feels hearty, satisfying and and flavourful. Because salads aren’t just an afterthought on the plate for me…they’re one of my main squeezes. No watery, bland, wimpy salads here!

And this blueberry kale salad is surprisingly simple to put together, using a couple of convenient staples: precooked or leftover roasted beets and roasted chickpeas. In fact, it will come together in just 20 minutes, including massaging the kale in the dressing so it becomes more tender and each leaf is well-coated with dressing for better flavour.

This salad has it all, both flavour wise and nutritionally: plant-based protein from the chickpeas and almonds. Plenty of fibre because all of the ingredients are higher fibre foods. And an absolute bounty of vitamins, minerals and antioxidant phytochemicals. Bonus: because it’s kale, it keeps beautifully for a few days without getting all soggy, so it’s a great make-ahead lunch! 

Gather your ingredients for this easy massaged kale salad

This delicious kale and blueberry salad works as well as a nutritionally balanced main dish or as a flavourful and hearty side salad! You need just 7 ingredients for the salad, plus the easy creamy balsamic vinaigrette.

blueberries in box with kale and beets
Pre-cooked beets and bagged roasted chickpeas make this blueberry kale salad a breeze to throw together!
  • Kale: I’ve used curly kale here, which I feel is a better option for texture in salads but you could absolutely use Tuscan kale if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Beets: Pre-cooked beets have changed my life, for real. I eat 400% more beets because of it! Of course, if you’ve got some gorgeous beets in the garden, I’ve got you with these instructions for roasting beets.
  • Roasted chickpeas: Similarly, the roasted chickpea snacks in stores make this salad a breeze…and you can play around with using different flavours! My fave is the Biena habanero ones if you like a bit of heat…and if you want to, you can roast your own chickpeas.
  • Almonds: almonds have such a great crunch, which really add to this salad. You could use raw or salted almonds, as you wish and if you’re allergic, pecans or sunflower seeds would be wonderful too!
  • Mint: I’ve used just a little fresh mint here, which I find adds a subtle lift to the flavour to keep things fresh and light.
  • Hot sauce: my absolute favourite hot sauce is Valentina’s extra hot, but you can totally use any hot sauce you have on hand to give the beets a bit of extra zip.
  • Creamy balsamic vinaigrette: My creamy balsamic vinaigrette is like a classic balsamic vinaigrette with a hearty dollop of Dijon mustard to give it a creamy look and texture! 

How to make this yummy blueberry kale salad

There are 2 ways to make this kale and blueberry salad: the “from scratch” way, taking the time to roast your own beets and chickpeas or…you can buy your chickpeas already roasted and your beets pre-cooked! Nine times out of 10, I’m taking the latter option because it takes just 20 minutes and during the week, I don’t have an hour to make salad! So, I’m giving you the instructions for both ways so you can choose your own adventure!

Step One: If making everything from scratch, you want to roast beets and make roasted chickpeas first. Otherwise, grab your pre-cooked beets and roasted chickpeas and you’re off to the races, ha!

Step Two: Next, shake up the creamy balsamic vinaigrette and toss your cooked beets with a couple tablespoons of the dressing as well as some hot sauce and salt so the flavour can infuse.

Step Three: Massage the kale in a couple of tablespoons of the dressing to tenderize and flavour the leaves. It should wilt by about ⅓ in volume once massaged.

Step Four: toss the massaged kale salad with blueberries, almonds, mint, chickpeas and beets and serve with the remaining dressing on the side.

blueberry kale salad in white bowl
This salad keeps super well because it isn’t over dressed…making it a great make ahead salad!

FAQ: What’s the best way to remove kale stems?

If you’ve ever tested your patience trying to painstakingly cut away kale stems, let me blow your mind: all you have to do is strip the leaves off with your hands! No knife required…here’s how:

Hold the kale stem in one hand. Pinch the bottom of the kale leaf in your other hand, close to the stem. Then, just strip the leaf off in a downward motion and it should come off the stem pretty cleanly! 

Zero waste tip: don’t throw out those kale stems! They can be diced and added to sauces and soups and stews, cooked down at the beginning of cooking with your onions.

Why kale is so, so good for you

Take it from a dietitian: kale is one of those nutrient-dense plants that really lives up to the hype, because it’s packed with nutrition! All plants are good plants…but yes, kale is really, really good for you.

  • Just 1 cup of raw kale pieces contains 1.7 grams of low FODMAP fibre, making it a tummy-friendly food for even more sensitive stomachs.
  • Kale is also mineral rich, with 100mg of plant-based calcium and 1mg of iron per cup. Kale contains smaller amounts of immune supportive zinc, energizing copper and selenium as well as magnesium.
  • 1 cup of kale contains plenty of antiinflammatory and antioxidant beta-carotene as well as close to 100% of your daily vitamin C needs, some folate, and plenty of vitamin K for bones.

Tips, Trick and Substitutions

  • This massaged kale salad keeps well in the fridge for 3-4 days. Store extra dressing separately for up to 1 week.
  • The best part of this kale salad is that it’s super versatile so you can make it your own! Try it with strawberries, blackberries or cherries. Swap any nut or seed you like for the almonds.
  • This salad is delicious served as a main dish, or as a side dish (with or without chickpeas) with my kidney bean burgers!

More yummy kale recipes

  • Nourishing Kale and Quinoa Salad with Edamame
  • 30 Minute Green Pasta Recipe with Kale
  • Vegan Oven-Baked Kale Gratin
  • 20 Minute Vegan White Bean Sandwich with Kale
  • Vegan Butternut Squash Kale Salad
kale and blueberry salad on white plate with fork


Fresh Blueberry and Kale Salad with Almonds

This yummy blueberry kale salad is tossed with spicy marinated beets, crunchy almonds and a hint of fresh mint in a creamy balsamic vinaigrette so juicy and vibrant that this easy massaged kale salad is sure to be a hit!
Course Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword almonds, Beet, Blueberry, kale
Dietary Preference dairy free, Gluten-Free, low FODMAP, nut free, vegan, vegetarian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 main dish servings
Author Desiree Nielsen, RD


  • 1 cup roasted beets diced, or storebought pre-cooked beets
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 bunch curly kale destemmed and torn into small pieces
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1 ½ cups roasted chickpeas
  • ½ cup chopped almonds or slivered almonds, chopped pecans or sunflower seeds
  • cup fresh mint leaves thinly sliced
  • 1 batch Creamy Balsamic Dressing


  • If making everything from scratch, click the links in the ingredients for step-by-step instructions on how to roast beets and chickpeas. Then let them cool…this is a great step to make-ahead morning of for cooling time!
  • Next, shake up your creamy balsamic dressing if you haven’t already. In a small bowl, toss the diced beets with 2 tablespoons (30 mL) of dressing, 1 teaspoon of hot sauce (or more!) and ¼ teaspoon of salt.
  • In a large salad bowl, massage the kale leaves with 2 tablespoons (30 mL) of dressing until leaves wilt by about 1/3 and leaves are evenly coated and glossy with dressing.
  • Then toss kale with the blueberries, beets, almonds, chickpeas and mint. Serve with remaining dressing on the side.
  • You can make a low FODMAP version of this salad! Here’s what to do: omit beets. Make the dressing without garlic. Swap pecans for almonds. Sprinkle no more than 2 tablespoons of roasted chickpeas on each serving.

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