This Kale Apple Slaw features crisp fresh veggies and a creamy, tangy vinaigrette. It’s a flavorful, healthy dish that comes together in just 15 minutes!
This recipe for vegan Kale Apple Slaw is quick and easy to make, but looks and tastes fancier than traditional coleslaw. It’s perfect as a starter dish, pairs great with soup or a sandwich, and can even be made into a main dish by adding tofu or quinoa.
It holds up incredibly well, so pack it up in lunchboxes or a portable serving dish for BBQs and picnics.
Ingredients you need
Ingredient notes and substitutions
This recipe needs only a handful of ingredients and mayo isn’t one of them!
I don’t suggest using baby kale for this slaw as it’s more fragile like lettuce and not as hardy as mature kale.
Kale ~ I use curly kale for this recipe, but Lacinato (also known as Tuscan or dinosaur kale) can be used as well. Slice it thinly for best texture in this slaw.
Apple ~ I like a tart apple in this recipe. I use Granny Smith, but Pink Lady, Cortland, Empire, or Braeburn are all good choices. Use your favorite crisp, tart apple.
Broccoli Slaw ~ Broccoli slaw is a great convenience ingredient. It typically contains thinly sliced broccoli stems, red cabbage and carrots, which all pair beautifully in this kale apple slaw.
If you can’t find store-bought broccoli slaw, you can slice your own broccoli stems, cabbage and carrots. Or you could use store-bought shredded carrots or traditional cabbage coleslaw mix instead.
Try using broccoli slaw to make this incredibly quick and easy Hummus Veggie Wrap!
Seeds ~ I like the extra crunch of sunflower seeds. If you are allergic and just don’t like them, you can leave them out.
Alternate options for crunch: pumpkin seeds, walnuts, or almonds.
Dressing ~ Because kale is such a sturdy veggie, you need a strong flavored, acidic dressing that can break through the fibrous texture. Maple Dijon Vinaigrette is just the thing! It’s creamy, tangy, and so delicious!
Extras ~ Want more? Add some thinly sliced red onion or green onions. Dried cranberries or golden raisins could be added for some sweetness and texture contrast. Fresh herbs, like parsley or cilantro, would be tasty as well.
How to make the recipe
Thinly slice the kale and add it to a large mixing bowl with the broccoli slaw (1).
Add the thinly sliced apples (2) and sunflower seeds (3).
Pour in the vinaigrette (4).
Using clean hands, gently massage the vinaigrette into the salad ingredients. This will help break down the fibers in the kale to soften it and make it more tender.
How to serve
As a first course: This dish would be a great starter course for any meal.
As a side: Pair it with Creamy Tomato Soup or Butternut Squash Apple Soup for a delicious soup and salad meal.
Pile it next to a Hummus Veggie Sandwich or Vegan Tuna Salad Sandwich for a classic sandwich and salad combo.
It would be the perfect accompaniment for burgers, vegan sausages, tacos, or vegan sloppy joes.
Pack it up and take it to a picnic or backyard BBQ or add to a lunchbox. It holds up really well!
As a main dish: To turn this kale apple slaw into a hearty main dish, add some baked tofu, quinoa, edamame, chickpeas, or black beans.
Meal prep and storage
Make ahead: Both the kale and the dressing can be prepped ahead of time, up to 2 days. Store them separately in air-tight containers in the fridge until ready to assemble the salad.
Storage: Once the salad is made, it will keep in the fridge in an air-tight container for up to 3 days.
Pro tips for success
~ Remove and discard the tough, woody kale stems.
~ Slice the kale as thinly as possible. Stack up several leaves, fold the stack in half, and then slice thinly.
~ Julienne the apples so they are similar in size to the broccoli slaw ingredients.
~ Add seeds (or nuts if you prefer) for some crunch.
~ Make the dressing in advance (up to 2 days before serving) to make this kale apple slaw recipe even quicker to throw together.
~ Using clean hands, massage the dressing into the salad ingredients for 1 to 2 minutes to soften the kale and evenly distribute the flavors throughout.
This particular kale slaw is made with shredded kale, store-bought broccoli slaw, julienned tart apples, crunchy sunflower seeds, and a creamy, tangy maple dijon vinaigrette.
No, kale does not need to be cooked. Some people don’t like raw kale because of its hearty, fibrous texture. To solve that problem, slice it thinly and massage it with an acidic vinaigrette, just like in this kale apple slaw!
Yes, dried fruit would be a great addition to this vegan slaw recipe. Dried cranberries, cherries, apricots, or golden raisins would all be good choices.
More vegan kale recipes
- Kale Apple Salad
- Kale Quinoa Salad
- Lacinato Kale Superfood Salad
- Loaded Chopped Kale Salad
- BBQ Bean and Kale Burger
- Pumpkin & Kale Stuffed Shells
- Vegan Potato Soup with Kale
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! If you tried it, please use the rating system in the recipe card and leave a comment below with your feedback.
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Kale Apple Slaw
For the Kale Apple Slaw
- 1 bunch kale stems removed, sliced thinly (about 6 cups)
- 1 cup broccoli slaw
- 1 tart apple cored and julienned
- ⅓ cup sunflower seeds
For the dressing
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1-2 tablespoon(s) pure maple syrup or agave
- ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon pepper or to taste
- 3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Add all of the prepped salad ingredients to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- In a small bowl or jar, whisk the vinegar, dijon mustard, maple syrup, salt, and pepper until smooth. Drizzle in the oil while whisking briskly until fully incorporated.
- Pour the dressing over the the salad. Using clean hands, massage the dressing into the salad ingredients for 1 to 2 minutes until the kale softened and reduced in volume.
- Serve immediately or store in an air-tight container in the fridge until ready to serve.
Nutrition values are calculated using online calculators and are estimates only. Please verify using your own data.
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