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Mexican Kale Salad:

Who doesn’t love a good loaded salad? Whenever there is a family gathering, I am the one in charge of the greens and desserts. Because those two things are my jam. And this loaded Mexican kale salad is sure to be a crowd pleaser with even the pickiest of eaters.

Ingredients you will need:

Now this salad is locked and loaded with all the goods. And even though the list may seem long, I promise this salad is super easy to prep.

  1. Kale
  2. Romaine lettuce
  3. Lemon
  4. Olive oil
  5. Salt and pepper
  6. Corn
  7. Black beans
  8. Red bell pepper
  9. Cilantro
  10. Air fried tortilla strips
  11. Roasted pumpkin seeds
  12. Avocado cilantro ranch crema dressing
  13. Cotija cheese
  14. Red onions

Massaging the kale:

You don’t want to skip this step. Because massaging the kale truly makes all the difference in the world. It helps break down the kale. Leaving it with a nice and soft texture, it is easier to digest, and does not have a bitter taste to it. Believe me, my non-kale eating family members were raving about the kale in this salad.

What type of kale do I use?

My personal favorite is organic Tuscan kale, I find it to taste the best. And I love the texture you get after you massage it. I usually will buy a bag already chopped at Trader Joes. But feel free to use whatever type of kale you dig.

Avocado cilantro ranch crema dressing:

This homemade avocado cilantro ranch crema dressing is a must. It can be prepped ahead of time, so it is one less thing you have to prepare the day you plan on serving this salad. And its way better than any store bought dressing you will get. But if you are in a time crunch, use your favorite store bought creamy avocado dressing.

Add all the ingredients for the dressing to a high powered blender, and blend it all up. I like my dressing to be thick. But if you want a thinner consistency just keep adding 1-2 Tbsp of water at a time until you reach your desired consistency. And adjust taste if needed after adding additional water.

Air fried tortilla strips:

These air fried tortilla strips are super easy to prepare. And if you have an air fryer why not make your own from scratch? But if you don’t have an air fryer, pick up your favorite chips or tortilla strips at the grocery store and use.

Cut 4 tortillas into strips, spray with avocado oil spray, add salt and pepper to taste, and mix. Add the tortilla strips to a greased air fryer basket and air fry 380°F for  8-10 minutes, shaking half way through. But if they aren’t crispy enough, cook an additional 1-2 minutes.

Roasted pumpkin seeds:

I love a good crunch to my salads. And along with the air fried tortilla strips these roasted pumpkin seeds make for a good crunch to this salad. But if you don’t want to make your own, just buy your favorite roasted pumpkin seeds at the grocery store.

Add the raw pumpkin seeds to a lined baking sheet. And spray with avocado oil spray, season with salt and pepper to taste, and spread the pumpkin seeds out into an even layer. And bake 300° F for 15-20 minutes, mixing it all up half way through.

Putting the salad together:

And once everything is done being prepped, the fun part begins, assembling the salad. Transfer the massaged kale and romaine lettuce that is mixed with the dressing to a large serving bowl. Top the salad with the cilantro, diced red onions, chopped red bell pepper, corn, black beans, crumbled cotija cheese, roasted pumpkin seeds, and air fried tortilla chips. And right before serving toss the salad and enjoy!


Mexican Kale Salad

Serves 8-10


  • 1 10 oz bag organic Tuscan kale About 4 cups
  • 1 large lemon
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 9 oz bag romaine salad About 4 cups
  • 1/2 cup corn
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced cilantro
  • 1/2 cup air fried tortilla chips
  • 1/3 cup roasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4-1/3 cup avocado ranch crema dressing
  • 1/4 cup crumbled cotija cheese
  • 1/4 cup diced red onions


How to make the salad:

  • Add chopped kale to a large bowl
  • Add juice of lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper, and massage the kale for 2-3 minutes, or until the kale is a deep green and softened.
  • Add in the chopped romaine lettuce and mix
  • Add the avocado cilantro ranch crema and mix
  • Top with the red onions, cilantro, black beans, corn, cotija cheese, roasted pumpkin seeds, air fried tortilla strips
  • Toss the salad right before serving

Avocado Cilantro Ranch Crema:


  • 1 large avocado
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 3 limes juiced
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp Primal Palate Garden Ranch Seasoning (substitute 1/4 tsp of each: onion powder, dried chives, and dried parsley



  • Add everything to a high powered blender
  • Blend it all up until you reach a creamy, smooth consistency
  • If the dressing is too thick add more water (2 Tbsp at a time) until you reach desired consistency
  • Store in an airtight container for up to 5-6 days

Air Fried Tortilla Strips:


  • 4 corn tortillas
  • 1 tsp avocado oil spray
  • Salt and pepper to taste



  • Cut your corn tortillas into strips
  • Spray both sides with avocado oil spray
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste
  • Add to a greased air fryer basket
  • Cook 380°F for 8-10 minutes shaking half way through
  • If you haven’t reached desired crispiness cook an additional 1-2 minutes

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds:


  • 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tsp avocado oil spray
  • Salt and pepper to taste



  • Add the pumpkin seeds to a line baking sheet
  • Spray with the avocado oil and mix
  • Add the salt and pepper and mix
  • Cook 300°F for 15-20 minutes, mixing half way through