This post may contain affiliate links. Learn more.

Massaged kale salad with nutritional yeast is an umami lover’s dream. Massaging the kale makes it perfectly tender with a pleasing crispness. The simple but bold dressing comes together right in the bowl.

massaged kale salad with nutritional yeast in a wooden bowl
Want to save this recipe?
Enter your email below and I’ll send it to your inbox. Plus get great new recipes every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Why we love this recipe

We love kale salads around here. You can find my go-to recipe for a hearty kale salad that makes a whole meal here, along with my magic blender dressing. There’s halloumi, olives, roasted potato croutons, and more. You need that salad.

I’ve also found that I need a kale salad without so much fanfare. One that’s:

  • Happy to sit alongside the rest of a meal
  • Ready in five minutes
  • And doesn’t require a magic blender (heh)

That’s where this recipe comes in. We’ve been eating it many a night, and honestly I can’t wait to eat it again tonight. Maybe with another of these chicken Caprese sandwiches, which I also can’t stop eating.

What you’ll need

Here’s a glance at the ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe.

ingredients in bowls
  • Massaging the lemon juice, olive oil and salt into the kale leaves tenderizes them so much that curly kale suddenly makes sense for a salad. You can use lacinato or another flat-leaf kale if you prefer it.
  • Nutritional yeast is a deactivated form of yeast. It’s typically made from the single-celled organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae, grown on molasses and then harvested, washed, and dried with heat. This “deactivates” the yeast, meaning it can’t grow or leaven baked goods. Nutritional yeast is a great source of vitamins and minerals. It’s vegan and naturally gluten-free.

How to make it

Here’s what you’ll do to make a great massaged kale salad with nutritional yeast. You can see the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.

step by step
  1. Strip the kale from its stems and give it a thorough wash and dry. Place in a salad bowl.
  2. Pour in the olive oil and lemon juice and sprinkle on the salt and pepper.
  3. Use your hands to massage the dressing into the kale, until the kale is nice and tender.
  4. Sprinkle on the nutritional yeast and toss with tongs. Serve right away.

Expert tips and FAQs

How can I turn this salad into a meal?

Thinking of bulk up your kale salad into a one-bowl meal? Great idea.

For protein, try chickpeas, black beans, grilled shrimp, chicken, or steak, or smoked chicken sausages.

Cooked frozen corn, olives, halved cherry tomatoes, a diced red bell pepper, shredded carrot, diced avocado, and/or diced cucumber make great vegetable additions.

And if you’re in the mood for cheese, try crumbled feta, grilled diced halloumi, shredded extra-sharp cheddar, or grated pecorino or parmesan.

Can I make this recipe in advance? What about leftovers?

Kale holds much better than lettuce, so if you need to, you can make this salad up to a few hours in advance and toss in the nutritional yeast just before serving.

Fully dressed leftovers keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for about a day.

massaged kale salad with nutritional yeast (vegan) on a white plate

More favorite kale recipes

massaged kale salad with nutritional yeast in a wooden bowl

Hungry for more?

Subscribe to Umami Girl’s email updates, and follow along on Instagram.

massaged kale salad with nutritional yeast in a wooden bowl
4.67 from 42 votes

Massaged Kale Salad with Nutritional Yeast

By Carolyn Gratzer Cope
Massaged kale salad with nutritional yeast is an umami lover's dream. Massaging the kale makes it perfectly tender with a pleasing crispness. The simple but bold dressing comes together right in the bowl.
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 as a side dish
Want to save this recipe?
Enter your email and I’ll send it to your inbox. Plus get great new recipes every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Ingredients 

  • 1 large bunch curly kale
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about one medium lemon)
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup (20 grams) nutritional yeast

Instructions 

  • Tear the kale leaves from their stems and break into bite-sized pieces. Wash and dry thoroughly. (Discard stems or save for juicing or pesto.)
  • Sprinkle the oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper over the kale and use your hands to massage the dressing into the leaves. Do this however you like — you really can’t go wrong. In a minute or two, you’ll have a tender, delicious salad.
  • Sprinkle with the nutritional yeast for a pop of umami that beautifully complements the earthy kale, fruity olive oil and tangy lemon juice.

Notes

  1. Massaging the lemon juice, olive oil and salt into the kale leaves tenderizes them so much that curly kale suddenly makes sense for a salad. You can use lacinato or another flat-leaf kale if you prefer it.
  2. Nutritional yeast is a deactivated form of yeast. It’s typically made from the single-celled organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae, grown on molasses and then harvested, washed, and dried with heat. This “deactivates” the yeast, meaning it can’t grow or leaven baked goods. Nutritional yeast is a great source of vitamins and minerals. It’s vegan and naturally gluten-free.
  3. Thinking of bulk up your kale salad into a one-bowl meal? Great idea. For protein, try chickpeas, black beans, grilled shrimp, chicken, or steak, or smoked chicken sausages. Cooked frozen corn, olives, halved cherry tomatoes, a diced red bell pepper, shredded carrot, diced avocado, and/or diced cucumber make great vegetable additions. And if you’re in the mood for cheese, try crumbled feta, grilled diced halloumi, shredded extra-sharp cheddar, or grated pecorino or parmesan.
  4. Kale holds much better than lettuce, so if you need to, you can make this salad up to a few hours in advance and toss in the nutritional yeast just before serving.Fully dressed leftovers keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for about a day.

Nutrition

Calories: 109kcal, Carbohydrates: 9.3g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 7.5g, Fiber: 2.5g

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

Additional Info

Course: Salads + Bowls
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @umamigirl or tag #umamigirl!

Hungry for more?

Subscribe to Umami Girl’s email updates, and follow along on Instagram.

Hungry for More?
Subscribe to Umami Girl's email updates, and follow along on Instagram.
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

More Recipes

Carolyn Gratzer Cope Bio Photo

About Carolyn Gratzer Cope

Hi there, I'm Carolyn Gratzer Cope, founder and publisher of Umami Girl. Join me in savoring life, one recipe at a time. I'm a professional recipe developer with training from the French Culinary Institute (now ICE) and a lifetime of studying, appreciating, and sharing food.

4.67 from 42 votes (42 ratings without comment)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




1 Comment