Kale Mango Salad

5 from 4 votes

This healthy Kale Mango Salad is a must-make recipe while mangoes are in season. It’s easy to make, comes together in 5 minutes, and makes for a great light side dish, lunch, or dinner (vegan, gluten-free).

Kale Mango Salad served on a large plate.
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About Kale Mango Salad

Kale Mango Salad is one of my favorite salads! Juicy fresh mangoes, superfood kale, and crunchy pecans, this combination is the bomb and just screams ‘health.’

To make this kale mango salad, fresh kale leaves are massaged until they are soft, darker, and easy to eat. Massaging kale leaves breaks down the tough fibers, making the leaves soft and flavorful.

Mango and kale salad comes together in 5 minutes and is loaded with fiber and protein. It is light on the stomach, sweet, tangy, crunchy, and nutty.

This detox salad is gluten-free, vegan, paleo, and whole 30. Serve it as a side dish with your meals or as a light lunch or dinner.

You can double or triple the recipe as per your requirements.

Here are some more healthy salad recipes

Ingredients and Variations

Kale mango salad ingredients.

Mangoes – You can use any mangoes of your choice. I like to use Indian Alphonso, as they are sweet and juicy. But any ripe, firm, juicy mango will work.

Kale – Kale is considered to be a superfood and is getting more popular day by day due to its nutrient levels. I used curly kale but you can use any variety to make this salad.

Look for kale leaves that are bright green. Avoid leaves with yellow or brown spots. This discoloration means that the kale is not fresh or was exposed to the sun for too long.

The kale should feel very sturdy, with nice tight curls or hefty, smooth leaves. The stalk and leaves should not feel loose or wilted.

Pecans – To add some crunch, I have added pecans. You can replace them with almonds or walnuts.

Cilantro – Add chopped cilantro (fresh coriander leaves) or parsley leaves to add some more green freshness to this salad.

Kale mango salad dressing ingredients.

Dressing – To make the refreshing dressing, you will need extra virgin olive oil, Freshly squeezed lemon zest, lemon juice, maple syrup, salt, and pepper.

You can replace lemon juice and zest with orange juice and zest. You can replace maple syrup with honey if vegan is not your concern.

Variations – You can add some toasted coconut flakes to this salad as a garnish. It adds a nice taste and crunch to this salad, along with pecans.

You can also add avocados, feta cheese, cooked quinoa, papaya, broccoli, spinach, blueberries, etc., to experiment with this yummy salad and make it even more filling and delicious.

You can add pepitas, sunflower seeds, or other seeds for a nice crunch.

Add protein like cooked shredded chicken or shrimp to this kale and mango salad. Vegetarian protein like edamame, chickpeas, tofu, etc., also works great.

How To Make Kale Mango Salad

Preparation

Start by preparing the kale leaves, mangoes, and pecans.

Wash kale leaves and discard the tough stem using a sharp paring knife. The most important thing about kale is that the stalk is nearly inedible. It is very bitter and fibrous and should be removed before cooking or using in a salad. To separate kale leaves from their stalks, cut along the edge of the stalk with the tip of the sharp paring knife or tear the leaves away with your hands.

Removing the mid rib of the kale leaf using a knife.
Discarding the mid rib.

Chop the leaves roughly. We need approx 7 oz (200 g) of chopped leaves.

Chopped kale leaves.

Next, cut the mangoes into cubes. You will need 2 large mangoes to get 10 oz (300 g) of chopped mangoes. Wash the mangoes and wipe them with a kitchen cloth. Peel the mangoes using a paring knife and cut the flesh from all sides, leaving the pit. Discard the pit and cut the flesh into cubes. Keep aside.

To toast the pecans, add ¼ cup of pecans to a pan and toast on low heat for 8-10 minutes until they are crunchy. Remove the pan from heat and let the pecans cool down. Chop them roughly and keep them aside.

Massage The Kale Leaves

Massaging kale leaves is important to make them soft and edible. Add the chopped kale leaves to a large bowl.

kale leaves added to a large bowl.

Add 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil and massage the kale with your hands for 1-2 minutes until the leaves get softer and darker.

Olive oil poured over kale leaves.
Massaged kale leaves.

Make The Salad Dressing

Stir together

  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

in a small mixing bowl using a wire whisk.

Dressing ingredients added to a bowl.
Ready dressing in the bowl.

Make The Salad

Pour the dressing over the kale leaves and toss well.

Dressing poured over kale leaves.
Tossed well.

Add

  • 10 oz mango cubes
  • ¼ cup chopped toasted pecans
  • 2 tablespoon chopped cilantro

to the bowl and toss well.

Serve immediately.

Mango, pecans and cilantro added to the bowl.
Ready mango kale salad.

Dressing Variations

Herb Dressing – You can add dried basil, oregano, red pepper flakes, and fresh mint leaves to the above dressing to make it more flavorful.

Mustard Honey Dressing – This dressing has orange zest, orange juice, garlic, dijon mustard, honey, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Garlic Lemon Mustard Dressing – This dressing is similar to the above one with little changes. This dressing has dijon mustard, garlic powder, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, paprika, cilantro, salt, and pepper.

Mango Dressing – This dressing has mango puree, honey, lemon juice, and extra virgin olive oil. You can add herbs like oregano, red chili flakes, etc.

You can also use my Green Goddess Salad Dressing in this salad.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can we use frozen mangoes in the salad?

I would not recommend using frozen mango in this salad. Frozen mangoes, when thawed, turn mushy and won’t taste good in a salad. They are apt to be used in pureed dressing, smoothies, or desserts.

Serving Suggestions

You can serve this mango kale salad for a light and healthy lunch or dinner. You can also serve it as a side dish for brunch or barbeque meals.

I sometimes serve it as a side dish with my pasta, risotto, sandwich, burger, or wraps.

Storage Suggestions

Since the kale leaves are wilted after massaging, they don’t wilt further. So they keep good in the refrigerator for several days.

To store this kale mango salad, mix the dressing with the kale and store it in an airtight container in the fridge for about 4-5 days. Before serving, add in fresh mangoes, pecans, and cilantro, toss, and serve.

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This healthy Kale Mango Salad is a must-make recipe while mangoes are in season. It's easy to make, comes together in 5 minutes, and makes for a great light side dish, lunch, or dinner (vegan, gluten-free).
5 from 4 votes

Healthy Kale Mango Salad Recipe

This healthy Kale Mango Salad is a must-make recipe while mangoes are in season. It's easy to make, comes together in 5 minutes, and makes for a great light side dish, lunch, or dinner.
Prep: 2 minutes
Cook: 2 minutes
Total: 4 minutes
Servings: 2 people

Ingredients 

For The Salad

  • 8 ounces kale leaves (250 g)
  • 10 ounces peeled and cubed mangoes (300 g)
  • ¼ cup toasted and chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

For The Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (plus 1 teaspoon for massaging the kale)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
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Instructions 

Prepare The Kale Leaves

  • Wash kale leaves and discard the tough stem using a sharp paring knife. The most important thing to know about kale is that the stalk is nearly inedible. It is very bitter and fibrous and should be removed prior to cooking or using in a salad.
  • To separate kale leaves from their stalks, cut along the edge of the stalk with the tip of the sharp paring knife, or tear the leaves away with your hands.
  • Chop the leaves roughly. We need approx 7 oz (200 g) of chopped leaves.

Massage The Kale Leaves

  • Massaging the kale leaves is important to make them soft and edible. Add the chopped kale leaves to a large bowl.
  • Add 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil and massage the kale using your hands for 1-2 minutes until the leaves get softer and darker in color.

Make The Salad Dressing

  • Stir together extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, maple syrup, salt, and pepper in a small mixing bowl using a wire whisk.

Make The Salad

  • Pour the dressing over the kale leaves and toss well.
  • Add mango cubes, pecans, and cilantro to the bowl and toss well.
  • Serve immediately.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

You can replace lemon juice and zest with orange juice and zest. You can replace maple syrup with honey if vegan is not your concern.
You can add some toasted coconut flakes to this salad as a garnish. It adds a nice taste and crunch to this salad along with pecans.
You can also add avocados, feta cheese, cooked quinoa, papaya, broccoli, spinach, blueberries, etc to experiment with this yummy salad and make it, even more filling and delicious.
You can also add pepitas, sunflower seeds, or any other seeds for a nice crunch.
To add some protein to this kale and mango salad, add some cooked shredded chicken or cooked shrimp. Vegetarian protein like edamame, chickpeas, tofu, etc also works great.

Nutrition

Calories: 366kcal, Carbohydrates: 37g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 25g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Sodium: 44mg, Potassium: 874mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 24g, Vitamin A: 11718IU, Vitamin C: 188mg, Calcium: 198mg, Iron: 3mg
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