by Olena

Mexican Kale Salad

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Olena Osipov
4.9 from 28 votes

Mexican Kale Salad with black beans, corn, bell pepper, cilantro, and creamy cumin flavored avocado dressing. This salad is equally good on a hot summer night or as a Thanksgiving side dish.

Serve it alongside your favorite Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes like chili lime chicken, chicken tacos or ground beef tacos!

Mexican Kale Salad

The Best Kale Salad Recipe

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 or baby kale, black beans, corn, and tomatoes are combined with a bit of jalapeno, red onion, and cilantro. Then tossed in a tangy, creamy with a cumin flavor punch avocado dressing. Serve alongside grilled chicken and your dinner is done.

I love adding kale into my salads including making a Caesar-style kale saladbaby kale salad, blueberry kale salad, apple cinnamon walnut kale salad, Winter fruit kale salad, and even sweet kale salad – I’m obsessed!

corn, black beans, avocado, tomato, red onion, pepper with avocado dressing

Ingredients for Mexican Kale Salad

  • Any kale. There are 3 types of kale that you typically find in your North American supermarket:
    • Lacinato or dinosaur 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.
    • 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.
  • Veggies and fruit: Bell pepper, corn, jalapeno, red onion, cilantro, tomato, lime, avocado.
  • Black beans: Low sodium canned beans or I usually use Instant Pot black beans. This is the perfect addition to Mexican salads, like this Mexican bean salad or mango black bean salad!
  • Seasonings: Cumin, salt and pepper.

How to Make Mexican Kale Salad

  • Prep kale: You do not have to massage kale for the salad. Instead, make sure to remove leaves from the stalk and chop them into thinner strands than you would usually chop Romaine lettuce. That’s it. Kale leaves will not be tough. They just have a chew to them.
  • Chop and prep other veggies: In a large salad bowl, add black beans, corn, bell peppers, avocado, tomato, red onion, cilantro and jalapenos. corn, black beans, avocado, tomato, red onion, pepper in black bowl
  • Make salad dressing: 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. cilantro avocado dressing in a cup made with blender
  • Combine: Pour dressing over salad ingredients and gently toss with tongs or salad spoons until everything is coated in creamy deliciousness. Since kale leaves are light, make sure to scoop heavy veggies from the bottom of the bowl to coat.mexican kale salad in black salad bowl with fork

More Tips and FAQs

  • Do I have to massage kale? I find this process unnecessary, I don’t have time for it and it deters me from making and eating a salad.
  • Can I use baby kale? If you want to enjoy a very soft kale salad, buy baby kale. As the name suggests, baby kale is immature kale leaves that are very tender and vary in shape based on what type of kale it is. Or this time, I used a mix of baby kale, spinach, and swiss chard. Even more nutrients than fully grown greens.
  • Can I use other greens? Yes, baby spinach or arugula would be great. You can buy a 5 oz box of pre-washed organic greens at a reasonable price.
  • What can I substitute avocado with? If you have an allergy to avocado, use this healthy ranch dressing instead.
  • Control the heat: Jalapeno’s heat is contained in seeds. You can easily control the spiciness of dressing and salad itself by how little or much of seeds you add. My kale salad recipe is mild.
  • Other additions: You can also add finely shredded red or green cabbage, diced zucchini, sliced raw mushrooms, a sprinkle of hemp hearts, toasted almonds, or other nuts,etc. Anything but the kitchen sink goes!

pouring avocado dressing over mexican kale salad ingredients

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.

mexican kale salad recipe

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Mexican Kale Salad

Mexican Kale Salad with BEST Avocado Dressing

Mexican Kale Salad with black beans, corn, bell pepper, cilantro and creamy cumin flavoured avocado dressing.
4.9 from 28 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6 servings (as a side)
Calories: 240kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

Kale Salad:

  • 4 cups (5 oz) regular or baby kale stalks removed & coarsely chopped
  • 14 oz can low sodium black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup corn fresh or frozen (thawed)
  • 2 medium 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

Avocado Dressing:

  • 1/2 large avocado pitted
  • 1 tiny piece jalapeno seeded for less heat
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/2 lime juice of
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Instructions

  • In a large salad bowl, add kale, black beans, corn, bell peppers, avocado, tomato, red onion, cilantro and jalapenos.
    Mexican Kale Salad
  • In a food processor or blender, add 1/2 avocado, jalapeno, warm water, lime juice, cumin, salt, pepper and process until smooth.
    Mexican Kale Salad
  • Pour dressing over salad, gently toss and serve.
    Mexican Kale Salad

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.

      Notes

      • Do I have to massage kale? I find this process unnecessary, I don’t have time for it and it deters me from making and eating a salad.
      • Can I use baby kale? If you want to enjoy very soft kale salad, buy baby kale. As name suggests, baby kale is immature kale leaves that are very tender and vary in shape based on what type of kale it is. Or this time, I used a mix of baby kale, spinach and swiss chard. Even more nutrients than fully grown greens.
      • Can I use other greens? Yes, baby spinach or arugula would be great. You can buy 5 oz box of pre-washed organic greens at reasonable price.
      • What can I substitute avocado with? If you have allergy to avocado, use this healthy ranch dressing instead.
      • Control the heat: Jalapeno's heat is contained in seeds. You can easily control the spiciness of dressing and salad itself by how little or much of seeds you add. My kale salad recipe is mild.
      • Other additions: You can also add finely shredded red or green cabbage, diced zucchini, sliced raw mushrooms, a sprinkle of hemp hearts, toasted almonds or other nuts. Anything but kitchen sink goes!

      Nutrition

      Serving: 1.67cups | Calories: 240kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 299mg | Potassium: 738mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 5491IU | Vitamin C: 113mg | Calcium: 78mg | Iron: 2mg
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      olena osipov in the studio

      Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

      My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

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