This winter chopped kale salad is filled with pears, dates, gorgonzola and topped with a tang cranberry vinaigrette dressing.

I seriously cannot get enough of cranberries right now.

It’s to the point where an entire section of my freezer is being occupied with two 2 pound bags from BJ’s (how can you say no to bulk discounts like $2.99/bag?!) and they’ve somehow made their way into about 85% of every meal I’ve eaten in the past two weeks.

Winter Chopped Kale Salad
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Cranberry oatmeal, quick cranberry sauce to top dinner, cranberry BBQ sauce with shredded pork, cranberry cherry wine sauce over a pork roast for my mom’s birthday dinner, cranberries in smoothies, cranberry cinnamon rolls and now…

a cranberry vinaigrette over this winter chopped kale salad.

Check out this barley butternut squash salad which uses the cranberry vinaigrette from this chopped kale salad. Two equally delicious winter dishes!

Winter Chopped Kale Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette

I’m not really down with eating regular kale raw any more, it’s just too tough and my mouth feels tired after all the necessary chewing.

I also have TMJ and my jaw sounds like a ticking time bomb when it has to work too hard (only a slightly annoying distraction when you’re trying to eat).

Tuscan kale, however, is a different story.

It’s so much more tender and all around just a better raw option.

Mixed with sweet juicy pears, crunchy toasted walnuts and pungent gorgonzola, it’s a winter wonderland of a salad and so perfect with the tangy cranberry vinaigrette on top.

You could even add some roasted winter squash seeds to the top of this for an even more seasonal touch!

I find baby kale to be even more tender too – it’s also great in salads.

Our favorite is what I call the best baby kale salad – it’s got crunchy BBQ roasted chickpeas, a creamy tahini dressing and thinly sliced sweet, tart apples. Try it for fall and this one for winter!

Winter Chopped Kale Salad with Cranberry Dressing

Unlike most people who douse any and all cranberries with sugar, I’m a huge fan of their natural tangy flavor.

And that’s why this 5-ingredient cranberry sauce doesn’t use any refined sugar at all and just a touch of maple syrup!

With citrus rice vinegar in this vinaigrette, the tang factor is taken up a notch too for a perfect lip puckering topping on this healthy winter salad.

If you love festive seasonal salads like this, give this persimmon salad a try too or use this dressing on our citrus salad recipe.

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Winter Chopped Kale Salad

Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 20 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
This winter chopped kale salad is filled with pears, dates, gorgonzola and topped with a tang cranberry vinaigrette dressing.


For the Dressing

  • ½ cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • ½ tablespoon honey
  • tablespoons Nakano Citrus Seasoned Rice Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons water

For the Salad

  • 1 bunch tuscan kale, stems removed and leaves rolled and thinly sliced/shredded
  • 1 pear, thinly sliced
  • 6 medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1/3 cup crumbled gorgonzola


For the dressing

  • Combine all the ingredients except the water in a food processor.
  • Process until finely chopped and combined.
  • With the processor running, stream the water in until smooth. Scrape down the sides as necessary until it reaches a dressing-like consistency.

For the salad

  • Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and toss together.
  • Transfer mixture to serving bowl and top with the dressing.


Serving: 1SERVINGCalories: 487kcalCarbohydrates: 44gProtein: 6gFat: 35gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 27gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 217mgFiber: 7gSugar: 33g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Salads
Cuisine: American

Other Nakano recipes:
Cilantro mango wild rice salad
Sea salt and vinegar beet chips
Grilled scallop citrus ceviche
Spicy rosemary tomato peach chutney
Turkey and sage stuffed apples
Brussels sprouts pumpkin and apple hash

Winter Chopped Kale Salad with Pears, Dates, Gorgonzola and Walnuts

*This post is sponsored by Nakano as part of my ongoing brand ambassadorship with them. All opinions, content and photography are my own.

Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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  1. I will have to keep my eyes out for this Tuscan kale – because the regular stuff just makes my jaw tired! This salad would make me a kale lover.