This Detox Kale Salad packs a huge nutritional punch with beets, kale, cabbage, and other detoxifying agents like lemon, ginger, and cilantro, all joined together by an incredible sunbutter dressing!

Best Kale Salad Recipe for Detoxification

Y’all, this salad is delicious. Even better, it’s a great way to help clean and heal your gut. It’s raw, vegan, easy, and super delicious. Why worry about a detox salad, though?

Well, you know that feeling you get after an indulgent night/week/year? Your belly feels swollen and you can’t shake a headache? Maybe BMs have been irregular or you keep breaking out. The reasons to start a detox can be many, but the solution is so simple.

First, make sure you’re drinking enough water. THEN, eat lots of colorful vegetables, reduce or eliminate all grains/dairy/legumes, significantly reduce sugar intake, chew, enjoy your now healthier food, and (as if by magic) you’ll start feeling better.

To detox is to eliminate (as best you can) toxins from your body so that it can run optimally. This salad really just enhances your body’s ability to detox (because it was made to do that all on its own – no supplements required!).

Detox Salad Ingredients

  • Beets – what an incredible food. Beets are great roasted or raw. They’re known for being anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogen, and liver cleansing. They’ve been used to treat anemia, promote menstruation, and alleviate constipation.
  • Cabbage – whoa. Talk about powerful foods. Cabbage is known for having the highest concentration of the most effective anticancer properties of all vegetables. Them big words. All members of the cabbage family have a huge amount of Vitamin C (even more than an orange), B6, and biotin (metabolism booster). I chose green cabbage for this salad for the color difference. Savoy or purple cabbage would work great as well. Chop and shred as finely as you can.
  • Kale – are you tired of hearing about how great kale is? I feel your pain, so bare with me. KALE is actually a cruciferous vegetable just like cabbage! It’s extremely rich in carotenes (an antioxidant that enhances immune function), Vitamin C, B6, and manganese (important for blood sugar control, energy metabolism, and thyroid function). Unless you have a thing for chewing on twigs, I recommend you remove the kale stems. What’s the easiest way? Grab the stem and run your fingers up the spine. The leaves will peel right off.
  • Cilantro – I friggin love cilantro. If you’re a cilantro hater because you fall into the group of people who have a genetic distaste for the stuff (meaning, it’s not your fault), feel free to use parsley. Cilantro has been known to help with anxiety and aid in the conversion of cholesterol to bile in the liver. In other words, it’s good for ya. Chop up as much as you like (I used about 1/2 cup).
  • Lemons – now for the dressing. My dressing starts with lemons! We’re going to use two parts of the lemon: the juice and the outer peel. My goodness lemons are good for you. Lemon juice has a cooling effect on the body. It supports liver function, aids in mineral absorption, and has been used to treat high blood pressure. Lemons are known to aid in weight loss and help alleviate gas (which may be important considering all the raw cruciferous veggies in this Paleo detox salad). The essential oils found in the lemon peel are useful for combating anxiety, digestive problems, high blood pressure, and a sore throat. Zest the lemons before you cut and juice – just a suggestion. We’ll add the zest at the very end as a finishing touch.
  • Sunbutter – have you heard of this stuff? It’s seriously tasty. I make mine at home. I just take about ½ cup of sunflower seeds, throw them in the food processor for about 5 minutes, and poof! Sunbutter is born! Sunflower seeds are a great source of protein, unsaturated fat, calcium, iron, and vitamin E. They’ve been known to aid in dental health, treat constipation, and reduce inflammation.
  • Ginger – the all-mighty ginger root. I’m sure you’re no stranger to the fact that ginger is really, ridiculously good for you. Let’s briefly discuss the specifics. It is known to relieve gas, have a direct impact on inhibiting inflammatory compounds, and stimulates digestion. It has a powerful anti-nausea effect and has been used to relieve arthritis pain. Peel about 1” of fresh ginger and then grate with a microplane.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – the last ingredient in our creamy detox dressing is apple cider vinegar. Bragg’s Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar is the way to go, folks. Vinegar has its own tremendously effective detoxifying properties: it aids in digestion, has warming characteristics, and supports liver function.

Which kale is best for a kale detox salad?

Any kale will work, but I used lacinato (also known as “dino”) kale here.

How to Prepare Kale for Salad

To prepare your kale for this salad, simply grab the stem and run your fingers up the spine. This will cause the leaves to peel right off the stem. So easy! From there, shred!

How do you make kale less bitter for salad?

Finely shred your kale so that it mixes in with the other ingredients and gets a nice coating of dressing. This will help to disguise some of the bitterness!

How to Make Kale Salad

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  1. Combine the beets, finely chopped green cabbage, shredded kale, and finely chopped cilantro in a large bowl.
  2. Make the salad dressing by combining the lemon juice, sunbutter, ginger, and ACV in a food processor or blender and blending until smooth. When it’s done, it’ll have a smooth, creamy, frothy consistency.
  3. Add the dressing to the bowl with the salad ingredients and toss until fully coated.
  4. Garnish with the lemon zest and enjoy!

Do you massage the kale?

No need to massage the kale in this recipe unless you want to!

Both cooked and raw kale are incredibly powerful and beneficial for your overall health. There truly isn’t one that’s better than the other. It is recommended to include a bit of both in your diet!

What goes best with a chopped kale salad?

Serve your chopped kale salad with a simple protein (sous vide chicken or sous vide salmon would be excellent here) to make it a full meal. It can also be enjoyed as a side salad alongside any meal you love!

Absolutely! Feel free to make your kale salad ahead of time. To be quite honest, this salad is hearty enough to be dressed ahead of time (nothing will get too soggy) too. If you want to keep the dressing on the side, though, that’s fine too!

Stored together (the salad and dressing), your salad will last for up to 4 days. Stored separately, it’ll last for up to week!

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Detox Kale Salad

4.25 — Votes 4 votes
By Cassy
Prep: 15 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 6 cups
This Detox Kale Salad packs a huge nutritional punch with beets, kale, cabbage, and other detoxifying agents like lemon, ginger, and cilantro, all joined together by an incredible sunbutter dressing!


Detox Salad:

  • 3 large beets peeled and shredded (makes 2-3 cups)
  • 1/2 head green cabbage finely chopped (makes about 2 cups)
  • 1 bunch dinosaur kale de-stemmed and shredded (makes about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro finely chopped
  • zest of 1 lemon ~1 Tbl

Detox Salad Dressing (double recipe for heavier dressing):

  • 2 lemons juiced (~4 Tbl)
  • 1/3 cup sunbutter directions below
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger grated
  • 4 tablespoon raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar


Detox Salad

  • Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

Detox Salad Dressing

  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend for 1-2 minutes, or until smooth and creamy.
  • Note: to make sunbutter, place ½ cup sunflower seeds in a food processor for ~5 minutes, or until “buttered.” 


  • Toss the salad ingredients with the dressing. Plate and top off with a generous sprinkling of the fresh lemon zest.


Calories: 150kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 72mg | Potassium: 498mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 4689IU | Vitamin C: 92mg | Calcium: 180mg | Iron: 2mg

Additional Info

Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 cups
Calories: 150
Keyword: detox kale salad, detox salas, kale salad

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Murray, M. (2005). The Encyclopedia of Healing Food. New York, NY: Atria Books.

Wood, R. (2010). The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia. New York, NY: Penguine Group (USA)

About the Author

Cassy Joy Garcia, NC

Cassy Joy Garcia, a New York Times best-selling author, of Cook Once Dinner Fix, Cook Once Eat All Week, and Fed and Fit as well as the creative force behind the popular food blog Fed & Fit.

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Recipe Rating


  1. I never leave comments, but I just laughed at this sentence, thinking it is “ginger” instead of “finger”, lol 🙂 Looking forward to trying this delicious looking recipe (without the finger:))
    In a food processor, combine 1/3 cup sunbutter, juice of two large lemons (about 4 Tbl), 1 Tbl of grated fresh finger, and 4 Tbl apple cider vinegar.

    1. LOL! You’re right…no fingers in this recipe!! Just fixed it…thanks for catching that!

  2. 4 stars
    My husband and I meal prepped this yesterday for the first half of the week. We packed the salad separate from the dressing. It tastes pretty yummy and super healthy. We didn’t add the lemon zest to the salad, used tahini instead of sunbutter, and added a couple garlic cloves to the dressing. Thank you for sharing! I will have to browse through more of your site!