Wilted Kale and Couscous Salad with Carrots and Cranberries | www.floatingkitchen.net

Wilted Kale and Couscous Salad with Carrots and Cranberries

This post was originally published here on October 12, 2015. I’ve since updated the text and photographs. This colorful salad will add some brightness to your Fall and Winter dinner routine!

I think I’m a lazy Summer salad person. Maybe it’s because all the fruits and vegetables are so fresh and abundant, that I default to throwing everything haphazardly into a big bowl and calling it good (which it is, btw). Also, it’s hot in the Summer and I don’t like to labor too much in the kitchen when it’s hot.

But now that we’re into Fall, I’m really enjoying taking the time to me a bit more intentional with my salad assembly. It’s fun to play with all the colors and flavors of a new season!

This Wilted Kale and Couscous Salad with Carrots and Cranberries highlights one of my favorite Fall and Winter ingredients: fresh cranberries. I think fresh cranberries (not dried cranberries) are highly underrated and get a bad rap from people’s weird hang-ups about cranberry sauce. But I love their tart flavor and vibrant color. They are a welcome addition to savory and sweet dishes. And they make this Wilted Kale and Couscous Salad with Carrots and Cranberries really come alive.

Wilted Kale and Couscous Salad with Carrots and Cranberries | www.floatingkitchen.net

The method for preparing this salad is a bit different. You start by partially cooking the couscous. Then you’re going to add in the sliced carrots and let them cook while the couscous finishes. Next, while the couscous and carrots are still warm, stir in the kale and let it wilt. Finally, finish the salad with some fresh dill (this add so much flavor, so don’t skip it!) and your chopped cranberries.

You can serve this Wilted Kale and Couscous Salad with Carrots and Cranberries warm or at room temperature. And the leftovers are great, too!



Wilted Kale and Couscous Salad with Carrots and Cranberries

Wilted Kale and Couscous Salad with Carrots and Cranberries

At a Glance:
Yield: Serves about 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, thawed if frozen
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup pearl couscous
  • 2 cups peeled and sliced carrots
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 cups thinly sliced kale leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


  1. In your food processor with the blade attachment, pulse together the cranberries and sugar until the cranberries are finely chopped. Set aside.
  2. Bring the water to a boil in a medium-large saucepan. Add the couscous. Reduce the heat to maintain and simmer and cook, covered, for 4 minutes. Then stir in the carrots, vinegar, maple syrup and salt. Cover and cook for an additional 5-6 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed.
  3. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Add the kale and stir to combine. The residual heat will wilt the kale. Let rest for 5-10 minutes, then stir in the dill, olive oil and chopped cranberries.
  4. Serve warm or at room temperature. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in your refrigerator for 2-3 days.

61 comments on “Wilted Kale and Couscous Salad with Carrots and Cranberries”

  1. This definitely looks like the perfect fall salad, Liz! You are reminding me that it’s been forever since I’ve made couscous. I definitely need to change that after seeing this gorgeous recipe. Love the kale and cranberries in here!

    • That’s totally why I made it, Gayle! I saw a big container of couscous in my cabinet and decided that I needed to start using it up!

  2. So fresh and delicious, Liz! I want to dive into this gorgeous salad

  3. What a great looking fall salad Liz!! And it’s never too early for cranberries is it? 🙂

  4. IDK WTH ‘on fleek’ is…. is it something like ‘ah snap’ or jeeze IDK. I’ll stop now. I saw fresh cran at the store too, thinking woah, it’s early, but perhaps it’s not. It just feels early? I want to know about these apple cider doughnuts… did you make them? Oh my, they sound fabulous! This salad, Liz is gorgeous with all that vibrant color. I love how versatile kale is and it’s been far too long since I had couscous! Thank you for this, Liz. Have a beautiful Fall week!

    • I didn’t make the apple cider donuts. They are a New England staple this time of year, and you can find them all over. They are my favorite. And glad I’m not the only one who isn’t up with what the kids are talking about these days. Ha ha ha!

  5. Hahahahaha! Totally on fleek, Liz! Actually, I venture to say, “Fleek ain’t got NOTHIN on this!” But I’m old too. Soooo….? 😉 This salad is beyond gorgeous, girlfriend! And I LOVE warm salads in the fall and winter (read: I eat them daily), so you can bet your arse I will be whipping this deliciousness together ASAP! Pinned! Cheers, lovely- to a beautiful day!

    • Ha ha. Ok, we can be old together. Let’s sit around and drink bourbons and eat warm salads and talk about things that happened “back in the day”. 🙂

  6. I JUST heard the word “fleek” being used on Chopped and was like WHAT? And now here it is on the internet!
    But this salad is definitely on fleek, I mean I need it for lunch! Pinned!

  7. I wish the air around here was cool and crisp and autmny – we’re still in summer mode, if you can believe it! Nevertheless, I’m craving all the healthy, hearty fall-y salads! Brilliant, m’dear!

    • Well, since I used to live in California, I can totally believe it! We never got any nice Fall weather around where I was. But I suppose up in Tahoe you do get a dose of Fall. Sending you some crisp, cool air. And big kale salads!

  8. I heard one of my students say ‘on fleek’ recently and I was like, “what?!”. I’m totally old. Ha.
    I am so with you on the need to eat a salad but don’t feel like eating a salad-salad. Love this!

  9. This looks absolutely amazing! I am a huge cranberries fan!


  10. I feel SO old – I had to look up what “on fleek” meant on Urban Dictionary. (It just dawned on me that I look up words more on urban dictionary that I do a normal dictionary. What does this say about me?!) Anywho, what a lovely salad! Loving all the colors going on here!

  11. Liz, this is the prettiest couscous salad ever!!!! and hahahhaha . . I’m old too but you used “on fleek” the right way. . but the youngin’s have moved on from that expression .. not sure what the new one is now but if I learn what it is , I will let you know! 🙂 and I am cracking up reading Lisa’s comment above! Lisa, I love you!!!

    • Oh well if it’s all ready gone past the younger kids, than I think that makes me REALLY lame. Like, it’s so past it’s prime all ready. Ha ha ha! Keep me in the loop, Alice!

  12. Ha! I tried using “on fleek” a few weeks ago. It didn’t feel right to me, though. I’m getting too old to keep up with all this hipness. But yeah, if any salad was ever “on fleek”, it’s this one!!! And I definitely need to eat more salads right about now!

    • Yeah, I think if I said it out load I would feel silly. It’s OK for me to type it though. At least that’s what I’m telling myself!

  13. OMG Liz, you are so funny! I think if I used the words “on fleek” on the blog my son Casey would smack me silly! He still can’t get over the fact that I’ve said woot, woot! You’re way younger than me so I give you my permission to use it ok?! This salad looks totally fabulous! I love all the ingredients, the maple syrup, the cranberries, the dill! Cannot wait to try this one! Thanks for sharing and have a great week!

    • Ahhh…I am cracking up Mary Ann! That is so funny. I don’t think anyone is ever too old to say “woot woot”. And that’s my official position on that matter! XO

  14. You make the prettiest salads!! I need you to give me a tutorial! I am so jealous!

  15. I was on the hunt for fresh cranberries the other day and couldn’t find them ANYWHERE, I had to settle for frozen. Wa wa. Glad you found them, because this is the PEFECT fall salad.

  16. This looks deeeeee-licious!!!! Totally on fleek 🙂

  17. Carrot rounds are one of my favorite ways to eat carrots! I love this recipe too — so fresh and full of flavor!

  18. A fall kale salad! We are operating on the same wavelength, clearly. Love the idea of fresh cranberries in a savoury dish like this. Brilliant! And so glad to find your blog :-).

  19. Hahahah this whole salad is ‘on fleek’

  20. A wonderful fall salad! Love these flavors!

  21. Israeli/pearl couscous is my allll time favorite grain- it’s just such a fun texture! Love that you used it in this salad- the colors are stunning 🙂 Pinning!

  22. I love Fall salads and this one is perfect! Love the cranberries in this one 🙂

  23. I’m so impressed – “on fleek” is still such an enigma to me.

  24. Liz, you totally read my mind! I have been craving a hearty fall salad like this and you are just feeding my kale obsession here 😉 Fall is the best season for so many reasons (but the food is the real reason why it’s my fave!)

  25. Girl you will never hear me complain about cranberries! I can’t get enough, in fact, I was just sugaring some yesterday for an upcoming post 😉 This salad is amazing! Love that it’s a one-pot wonder. And love that you had such an excellent weekend 🙂

  26. Eeek I haven’t seen fresh cranberries yet at my store! I cannot wait to grab some! This salad looks amazing – I have such a soft spot for couscous!

  27. I want to gobble this salad up! You made Autumn look so lovely! xoxo

  28. I miss kale and couscous, I probably didn’t cook with them in 6 months, you know I used to eat the on a weekly basis and I just got tired of it, but now I need them back.

    • Sometimes it’s good to take a break from certain foods. Sounds like you need to make this salad and get back into the swing of things! 🙂

  29. Pingback: Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes

  30. Pingback: Healthier Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes - Spoonful of Flavor

  31. Pingback: 30+ Healthy Holiday Side Dishes - Kristine's Kitchen

  32. Pingback: 25 Vegan Christmas Recipes - My Natural Family

  33. Pingback: Healthy Lunch Ideas to Pack for Work (40+ recipes!)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *