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Healthy Sautéed Kale Salad with Bacon, Walnuts and Cranberries

by Christina Cherrier – Updated Apr 26, 2020
Meal planner
Healthy Sautéed Kale Salad with Bacon, Walnuts and Cranberries
Healthy Sautéed Kale Salad with Bacon, Walnuts and Cranberries - #kale #salad #eatwell101 #recipe - Not only is this kale salad recipe colorful, but it’s flavorful too!

Healthy Sautéed Kale Salad with Bacon, Walnuts and Cranberries – Not only is this kale salad recipe colorful, but it’s flavorful too! Kale, bacon, sweet dried cranberries and walnuts combined together is hearty enough to stand on its own as an easy weeknight dinner. Paleo, gluten-free and whole30, you’ll love the crunch and sweet/salty combinations of this sauteed kale salad. Enjoy!

healthy kale salad recipePhoto credit: ©

Ingredients list for the Kale Salad with Bacon, Walnuts and Cranberries

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healthy kale saladPhoto credit: ©

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kale salad with bacon walnutPhoto credit: ©

Healthy Sauteed Kale SaladPhoto credit: ©

sauteed kale salad recipe with baconPhoto credit: ©

kale salad recipe 5Photo credit: ©


1. To make the sauteed kale salad: Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Heat 1 tablespoon oil and add kale in batches. Sauté until kale is wilted – about 3 minutes. Season with pepper and remove from heat.

2. Top the kale salad with chopped bacon, walnuts, and dried cranberries. Give a quick stir to combine, and serve the sauteed kale salad with bacon, walnut, and cranberries immediately. Enjoy!

Tips for the sauteed kale salad recipe

This is a recipe that elevates basic sauteed greens into something even more savory and tender! If you cooked bacon on your own, keep the bacon fat to saute the kale salad – it is way more flavorful! If you’re looking to add an additional protein for a more filling “meal” salad, ingredients like grilled chicken, sliced pork chops or white beans will fit perfectly. We also liked having this kale salad over brown rice for a meal prep version.

How to cook Kale in the pan

  • Any type of kale will work (curly, lacinato kale…), just make sure to remove the stem, or you will end up with very tough bits in your salad!
  • Add the kale in batches and toss to coat with oil. When all of the kale is added to the pan, sauté for 3 minutes. If you prefer your kale extra tender, cover with a lid and cook for 5 minutes, then remove the lid and cook for a couple of minutes more, until moisture has evaporated.

What makes this kale salad so good?

Warm kale, with its slightly bitter taste, combines perfectly with savory bacon while cranberries add the necessary sweetness to roundup the salad. If you have some time available, you can even dry toast the walnuts in a pan to enhance the kale salad with their nutty flavor. Because it is a warm salad, we do not need a dressing on the side.

How to make kale less bitter?

We usually recommend massaging kale whenever you plan to eat it raw. Normally, heating kale will reduce its bitterness for this warm kale salad recipe. But if it is still a concern, you can always massage chopped kale leaves with oil and salt before using; this will also soften the leaves.

More warm salad ideas

kale bacon walnut saladPhoto credit: ©

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    Nutrition Info (Beta version)
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