Creamy Mexican Kale Salad with raw kale, black beans, corn, cilantro and creamy cumin flavoured avocado dressing.
This simple kale salad recipe is equally good on a hot summer night or as a Thanksgiving side dish.
Oh, this Mexican kale salad is sooo good! Even your deli potato salad grandpa will like it.
Hearty and crunchy salad where veggies are “swimming” in avocado cilantro dressing. Raw chopped kale, black beans, corn and tomatoes are combined with a bit of jalapenos, red onion and cilantro. Then tossed in a tangy, creamy with a cumin flavour punch avocado dressing.
Serve alongside grilled chicken and your dinner is done.
Types of Kale You Can Use
Traditionally, 4 types of kale are used to make chopped kale salad. And it’s always raw.
There are 4 types of kale that you find in your North American supermarket and you can use any:
- Baby kale as name suggests are not mature kale leaves, pre-washed and packed in plastic tubs. They are very tender and vary in shape based on what type of kale it is. This is the kind I used and you see in photos.
- Lacinato or dinosaur kale is kale with dark green, narrow leaves with the bumps. Hence, the name. It has a nice chew to it but is yet soft and more delicate than other kale types. It reminds me of a seaweed in a miso soup.
- Curly kale is bright green leafy kale with broad leaves and lots of curls at the end. Like curly parsley. It has thick stems.
- Purple kale has thin curly leaves and skinny stalk with a lot of purple colouring to it. But green is there too.
How to Prepare Kale for Salad
Unlike many other kale salad recipes suggest, I do not massage kale for the salad. I find this process unnecessary, I don’t have time for it and it deters me from making and eating a salad.
Instead, make sure to remove the leaves from the stalk and chop them into thinner strands than you would usually chop let’s say Romaine lettuce. That’s it. Kale leaves will not be tough. They just have a chew to them.
If you want to enjoy very soft kale salad, buy baby kale. Easy-peasy.
How to Make Kale Salad Dressing
To make kale salad dressing, just add avocado, warm water, lime juice, cumin, salt and pepper to a blender or food processor and process until smooth. It comes out like guacamole only thinner.
Warm water helps with smooth texture and I made sure you are not left with half avocado after making the salad. We incorporate everything.
Surprisingly enough, this avocado dressing can be made ahead. It does turn brown a bit within 24 hours but once you mix it into the salad, it is not noticeable.
How to Store and Make Ahead
Store: Refrigerate tossed salad for up to 24 hours. That’s the beauty of sturdy kale leaves, they don’t wilt as their green brothers.
Make Ahead: You could prepare salad and dressing in advance, refrigerate for up to 24 hours and combine before serving. Dressing does get brown a bit but once mixed with the salad ingredients, it’s not noticeable. Make sure to store everything tightly covered.
More Kale Salad Recipes
- Kale and quinoa salad
- Lemon kale salad with garlic and Parmesan
- Baby kale salad
- Sweet kale salad
- Christmas salad
- Browse more 30 healthy salad recipes.
Mexican Kale Salad
- 4 packed cups baby or full-grown kale stalks removed & coarsely chopped
- 14 oz can low sodium black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 cup corn fresh or frozen (thawed)
- 2 large bell peppers diced
- 1 1/2 large avocado pitted and diced
- 1 large tomato chopped
- 1/2 cup red onion finely chopped
- 1/2 cup cilantro finely chopped
- 1 tbsp jalapeño peppers seeded & minced
- 1/2 large avocado pitted
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1/2 lime juice of
- 1 tsp cumin
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- In a large salad bowl, add kale, black beans, corn, bell peppers, avocado, tomato, red onion, cilantro and jalapenos.
- In a food processor or blender, add 1/2 avocado, warm water, lime juice, cumin, salt, pepper and process until smooth.
- Pour over salad, gently toss and serve.
Store: Refrigerate tossed salad for up to 24 hours.
Make Ahead: You could prepare Salad and Dressing in advance, refrigerate for up to 24 hours and combine before serving. Dressing does get brown a bit but once mixed with the salad ingredients, it's not noticeable.
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