Italian Kale Antipasto Salad

5 from 3 votes
30 minutes
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Italian Kale Antipasto Salad is easy, and wholesome and you may already have everything on hand to make this delicious salad!  If you’ve been wanting to try kale, this salad will get you hooked!  Great on the side with this stuffed zucchini, Gnocchi with Cherry Tomato Puttanesca or Hamburger Vegetable Soup!

Photo of Massaged Kale Antipasto Salad being tossed with wood tongs.

The inspiration behind this recipe:

Cooking for a living is a wonderful career, but when the heat index is around 110….not so much.  It seemed every air conditioning unit in every home I worked struggled to battle the intense Southern heat!

Thanks to the heat and neglecting to drink enough water, I’m now battling a pretty good headache.

Massaged Kale Antipasto Salad is the perfect salad for a day when you need to rejuvenate with something on the healthful side, but also don’t want to go to any more work than rummage through your pantry and fridge.

Wish I had been this salad today!  This beautiful red kale received a glorious massage before becoming this glorious Italian-inspired salad.

Massage kale?  Who massages their kale?

How to massage kale:

Massaging kale softens and tenderizes it.  All you need to do is add a small amount of olive oil to a bowl of kale then jump in with both hands and give it a good rubdown for a few minutes.  Your kale will thank you and you’ll find it a little easier to eat it!

Here’s more information on the process from the Huffington Post.

Photo of Massaged Kale Antipasto Salad in wood salad bowl being tossed with tongs.

There’s something addicting in kale because now I always seem to have it hand.  The rest of the antipasto-inspired ingredients for this salad such as red onion, salami, Parmesan cheese, artichoke hearts and something I can eat by the jar–pepperoncini–came from our refrigerator and pantry.

I couldn’t even find it in me to make a dressing, so rather than draining away the delicious marinade from the artichoke hearts, I use it for the dressing.  Just splash on some extra red wine vinegar to taste.

Another reason you’ll love this salad is that it keeps in the refrigerator for several days.

Enjoy and stay cool!

More kale recipes you’ll love!

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Italian Kale Antipasto Salad

5 from 3 votes

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By: Carol | From A Chef’s Kitchen
Italian Kale Antipasto Salad is easy, wholesome and you may already have everything on hand to make this delicious salad!  If you’ve been wanting to try kale, this salad will get you hooked!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Side Dishes – Salads
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4
Calories 324 kcal


  • 2 bunches red kale - stemmed and coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 jar (12-ounce) marinated artichoke hearts
  • 1 clove garlic - minced
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 4 ounces salami - (Milano or Genoa), thinly sliced into strips
  • 1/4 cup chopped pepperoncini
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Red wine vinegar - to taste


  • Pour olive oil over kale. Season with salt and black pepper.
  • With both hands, massage the kale 1-2 minutes or until it softens and shrinks by about 1/3.
  • Drain artichokes, reserving marinade. Coarsely chop artichokes. Stir minced garlic into reserved marinade. Set aside.
  • Toss kale with artichoke hearts, red onion, salami, pepperoncini and Parmesan cheese.
  • Drizzle with reserved marinade as needed (you don’t want it soggy).
  • Splash with a bit of red wine vinegar to taste. Add additional freshly ground black pepper to taste.


MAKE AHEAD:  Salad keeps very well in the refrigerator 2-3 days.  Stir from the bottom up before serving.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 324kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 869mg | Potassium: 480mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 6620IU | Vitamin C: 86mg | Calcium: 255mg | Iron: 2mg

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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  1. Since you posted this recipe, I made a big bowl of this salad every week with fresh kale from my garden.. I was totally addicted. Sad to say my garden is done, last kale picking today.

  2. I love recipes which are easy, nutritious, and delicious, yet come together quickly. Also, using the marinade from the artichokes: genius. This looks divine and I hope you’re recovered from your headache.