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Overhead shot of autumn kale salad served in bowls

Autumn Kale Salad with Honeycrisp and Cheddar

The best fall salad!  Crunchy kale, sweet honeycrisp apple, sharp cheddar cheese, crunchy brown bread croutons coated with maple apple cider vinaigrette.
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword autumn salads, fall salads, fruit and cheese salads, kale salad, salads for thanksgiving, ways to use extra apples
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 to 6 servings
Calories 1020kcal
Author Lauren


Autumn Kale Salad

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

Brown Bread Croutons

  • ½ loaf sweet brown bread about 4 cups, cut in cubes
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Maple Apple Cider Vinaigrette

  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic finely minced
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • optional ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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.


Calories: 1020kcal | Carbohydrates: 133g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 2074mg | Potassium: 770mg | Fiber: 17g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 3609IU | Vitamin C: 44mg | Calcium: 440mg | Iron: 8mg