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Chopped Kale Salad with Pistachio Dressing

The search is over! This is officially the best kale salad ever. An incredibly easy-to-make side dish or appetizer, this Chopped Kale Salad with Pistachio Dressing will drive any kale lover crazy and will turn any anti-kale-er into a full-on kale fanatic!

Head-on view of chopped kale salad with pistachio dressing piled high on a white plate with a bowl of pistachios in the background and "Kale Salad with Pistachio Dressing" text at the top


How often does it happen that a salad blows your mind? Unless said salad is packed with ahi tuna or is a totally decadent Caesar salad, it’s not often for me. Tell me you’re making me a salad that’s pretty much all greens and some nuts and I’ll probably say “OK, fine. I’ll have a healthy lunch. Followed by about 14 cookies.” But what if that green salad was packed with so much deliciousness that you would choose it over a cookie any day and would legit not be able to stop thinking about it for weeks upon weeks? That was me when I had the Ubiquitous Kale Salad at Cambridge’s Alden & Harlow back in February. Oh, a nice little chopped kale salad sounds like a good way to start a meal, I thought. But it ended up being one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. Funny how that happens.

I couldn’t get the chopped kale salad out of my head, but sadly, can’t trek across the city for dinner every evening. If only. So, I finally decided to recreate the salad in my own kitchen. Well, a version of it anyway. A version that will do the job in relieving the craving until I can get back to the restaurant again. Especially if I can simply put the dressing into a container and pour it into my mouth. Because the pistachio dressing? OMG it’s heavenly.


This kale pistachio salad is so, so easy to make, but I have a tip that will make it even quicker for you! I highly recommend buying pre-washed kale in a bag. It’s my life-saver and I wish it kept forever in my fridge because I would so buy 500 bags of it. Kale any time you want with no cleaning or rib cutting? I’m all about that life.

Also, if you’re not quite sure how to chop fennel, I recommend checking out Better Homes and Gardens’ excellent fennel chopping guide. It’s really quite easy, but I feel like fennel is still not a super mainstream vegetable that everyone knows how to cut.

Close-up of chopped kale and sliced fennel in a white bowl

Literally, all the work for this salad goes into making the delicious pistachio dressing. But trust me, it’s not even that much work. First, you’ll lightly toast the pistachios. And then blend the pistachios and remaining dressing ingredients together in a blender. I am so, so into this dressing.

Collage showing pistachio dressing making process, including toasted pistachios, pistachios in blender with olive oil, and pistachio dressing blended together in blender

Once you toss the pistachio dressing with the kale and fennel, serve it on salad plates and top with extra pistachios, red pepper flakes, and lemon zest.

And then die because you are so, so happy you have this chopped kale salad in your life. In your kitchen. In your mouth.

Close-up view of chopped kale and fennel covered in pistachio dressing with lemon zest and chopped pistachios on top

And then smile because, when you think about it, this salad really is pretty darn healthy. Especially if you’re in the camp that thinks extra-virgin olive oil is a diet essential. Which I am. And wasn’t that the easiest most simple salad ever?? I still cannot get over how delicious it is.

Bird's eye view of pistachio and fennel salad on a white plate with crushed pistachios and lemon zest on top

I talk about kale all the time here on We are not Martha. And about how it’s ridiculously trendy. But also ridiculously awesome. If you still have some “kale questioners” in your life, I recommend serving them this kale salad (what? I firmly believe in forcing food upon people until they change their minds about disliking it). The chopped kale makes it a bit easier to eat and obviously the dressing is just plain fab.

We haven’t really talked about pistachios here much, but I’m pretty sure they’re the new super trendy nut. And hopefully not simply because the pistachio people somehow got some major budget to make several totally weird commercials with celebs. They’ve always been my favorite nut, but this was my first time making them into a pistachio vinaigrette of sorts. It will not be my last.

Head-on view of chopped kale salad with pistachio dressing piled high on a white plate with a bowl of pistachios in the background

You have no idea how happy this salad is making me. Did I ever think I’d be talking about kale equating happiness? Well, no. But it’s a good place to be. There are about a billion other must-order items on Alden & Harlow’s menu, but I honestly don’t think I can go back without ordering the Ubiquitous Kale Salad (can we please make this chopped kale pistachio salad UBIQUITOUS in my life??) again. But in the meantime, I’m pretty darn thrilled with this version.

Have you ever attempted to recreate a restaurant dish?

If you are loving this kale pistachio salad, you should also check out my Kale Greek Salad or my Bacon Cheeseburger Kale Salad. I also want to try this Sweet Potato Kale Salad from Queen of My Kitchen!

Chopped Kale Salad with Pistachio Dressing

This is officially the best kale salad ever. An incredibly easy-to-make side dish or appetizer, this Chopped Kale Salad with Pistachio Dressing will drive any kale lover crazy and will turn any anti-kale-er into a full-on kale fanatic!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time6 mins
Total Time21 mins
Course: Appetizer, Side
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Healthy Salads, Kale Salads, Pistachio Dressing
Servings: 4 people
Author: Sues


  • 3 cups chopped kale
  • 1/2 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachio nuts (about 60 pistachios)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes


  • Put chopped kale and sliced fennel in a large bowl.
  • Place pistachios on a foil-covered baking sheet and lightly toast. You can either do this in a toaster oven or by roasting at 350 degrees for about 6 minutes. Keep a close eye on them to make sure they don't burn.
  • Put pistachios in a blender (reserve a few for topping your salad), along with the garlic, lemon juice, hot water, about 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  • Blend well, until the mixture is smooth. If you want a thinner dressing, continue to slowly pour in olive oil and blend. Taste. Add more salt and pepper if needed.
  • Toss kale and fennel with dressing until very well coated.
  • Serve salad on plates and top with extra pistachios, red pepper flakes, and lemon zest.

24 Responses to "Chopped Kale Salad with Pistachio Dressing"

  1. Alyssa @ My Sequined Life says:

    This salad sounds so amazing! Pistachios have quickly become one of my favorite snacks, but wow I never thought about making a dressing from them. Plus I’m a big fan of any way I can add kale into my diet. Basically this salad is happening in my future for sure!

  2. Justine says:

    This salad is gorg!! I believe that it’s super tasty!

  3. Kitchen Belleicious says:

    yum. love the pistachio flavor against the kale.

  4. sarah k @ the pajama chef says:

    pistachio dressing? oh yum. what a fabulous idea!

  5. Michelle Lahey says:

    That’s too funny – we ended up ordering at the kale salad (and the butternut squash salad) at Alden & Harlow as “starters,” but they ended up being our favorite dishes of the night!

  6. Sara @ Saucy Dipper says:

    Pistachio dressing! I am more than excited to give that a try. I’ve got so many pistachios in the pantry that I can’t seem to get through. Love it.

  7. Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic says:

    I loved this salad at Alden & Harlow, too – so glad you shared a recipe so I can make it at home! I live dangerously close to the restaurant and it would be fine if all I’m getting is this salad, but it’s always the burger and the chips & dip hehehe

  8. Megan says:

    That salad does sound fabulous! The one at Alden & Harlow is great and Del Frisco’s Grille has a really good one too!

  9. Odetta says:

    I love this one. The dressing sounds soo good.

  10. Lawyer Loves Lunch says:

    I agree, salads never make me particularly excited but I’m trying to eat healthier so this recipe comes at a great time. So glad that you endorse this salad as a non-salad lover!

  11. Shannon says:

    have you tried the kale salad at the painted burro? another faborite. I’m going to have to try this one, and go back to alden & harlow… didn’t get to try everything 🙂

  12. natalie@thesweetslife says:

    it’s no secret i’m obsessed with kale!! this sounds amazing!

  13. Leonard Curylo says:

    I don¡¯t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I do not know who you are but definitely you are going to a famous blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!

  14. Emily aka The Three Bite Rule says:

    You had me at pistachio dressing!

  15. Amanda says:

    I agree – Alden & Harlow’s kale salad is totally addictive, and I was so glad to come across your version of it! I also agree that I will never step foot in their restaurant again without ordering it; the chips & dip too.

  16. Candace says:

    Thanks for the idea. I’m in DC and craving the A&H salad. Question about the pistachios though – are you using roasted and salted ones? That seems to be all that I can find.

  17. Chris says:

    I was craving the ubiquitous kale salad I had at Alden & Harlow just this weekend and wanted to make it at home. I google it and found your recipe! Going to try your version tonight! A&H kale salad is out of this world amazing. Thank you for trying to recreate it and sharing!

  18. Lee says:

    Had this very salad the other night at A&H. Am from North Carolina, so popping over to the restaurant is not an option. You cannot imagine how happy I was to see this post! because I, too, was craving that crazy salad. Also craving the charred broccoli with the butternut squash pesto and the roasted carrots. Try those he next time you visit!

  19. Kristina Yee says:

    I just had this salad at Alden & Harlow last night so this morning I came on the web to see if I could find a recipe. So, thanks for this! Just so you know, the chef told us that the creamy texture in the dressing was actually creme fraiche. I’m going to try your recipe, but use the creme to get the creamy texture. So yummy!!!

  20. Sues says:

    @Kristina- Thank you!! I’ve been craving this salad lately, so next time I will make it with creme fraiche. I hope you enjoy it!!

  21. Madi says:

    5 stars
    This sounds like such an incredible salad! I think I need to make it for lunch!

  22. Jennifer says:

    5 stars
    I would have never thought to make a dressing out of pistachios. How inventive and soo delicious!

  23. Stephanie says:

    My husband just told me about a delicious kale salad with pistachio dressing. I looked to see if there was a recipe I could try and THIS WAS THE EXACT RESTAURANT HE WENT TO!! Woohoo!! Thank you can’t wait to try this!

  24. Sues says:

    @Stephanie- Yay!! I’m so happy Alden & Harlow has kept that salad on their menu; it’s so, so good! I hope your husband finds this a good match for it 🙂

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