kale salad with almond butter lime dressing-6

Oil Free Kale Salad with Almond Butter Lime Dressing

Jump to Recipe

Kale. That one word seems to bring up strong feelings among people. Either they love the might kale. Or they hate it. I have been in both camps. But now I love it – and it is all because I know how to prep it! So word to the wise before you embark on making this Oil Free Kale Salad with Almond Butter Lime Dressing – you need to massage and then let this kale marinate.


I know, I know. You are shaking your head and thinking I am not taking kale out on a date so “what gives with the kale massage?” And I agree. I thought that too when I first read that I should massage my kale. But it is true. Those kale leaves are TOUGH. And they need some tenderness (if you are meat eater and stumbled upon this recipe – this would be akin to tenderizing your meat). This is plant based tenderizing situation with kale!

How to Massage Your Kale with Almond Butter Lime Dressing

Now that we have gotten the whole why I should massage my kale out of the way, let’s move onto how to massage those kale leaves correctly!

Spoiler alert – there is really no technical method here but if you need some instructions here is how to massage your kale!

1. Get a large bowl.
2. De-stem kale and place your kale leaves in the bowl.
3. Either break your kale into small pieces by hand OR use kitchen scissors to chop them. (I find this method quicker).
4. Lightly salt your kale and massage the salt into the kale leaves.
5. Place small amounts of your dressing around the salad bowl and massage the almond butter lime dressing into the kale.
6. Place your bowl in the fridge and let the kale ‘marinate’ for a few hours. (this will soften the kale leaves and make them edible!)

There you go! That is how you massage kale leaves.

All About This Kale Salad Bowl

Let’s talk about what else you can put in your salad bowl other than the oil free almond butter lime dressing!

Options for making this salad bowl outstanding include: chopped red pepper, sliced cucumber and broccoli slaw. Top your kale salad with chopped green onions and the crushed almond with red pepper topping. This adds a tasty crunch and bit of heat to this amazing healthy kale salad bowl.

If you love kale, try out these other kale salad favorites from our blog!

Kale Salad with Pumpkin Tahini Dressing
Oil Free Cilantro Tahini Kale Salad
Grilled Radishes with Marinated Kale Salad

If you make this Kale Salad with Almond Butter Lime Dressing, we would love to know! Tag @badtothebowl on social media.

Print Recipe
No ratings yet

Almond Butter Salad Dressing

Oil free kale salad with lots of a flavor from an almond butter salad dressing with lime undertones.
Course: Salads


Almond Butter Salad Dressing

  • 3 tablespoon creamy almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chili paste , Sambal Oelek
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Kale Salad

  • 1 large bunch of kale
  • assorted chopped vegetables: green onions, red onion, red pepper, carrot, cucumber or broccoli slaw

Almond Topping

  • 1/4 cup lightly salted almonds
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes


Almond Butter Dressing

  • Place all dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until full combined.

Almond Topping

  • Crush almonds into pieces.
  • Place in small bowl and add in chili pepper.

Kale Salad

  • Destem kale, chop and place in large bowl. Salt lightly and massage salt into kale.
  • Place dressing in small amounts around edge of bowl. Massage into kale. Use as much or as little dressing as you would like. I used about 3/4 of the dressing recipe.
  • Place in refrigerator and marinate for a few hours.
  • Remove from fridge. Top with vegetable toppings of choice and almond topping mixture.


  • *for thicker dressing use 1 Tblsp water, for thinner dressing use 2 – 3 Tblsp water.
  • Leave a Comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Recipe Rating