Kale Apple Salad with Crispy Shallots Recipe - Pinch of Yum
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Kale Apple Salad with Crispy Shallots

4 reviews / 5 average

I love this Kale Apple Salad! Kale, brussels sprouts, rosemary cashews, apples, fried bread cheese, crispy shallots, and crisp apple maple dressing!

This recipe is part of our SOS Series, which is focused on easy recipes with 7 ingredients or less! I love this series because I love easy, actually good recipes – you can find the full collection here!

I love when I find salads that I actually really look forward to eating, and this kale apple salad is that for me! It is insanely good: finely shredded kale and brussels sprouts with sweet and crunchy chopped apples, rosemary cashews, fried garlic bread cheese, dried cranberries, and golden crispy shallots all covered in a crisp apple maple dressing.

In This Post: Everything You Need For Kale Apple Salad

Lindsay’s Notes

Overhead image of a big bowl of Kale Apple Salad with crispy shallots on top.

If I’m being honest, this salad started as just a vehicle for eating the garlic bread cheese from Trader Joe’s (whoops). But it has become so much more that that. This is currently my fall *anything* salad – as long as you’ve got your kale and brussels base, and some juicy apples and crispy shallots, the rest can be up to you.

Other add-ins I’ve tried:

  • goat cheese
  • rosemary walnut crispies (from this recipe)
  • maple balsamic dressing (from this recipe)
  • grilled or rotisserie chicken

My Thoughts on Cheese: Of course, the garlic bread cheese from Trader Joe’s is truly delightful and I would highly recommend it. But if you can’t get your hands on it, halloumi would be the next best thing! I like to pan fry it and add it to the salad while it’s soft and golden brown.

My Thoughts on Dressing: The Salad Girl Crisp Apple Maple dressing is delicious for fall-ish salads. And being that this is an SOS recipe and we are looking for shortcuts, this fits the bill. If you can’t find it, use any sweet, maple-leaning dressing (homemade or store-bought!) that you like! Here’s a super easy one that we make almost weekly for easy green salads and it works perfectly on this salad.

My Thoughts on Prep: HIGHLY recommend prepping some greens ahead of time, along with the shallots and nuts! Keep them in individual containers so you can toss the salad together with fresh apples and cheese for a quick power lunch or emergency dinner salad.

The mix of everything – salty, sweet, crispy, crunchy, just acidic enough – plus the fact that this is relatively wholesome and comes together super quickly? Just my favorite.

How To Make This Kale Apple Salad

Step 1: Chop your brussels sprouts, kale, apples, and nuts.

You don’t have to, but I use a food processor for the kale and a mandoline for the brussels because I’m particular about optimal salad texture.

If you’re short on time, buy pre-shredded kale and brussels OR throw it all in the food processor like we did back here (another one of my favorite salads).

Kale and Brussels Sprouts shredded in a bowl, with apples and cashews chopped on a cutting board.

Step 2: Fry your cheese (optional).

I love the garlic bread cheese from Trader Joe’s, as I may have mentioned? I cube it up and pan-fry it for a little extra golden soft goodness.

Bread cubes fried up in a pan.

Step 3: Fry your shallots.

Besides the apples, cashews, cheese, and greens, you’re going to definitely want an oniony element on this salad to give it some depth. You can use store-bought crispy onions, but if you have the time I highly recommend fried shallots! And I make them in the microwave! Method in the recipe below.

Topping salad with crispy shallots.

Step 4: Dressing and serve!

Add your dressing, toss, and have a ball.

Drizzling on Salad Girl salad dressing on top of salad.

Watch How To Make This Kale Salad

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Kale Apple Salad in a bowl with crispy shallots on top.

Kale Apple Salad with Crispy Shallots

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


I love this Kale Apple Salad! Kale, brussels sprouts, rosemary cashews, apples, fried bread cheese, crispy shallots, and crisp apple maple dressing!


Units Scale
  • 4 cups kale, chopped finely through a food processor (optional)
  • 2 cups brussels sprouts, finely shredded with a mandoline
  • 4 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1/41/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 12 large honeycrisp apples
  • 1 cup rosemary cashews, roughly chopped (I bought the Planter’s Rosemary Sea Salt cashews from Target)
  • 1 block garlic bread cheese, cubed (I get mine at Trader Joe’s, but halloumi would work as a substitute)
  • Salad Girl Crisp Apple Maple dressing (or dressing of choice)


  1. Chop stuff: Shred up your kale and brussels. You can keep these in containers in the fridge to assemble salads throughout the week! Chop your nuts and apples and set aside. (Toss the apples with a few drops of lemon juice if you don’t want them to brown.)
  2. Make your shallots: Fry the shallots in a bit of oil in a skillet until golden and crispy, or fry them in the microwave using the method in the notes section.
  3. Fry the bread cheese: Cube and fry the cheese in a nonstick over medium heat until golden brown and delicious.
  4. Assemble: Toss kale, brussels, apples, cashews, shallots, cheese, and dressing together. Salad happiness! Enjoy!


For the microwave fried shallot method: Place sliced shallots in a small bowl and just barely cover with vegetable or canola oil (just enough to coat them – about 1/4 to 1/3 cup). Exact timing will depend on your microwave, but I cook mine on high for about 5-6 minutes, keeping a close eye on them. Once the shallots start to shrink up, I continue in 15-30 second increments. Once they are properly light golden (usually around 7 minutes total), I remove from the oil, rest on paper towels, and season with salt. These will keep at room temp in a sealed container for about a week, and the shallot-infused oil can be used in dressings or other recipes.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Chop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: kale apple salad, kale salad, fall salad, brussels sprout salad

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Frequently Asked Questions For Kale Apple Salad

What can I use instead of kale?

This salad will work with any greens; however, the kale is the only one that really needs to be run through a food processor. If you choose spinach or more of a spring mix, it is delicate enough to use in the salad straight out of the package.

How can I add more protein to this salad?

We often add rotisserie chicken or grilled chicken to this salad, and it’s great! For more plant-based protein, I would add quinoa.

Is this kale apple salad vegetarian / meatless?

Yes, as written this is a vegetarian salad.

Is this kale apple salad gluten free?

Yes! This is gluten free.

Is this kale apple salad dairy free?

No – the cheese is a dairy product. For a dairy free version, omit the cheese and/or replace with another protein or roasted vegetable (roasted sweet potatoes would be perfect).

Where do you buy the Salad Girl dressing?

Here in Minnesota, I buy it at Target, Cub, and Kowalski’s.

What are the best kind of apples to use in a salad?

I like a sweet and crispy apple for my salads – ideally, honeycrisp apples, zestar, pink lady, or sweetango. Opal apples would also be great here – they’re yellow, very sweet, and don’t brown after you cut them! Here’s a full guide to all the types of apples and what they’re good for.

Three Of My Favorite Fall Recipes

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Recipe rating


    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      If packing this in a lunch, does the cheese need to be reheated before eating or does it taste good after being pan fried and then refrigerated?

  1. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Holly Wolsey

    Can you clarify what you mean by ‘garlic bread cheese’? I’ve never seen anything like that in my dairy section.

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Can’t wait to try this! I get jars of crispy shallots from an asian market and they are such time saver. Just wanted to add another SOS shortcut 🙂
    Also available here: https://a.co/d/fjrJIxH

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Abby Thompson

    Made this tonight, and it was 10/10 delicious! I subbed cabbage for brussel sprouts because that’s what Kroger had. I also used panela cheese, which is a Mexican cheese that is more easily available where I live. Also much cheaper than halloumi here.

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This may be my favorite salad I’ve ever made. I used halloumi and it was perfect!

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Can you make this ahead of time and keep everything separate until you’re ready to serve? Thanks!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      It should work! But when the cheese sits for awhile, it hardens quite a bit, so I’d say the cheese is better fresh. If you want to try a different cheese, goat cheese or feta would be delicious and wouldn’t require any searing in a pan!

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo

    What an amazing salad! I made this a couple weeks ago and can’t stop thinking about it. My family loved it as well. We are going to make it for Thanksgiving and add it to our repertoire. We ate it along a heavy meal so we left the cheese out. I can’t wait to make it again with the cheese!

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I absolutely love this salad. It’s just the best combo of flavors, textures, and colors. Being in the UK I used halloumi, as per your recommendation, and a homemade olive oil dressing with a touch of balsamic vinegar. Delicious!