Whole Foods' Kale Waldorf Salad
Yield: 4-6 servings
This mayo-free variation of the classic Waldorf salad introduces kale to the mix and incorporates apples and nuts into the dressing for a creamy consistency with natural sweetness.


  • 1 large bunch (12-16 ounces) Tuscan or dinosaur kale (may use curly if preferred)
  • 1/2 plus 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt, divided use
  • 1 large sweet apple, such as Gala, Fuji or Honeycrisp, chopped, divided use
  • 3 large celery stalks, thinly sliced (I include any leaves)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, toasted and chopped, divided use (see notes for options)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons raisins, divided use
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar


  1. Strip away the tough kale stems, and then finely chop or sliver the leaves.  Place in a large bowl, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and massage lightly into the kale.  (Note: Massaging will soften the kale for those who find it somewhat fibrous or tough. You may skip this if you prefer the heartier texture; in this case you may wish to still add the salt for the sake of good seasoning.)

    Add half the apple to the kale along with celery, 1/4 cup nuts and 1/4 cup raisins. Place the remaining apple in a food processor or blender (I use a mini processor, which works well) along with the remaining 1/4 cup walnuts, 2 tablespoons raisins, Dijon, 2 tablespoons water, vinegar and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Purée until well combined and slightly thick.  (You may add another 1-2 tablespoons of water to thin if the mixture seems too thick for the salad.  However, to avoid any wateriness in the salad, I prefer to use the thicker dressing and work a little harder to evenly distribute it when tossing the chopped kale.) Pour about 3/4 of the dressing over kale salad and toss to combine, adding more as needed.


I typically have a little leftover dressing.  If you like a lighter coating of dressing but don’t want to waste any, you may add more kale or greens of choice along with additional add-ins to taste.  Alternatively, this salad takes well to the addition of cooked quinoa or wild rice, which also makes it a little extra filling.
This salad is best eaten the day it is prepared, as the apple and celery give off water, causing  leftovers to be mildly soggy. That said, I always eat whatever is left the next day and ratchet up the texture with an extra sprinkle of nuts and seeds.

✓Sprinkle with crumbled feta, goat cheese or blue cheese
✓As an option to sprinkling the salad with toasted and chopped walnuts or pecans, salted or smokehouse almonds, candied pecans, sunflower seeds, and pepitas complement nicely. Salted varieties enhance the flavor, and using a mix or simply going heavy on the nuts/seeds is fine, as extra crunch is never a bad thing!

Recipe variation: Instead of the pecan/walnut option, I’ve also made this salad (and really enjoy it) with a combination of chopped salted almonds and almond butter.  In this case, I use 2 lightly rounded tablespoons of almond butter in place of the 1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans in the dressing and then sprinkle the salad with 1/4 cup almonds instead of the remaining walnuts or pecans.

Nutritional info per serving: 140 calories (60 from fat), 7g total fat, 0.5g saturated fat, 135mg sodium, 20g carbohydrates, (3 g dietary fiber, 10g sugar), 3g protein.

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