Yep, you read that right. A “massaged” kale salad. I figured before we dive into my recipe for kale sweet potato salad, we should first chat a bit about why I suggest to massage your kale. I mean, who doesn’t like a massage?

I love kale. It is a versatile leafy green that does wonderfully whether sauteed, roasted, juiced, or steamed. The possibilities are endless and it is incredibly nutritious. However, fresh kale can also be rather bitter when not prepared correctly.

massaged kale salad sweet potato vegan

This is why we massage the kale! When taking the time give your kale a five-minute rub down, we release the sweetness and silkiness of the flavors. You will be pleasantly surprised by how different it tastes after a little lovin’.

How to massage kale

It’s easy! Start with a handful of washed kale and remove the thick center steams. You can choose to cut your kale pre-massage or after. For a dry rub down, simply use your hands to massage and rub the kale together. You will begin to notice the kale darkening in color and shrinking in size. Continue massaging for a few minutes. This will break down the tough cellulose structure, reducing the fibrous texture and leaving the silky goodness that kale should be!

massaged kale salad sweet potato vegan

My favorite way to massage kale is with the dressing – usually just a bit of olive oil, salt, and lemon juice (or vinegar). If you don’t mind oily hands, I find the flavor to be even better when massaged this way, rather than dry. You can also just toss the kale in the dressing and let it sit overnight in the fridge for a similar texture.


Massaged Kale Salad with Sweet Potato

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Vegan, Paleo, and Gluten Free 


  • 1 large sweet potato, 1/2″ cubes
  • 1/2 bunch of kale, chopped and massaged
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 ts cayenne pepper (or more if you like spice)
  • For dressing: Olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and 1 garlic clove (minced) – all to taste
  • Options: top the salad with chopped nuts or quinoa for some protein

massaged kale salad sweet potato vegan


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F or about 205°C. Chop the sweet potato into cubes (removing the skin, if desired). Toss the sweet potato in olive oil, cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper to taste. Place the sweet potato on a baking sheet and cook for 25-30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, wash and prepare the kale for massaging by removing the steams and chopping into bite size pieces. Mix together the dressing; you should not need much, just enough to coat the kale. Massage the kale in the dressing for two to five minutes. Set aside.
  3. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half and prepare any other desired toppings.
  4. To serve, dish out some of the massages kale and top with the sweet potatoes, cherry tomatoes, and any other desired toppings.

massaged kale salad sweet potato vegan

massaged kale salad sweet potato vegan

I hope you venture outside the box and try massaging your kale. You might be delightfully surprised by how much it will enhance any kind of kale salad you already love.

Let’s chat! Comment below – Have you ever tried to massage kale? Notice anything different? What toppings would you LOVE to add to this salad?

Enjoy this simple salad today!


Taryn xo