Tuscan Kale Salad with Avocado
Enjoy this raw Tuscan kale salad with avocado, sweet potato, chickpeas, grapes, herbs and creamy dressing for a healthy and delicious lunch or dinner.
Why You’ll Love this Recipe
This healthy Tuscan kale salad is super nutritious and packed with a variety of delicious flavours and textures.
The crunchy cucumber and sweet grapes pair well with crispy chickpeas, tender sweet potato and avocado, and it’s all brought together with fresh herbs and a creamy dijon dressing.
You’ll love this beautiful salad year-round as a healthy dinner for 2!
- Vegan, gluten-free, can be made oil-free.
- Hearty enough for a meal!
- Well-balanced with healthy carbohydrates, protein and fats.
- Easy to customize with different add-ins and dressings.
- High in fibre and plant-based protein.
- Serves 2 for a meal or can serve 4-6 as a side (or double/triple as needed)
What is Tuscan kale?
Tuscan kale, also know as lacinato kale, black kale, Italian kale or dinosaur kale, has long, spear-like leaves with a bumpy, pebbled appearance and dark green colour.
Tuscan kale is a great choice for raw kale salads because it’s more tender and less bitter than curly kale and has an almost slightly sweet, nutty flavour.
A complete list of ingredients with amounts and full instructions is located in the printable recipe card below. This section covers ingredient and substitution considerations.
For the Salad
- Avocado: You’ll need 1 ripe avocado but feel free to use more or less to your preference.
- Tuscan Kale: This recipe is for Tuscan kale, also known as lacinato kale, Italian kale, or dinosaur kale, though you can really use any variety.
- Sweet Potato: You can use sweet potato or yam, or substitute butternut or acorn squash.
- Chickpeas: Canned chickpeas work great and are easy to use but you can cook your own from scratch too.
- Spices: You’ll need chili powder, onion powder and garlic powder for the chickpeas and sweet potato. If you want some heat you can add a bit of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes.
- Fresh Herbs: Use 1 cup of mixed fresh herbs like dill, parsley, cilantro, basil, mint or tarragon.
- Cucumber: Persian (mini) cucumbers work well here because they have thin skin and very few seeds. If you don’t have Persian cucumbers, you can use English cucumber.
- Grapes: Purple, black or red seedless grapes are best.
For the Dressing
- Mayonnaise: Use your choice of vegan mayonnaise or try the tofu mayo for an oil-free dressing. There are also some alternative dressing recipes listed below.
- Mustard: The recipe calls for 2 tbsp Dijon mustard and 1 tbsp stone ground mustard but if you only have dijon, you can use 3 tbsp of that.
- Maple Syrup: Maple syrup can be substituted with honey or agave nectar.
- Lemon Juice: You’ll need 1 lemon for a squeeze of lemon juice.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: This can be substituted with white wine vinegar if needed.
Instructions & Tips
Preheat the oven to 425 F and start preparing the sweet potato and chickpeas for roasting. Cut the sweet potato into 1/4-inch rounds. Drain and rinse the chickpeas then pat them dry with a cloth.
Place the sweet potato and chickpeas on a baking tray and sprinkle with the chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Get those into the oven to bake for 30-35 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
While the sweet potato and chickpeas are roasting, prepare the dressing by whisking all the ingredients together until smooth.
While you’re waiting, halve the grapes, chop the cucumbers and slice the avocado.
You’ll also want to prepare the kale by:
- Stacking up the leaves and slicing them into thin strips starting at the top.
- Once you reach the thick, woody stems, tear the remaining leaves away from the stems.
- Discard the stems and thinly slice the remaining leaves.
Once the sweet potato and chickpeas are done, divide the kale between two serving bowls and top with equal amounts of the rest of the salad ingredients and dressing.
Alternatively, you can mix everything up in a large mixing bowl to help coat everything in the dressing.
Variations & Additions
- Try diced apple or blueberries instead of grape.
- Make this roasted squash instead of sweet potato.
- For more veggies, try raw beet, red onion or grated carrot.
- For more crunch, try 1-2 tbsp pecans, walnuts or toasted pumpkin seeds per salad, or add croutons.
Here are some options for the mayo-based salad dressing. You can also use a store-bought dressing you enjoy!
- Maple Dijon Dressing
- Lemon Tahini Dressing
- Maple Tahini Dressing
- Miso Tahini Dressing
- Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Glory Bowl Dressing
- Caesar Salad Dressing
- Almond Lime Dressing
For an oil-free “mayo” you can make this tofu-mayo recipe and use it in the dressing recipe.
- Undressed and without the avocado, the salad will keep in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 4 days.
- Dressed the salad can be kept in the fridge for 1-2 days but I’d recommend keeping the avocado off until serving.
- The dressing can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for up to 5 days.
More Kale Salad Recipes
- Sweet Potato Kale Salad: A hearty salad with lentils and tahini dressing.
- Quinoa Kale Salad: Savory roasted veggies with quinoa, kale and balsamic dressing.
- Roasted Chickpea Kale Salad: A simple avocado kale salad with roasted chickpeas.
- Kale Quinoa Chickpea Salad: A salad bowl with kale, quinoa, chickpeas, roasted carrot and tahini sauce.
- Vegan Kale Caesar Salad: Caesar salad with homemade dressing and crispy chickpeas.
Did you try this recipe?
I’d love to hear about it! Click here to leave a review and be sure to tag me @runningonrealfood if you post it on social media.
This raw Tuscan kale salad with avocado and creamy dressing makes the perfect healthy dinner for 2!
For the Kale Salad
- 2 cups sweet potato, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
- 1 cup chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and patted dry
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4–6 cups loosely packed shredded Tuscan kale (dinosaur kale, lacinato kale)
- 1 cup lightly packed mixed fresh herbs, finely chopped (we used tarragon, dill and parsley)
- 2 Persian (mini) cucumbers, cut into half moons (about 2 cups)
- 1 cup black or red seedless grapes, halved
- 1 avocado, sliced
For the Dressing
- Preheat Oven: Preheat oven to 425° F.
- Prepare Sweet Potato & Chickpeas: Place the cut sweet potatoes on a baking sheet along with the chickpeas. Sprinkle with the chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper and toss to coat.
- Bake Sweet Potato & Chickpeas: Transfer to the oven and bake for 35 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender and the chickpeas are crispy. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- Make the Dressing: In a medium bowl or jar, whisk together the dressing ingredients until completely smooth.
- Assemble & Serve: Divide the kale and fresh herbs between two serving bowls and toss to combine. Top each salad with equal amounts of the rest of the salad ingredients. Drizzle with the dressing and serve.
Storing: Undressed and without the avocado, the salad will keep in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 4 days. Dressed the salad can be kept in the fridge for 1-2 days but I’d recommend keeping the avocado off until serving.
The dressing can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Serving Size: 1 salad
- Calories: 689
- Sugar: 32 g
- Fat: 32 g
- Carbohydrates: 88 g
- Fiber: 17 g
- Protein: 13 g
Keywords: avocado kale salad, tuscan kale salad