Mexican Kale Salad Recipe

Who needs Taco Tuesday when you can have Mexican salad Monday instead? In all seriousness, a Mexican-style salad is one of the tastiest types you can make, thanks to the great toppings and flavorful dressing. This Mexican kale salad recipe swaps out iceberg lettuce for kale, which adds some extra flavor and wonderful texture.

Recipe developer and wellness coach Miriam Hahn is the brains behind this recipe, and it's a must-try. "This salad is a spin-off from a Mexican chopped salad that I make. The use of kale makes it a whole different type of salad and it is delicious," Hahn explains of her recipe. "I am also a huge Buddha bowl fan and many of my Buddha bowls have these ingredients." And the best part about this salad? "I love how hardy and flavorful this salad is! It is easy to make and holds up better than salads made with a more delicate green," she says. If you love a salad that's loaded with avocado, onion, corn, and much more, then give this colorful recipe a spin.

Gather the ingredients for Mexican kale salad

To make this recipe, you'll need curly kale, olive oil, salt, red pepper, black beans, corn, diced tomatoes, jalapeño, cilantro, avocado, red onion, limes, a garlic clove, honey, and cumin. The recipe also includes one optional ingredient — toasted pepitas.

Prep the kale

Grab your kale and strip the leaves from the stem. Then, cut the kale into thin slivers and place the slivers in a large bowl that you plan to serve the salad in. "When I cut the kale into slivers I try and cut 1/4" strips. A serrated knife works best and you have to make sure to remove the stems," Hahn says. "I always buy organic kale by the bunch and never the bagged variety because it is chopped with the stems." 

Kale is great as it's packed with health benefits. "Kale is probably the number one green in terms of health benefits. It is loaded so many vitamins and minerals," Hahn explains. "It has twice as much vitamin C as an orange. It also has lots of fiber which we all need to be eating more of."

Rub the kale with olive oil and salt

Add 1 teaspoon of oil and ¼ teaspoon of salt to the kale. Use your hand to massage the kale for several minutes. This may sound odd initially, but there's a method to the madness. "You massage the kale to break it down and make it easier to digest and also taste better. Kale can be a little rough when it isn't massaged," Hahn says. "The 2 things I find that people do wrong when making a kale salad, are using the stems and not massaging." 

Assemble the salad and make the dressing

There are still a few things that you need to add to the bowl with the kale. Go ahead and toss in the red pepper, black beans, corn, tomatoes, jalapeño, cilantro, avocado, and onion.

And what salad is complete without dressing? In a small bowl, add in ¼ cup olive oil, the juice of two limes, a garlic clove, honey, cumin, and a teaspoon of salt. Mix to combine. "The dressing has a sweet and sour flavor with a hint of spice...absolutely delicious," Hahn raves. 

Dress the salad and serve

The last thing you need to do is drizzle the dressing over the salad. If you'd like, you can also add pepitas on top. This salad is terrific on its own, but Hahn also gives a few great serving suggestions. "I like to serve it with soup. Really good with a Mexican rice soup or a tortilla soup. You can add more protein for sure but it has plenty with the black beans," Hahn notes. If you'd like to make a little extra dressing for later in the week, you're in luck — Hahn says that the dressing holds up well for several days. Make some extra dressing and enjoy fresh Mexican kale salads every day of the week!

Mexican Kale Salad Recipe
5 from 50 ratings
This Mexican kale salad is loaded with fresh, colorful ingredients, along with a sweet and tangy dressing.
Prep Time
Cook Time
mexican kale salad in bowl
Total time: 15 minutes
  • 1 ½ bunches curly kale
  • ¼ cup + 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 (15 ounces) can black beans, rinsed
  • 1 ½ cups corn
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon jalapeño, diced
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 large avocado, chopped or sliced
  • ¼ red onion sliced
  • juice of 2 limes + more for garnish
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
Optional Ingredients
  • toasted pepitas
  1. Strip the kale leaves from the stems, cut the leaves into thin slivers, and put them into a large bowl.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon of oil and ¼ teaspoon of salt to the kale. With your hand, massage the kale for several minutes.
  3. Add the red pepper, black beans, corn, tomatoes, jalapeño, cilantro, avocado, and onion to the bowl.
  4. In a small bowl or mason jar mix up ¼ cup of olive oil, juice of 2 limes, the garlic clove, honey, cumin and 1 teaspoon of salt.
  5. Toss the dressing over the salad and serve. Top with pepitas if desired.
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