This Italian Kale Salad with Sweet Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette is packed with flavor with roasted tomatoes, pepperoni, and fresh mozzarella cheese.
This Italian kale salad is just perfect for summer – it’s simple to make, light, and healthy! I use a mix of greens like hearty kale, soft butter lettuce, and peppery arugula and toss them all with a delicious vinaigrette. The Italian meat and cheese make it a filling salad that’s wonderful as a side salad or even a main dish all on its own.
This is the salad I LOVE to make on repeat all summer long. The flavors are so fresh, it’s packed with nutritious ingredients, and the dressing… it’s divine.
I especially love to make this Italian kale salad after summer trips – you know, the kind where you indulge and eat all the things because you’re on vacation? Well, this is the salad I make when we get home and we need something light and fresh but still amazingly delicious. It’s light but satisfying and the perfect way to get back on track.
Kale Salad with an Italian Twist
- I use three kinds of leafy greens to make this salad so it has a variety of textures: sturdy kale, tender butter lettuce, and arugula for a bit of peppery flavor.
- I also add carrots for crunch and some soft roasted tomatoes to amp up the veggie factor
- It’s tossed with pastrami, fresh mozzarella, and Italian parsley which add tons of flavor. I also love my easy air fryer croutons in this salad.
- I’ve saved the best for last: the dressing! It’s seriously one of my all time favorites: a simple lemon garlic vinaigrette that’s so easy to make. The flavor is bright and punchy – it complements the salad ingredients perfectly.
Summer’s all about balance, right? So, indulge in all the warm weather treats and then treat yourself to this light and healthy recipe. It’s one of my favorite green salad recipes and it’s about to be yours, too!
- Chopped Boston Bib lettuce
- Chopped green kale
- Chopped arugula
- Sliced carrots
- Chopped roasted tomatoes or sun-dried tomatoes
- Fresh mozzarella – I love the little mozzarella balls because you can toss them right it. Or, you can use a large mozzarella ball and cut it into bite-sized pieces.
- Italian seasoning
- Chopped fresh Italian parsley
- Chopped pepperoni or pastrami
- Sweet Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette: Just whisk lemon juice, olive oil, honey, minced garlic, salt, and pepper!
- Optional garnishes: Pine nuts and sliced green onions.
How do you make Italian Kale Salad?
Make the vinaigrette by mixing together lemon juice, olive oil, honey, garlic and salt in a small Mason jar or bowl. Set in the fridge to chill until ready to serve.
Prepare arugula, Boston Bib lettuce, and kale by roughly chopping.
To take some of the bitterness from the kale, gently squeeze the kale once you have chopped it.
Mix all of the greens above together in a large salad or serving bowl.
Top with sliced carrots and chopped tomatoes. We highly recommend roasted tomatoes that you can get fresh at your local market usually near the olive bar.
Toss the fresh mozzarella with the tablespoon of Italian or Tuscan seasoning. Add the cheese and the seasoning to the salad, along with the chopped pastrami.
Add chilled dressing to the salad and gently toss.
Serve immediately or set in the fridge until ready to serve, up to 1 hour before.
This is such an easy salad recipe to adapt based on what you have on hand. Here are some ideas you might like to try:
- Greens: Use your favorite mix of greens!
- Cheese: You can use fresh or low-moisture mozzarella cut into cubes. Or switch it for cubed Provolone. Some grated Parmesan cheese would also be great.
- Meat: You can omit the meat or try another Italian cured meat like salami, prosciutto, pepperoni, or pastrami.
- Toss in some olives or marinated artichoke hearts – they’d be delicious.
This Italian Kale Salad with Sweet Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette was just what I crave when I want something fresh and light – Easy to prepare, ready in less than 20 minutes and light & refreshing! Who said eating healthy needed to taste bland, not this girl. Enjoy! XOXO San
More Kale Salad Recipes
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Italian Kale Salad with Sweet Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette
- 1 head Boston Bib lettuce chopped
- 1 bunch green kale stems removed & chopped
- 2 cups arugula roughly chopped
- 3 large carrots sliced
- 1 cup roasted tomatoes chopped or sun-dried tomatoes
- 8 ounces mozzarella al fresca drained
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley chopped
- 3/4 cup chopped pastrami or pepperoni
Sweet Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- pepper to taste optional
- pine nuts
- green onion
- Make the vinaigrette by mixing together lemon juice, olive oil, honey, garlic and salt in a small Mason jar or bowl. Set in the fridge to chill until ready to serve.
- Prepare arugula, Boston Bib lettuce, and kale by roughly chopping.
- To take some of the bitterness from the kale, gently squeeze the kale once you have chopped it.
- Toss chopped lettuce, kale, and arugula together in a large salad or serving bowl.
- Top with sliced carrots and tomatoes. We highly recommend roasted tomatoes that you can get fresh at your local market usually near the olive bar.
- Toss the fresh mozzarella with the tablespoon of Italian seasoning. Add the cheese and the seasoning to the salad, along with the pastrami and parsley
- Add chilled dressing to the salad and gently toss.
- Serve immediately or set in the fridge until ready to serve, up to 1 hour before.