Pasta Salad with Kale, Cheddar, Apples & Candied Pecans



  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

pasta salad:

  • 1 lb penne pasta
  • 2 cups tightly packed, finely shredded kale (about 1 bunch)
  • 6 oz sharp white cheddar, coarsely chopped
  • 2 small or 1 large apple, diced
  • 1 cup halved (or quartered) cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped candied pecans


  1. Cook penne to manufacturers instructions, taking care to liberally salt the cooking water!
  2. When pasta is done, drain and put into a large bowl to cool slightly.
  3. Meanwhile, make dressing by putting all ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake until combined; set aside.
  4. To the slightly cooled pasta add chopped kale, cheddar, diced apple and cherry tomatoes. Toss everything with 3/4 of the dressing. At this point, cover and refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours.
  5. If you feel like the salad needs more dressing, use more! Otherwise keep it for another use. Just before serving, top with candied pecans and serve.