central market’s kale, pepita, and cranberry salad



kale isn’t one of those things where i go “OH KALE?! i love kale!” i mean, in the last few years i have been on my way there. almost;) ultimately my goal is to be more like my mom, who has a shirt that just says KALE (like YALE, get it?).ย #wholefoodsnerd

well, one fine day i experienced a kale salad that i fell in LOVE with. i actually went around telling people about this salad, making them promise me that they would go as fast as they could to go get this amazing salad. KALE salad.
if you know me, this would have seemed odd.

but it’s true. this kale salad is amazing. and anyone who has been to h.e.b. or central market in texas and tried this salad can attest to this. i had a little help (from this blog and this blog) to get the ingredients straight and then i adapted it, getting it just right to my taste. hope this makes you like kale too.

*if you are wanting to make this recipe whole30 friendly, just sub coconut aminos for the soy sauce, omit the agave, and make sure there is no added sugar in your OJ.

central market’s kale, pepita, and cranberry salad
serves 4 as a side dish


6 – 7 cups raw kale, washed & chopped (i chop mine pretty well, like the greens in a chopped salad)

1/4 cup orange juice

3 tbsp rice wine vinegar

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp sesame oil

1 tsp agave (scant)

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/3 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup pepitas

1/4 cup sliced almonds


1. after washing (and drying off a little) & chopping, place kale in a serving bowl or glass dish.

2. in a mason jar, combine orange juice, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, agave, and ground ginger and give it a good shake (or you can whisk it all together in a small bowl). pour dressing over kale greens, add cranberries, and toss a bit.

3. you can serve immediately, or ideally, refrigerate and serve the next day so that the flavors really soak in and the kale absorbs the dressing and softens (if you can’t refrigerate overnight, let it sit in the fridge for at least an hour or two to soften the kale). while it’s marinating in the fridge, stir it a few times, every 3-4 hours if you can to redistribute the dressing. before serving, top with pepitas and almonds.


14 Comments Add yours

  1. Pat Chapman says:

    Making this tonight! To accompany smoked chicken, artichoke pasta. Can’at wait


  2. patruth says:

    Served this tonight to 10 people and it was a huge hit! I didn’t have any ginger, so omitted it and don’t think it was missed.


  3. patruth says:

    OK, just made this again and I was out of sesame oil (subbed olive oil) and agave (subbed maple syrup). Also tossed in a small handful of wasabi peas….wow yum.


    1. team us says:

      you cooking genius you.


  4. abby says:

    I found this on pinterest and made it for my book club tonight. Everyone loved it! One woman even said “I don’t like Kale, but this is really good!” Thank you!


    1. team us says:

      oh i am so glad! always nice to hear ๐Ÿ™‚ you are so welcome.


  5. Robin Senor says:

    Thanks for the recipe! FYI if you need the kale the same day you can put it in a bowl and massage it with a few teaspoons of the orange juice (or lemon) for a few minutes before you start. It gets the acid into the leaves which breaks them down faster.


    1. team us says:

      thanks so much for the tip!! i love the cooking community ๐Ÿ™‚


  6. Michelle says:

    Love this recipe! I have made it many times. So quick to make and it is relatively inexpensive. Thank you for the recipe!


  7. Lori says:

    Just an FYI from someone who eats Central Marketโ€™s kale salad all the time, there are also very fine slivers of candied ginger in the salad.


    1. lindsay says:

      thanks so much for the tip!!!


  8. Cyn says:

    I fell in love with this salad last time I stopped by central market, Iโ€™m so happy I came across your recipe, definitely stopping by heb and getting all of the ingredients so I can make it tonight .. thanks a lot โค๏ธโค๏ธ


  9. Michelle T. says:

    This salad never disappoints! I have made it numerous times over the last five years. Super easy and inexpensive to make. Much cheaper than Central Market, and every bit as delicious! Thank you for sharing your outstanding recipe!


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