This hearty healthy kale mango salad with blood orange is the perfect blend of savory sweet. Shredded kale tossed in a honey lime vinaigrette and topped with slivers of fresh mango, blood orange wheels and almonds. Enjoy for lunch, add a favorite protein, or serve as a side with any meal.
- Kale is nutrient-dense with loads of antioxidants and high amounts of vitamins A, C and K.
- I like to use unripe mango, which has more antioxidants and vitamin C than ripe mangos. They also contain less sugars. Their taste is slightly sour with sweet undertones as they're often close to ripening when found at the grocery store.
- This delicious mango salad is tangy, chewy, sweet, crunchy and nutty. It also has a really bright flavor from the honey lime vinaigrette. It's gluten-free, dairy-free and vegetarian.
- If you want to make the kale salad paleo friendly, just swap the honey for pure maple syrup.
Serve this mango kale salad as a side with my Easy Chicken Muffins, Homemade Gluten-Free Sloppy Joes, or my Vegan Chickpea Veggie Burgers. And if you love kale you should try my Crunchy Kale Salad with Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette.
Noteworthy ingredients and substitutions
- Curly kale: has a somewhat bright green color in this kale salad recipe but you can substitute for any type of kale. Make sure to remove the hard stem and massage the kale for the perfect texture.
- Extra virgin olive oil: helps to breakdown the fibrous kale when massaging.
- Mangoes: add a bright sweetness to the salad recipe. You can also use unripe mangoes, also known as green mangoes They are citrusy and tart and will slice well into matchsticks.
- Blood oranges: have a lovely tart sweetness that pairs well with the bitterness of the kale and the sourness of the unripe mango. If you can't find blood oranges then substitute with your favorite variety of orange.
- Sliced almonds: adds a soft chewy texture. You can substitute with other chopped nuts like pecans or walnuts if you prefer more of a crunch.
- Honey lime vinaigrette: adds bright notes of lime with a little honey to temper the tang. Always try to choose organic lime when using zest in a recipe.
See recipe card for all ingredients and quantities.
How to make kale mango salad
- Prepare salad: For the kale, wash, dry, remove stems and chop or slice thinly. In a large bowl, add kale, 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. With clean hands, massage the kale by repeatedly scrunching and releasing for 5-7 minutes. This will break down the cell structure, relax the leaves and reduce the bitter taste.
Hint: If you want the leaves to be extra soft, continue to massage for up to 10 minutes or until the softened leaves are to your liking.
- Prepare mango: Peel unripe mango and slice into thin matchstick pieces working around the hard center seed. Or, dice the mango. Set aside.
- Prepare blood orange: With a sharp chef knife, cut off both ends of orange, then cut down the sides to remove the peel and the white pith. Once peeled, turn orange onto its rounded side and slice into wheels. Set aside.
Hint: Don't hand peel the orange or the pith will be left on the orange. If peeling with a chef knife seems difficult, then go ahead and and peel and segment the orange and cut the segments in half or thirds.
- Prepare vinaigrette: In a small bowl add olive oil, honey, red wine vinegar, lime juice and zest, garlic and sea salt. Whisk until well combined. You could also add ingredients to a mason jar and give it a good shake.
- Assemble salad: Add vinaigrette to massaged kale and toss well. Top with mango and blood orange wheels and give a gentle toss to distribute evenly in salad. Top with a sprinkle of sliced almonds.
Tips, tricks and variations
- Make sure to give a good massage to the kale after you've removed the stems and chopped the kale. Don't be afraid to get in there with both hands and scrunch the leaves for 5-7 minutes or longer if you prefer the kale more buttery.
- If you can find unripe mango then try substituting with unripe papaya. Both these unripened fruits are loaded with fiber and may help support digestion through enzymes in the green fruit.
- Add some avocado to make a satisfying kale mango avocado salad. Or turn it into a meal by adding cooked chicken, shrimp, chickpeas or edamame. Top with chopped pecans, walnuts, pepitas or hemp seeds. Or toast some coconut flakes for a tropical flare.
If you've bought your green mango and are not ready to make your mango salad, store your unripe mango in the fridge to slow down the ripening process.
Kale has a tough cell structure that makes it very bitter and hard to chew when eaten raw. When the kale is massaged with olive oil (and an optional light sprinkle of sea salt and lemon juice) it breaks down the cell walls and softens the leaves. The kale is much more palatable and easier to chew.
Store: The kale mango salad can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 days. If you're making the salad in advance, add all the ingredients except the mango and oranges. They should be sliced just before serving if possible.Print