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Overhead shot of autumn kale salad served in bowls

Autumn Kale Salad with Honeycrisp and Cheddar

  • Author: Lauren
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings 1x


The best fall salad!  Crunchy kale, sweet honeycrisp apple, sharp cheddar cheese, crunchy brown bread croutons coated with maple apple cider vinaigrette.



Autumn Kale Salad

  • 1 head curly kale, stems removed and chopped
  • 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1/3 cup pepitas
  • 2 honeycrisp apples, sliced very thin
  • brown bread croutons
  • maple apple cider vinaigrette

Brown Bread Croutons

  • 1/2 loaf or 4 cups sweet brown bread, cut in cubes
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Maple Apple Cider Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • optional 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes


  1. Make the croutons:  Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Cut or tear the brown bread into bite sized pieces.  Toss with olive oil and spread into an even layer on a baking sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes until crispy.
  2. Make the dressing:  In a bowl, whisk together apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, apple cider, dijon, garlic, salt and pepper.  Slowly pour in olive oil while whisking quickly.  Alternatively:  Combine all ingredients in a mason jar, cover tightly and shake vigorously until blended.  Set aside.
  3. Make the salad:  Remove the kale leaves from the stem.  Chop or tear into smaller pieces.  In bowl, toss the kale, croutons, and cheddar together with dressing, massaging it into the leaves.  Use as much or as little dressing as you like!
  4. Make it pretty:  plate the salad in a big bowl and top with apple slices and pepitas.  Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 6 hours.


This salad holds up great if you want to make ahead.  If making ahead, add the croutons right before serving instead.

  • Category: salad
  • Method: no bake
  • Cuisine: american

Keywords: fall salads, autumn salads, salads for thanksgiving, kale salad, fruit and cheese salads, ways to use extra apples

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