All Hail Kale Salad (copycat recipe)

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If you’ve ever dined at the Veggie Grill, you may have already tasted their “All Hail Kale” salad. It’s ridiculously delicious.

all hail kale salad on a plate

In fact, it’s the kind of salad you’d serve to people who claim they don’t like salad.

They’d eat their words. And then, more salad.

Since we don’t dine out very often, I’ve been determined to create a “copycat” recipe to mimic the flavors found in this dish. Luckily, my job was pretty easy, since the original recipe is already posted online. However, now that I know what’s in their Papaya Ginger salad dressing, I’m not so thrilled. (Over 3 cups of canola oil!)

For the following healthier version, I drastically reduced the oil and upgraded the ingredients. The resulting dressing is downright addictive, and certainly rivals the original!

Papaya Ginger Dressing
Makes 1.5 cups

Adapted from this recipe


1/2 cup papaya chunks
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 ounce fresh ginger, peeled
2 Tablespoons coconut vinegar
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup water, or more to thin


In a high-speed blender, combine all of the ingredients and blend until completely smooth and silky.

papaya cut in half


All hail kale salad
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5 from 9 votes

Papaya Ginger Dressing

A sweet, gingery dressing inspired by the Veggie Grill.
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword dairy free, paleo, salad, salad dressing
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 cup
Calories 371kcal


  • 1/2 cup papaya chunks
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 ounce fresh ginger , peeled
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup water , or more to thin


  • In a high-speed blender, combine all of the ingredients and blend until completely smooth and silky.
  • Massage into kale leaves, and serve!
  • Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days.


Calories: 371kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 397mg | Potassium: 164mg | Sugar: 50g | Vitamin A: 460IU | Vitamin C: 41.5mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 0.4mg
Per Serving: Calories: 371, Fat: 18g, Carbohydrates: 56g

To prepare the salad, you’ll need:

1 bunch curly green kale
Papaya Mango Salsa, from Trader Joe’s (or any salsa of choice)
Maple Glazed Walnuts (<–recipe link)
Papaya Ginger Dressing (recipe above)
Shredded cabbage (optional)

Remove the kale leaves from the stems, and wash and dry thoroughly. In a medium bowl, toss the shredded cabbage in a bit of the Papaya Ginger dressing, and coat well. Set aside.

kale leaves in a glass containerThe Veggie Grill tops their salad with a homemade Corn Salsa, but when I saw that Trader Joe’s carried a Papaya-based salsa, I knew it would be perfect over this salad. Plus, it saves me a step in the preparation process. To prepare the store-bought salsa, all I do is rinse it well– to remove as many additives as possible.

container of papaya mango salsaThis salsa adds a great spicy “kick” to the sweet salad dressing.

Top the kale leaves with a bit of Ginger Papaya dressing, then use your hands to massage the dressing well into the leaves. The kale will soften and wilt as you go!

all hail kale salad on a plate

Transfer the massaged kale to a serving plate, top with marinated cabbage, salsa and Maple Glazed Walnuts, then serve!

I hope you enjoy this salad as much I we do!

While this dish is technically mis-combined, you can easily remedy that by removing the walnuts and adding some ripe avocado slices, instead. (Remember, avocado is a fruit and fruits can combine with leafy greens!)

Reader Feedback: Have you ever tried to re-create your favorite restaurant meals at home?

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Would apple cider vinegar work? I don’t have any coconut vinegar? I’ve never had the original dressing, so I’m guessing I wouldn’t think it tastes any less “authentic”


    Yes, apple cider vinegar would definitely work!


This recipe sounds quite refreshing…I have been enjoying roasted kale lately so this is a nice way to change it up. 3 cups of canola oil in the original recipe…that’s why I love modifying recipes to make them healthier!

the delicate place

i am always recreating the creamy, tangy tahini vegan dressings i get a veg restaurants. that stuff is like crack and sooooo good massaged over kale! in fact, i think i’m gonna make it tonight!


Hi. I’m trying to learn more about food combining. What exactly about this salad makes it mis-combined? Fresh fruit with nuts? Thanks! Looking forward to trying this salad.


    Yes, fresh fruit doesn’t properly combine with nuts, with the exception of bananas. You can see my food combining chart if you want to learn more!


Thanks for posting this with the healthy alt and the ida for the TJ’s salsa! This VG salad is SO FREAKING GOOD but the few times I’ve been back to the west coast, I wasn’t as impressed. Time to make is myself I guess!


    *make it

Nataliya @irunforicecream

That looks fantastic! Thanks for the idea of using papaya for a salad dressing!


Hi Megan,
I just started reading your blog – love it!
Just wondering why you don’t eat out often?


    Mostly for financial reasons– eating out is expensive! Plus, we usually prefer the food I make at home. 🙂


Looks fabulous! Can’t wait to try. YUM!

jodye @ chocolate and chou fleur

This salad sounds so good. I’d never have thought to combine papaya and ginger in a salad dressing, but what a great idea it is!


Thank you for this recipe! Made it last night and it was sooo good! Will be making it at least once a week now! So thank you!


Balmy weather just rolled into the Midwest and so it seems appropriate to have salad at every meal. Perfect timing for finding this delicious recipe. Thank you!


My daughter and I had fun making this salad tonight. The whole family loved it! Thank you so much for introducing us to this yummy use of kale.


I have always thought of kale as a garnish used at restaurants. However, I was very happy with this dish! The dressing was a great alternative to heavy creamy dressings I typically use. I omitted the nuts and salsa. I added blood orange segments, fresh raspberries, and red onion. I even timidly added the kale to my smoothie the next morning and enjoyed it! The salad was even better for lunch the next day after the kale softened up in the dressing.


I made this last night for dinner & it is amazing! It’s definitely a new favorite. Adding the Papaya Mango Salsa from TJ’s was brilliant. The kick it gives makes the salad, in my opinion. Thanks so much! 🙂


how much shredded cabbage does this require?


    You can use as much or as little as you like! For a large salad that served 4 people, I used an entire 12 oz. bag.

Laura @ Fit Running Mama

Where can I find coconut vinegar? I’ve never heard if it. This looks amazing!! Love the flavors!! Would be great in the summer!!


    I bought mine at Whole Foods, but it’s also available on Amazon.


How long will this dressing last before going bad?


    Since it contains fresh fruit, I’d only keep it for about 3 days.


I make this salad but with shredded red beets and shredded carrots instead of the salsa. Yum! If you let the kale sit for a bit with the dressing on, it helps to soften the kale. Thanks so much for the dressing recipe – When I order the salad at Veggie Grill it comes with dressing on and with a small container of dressing on the side. I always take the container home to make my own version of the salad later, but now I can do my own (healthier) dressing!


This sounds so delicious. With recipe ingredients in hand, I went to Trader Joes last night and they said that the Papaya Mango salsa has been discontinued. We are on the east coast, so I don’t know if it is nationwide.


Made this tonight for my hubby and I! This salad was DELICIOUS. 😉


Meg, I don’t know you but I’m in love with you after this!
A few months ago I became addicted to Veggie Grill’s All Hale Kale Salad but NOW I can easily afford to be addicted to it (Since I get to have one or two a day for 4 days straight now).

When I was running around buying ingredients I found out that Trader Joe’s stopped making their Papaya, Mango Salsa and replaced it with their new Tropical Salsa which is Pineapple and Mango based; so I went with it since I had a Pineapple at home and I modified this by adding a 1/2 cup in the blender with the Papaya and I chopped up the rest of the Papaya and added it to the rinsed off Salsa. Since I’ve literally made 6 or 7 of these salads in the past 4 days I’ve mixed up the toppings (Maple Glazed Pecans (instead of Walnuts, due ot availability) Chicken is okay, Love chopped up hard boiled eggs, Avocado is awesome, Mushrooms work great too and going to try Red Onion’s tonight). In summary it was easily as good, if not better, as the original salad made by the Veggie Grill no matter which configuration of toppings I used.

While shopping for ingredients, Ralphs had a sale on a Peach/Mango Salsa so in my next Salad Dressing I’m going to replace the 1/2 cup of Papaya with Peaches and I’m going to try 1/2 cup of Mango as well: I’ll check back in with the results…


    To update my previous post:
    As previously mentioned, since the Peach/Mango salsa was on sale I bought a few then when I made the dressing I added a healthy 1/2 Cup of chopped up Peaches and a healthy 1/2 Cup of chopped up Mango’s and let me simply say it is different in an equally as good way. Another thing I did was made a Corn on the Cob, cut off a bunch of Corn and mix it into the Salsa (since they don’t have Corn) huge bonus….

    So what I’ll do in the future is keep my eyes open for other store bough Salsa creations and adjust the Dressing for the Fruit’s in the Salsa: As long as I like the Fruit’s used in the Salsa then the Salad should be just as good with those Fruits.

    *** Maple Glazed Walnuts or Pecans *** :
    These are hard to find in stores and when I did find them they were $19.99 a pound. However Raw Walnuts or Pecans are about $7 a pound where I live, sure Maple Syrup is expensive but you can still make the 1st Batch for under $19.99 (then your next several batches are only $7 a pound) and it only takes about 5 min to make them. The only problem here is NOT eating them all while they’re cooling down.

    Simply throw:
    2 Cups of Nuts
    1/3 Cup of Maple Syrup
    1/8 teaspoon of Salt

    into a non-stick skillet that’s over Medium High heat and keep stirring as the Nuts get toasted and the Maple Syrup starts to thicken (I’ve been going till I “Just” start to smell a burnt smell) about 3 to 5 minutes: then dump them onto a Cookie Sheet to cool (Try not to eat them all while they’re cooling).

    From experience my 1st time, Pay close attention when the Maple starts to thicken, because if you stop stirring they will start smoking bad and they will retain a charred burnt taste …lol they do still taste good though (just not as good)


I’m guessing I could substitute mango for the papaya and it would still be wonderful? Have you tried the mango? Thanks!


I just stumbled on your website today and I am totally impressed with your unique recipes and your overall vision! I am so looking forward to trying one of your recipes out for dinner tomorrow. Also, I was wondering if there is a huge difference in using quinoa pasta or brown rice pasta as opposed to regular grain pasta taste-wise. I know I wouldn’t mind but my fiancée is a picky eater. He’s warmed up to vegan alternatives since we’ve been together, but we don’t generally avoid gluten. Thank you so much for sharing your recipes 🙂


I make this recipe all the time with mango instead of papaya, no sugar or sweetener of any kind and 1/4 the oil called for in the original recipe and it’s delicious. I often add cubes of steamed tempeh to make it even heartier for dinner. I use apple cider vinegar and any type of kale works fine…….a combination is nice.


This was AMAZING!! I followed the recipe exactly except I used the Trader Joes Pineapple Mango Salsa and apple cider vinegar. I really liked the marinated cabbage and glazed walnuts. My entire family loved it and asked for seconds. I will have make more next time. Thanks for making me look like a gourmet chef!!


I have tried this recipe before. . . . oh my . . . . I could practically drink it. . and it is so healthy and simple. I make it all the time and EVERYONE loves it, vegan or not!


I hate papaya, so I’m not sure why I decided to make this salad. I’m really glad that I did, however, because it’s DELICIOUS! I wasn’t really following the directions very well for some reason, so I bought the wrong salsa. It was from Trader Joe’s, but it was a mango/pineapple salsa. And still not sure if the salsa was supposed to be the extent of the papaya, but I added big chunks of it below the salsa and the dressing. I’m not saying that I would eat papaya alone, but with that dressing….


You left out the most important ingredient, quinoa


The dressing is amazing! It is my new favorite go to for any salad as well as fresh fruit.

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