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A white bowl filled with kale salad topped with goat cheese, bacon, pepitas, and apple

Bacon Apple Kale Salad with Lemon Dressing

  • Author: Joanie Simon
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 - 6 1x
  • Category: salad
  • Method: salad
  • Cuisine: American


Fresh kale salad with apple, pumpkin seeds, crispy bacon and a homemade lemon dressing.


  • 6 cups lacinato (Tuscan) kale (1 large bunch) washed
  • 4 strips bacon
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (also called Pepitas)
  • 2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil (or other mild flavored oil)
  • 1 Tbs honey
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 apple, fine diced
  • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese


  • Preheat the oven to 400F
  • Prepare the kale by removing the center spine, ripping the soft leaves off the spine. Once you have the leaves, slice them into ribbons with a sharp knife and then cut the ribbons in half. This will give you a nice texture for the kale and also make it easier to eat. Then set aside
  • Place the bacon strips on a foil lined baking sheet and place in the 400F oven for 12 – 16 minutes until it starts to change color and crisps up on the edges. A thinner bacon will cook more quickly. Then flip the strips with tongs and place back into the oven and continue to bake for another 5 to 7 minutes until the bacon is nice and crispy.  Remove the bacon from the pan and place onto a paper towel on a plate so as to soak up the excess grease.
  • Heat a medium pan over medium high heat on the stove and then add the 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds and move them around occasionally so as to get a little bit of toastiness on them.  Once they’re nicely toasted, remove them from the pan and set aside.
  • Combine the 2 Tbs lemon juice, 1/4 cup oil, 1 Tbs honey and 1 clove of minced garlic in a glass jar or dressing container and shake / stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Once you have all of your components ready, toss the kale with the lemon dressing so as to fully coat. Then place the dressed kale in a serving bowl.  Then add the bacon, pepitas, diced apple and crumbled cheese on top and you’re ready to serve.  Toss everything together when ready to serve and enjoy!


  • To make ahead, follow all the steps except the very final one of tossing everything together. You can dress the kale with the dressing ahead of time, though, and it will help additionally tenderize the kale.

Keywords: kale, pepitas, goat cheese, apple, fuji apple, lemon dressing