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This oil-free kale and carrot salad is fresh, tasty, easy to make, and perfect for a light dinner or an appetizer. It requires just 7 simple ingredients and is infused with ginger for a zesty and spicy flavor!

10-Minute Ginger Carrot & Kale Salad

This is the kind of salad that happens when your fridge is almost empty, and you combine what you have on hand to make something fresh and healthy. In my case: kale, carrots, and ginger.

⭐️ Why You Should Try This Recipe

  • It’s super fresh and tasty. The combination of lime, ginger, and soy sauce in the dressing gives this salad plenty of freshness. It’s a bit tangy, peppery, and slightly sweet!
  • Simplicity at its best. Sometimes, the simpler, the better. This salad couldn’t make a better example as it requires just 7 wholesome ingredients and about 10 minutes, from start to finish, to prepare.
  • Charlotte, a reader, said: “★★★★★ It’s become a classic at home. So quick and easy to make, so delicious. Sometimes we add rice noodles… this salad has been shared several times among our friends and everyone loved it! 

🥬 Ingredient Notes

To prepare this salad, you will only need a bunch of kale, a few carrots, and some pantry ingredients. Here are the ingredients you will need:

  • Kale – While any variety of kale will work, I recommend using either Curly or Tuscan kale. I personally went with Curly kale here.
  • Carrots – If using large carrots, you will need about 3, which should give you about 2 cups grated.
  • Ginger – Use the freshest ginger root for the best flavor. Fresh ginger usually has a light pale color on the inside and pink tips on the outside. It is less fibrous and juicier than old ginger.
  • Lime – For a tart and sour taste.
  • Vinegar – Besides the lime juice, vinegar adds an extra tanginess that balances very well with the ginger.
  • Maple syrup – To make the dressing a bit sweeter. You can replace it with agave or honey if not vegan.
  • Soy sauce – For umami and saltiness. If you are gluten-free, use coconut aminos instead.
  • Roasted cashews – Or peanuts, for topping. Optional, it adds some crunch and nuttiness.
Ingredients like kale, carrots, lime, cashews, and ginger.

🥣 How to Make Carrot & Kale Salad


Start by preparing the dressing. It is simple yet effective: sour, sweet, and salty, with some freshness and spiciness coming from fresh ginger. To make the dressing:

  1. Finely grate the ginger or mince it using a sharp knife. Transfer to a small bowl.
  2. Add the lime juice, white vinegar, soy sauce, and maple syrup.
  3. Stir to combine. Done!


Once the dressing is ready, it’s time to prepare the salad:

  1. Massage the kale with a pinch of salt (and an optional drizzle of oil if you are not making this salad oil-free). After 20-30 seconds, the kale will soften and get a vibrant dark green color.
  2. Grate the carrots using a box grater or a food processor fitted with the grating blade.
  3. Combine the kale and carrots, and toss with the dressing.
  4. To finish, sprinkle some fried onions on top and a handful of roasted cashews! If not oil-free, add a drizzle of sesame oil for extra flavor!

Note: I also like adding a few mint leaves and a pinch of ground black pepper to garnish!

Kale, carrots, and ginger in a bowl.

🥯 What To Serve With This Salad

You can serve this kale salad as a light appetizer or as a side with burgers, mushroom pasta, baked or sautéed tofu, buckwheat crêpes, or with these tempeh buffalo shells!


Should I cook kale before putting it in the salad?

There is no need to cook the kale as it can be eaten raw!

Why massage the kale?

Massaging the kale helps to soften and tenderize it by breaking down its fibrous texture. It also makes it easier to chew and digest.

How long does this salad keep?

This salad is best served within a few hours but will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

Close-up of kale and carrot salad with roasted cashews.

This carrot and kale salad takes basically 10 minutes to prepare and is low-calorie, fresh, tasty, and healthy! Plus, it’s loaded with ginger flavor!

10-Minute Ginger Carrot & Kale Salad

10-Minute Ginger Carrot & Kale Salad

5 from 4 votes
Author: Thomas Pagot
This oil-free kale and carrot salad is fresh, tasty, easy to make, and perfect for a light dinner or an appetizer. It requires just 7 simple ingredients and is infused with a ginger and lime dressing!
Prep Time : 10 minutes
Total Time : 10 minutes
Servings 2 servings (as an appetizer)
Calories 103 kcal


  • 3 cups lightly packed kale
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • for topping: fried onions, roasted cashews


  • Roughly chop the kale and add to a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt (and optionally 1 teaspoon of oil) and massage the kale for about one minute, or until it turns darker and becomes tender.
  • Add the grated carrots to the bowl and stir to mix.
  • Whisk together the lime juice, white vinegar, soy sauce, maple syrup, and grated ginger in a small bowl. Pour the dressing into the bowl and toss to coat. Taste and adjust the sweetness and saltiness to your liking.
  • Serve immediately or let it chill for about 1 hour in the refrigerator before serving. Top with crunchy fried onions and/or roasted cashews!


Serving: 1 serving | Calories: 103 kcal | Carbohydrates: 22.6 g | Protein: 2.7 g | Fat: 0.6 g | Saturated Fat: 0.1 g | Sodium: 580 mg | Potassium: 592 mg | Fiber: 3.4 g | Sugar: 11.6 g | Calcium: 99 mg | Iron: 1 mg
Course : Entree, Salad
Cuisine : American
Did you make this recipe? Tag @fullofplants on Instagram and hashtag it #fullofplants
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About the Author

Thomas Pagot is the founder, photographer, and recipe developer behind Full of Plants. He created the blog in 2016 as a personal cookbook for vegan recipes. Through years of recipe development, Thomas has successfully grown Full of Plants into a trusted resource for plant-based recipes.

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  1. I bustled up to my local health food/green shop to grab me some of their lovely organic kale, and they didn’t have any today! So I bought a huge bunch of rainbow chard and I am going to do my best with it. I’ll fry the stems and massage the leaf, as per your instructions. Hopefully it will still be delicious!

  2. 5 stars
    It’s become a classic at home. So quick and easy to make, so delicious. Sometimes we add rice noodles… this salad has been shared several times among our friends and everyone loved it! Thanks Thomas!

  3. Hello, I’d like to make this salad for lunch and bring it to school (it will stay in a fridge until lunch). If I massage the salad in the morning and put it in a plastic container with the carrots, separated from the vinaigrette, will the kale become ” spongy “?

  4. 5 stars
    Hi Thomas,

    I prepared this salad yesterday and it was delicious! Thank you so much for showcasing this great vegetable and such a delicious way! I will have it for lunch today again.

  5. Great recipe, thnak you! We made this last night with kale and carrots from our fall garden, so delicious! I loved the ginger in the dressing, it was just the right amount, no too over powering. I follwed recipe with 2 exceptions. We are gluten free so I did not add the french dried onions, and I missed in your notes you add a little mint. Both sound like lovely additions, but we loved it without. My husband and I ate every drop!