Garlic Kale Salad with Almond Butter Dressing

Garlic Kale Salad with Almond Butter Dressing

An incredibly easy and delicious Garlic Kale Salad that is very nutritious and high in protein. The Oil-free Almond Butter Dressing is lick-the-bowl delicious!

Almond butter dressing pouring over kale salad


Do you crave sweets all the time? Well, this Garlic Kale Salad with Oil-free Almond Butter Dressing is so delicious that it fills me up, while simultaneously satisfying a sweet craving. This is thanks to the dressing having sweetness from the roasted pecans and maple syrup. Now, I'm not making any promises, but I encourage you to try it. This salad is also packed with goodness and protein.

Overhead view of spoon in white bowl of kale salad

This Garlic Kale Salad is the perfect salad to serve with any meal as a small side salad or a large one for a healthy lunch. It's certainly one that won't leave you filling bloated and heavy. It literally just takes minutes to whip up too.We eat it all the time though, regardless of the holidays or season.

Oil-free almond butter dressing in a bowl next to salad


I looove making homemade nut butters. Pecan butter and almond butter are my favorites I make quite often. I love to use them in dressings. I always roast the nuts first because they are more flavorful and become sweeter, which works really well in a dressing. Also, roasting them brings out the oils and makes processing them easier. It is also healthier to use nuts versus oil, since they are a whole food and full of nutrients. For more oil-free tips and tricks, check out How to Cook and Bake Without Oil.

Roasted almond butter in food processor


I often make my own almond butter because it's cheaper and I love the flavor. It is also perfect for making the Oil-free Almond Butter Dressing. Although, you don't have to if you don't want to for this dressing! For a more detailed post on how to make the almond butter and ways to use it, check out my almond butter post.

First, preheat an oven to 300°F. Next, add 2 cups of whole raw almonds on a pan lined with parchment paper. Roast for 12-15 minutes until them start to smell really fragrant. Be careful to watch them so they don't burn.

Process them in a food processor for about 5 minutes, scraping the sides as needed during the process. You will have to do this a few times in the beginning. It will seem like it is just going to stay a flour, but trust me, after a few minutes it will start to come together. Once it starts to turn into butter, let it go until it becomes super duper creamy. Don't stop too soon or it won't become silky smooth. Once it is easily dripping off of a spoon, then it is done. The roasted almonds give a wonderful sweetness. Yum.

Garlic kale salad with carrots and white beans in white bowl

This dressing....oh man....this dressing. The Oil-free Almond Butter Dressing is perfection on the Garlic Kale Salad. It is delicious just off of a spoon, but drizzled over this salad, it's incredible. It's slightly sweet, which balances out the lemon juice, and slightly spicy from the pepper and garlic. A friend asked me on Facebook for some oil-free dressings that I make, so I just had to share this one. My hubby and I absolutely love it. It is lick-the-bottom-of-the-bowl good! It is healthy and you won't miss the oil, I promise. However, if you don't like almond butter, nevermind. We happen to love almond butter.

I can't wait to hear what you think of this Garlic Kale Salad with Almond Butter Dressing!

Almond butter dressing pouring over kale salad
5 from 6 votes

Garlic Kale Salad with Almond Butter Dressing

An incredibly easy and delicious Garlic Kale Salad that is very nutritious and high in protein. The Oil-free Almond Butter Dressing is lick-the-bowl delicious!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 salads
Author Brandi Doming


Kale Salad

  • 5 oz package of baby kale spinach will work if you don't like kale
  • 1 15 oz can organic white northern beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 heaping cup 160g baby carrots, shredded or grated

Almond Butter Dressing (makes 1/2 cup)

  • 3 tablespoons 48g roasted creamy almond butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons 23g fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder this gives the overall salad a wonderful hint of garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons 45g water
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt to desired taste (I used just under 1/2 teaspoon)


  1. In a large bowl, add all of the prepared salad ingredients and toss well.
  2. In a cup, add the dressing ingredients and whisk well with a fork or small whisk until completely smooth. Taste and add any more salt if desired. Drizzle over salad.




  1. I love kale salad, and I really love your salad dressing. This will definitely be something I will want to eat after such a heavy meal on Thursday. Great recipe as always, everything looks wonderful! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!!
      Thank you so much Suzanne! It is filling too. Happy Thanksgiving!
  2. I love this healthy and beautiful salad!! I excited to try out the dressing! Making nut butters are my favorite too tho I've never thought to add it to a dressing. Great idea! Great round up of holiday recipes. Those gingerbread pancakes sound wonderful too!!
      Thank you Linda! The almond butter is soooo good as a dressing. Oh, yes, the pancakes are my favorite recipe. :)
  3. That salad looks divine - garlic and lemon - my two favourite ingredients! Then I scrolled down the page and saw pancakes, and carrots and beautiful cake's only 8:15 in the morning here and I want to try everything in the post right away!!!!
      Hahaha thank you Cindy! Sorry....I was getting hungry myself typing it up.
  4. Um I think I need this salad in my life because I can't stop eating the leftover sweets from the potluck!! I brought in a huge portion of cake to the office, but I've still been consuming wayyy too much sugar. This looks like perfect detox food! Your hubby is so lucky you cook all this creative, delicious food to fit his diet!
      Girl, I don't blame you! Sweets are more fun, but honestly this dressing is sweet so it's really tasty! You are so sweet, thank you!!! He is very hard to prepare for though, it's work, lol.
  5. YUM! I love the simplicity of this salad and the dressing sounds oh so heavenly. ;-) Oh, and I definitely crave sweets all the time....I should make this salad every day....and eat it every hour, lol! Those gingersnap pancakes look absolutely wonderful too. I hope you have a fabulous Thanksgiving!
      Happy Thanksgiving to you too Melanie! Oh, you'd love the pancakes :)
  6. THIS IS A FLIPPING FANTASTIC WAY to get the kale down!!!!! I always have to figure out ways to chow down on it because alone... It's not so good. It tastes like I ripped off a leaf from a tree and ate it. LOL!
      Haha you're so funny girl!! I love kale but you can always use spinach. :)
  7. I need to try that dressing, I am starving now after looking at that and the only food pics! lol
      Haha! Thank you :)
  8. Gee, Brandi, this is some salad you've tossed and that dressing sounds so very good. I bet it will be very popular in the weeks to come. Thanks for sharing.
      Thank you so much John! Happy Thanksgiving!
  9. I LOVE sweets and I really need to get that in check. This dressing sounds like a great way to do that, especially considering it has one of my favorite ingredients, almond butter!All of your photos are absolutely gorgeous by the way and now I'm drooling :)*And sorry for the comment with no comment!
      Oh, thank you so much!! That is so sweet :) Oh, no's not you....I think my comment section is a little crazy as it has happened to others, no worries. :)
  10. This is quite possibly one of the most beautiful salads ever! How do you get so creative my friend!? :)Cheers Choc Chip Uru
      Aww you are so sweet Uru, thank you!
  11. I've been wanting to find more good recipes for kale, this one looks delicious Brandi. That dressing... omg, I'd use it on everything I think!! I'm a bit obsessed with almond butter at the moment. So good! x
  12. Oh my! That almond butter dressing looks so creamy and delicious. I'm definitely going to try it, thanks for the recipe!
      Thanks Shannon! Please do and let me know what you think!
  13. This is so great! I add some baked tofu or vegan chicken & sriracha! I've eaten it 3 times this week & my co-worker snuck 2 salads, too!
      Oh wonderful Mel! I'm so glad to hear that....thank you so much for letting me know! :)
  14. that kale salad looks really really really delicious.
      Thank you IS delicious! :D
  15. I made the garlic lemon kale was a HUGE hit in my house!
      Thank you so much Rachel for letting me know! I love when my readers leave me feedback !! :)
  16. [...] Watermelon Quinoa Salad – peace. love. quinoa Garlic Lemon Kale Salad – the Vegan 8 Green Bean & Avocado Quinoa Salad – Love and Lemons Black Quinoa [...]
  17. if you just wanted to use commercial almond butter (which I believe is not roasted) will the effect be the same? Have you figured out the calorie content of this as using the almond butter dressing could make the calorie content high, no?
      Hi Lani! Yes, you should definitely be able to use the unroasted. It tends to be a little thicker, so you may need a bit more water to thin it out. It thickens as you stir it, so after stirring it a bit, if it's still too thick, just add a tiny bit more water to desired consistency. I have just added the nutrition for the dressing. It is far less fattening than most traditional dressing recipes that contain processed oils and tend to use 1/4-1/2 cup of oil in one dressing recipe. This one would be on the lower fat end and it's a whole food, win-win! I hope you enjoy it! Let me know if you try it :)
  18. I went vegan a little over 2 years ago and I have been searching and searching for a good salad dressing as salads have always been hard for me to eat and I wanted to be healthy! I've made countless dressing that never satisfied me or that I could stick with. This one... This is what I've been looking for! It's amazing! I love it! It is going to be my staple dressing now. Thank you so much! I think I'll be eating a salad everyday now :)
      Yay, I'm so happy to hear this is "the one" dressing that you finally found you love! Thank you so much for the wonderful feedback Lindsay!
  19. "Do you crave sweets all the time?" Um hi, hello, I'm here, this was obviously created for me😂 Salad that satisfies sweet cravings sounds like exactly what I need, although I bet with that lemon and garlic it hits the savory spot at the same time. I make a lot of tahini based dressings, but rarely use other nut/seed butters for some reason...idk. But I love sliced almonds on top of salad, and it makes for such a creamy dressing too (which I always prefer to an oil-based or vinaigrette style dressing--coat those leaves please!) I completely agree that store-bought nut butter doesn't even come close to homemade, the flavor is SO much more, well, nutty especially when you toast them first. So if I can get past eating all the warm roasted almonds off the pan...and then get past eating all the fresh almond butter out of the food processor...I know I would love this dressing drizzled on ALL THE GREENS😋 Especially arugula, thats my jam lately!
  20. This was fabulous. I actually found it when I made almond/pecan butter then dumped in some of Dr. Fuhrman's Pecan vinegar to "clean" the Vitamix planning to make dressing. Then thought what. So came here (even though I have your book LOL)Dont' know why I never think to add the nut butter and just throw in a couple nuts but they don't really add much like the butter does.So while I typically don't sub other people's recipes the first time....I used the vinegar for the lemon, and a medjool date for the maple syrup and it is AWESOME.I didn't use the measurements since I just dumped in a bunch of vinegar at first. Totally forgiving.Definitely will replace my boring go-to of water, vinegar and no sodium mustard. (Westbrae on Amazon)Cant wait to use it on other vegs like green beans!I think you could add a little tomato paste to get a knock off Catalina, too!Thank you!

      Yay, thank you Alyr! I'm so glad you enjoyed it, thank you so much for making it and leaving feedback!!
  21. Found this recipe yesterday and made it this morning. First taste was awesome (as well as following bites!). I didn't have kale on hand, but had spinach. Same with carrots and just shredded a couple big ones. Wasn't sure if I could premake to have ready ahead of time or how it may change the texture, but will find out in a few hours. This definitely is a favorite and I'll be making it regularly! Five stars!

      So glad it was a hit Babs! Thank you so much for the review!
  22. I served this tonight. My husband licked his fingers and said, “mmm, delicious”. I want to put in a picture but there is no way to do that. I served it with a stuffed squash. Fabulous dinner.

      Oh yay, such a great review! So glad your hubby loved it too!
  23. My almonds did not get creamy, I was so sad. What did I not do right?
      You have to keep going. Depending on the strength of your food processor, it will go quickly or take longer. I’ve used both a 7 cup and an 11 cup and it works, it just will take a lot longer in an older or smaller food processor. You did roast the almonds first?
      • This is the first time I have EVER written a note, you are an absolute doll for answering. I DID roast them and a LOT of time later they were not being creamy. But I put all of it together anyway and beat it to death with a whisk and it was heaven and my new absolute favorite, it's the bomb. Just imagine if I can get actually get it like it's supposed to be, thank you for your caring response and crazy good food

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