4.67 from 9 reviews

Massaged Kale Blueberry Salad

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kale salad in a wood bowl

This massaged kale salad is my favorite go to salad.

Yes, I said it and I mean it! Any time I have a family dinner or friends come over, this is the salad I love to make.

It has all the textures and flavors you’re looking for in a salad and it’s unique compared to most salads thanks to the snap peas, bulgur and delicious homemade dressing.

But I get it if you’re not a fan of kale, (err, like my husband!) You can use a different leafy green or try my shaved brussels sprouts salad, chicken salad with sesame dressing or this healthy beet salad.

kale in a bowl with blueberries, pecans, bulgur wheat, feta cheese and dressing poured on top.

This Massage Kale Blueberry Salad is:

  • Simple to make
  • Healthy
  • Full of flavor and superfoods
  • Vegetarian
  • A wonderful side dish or can be an entree with a protein

Ingredient Notes

The beauty of salads is how versatile they are! This is my go-to template and combination of ingredients I love but feel free to use my suggestions or other variations you may like.

ingredients needed to make salad in small white bowls.
  • Kale: I use the common curly kale for this salad. You can use your favorite, or any other leafy green options: Romaine, spinach, arugula, butter lettuce, spring mix, iceberg, etc.
  • Blueberries: It wouldn’t be a kale blueberry salad without some blueberries! Other fruits that work well in this salad are strawberries and pears.
  • Feta cheese: I love this salad with big hunks of feta, but you can also use small mozzarella balls, parmesan cheese, or bleu cheese. Omit cheese for a vegan salad or use your favorite vegan cheese.
  • Bulgur: The earthy, nutty flavors compliment this salad so well. Feel free to use quinoa, farro, or wild rice if you can’t find bulgur in your local store.
kale in a bowl with blueberries, pecans, bulgur wheat, feta cheese and dressing poured on top.
  • Pecans: walnuts, pine nuts, sun flower seeds, or pistachios are all great options too.
  • Dressing: this shallot dressing is made with red wine vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, and honey. Simply delicious! If you would like to make this dressing vegan friendly, you can use date paste, coconut nectar, agave nectar, maple syrup or bee free honey instead of the honey in the dressing.

Step by Step Directions

kale in a large blue bowl.
  1. Make the salad dressing.
  2. Massage the kale with some of the dressing and let rest for 20-30 minutes.
  3. Cook the bulgur and set aside to cool.
  4. Assemble the salad.
  5. Pour dressing over the top or leave on the side.
salad dressing in light blue bowl.


Why and how do I massage kale?

Kale is a stubborn green. It needs a little TLC! You’ll use your hands to work the greens which renders them tender enough to make for an enjoyable salad. The easiest way to do this in my opinion is to make the dressing first. Then pour a little bit of the dressing over the chopped kale and work the dressing into the kale for ~2 minutes and then let the kale rest while you make the rest of the salad. It can be easier to digest when you massage as well!

Why is kale healthy?

Kale is loaded with antioxidants, Vitamins A, K, and C and is a good source of essential minerals such as potassium, copper, iron, and phosphorus. One cup of this super food is only about 40 calories.

What is the best way to remove the stems?

The best way to destem kale: Grip the bottom of the stem with one hand and use the other hand to rip the leaves away from you. Discard stem. De-ribbing the leaves doesn’t have to be cumbersome. Make it easy for yourself!

How long does massaged kale keep?

It will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.

kale in a bowl with blueberries, pecans, bulgur wheat, feta cheese and dressing poured on top.

What's your fave fruit to add to a green salad?

Before You Begin! If you make this, please leave a review and rating letting us know how you liked this recipe! This helps our business thrive & continue providing free recipes.

kale salad in a wood bowl
4.67 from 9 reviews

Kale Blueberry Salad

Prep: 20 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
This Massaged Kale Salad is made with a homemade vinaigrette, plump blueberries, bulgur, feta cheese, and pecans. It is the perfect antioxidant rich side dish for any time of year.


  • 1 cup bulgur
  • 1, 8 oz. package sugar snap peas
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 bunch kale, roughly chopped (4-6 cups is plenty)
  • 2 cups blueberries, fresh
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese

For the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. shallot, finely minced
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard, plus more to taste
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Last step! If you make this, please leave a review and rating letting us know how you liked this recipe! This helps our business thrive & continue providing free recipes.


  • For the dressing: Whisk together the red wine vinegar, honey, shallots, and Dijon mustard. Slowly stream in the olive oil while whisking to emulsify the dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
    1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 Tbsp. honey, 1 1/2 Tbsp. shallot, finely minced, 2 tsp. Dijon mustard, plus more to taste, salt and pepper, to taste
  • Cook the bulgur according to package directions. This is my method: bring 1 1/2 cups broth to boil, add the bulgur, a heavy pinch of salt and a little olive oil. Bring back up to a little simmer, then turn the heat down to low, cover and cook for 12 minutes. Remove from the heat with the lid on and let rest for another 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and then set aside to cool. 
    1 cup bulgur, 1 tsp. salt
  • Cook snap peas in boiling salted water for 2 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain. Plunge into ice water; drain and pat dry. Slice in half or leave them whole. 
    1, 8 oz. package sugar snap peas
  • Toss together the kale and 1/4 cup vinaigrette in a large bowl. Massage the dressing to the kale using clean hands. Let stand 20-30 minutes to let the kale marinate.
    1 bunch kale, roughly chopped (4-6 cups is plenty)
  • Add the bulgur, blueberries, pecans, sugar snap peas and feta. Toss to combine. Serve with remaining vinaigrette and enjoy!
    2 cups blueberries, fresh, 1/2 cup pecans, 1/3 cup feta cheese



  • The dressing can be made in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container up to 1 week.
  • You might have leftover bulgur and not want to add all of it into the salad. Save some for another salad or just to snack on!

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 325kcal (16%), Carbohydrates: 24g (8%), Protein: 5g (10%), Fat: 25g (38%), Saturated Fat: 4g (25%), Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 16g, Cholesterol: 6mg (2%), Sodium: 346mg (15%), Potassium: 254mg (7%), Fiber: 6g (25%), Sugar: 7g (8%), Vitamin C: 35mg (42%), Calcium: 131mg (13%), Iron: 1mg (6%)

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is automatically calculated. It should only be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Kroll’s Korner can’t make any guarantees to the accuracy of this information.

Krolls Korner

Krolls Korner

Welcome to my tiny “korner” on the Internet! I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who loves cookies as much as kale. (OK, maybe I like cookies a little bit more but shh, don’t tell anyone). I am so glad you’re here! Follow along for hassle free, realistic and approachable recipes.

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4.67 from 9 votes (8 ratings without comment)
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I made this salad and it was DELICIOUS! So flavorful and fresh. The dressing is THE BOMB!!! I will use this dressing on other salads too! Only had farro and it was still the BEST!!!

Sara- The Organic Dietitian

Kale is one of my favorites. Always need more recipes. Yum.

Lisa @ Healthy Nibbles & Bits

I totally need to try out this vinaigrette. The salad looks sooo delicious!

Jessica @ Nutritioulicious

I really can’t get myself on the kale wagon, but I can see this recipe made with baby spinach or arugula and being just as good. I love everything else about it!!

Sonali- The Foodie Physician

I can see why this might be your favorite salad! Each ingredient is awesome and all together it looks amazing!