Massaged Kale Salad & Nut Butter Vinaigrette

This massaged kale salad is tossed in a nut butter vinaigrette that gives it a creamy texture, a sweet and savory flavor, and turns the salad into the star of the meal.  No one will be asking for store bought dressing again!

massaged kale salad

Alright so if you are thinking that you don’t like kale – it is time you get a little more personal with it!  Give it a good massage and kale becomes a whole lot friendlier.  It’s true!  As I’ll explain more in the instructions below, a quick massage gives kale a softer texture and a milder taste.

This salad is a great side dish you can place alongside any main course, or just add your favorite protein and make it the meal!  I’m thinking some teriyaki chicken or shrimp would be absolutely amazing with this.  

And once you’ve tried this, if you want to try a different salad dressing check out my creamy horseradish sauce or my green goddess tahini sauce.  Or if you’re looking for another refreshing side dish to go with your dinner, check out my honey lime summer salad.

Massaged Kale Salad

Let’s Make a Massage Kale Salad & Nut Butter Vinaigrette!

Let’s start with the kale – don’t skip the massage.  Kale is  a really tough green, and that is what keeps a lot of people away from it.  But massaging it truly does transform this leafy vegetable into a whole new experience.  It softens the leaves making them more tender.  It also cuts out the bitter flavor.  It only takes 30-60 seconds and you can do it with some olive oil or lemon juice sprinkled on. Definitely worth your time!  And it is up to you if you want to leave the stems in or take them out.

As for the vinaigrette – this part is super easy too.  Just combine all of your ingredients and whisk them together until combined!  I suggest coconut aminos because they are a cleaner version of soy sauce.  They are made from the sap of coconut blossoms and are soy free, gluten free, and vegan.  If you don’t mind the soy you can also use tamari, which is a gluten free version of soy sauce.  Or just stick to the OG if that is what works for you!

I topped this salad with some seeds and a couple veggies and served it as a side dish, but you can definitely add in your favorite protein and make it for the main course!

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massaged kale salad

Massaged Kale Salad w/ Nut Butter Dressing

  • Author: Megan
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x


Gluten Free Option, Vegan, Refined Sugar Free

This massaged kale salad is tossed in a nut butter vinaigrette that gives it a creamy texture, a sweet and savory flavor, and turns the salad into the star of the meal.




  • 1.5 tbsp nut butter
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp soy sauce (or coconut aminos)
  • 2 tbsp water


  • 68 oz kale
  • 1 tsp lemon juice (or olive oil)
  • Topping ideas: cherry tomatoes, sunflower seeds, red onions


  1. Pour kale into a large mixing bowl – add lemon juice or olive oil – massage 30-60 seconds until soft.
  2. In a separate small bowl, whisk dressing ingredients until combined.
  3. Pour dressing on kale and stir until evenly coated.
  4. Top with desired toppings any enjoy!


Gluten Free Option – use coconut aminos or tamari instead of soy sauce.  Check out my Amazon shop to find my brand recommendations.

Add a protein to this salad and make it a main course!

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: No Bake
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1/2 recipe

Keywords: kale salad, massaged kale salad, nut butter dressing

If you remake please  leave a comment below to let me know what you thought!  If you make on Instagram be sure to tag me at @donutworry_behealthy so I can see and send you some love!


massaged kale salad

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