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Closeup of kale salad topped with bacon, apple, cheddar, and almonds

Fall Kale Salad with Apple, Bacon, Cheddar, and Roasted Almonds

This easy, filling, hearty kale salad is tossed with fresh apple, crisp bacon, grated cheddar cheese, and roasted salted almonds for a satisfying crunch.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch, Salad, Supper
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 652 kcal


  • Salad Bowl
  • Cheese Grater
  • Frying Pan (preferably cast iron)


  • 8 oz kale washed, stems removed, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 6 oz bacon preferably thick cut, sliced into lardons
  • 1 apple
  • 2 oz sharp cheddar
  • 1/2 cup roasted salted almonds
  • 1-2 tsp extra virgin olive oil optional
  • pinch salt optional

Cider Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp brown sugar or maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Optional: if you're using curly or Lacinato kale and would like it to be more tender, massage it with a teaspoon or two of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Leave it to sit in the salad bowl while you assemble the rest of the salad.
  • Place a preferably cast iron frying pan over medium heat and add bacon lardons to cold pan. Fry until bacon reaches desired level of doneness. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.
  • Mix the salad dressing. You may either add the oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and sugar to a mason jar and shake vigorously until emulsified, or you may combine the vinegar, salt, pepper, and sugar in a bowl and slowly stream in the olive oil while whisking vigorously. Set aside. The dressing recipe may be doubled or tripled if desired, and will keep for 2 weeks in the fridge.
  • Grate the cheddar cheese and chop the apples - do not cut apples until you are almost ready to dress the salad, so that they do not brown.
  • Assemble the salad: toss the kale leaves with the salad dressing, then add the bacon, cheddar, apples, and roasted pecans. Mix everything together and serve.


**Any type of kale may be used in this recipe. Baby kale is the most tender and once washed, can be used without removing stems or massaging. Curly and Lacinato (Tuscan) kale can be tougher, and you may prefer to massage the leaves before assembling the salad
**Almonds may be store-bought or homemade, and if you prefer, pecans, walnuts, or unsalted almonds may be substituted
Keyword apple bacon salad, fall salad, hearty salad, kale bacon salad, kale salad, salad with apples