Monday, November 17, 2014

Sweet Kale Vegetable Salad

Copycat Recipe for Costco's Sweet Kale Vegetable Salad
This is my newest favorite salad. I don't do a whole lot of copycat recipes, but this one, I can't even tell you how much this one needed to be made. This is a copycat recipe for Costco's Sweet Kale Vegetable Salad. The crunchy greens, sweet-tart cranberries, and crunchy-salty pumpkin seeds are tossed in a creamy poppyseed dressing and it all works together to make this salad worthy of our Thanksgiving table, and likely at least a dozen more tables as well before the end of the year.

A couple weeks ago, while I was grocery shopping, there were two women standing in the icy cold produce room at Costco chatting about how amazing this salad is. I don't even remember the last time I bought a pre-made salad, (I have a thing for making salads and rarely am I impressed with the store bought varieties.) but these ladies were so enthusiastic, I picked up a bag to try for myself.

Holy smokes. I loved it. Absolutely, positively, loved it. But I knew right away that we could improve on it. I've been making this poppyseed dressing for a few years now and every single person that tries it raves about it. So, I knew that the homemade poppyseed dressing would take this salad combination right over the top. Plus, making the salad at home lets me add more of my favorite ingredients.

I went back to the grocery store the next day and picked up the ingredients to make this salad for myself. I made it that night and ate it for dinner, I ate it again the next day for lunch, for a snack, and with dinner again. Even after tossing the salad with the dressing, it kept nicely for as long as it lasted in my house, about 36 hours.

All of my ramblings are simply to say that you really want to try this salad. If you're not a big fan of kale, if Brussels aren't your thing, if broccoli doesn't thrill you, you just might like this salad anyways. I never would have guessed that this combination of flavors would work so well, but it does! My kids don't typically love the "green stuff" in this salad, they watched me make it and were skeptical. However, one taste and they were sold; my middle son even asked for seconds.

COOK'S NOTE: You might be tempted to skip the broccoli matchsticks in this recipe, but please try them. They offer the soft crunch that plays a big part in making this salad so unique. Here's how to make them: slice the long thick stalk off a head of broccoli, peel the outside enough to remove the brown areas, then slice it into thin rounds. Stack a few of the rounds and slice them into matchsticks. Easy as can be and well worth the extra minute or two.

How To Cut Broccoli Into Matchsticks

Sweet Kale Vegetable Salad
Yield: 8 servings
(printable recipe)

Salad Ingredients:
4 cups shredded and chopped curly kale
2 cups thinly sliced Brussels sprouts
1 cup broccoli matchsticks
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup roasted and salted pepitas (the inside kernel of the pumpkin seed)
optional: chopped cabbage and/or chopped endive

Dressing Ingredients:
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 tablespoons white balsamic, champagne, or white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar or honey
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
pinch of kosher salt

Combine all the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together the dressing ingredients. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well to throughly coat. Let the salad rest for at least 5-10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Copycat Recipe for Costco's Sweet Kale Vegetable Salad by Barefeet In The Kitchen

ONE YEAR AGO TODAY: Spicy Chorizo Corn Chowder


  1. so excited to try this!! i had the salad a few weeks ago and can't stop thinking about it!! (also, there isn't a costco within a few hours of me!)

  2. Ok, this is Kismick! I was at an office party and this salad was there and I made a fool of myself and ate it all....burp! So I Google the bag and made the salad myself. I did the same thing as you and ate it up in 3 days! I used a homemade poppy seed dressing too! Now I am glad there is a recipe other then the bag to follow!

  3. This looks so good but I have no idea where to find pepitas! Any tips? Or possible replacements?

    1. Pepitas - they're pumpkin seeds - you can use salted or unsalted. You can make your own too - just scoop out the insides of a pumpkin spread on a baking sheet & bake - guts & all - they'll separted easily after baked.

  4. Check Wal-mart in the produce section. That's where I find bagged pepitas.

  5. just my opinion, but use whatever grains you have on hand. i used sunflower seeds. i added shredded carrots...being creative and make it your personal salad :-)

  6. I love this salad and have made it many times. It gets better the next day as the dressing softens the kale leaves. I add in the zest from the lemon and don't even bother with the cheese. It feels healthier that way.

  7. I was looking for a recipe to replicate the Costco kale salad dressing. I substituted unsweetened vanilla almond milk for the milk and regular balsamic for the white vinegar. It tasted great, thank you!