Beet and Kale Salad with Apples and Creamy Tangy Dressing

This is the easiest Beet and Kale salad to make. Who knew you could make something so sophisticated at home?

Beet and Kale Salad with Creamy Dressing

Have you seen a Beet and Kale Salad on a menu lately? I see them everywhere I go. McDonald’s might even have one.

The first one I had, several years ago, had roasted beets and goats cheese. I fell in love with it. I considered making it at home but unconsidered it when I remembered what a pain beets are to work with. They take a long time to roast (around 40 minutes) and peeling them (before or after roasting) can be a red hot mess. The salad idea was put on hold.

But then I was making beet borscht and remembered my mom saying that she used canned beets in hers. She said it was delicious and you couldn’t tell. I made that borscht (get the recipe here) and agreed.

Quick and Easy Borscht

Using canned beets on a kale salad was an obvious next step.

This salad is so easy to make and you’d never know that anything came from a can. Buy the beets already sliced to save even more time. And get packaged baby kale leaves or a mix of baby greens that contains kale so that you know for sure the leaves will be tender.

The salad also has slices of RubyFrost apples because tart apple goes well with beets.

And the dressing? It’s going to dazzle you!

It’s a quick creamy dressing made on the stovetop. You drizzle onto the salad still warm. It’s made with sautéed onions, mayonnaise, cider vinegar, sugar and a touch of horseradish. The horseradish sounds strange but trust me that you won’t know it’s there. It’s just a subtle flavor that works well with both beets and apples.

As for the cheese, you can go with creamy goat cheese, which I really like on beet salads, or do something a bit different and try big shreds of Parmesan or a hard Manchego like I’ve done here.

Kale and Beet Salad


To make the shreds, get a wedge of hard cheese that is easy to hold in your hand (a 6 ounce wedge is big enough). Then use a potato peeler to scrape big shreds off the block. I find it easiest to do this directly onto the salad since the shreds are delicate and can break easily if you’re trying to transfer them.

There you have it: A sophisticated and trendy Beet and Kale Salad that you’d never guess was so easy to make at home.

Beet and Kale Salad with Apples and Creamy Tangy Dressing

Don't be afraid of the horseradish in the dressing. It's a subtle flavor that pairs well with both the apples and the beets and brings the whole salad together.


  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 3 Tbsp. cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. prepared horseradish
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 8 cups baby kale or dark salad green mix
  • 1 RubyFrost apple, cored and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can sliced beets, drained and cut in half (or 3 fresh beets, peeled and simmered until tender and then sliced ¼ inch)
  • 1 ounce Manchego cheese, Parmesan cheese or 2 ounces creamy goat cheese


  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir in the water, vinegar, sugar, horseradish and salt. And the mayonnaise and stir until the sugar has dissolved, 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. Divide the kale or salad greens among 4 plates. Top with the apple slices and beets. Use a potato peeler to shave Manchego or Parmesan cheese over each salad or dollop each with some of the goat cheese. Drizzle each salad with 2 tablespoons of the dressing. You will not use up all the dressing. Store the remainder in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

5 Responses to “Beet and Kale Salad with Apples and Creamy Tangy Dressing”

  1. Madeline Brown — November 18, 2017 @ 8:38 am (#)

    The description mentions sautéed onions in the dressing, but they don’t appear in the ingredients lists or steps. Can you clarify? Also wondering if the dressing should be chilled or brought to room temperature prior to serving. Thanks!

  2. Carol at Wild Goose Tea — January 27, 2015 @ 6:43 pm (#)

    What an elegant presentation. It highlights the beauty of simplicity. I love the ribbons of cheese.


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