Warm Kale Salad with Lemon Tahini Salad Dressing is a quick and super tasty way to eat your veggies!
This blog post was originally published on May 2, 2019. It was updated with new photos, blog post information, and recipe refinements on April 17, 2021.
Discover a new and delish way to enjoy kale! This warm kale salad is ready in under 10 minutes, savory, creamy, totally versatile. Serve it with grilled protein on top or as a side to your favorite main dish.
For the longest time, warm salads or salads with hot dressings (read: hot bacon vinaigrette) reminded me of early 2000’s buffets, but this warm kale salad changed all of that.
I don’t know if it was the Mother’s Day and Easter brunches we went to, or the fact that it was that we were living on the East coast, but bacon has never really been my thing. I know. It's complicated
A few weeks ago, however, when scrounging through the fridge for a last-minute and late-night feed-me-so-I-can-just-go-to-bed-already dinner, I started thinking about how good it might be to quickly saute up some kale and then toss it with a warm, savory dressing.
If my East coast circa 2001 roots are showing, at least they’re good ones. Given my aversion to bacon and given that it was oh-so-late and I was being oh-so-lazy, I started rooting for some dressing options in the fridge.
Thankfully, for my dressing and condiment hoarding habit, I had a container of my lemon tahini dressing on hand. I tossed it quickly with the warm kale I’d sauteed with garlic and red pepper.
Throwing it all in a bowl -- there was no sharing for this girl that night -- I saddled up to a warm and inviting salad that both filled me up and reminded me of home.
This warm kale salad with lemon tahini dressing is...
If you're looking for a new way to enjoy the flavor and benefits of kale, this Tuscan kale salad is for you! It's vegan, gluten-free, and made with whole ingredients while being easy to make and totally delicious.
Table of contents
- Dinosaur kale (also known as lacinato or Tuscan kale) - deveined is best for a tender salad, but you can also skip this step
- Lemon juice - fresh is best but bottled also works
- Liquid aminos or soy sauce - using liquid aminos keeps this recipe gluten-free
- Olive oil
- Dried red pepper flakes
How to make this sauteed kale salad:
- Whisk the lemon tahini salad dressing ingredients together in a small mixing bowl until combined and smooth.
- Saute the kale in olive oil until darker green and wilted.
- Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute until the garlic is fragrant.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the salad dressing until combined. Serve the salad warm!
- The kale: though amount of kale you will initially be sauteeing will look like an obscene amount, it will cook down. If the amount of kale is too big to turn in your pan without it spilling out, however, you can cook it in batches.
- Tenderness: for the most tender salad, devein your kale. You don't need to worry about massaging it, however, as the cooking will tenderize the kale.
- Portions: this recipe makes for 1 ultra-hearty main salad or 2 side salad portions. Feel free to double, triple -- or increase by any multiplier of your choosing. Just cook the kale in batches, if needed.
- Salad dressing: the lemon tahini dressing can be thick, depending on the consistency of the tahini. Add extra water to thin it out if the dressing is too thick to easily toss with the kale.
This salad lasts covered in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. It does not freeze well.
Re-serve the salad cool or warm on low heat in the microwave until warmed through.
Tools needed to make this recipe:
- Cutting board
- Chef knife
- Measuring cups & spoons
- Non-stick skillet
- Silicone spatula or saute paddle
- Citrus juicer (optional)
Other delicious salad and vegetable recipes:
- Kale Salad with Butternut Squash
- Air Fryer Kale Chips
- Orange Saad with Honeyed Hazelnuts
- Thai Chicken Salad
- Air Fryer Green Beans
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The recipe makes 2-3 side salads. Double the recipe to serve more, cooking the kale in batches if needed.
Lemon Tahini Salad Dressing
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice, preferably fresh
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ garlic clove, minced
- 1 ½ teaspoon liquid aminos or soy sauce; use aminos if gluten-free
- ¼ cup tahini
- 1-2 tablespoons water
warm kale salad
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 8 cups packed deveined lacinato kale (also called dinosaur or Tuscan kale)
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- ¼ teaspoon dried red pepper flaes
- Whisk together lemon tahini salad dressing ingredients together in a small mixing bowl until combined. Add extra water by the tablespoon to thin the dressing if needed. Set aside.
- Preheat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add the kale and saute, stirring frequently, for 2-3 minutes, or until dark green and tender.
- Add the sliced garlic and red pepper to the kale and saute 1-2 minutes longer, or until the garlic is tender.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Add the salad dressing to the kale and toss until combined. Serve the salad warm.
Leftovers will last in the fridge for 2-3 days. This salad does not freeze well.
Serving Size⅓ recipe
Amount Per Serving Calories 225Total Fat 15gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 12gCholesterol 0mgSodium 521mgCarbohydrates 21gFiber 7gSugar 4gProtein 7g
This nutrition breakdown is just an estimate of the nutritional value of this recipe and cannot be taken as facts. The owners of Mae's Menu are not nutritionists or dietitians and therefore cannot be held accountable for this nutrition estimate. Please contact your nutritionist or medical professional for a nutritional breakdown of this food. Furthermore, this food is not intended to prevent, diagnose, cure, or treat any disease.