Thai chopped kale salad with spicy cashews {gluten-free, vegan}

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I've been about to share this kale salad recipe with you! Where to start

Crispy and spicy cashews.

Creamy almond butter dressing.

Tender kale massaged with lime juice.

Tons of vegetables for texture, flavor and phytonutrients.

This salad is one of the best I've ever eaten! It is the perfect balance of textures and flavors and will make you feel great. Kale salads are my choice when I feel like I need a reboot. In addition to its detoxifying health benefits, you could eat this every day just because it's so delicious. It is also approved by the husband, and my husband says it is the best kale salad he has ever had.

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I have come to love, love kale salads in recent years. We have a lot of family road trips this summer and one of my favorite things for a trip is a great kale salad. Usually, I try to bring some healthy foods to start the trips on the right foot, because sometimes you never know what gluten-free options you'll have on the go.

Kale salads hold up wonderfully even when dressed, so you can prepare them ahead of time. They are great to pack for lunch, take a trip, or share in a shared meal. This salad is also gluten-free and vegan, making it perfect for parties!

If you still don't like kale salads, I think learning the tricks to make a really delicious kale salad will turn you on!

  1. Remove the ribs. Especially if you use kale, although I prefer Italian kale or lacinato.
  2. Cut the kale very finely.
  3. Massage the kale with a little lime or lemon juice and a pinch of salt.
  4. Dress the salad with a bold and flavorful dressing. The dressing in this recipe fits that ticket!

You can see more details in this post for my flawless kale salad. That salad is my side dish for moments like pizza night.

This salad is a complete meal in itself. I love using edamame for protein in this salad because it tastes great and then I don't have to worry about cooking chicken or another protein. Don't be intimidated by the long list of dressing ingredients. You simply measure them in the food processor and let it do the work. Spiced cashews are my favorite part of the salad, but if you like, you can substitute merchant Joe's Thai lime cashews (yum!).

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Chopped Thai Kale Salad

This salad is good for a few hours before serving, making it the perfect salad to pack for lunch or a trip.


For Thai spiced cashews:

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of avocado oil or olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon tamari, gluten-free soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of paprika
  • pinch of cayenne pepper

For the dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons almond butter or cashew butter
  • 1 tablespoon of maple syrup
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon coriander
  • 1 tablespoon of lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons of rice vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon of tamari
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

For the salad

  • 1 bunch of kale, stems removed and cut into very thin slices (I prefer lacinato or Italian kale)
  • 1 lime
  • 1 / 2-1 cup green cabbage, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled into ribbons
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 chives, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup cilant, chopped
  • 1 cup edamame, thawed if frozen


  • For cashews: Preheat oven to 350F. In a small baking sheet, mix the cashews with all the ingredients. Bake for 10 minutes, stirring once while baking. Cold.

  • For the dressing: Place all ingredients except olive oil in a small food processor or blender. Process until smooth. With the food processor running, slowly add the olive oil. Season to taste with more salt / pepper if necessary.

  • To prepare the kale, place the chopped cabbage in a bowl. Squeeze the lime juice over the kale and add a pinch of salt. Massage the kale until it begins to darken and soften. Add the remaining salad ingredients and mix with the dressing. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

If you're preparing this salad ahead of time, leave the cashews spiced and top the salad with them just before serving. This salad serves 2-4, but my husband and I can usually eat this whole salad between the two of us!


Calories: 701kcal

Recipe inspired by Pinch of Yum and Against all Grain recipes

Cashew Nuts With Salad Gluten Chopped Spicy Curly Thai Vegan

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