Copycat Hillstone Emerald Kale Salad

April 27, 2022

I wouldn’t be called “Kalejunkie” if I didn’t provide you with the most delicious, healthy kale salad recipes, that are anything but boring, and guess what? I’m back with yet another one. My Copycat Hillstone Emerald Kale Salad is my twist on the kale salad from one of my favorite restaurants – Hillstone. This salad is loaded with tons of fresh herbs, a homemade dressing, and also happens to be both gluten-free and vegetarian-friendly, making it the perfect crowd-friendly salad!

A large bowl of the copycat Hillstone emerald kale salad, with a lime wedge and a small bowl of dressing resting inside the salad bowl

If you’ve never been to Hillstone, then friends, I have to say: you’re missing out. Known for their house-made burgers and delicious salads, Hillstone is one of my favorite restaurants. But, like most good things in life, Hillstone isn’t cheap, and their Emerald Kale Salad will run you nearly $25 after tax. Expensive? Yes, but worth it? Absolutely.

But since trekking into a Hillstone location for just for a $25 salad doesn’t always make sense, I wanted to create my own version that you can make from the comfort of your home. And, lo and behold, I’ve done just that. This salad is the perfect mix of crunchy kale, herbaceous aromatics, salty parmesan cheese, and a tangy homemade dressing that blends together into an explosion of flavors. All of this to say: you won’t regret making this salad. Promise.

And if you happen to be a kale salad connoisseur (aka a certified “kalejunkie”), then you have to try my Ultimate Kale Salad with Creamy Tahini Lemon Dressing, my Fall Harvest Kale Salad, or my Vegan Kale Caesar. They are to die for!

What You Need to Make This Luxurious Kale Salad

This salad comes together in two parts. First, with the salad itself, and second, with the dressing. Here are all of the ingredients that you’ll need to make both parts!

  • Kale: Of course, you’ll need kale to make this kale salad! I recommend using dino kale, because it’s what they use at Hillstone!
  • Green Cabbage: Green cabbage adds a delicious, crunchy texture that pairs perfectly with the kale.
  • Green Onions: Green onions add the best flavor. They are crunchy, they are herbaceous, and they are too good to pass up!
  • Cilantro: Cilantro is a powerful herb known for its anti-inflammatory properties, and for adding a delicious flavor to any recipe!
  • Mint Leaves: And, of course, we can’t forget the mint! This salad is known for having an abundance of herbs, and the mint just makes it all the more better!
  • Parmesan Cheese: What would a salad be without parmesan cheese?! As always, l highly recommend using freshly grated parmesan cheese. It just adds the best flavor!
Two bowls of the copycat Hillstone emerald kale salad, laid out on a cutting board
  • Salted Peanuts: Instead of croutons, this salad get its crunchy element from salted peanuts. It’s an unexpected twist that is absolutely delicious!
  • Lime: A squeeze of lime juice helps to brighten up this dressing and add some much-needed acidity. Don’t skip this!
  • Rice Vinegar: Rice vinegar adds sweetness and tang, but just know – a little goes a long way!
  • Dijon Mustard: Dijon mustard forms the base for this dressing, and is one of my favorite ingredients to use!
  • Maple Syrup: A touch of maple syrup helps balance out the flavors of this dressing, by adding a hint of sweetness.
  • Sesame Oil: Toasted sesame oil adds a rich, umami flavor that is so good with the other dressing ingredients!
  • Sea Salt & Black Pepper: Of course, any good salad needs a little salt and pepper! Be sure to reserve about a teaspoon of sea salt, so you can use it to massage the kale and cabbage.
  • Red Pepper Flakes: crushed red pepper flakes add the perfect hint of heat!

How to Make The Perfect Kale Salad

To make this salad, start by preparing the dressing: mix all of the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl, until fully combined. Set aside.

Next, wash and chop your kale and cabbage and add them to a large bowl. Add about a teaspoon of sea salt to the bowl, and use your hands to gently massage the salt into the kale and cabbage for about one minute. This will allow the fibers to break down and make them easier to digest!

Then, add your green onions, cilantro, mint, parmesan, and peanuts to the bowl. Pour the dressing on top, then toss the salad to fully combine.

Plate and serve immediately, or store any leftovers in an aright container in the fridge for up to three days! You can garnish this salad with some lime wedges, or some more parmesan cheese, if desired. Enjoy!

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a review and rating below! And, since I practically live on Instagram, be sure to tag me in your creations so that I can repost them! xx

A large bowl of the copycat Hillstone emerald kale salad, with a lime wedge and a small bowl of dressing resting inside the salad bowl
gluten-free/Grain Free/Refined Sugar Free

Copycat Hillstone Emerald Kale Salad

4.75 from 4 votes
Nicole Modic
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
SERVES 4
Print It Pin It
My Copycat Hillstone Emerald Kale Salad is my twist on the kale salad from one of my favorite restaurants – Hillstone. This salad is loaded with tons of fresh herbs, a homemade dressing, and also happens to be both gluten-free and vegetarian-friendly, making it the perfect crowd-friendly salad!

Ingredients

For the Salad:

  • 2 Bunches Dino Kale finely chopped with the stems removed
  • 2 Cups Green Cabbage finely chopped
  • 1 Bunch Green Onions finely sliced
  • 1/2 Cup Cilantro chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Mint Leaves chopped
  • 2/3 Cup Parmesan Cheese finely grated
  • 1/2 Cup Peanuts roasted and salted

For the Dressing:

  • 1 Lime juiced
  • 1 Teaspoon Rice Vinegar
  • 2 Teaspoons Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
  • 1/3 Cup Sesame Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Pinch Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

Instructions

  • Start by preparing your dressing. Whisk all of the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl, until they're fully combined. Set aside.
  • Next, prepare the salad. Wash and chop the kale and cabbage and add them to a large bowl.
  • Add about a teaspoon of salt to the bowl, and gently massage the salt into the kale and cabbage, until they start to soften. This should take about 1-2 minutes.
  • Then, add the green onions, cilantro, mint, parmesan, and peanuts to the bowl.
  • Finally, add in the dressing and toss until the salad is fully combined.
  • Once done, plate the salad and garnish with a lime wedge and more parmesan cheese, if desired.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy! Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love to see what you made – tag @kalejunkie
in your posts and I’ll re-share!

S
H
A
R
E

WHAT DID YOU THINK?

Rate + Review

Your email address will not be published.






    • Woohoo! I am so thrilled you enjoyed this recipe, Katherine! Thank you so much for your review!

  1. This was SO GOOD! Such a unique flavour combo! Used Earth Island vegan parmesan and it was awesome. This will be a summer staple, I think it would be a perfect side to bring to a BBQ!

    • Woohoo! Kate, I’m so thrilled that this recipe turned out well for you! Thank you so much for making this recipe, and for leaving such a kind review.

  2. 4 stars
    Yum! I enjoyed this salad and look forward to making it again. It was a bit too salty for my taste, so next I’ll reduce the amount used to massage the kale & cabbage, as well the amount that goes into the dressing, by half. Green apple would be a great addition to this salad. Thank you Nicole 💛

    • Thank you so much for your review, Steph! I am so happy that you found a variation that works for you, and I’m so glad you enjoyed his salad!