My Copycat Kale Cranberry Pepita Salad Recipe

You can see from a previous post my love for Central Market’s Kale Cranberry Pepita salad. I don’t live close to a Central Market so I’m not able to get my hands on it that often, not to mention it’s $5.99/lb! Going by the ingredient label on the salad container I decided to try and make my own. It came out excatly like the real thing! Here’s the recipe, let me know what you think!


1 large bunch of raw, rinsed, stemmed and chopped kale (yields about 6 cups)

1/2 cup canola oil

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

1/2 cup orange juice

1/8 cup soy sauce

1 tsp minced onions (in lieu of shallots)

1 tsp ground ginger

1 handful craisins or dried cranberries

1 handful roasted pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)

1 handful chopped or slivered almonds (roasted or raw)

pinch of salt & pepper

1/2 tsp salt

Optional: slivers of candied ginger to taste (I don’t like it, but it’s in the original salad)


Mix all of the ingredients except for the cranberries and seeds together in bowl with a whisk until well combined. Pour on top of kale and mix well until all leaves coated. Sprinkle on the cranberries, almonds and pepitas. Let salad sit for at least 1 hour in the fridge so that kale softens up a bit. Best if eaten the next day!

You can see mine looks just like the store bought kind and tastes the same too!


39 thoughts on “My Copycat Kale Cranberry Pepita Salad Recipe

  1. Sher says:

    Just has Central Markets, and it was so good! I hoped I would find a recipe like the ingredients listed on the package…and low and behold, there you were with yours! Thanks bunches for figuring it out!


  2. northerneaglet says:

    OK, now this has got to be one of the healthiest salads I’ve ever read about. The nutrients in Kale are amazing. It’s on my grocery list now so I can try your new recipe next week. Thanks lots, hope to read more, and thanks for your connection to my blog too.


  3. I salute your initiative – ya don’t have to be beholden to food companies, markets, etc. to create good eats. They serve as inspiration for your own creativity. What you need is what you have!! Thanks for stopping by my blog!


  4. jennifer says:

    a million trillion thank yous! we have been eating this at CM for YEARS and its a favorite. I have made it twice now and each time I can’t believe it! How good it is and how easy it is to make. I use clean hands to mix all the ingrediants into the kale while tearing the leaves up even more. Also, I toast raw, shelled pumpkin seeds on the stove and while they are hot, mix them in to heat the mixture a bit and warm things up. What a treasure for my recipe collection!


  5. We ate this from Central Market last night and it was so good. However, I distinctly tasted SUNFLOWER oil in it. So I will be using that instead of Canola oil. Also, I will be adding more Candied ginger pieces. I loved each bite that had those pieces and there were not enough in the salad. Thank you for figuring out this recipe. Your ingredients sound correct based on all the flavors going on when I ate it.


  6. Jasmine says:

    This recipe is awesome! I used two mid-sized bunches of kale and followed the rest exactly. Frankly, I liked it better than the Central Market kind. GREAT work!


  7. psam ordener says:

    Thanks for the recipe! I’ve been buying it by the pound from HEB. Now I can just buy ingredients and make my own – it’s bound to be cheaper.


  8. Courtney says:

    I’m addicted to this salad from Central Market and so happy to read your recipe. Yesterday, I looked at the nutrition information on the Central Market label and 1 cup has 36 grams of fat! I was shocked and disheartened as I assumed I was eating a very healthy kale salad. Does the majority of the fat come from the oil-based dressing? Is it considered good fat? I don’t want to stop eating this salad, but my Weight Watchers tracker almost exploded when I entered this salad yesterday.


    • I might be from the almonds and pumpkin seeds…but those are good fats. I’m not sure that the oil adds some too. I don’t know if the CM kind uses canola or olive oil but I use olive oil too to lower the bad fat and up the good fat. Lots of salads that we think are healthy are shockingly high in calories and fat. Just a plain kale salad with a little lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and parm cheese is good and low in both!


    • Kelly says:

      Just a thought–are you certain that the serving size was 1 cup and not 8 oz? 8 oz. by weight (vs. by volume) would be quite a lot of salad, and that would explain the fat content at 36 grams.


    • Well I usually make 1 whole bunch of kale and it will serve me a lunch portion for a week straight. I’m the only one who eats kale in my family so I’m not really sure how many it would cover at once….maybe 6-8?


  9. baldkat says:

    This receipe looks healthy but it is high in fat and sugar. You can adjust it without loosing the taste by reducing the oil from a 1/2c to 1 tablespoon. You only need to coat the leaves lightly. I would also reduce the amount of soy sauce to 1 tablespoon. The seeds and almonds should not exceed a 1/4 cup each as well as the craisins / cranberries.


  10. Anne Alonzo says:

    Unfortunately, if you reduce the oil from 1/2 c to 1 tablespoon, it would be a little too dry. One of the reasons it’s so good is because the kale is nicely softened by all the oil, etc.


  11. T Porter says:

    I tried the HEB salad a few weeks ago. I do not really care for raw kale and definitely not cooked kale. The dressing covers up the bitterness for me. I found it to be pretty good. I know kale is supposed to be so good on nutrition. This recipe a little heavy on the soy for me. I omitted the extra salt, as the soy and peptia seeds have plenty. I used coconut oil, cause that is what I had. I would make again and adjust a few ingredients. I emulsified the dressing in my Ninja and it coated the kale really well. Any way we can get an extra veggie in our diet is wonderful. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe.


  12. Lisa K. says:

    A customer gave me some of this salad from Central Market to try and I fell in love with it! I was so glad that you had the recipe for it…big thanks! I’ve been making it 2-3 times a week for the last few weeks now and have gotten a few coworkers and my family hooked on it too. I substituted apple cider vinegar instead and added about 1 tsp. of sesame oil to mine, which tastes great too. Thanks again! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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