This Kale Salad is so easy to make and is a healthy twist on the Classic Caesar Salad. It’s the perfect side or lunch for spring and summer potlucks, barbecues, picnics and parties. Packed with kale, creamy avocado, grilled chicken with a homemade Caesar dressing that is low carb, keto and Whole30 compliant.
AN EASY KALE SALAD
Are you a kale fan? My son actually has loved kale ever since he was two years old so we’ve been making some sort of kale salad recipe at least once a week for about six years now.
This kale salad with avocado is one of our family favorites since it’s creamy, delicious and so easy to make with just a few simple ingredients.
It’s a healthy spin on the traditional Caesar salad and is always a crowd-pleaser. Plus, it’s the perfect healthy side salad for lunch, dinner & potlucks. Of course, you can also enjoy it as a main dish topped with your favorite protein like chicken, turkey, salmon or even canned tuna.
And the best part? You can customize this massaged kale salad with any toppings you like and it goes with just about everything!
So if you’re looking for a way to use up some of that fresh kale from the garden or farmer’s market, you totally have to try this kale Caesar salad!
ARE KALE SALADS HEALTHY?
This Kale Caesar Salad is the perfect healthy side dish and I love that it fits into just about any diet plan.
It’s gluten free, sugar free, low carb, keto, paleo, Whole30 compliant and loaded with nutrients, antioxidants, calcium, manganese, fiber, minerals and vitamins K, A and C.
Health benefits of Kale
Kale is a dark leafy green and can be prepared in a variety of ways. It’s a nutritious side dish and often added to smoothies and salads since it’s loaded with all sorts of beneficial compounds. This superfood packs a powerful nutritional punch and is a good source of magnesium, iron, copper, potassium and phosphorus.
PREPARATION TIPS: HOW TO MASSAGE KALE
I love a good chopped kale salad and massaging the kale is key to making the tough fibrous leaves soft, silky and tender.
Chop the kale into thin strips and use your hands to rub the leaves with a bit of olive/avocado oil or lemon juice with a pinch of salt for about 30-40 seconds until it is soft and tender and no longer spiky.
Doing this makes the kale a lot easier to chew and tastes a million times better since it’s less bitter.
What kale is best for salads?
We like using Lacinato Kale (or Dinosaur Kale, Tuscan Kale or Black Kale) in our raw kale salads since they have flat, tender leaves and a mild, nutty flavor.
They can still be tough so we usually remove the hearty stems and slice the leaves into thin ribbons or massage the kale leaves with some olive oil or lemon juice.
INGREDIENTS YOU NEED:
For this easy kale chopped salad recipe, you will need:
- Fresh kale: We like lacinato or dinosaur kale but feel free to use curly kale or any other kale you like
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice: softens the kale and gives the salad e a burst of bright lemony flavor
- Avocado Oil or Olive oil
- Salt and Pepper: A good sprinkling of each to season and finish this salad.
- Avocado: Adds creaminess and healthy fats to your salad
- Creamy Kale Salad Dressing: We love using our homemade Caesar Dressing made with blended fresh avocado, Whole30 mayo, Dijon mustard, garlic, lemon juice & salt.
- Protein: A great way to use up any leftovers such as grilled chicken or even some rotisserie chicken
- sunflower seeds, slivered almonds, hemp seeds
- if not Whole30/Paleo – feta cheese, goat cheese, grated Parmesan cheese
What dressing goes with kale chicken salad?
If you’re in a pinch and don’t have time to make your own dressing, you can grab your favorite pre-made dressing from the store.
One of our go-to brands is either Trader Joe’s Green Goddess Dressing or Primal Kitchen Lemon Dressing, Greek Dressing or Tahini Dressing. All of their dressings are made with Whole30 compliant ingredients.
HOW TO MAKE KALE SALAD:
- MAKE THE DRESSING: Place half of the avocado, Dijon mustard, mayo, lemon juice, garlic , water and salt in a blender or a food processor and process until smooth. Set aside.
- PREP & MASSAGE KALE: Remove and discard the hearty stems and tear or chop the kale leaves into thin piece and place in a large bowl. Drizzle with oil & a pinch of salt and use your hands to massage until the leaves start to soften and wilt.
- ADD DRESSING AND ASSEMBLE SALAD. Drizzle with dressing & black pepper. Toss lightly to coat & top with avocado and toppings of choice.
WHAT TO EAT WITH KALE SALAD:
Kale salad would be delicious on it’s own or with any protein of you choice such as:
If not Whole30 or Paleo, you can add some feta or grated Parmesan cheese.
HOW LONG DOES KALE SALAD LAST?
The great thing about kale is that it lasts much longer than traditional salad greens so it works great for meal prep.
You can prep the kale ahead of time and store it in a resealable bag or container for up to 5 days.
Is Kale Salad low carb?
If you’re wondering whether this Kale Avocado salad is keto, the nutritional info for one serving of this kale salad recipe is:
- 267 calories
- 4g Net Carbs = 11g Total Carbs – 7g Fiber
- 3g Protein
- 25g Fat
Other kale salad ideas:
More kale recipes:
This Kale Salad is so easy to make and is a healthy twist on the Classic Caesar Salad. It's the perfect side or lunch for spring and summer potlucks, barbecues, picnics and parties. Packed with kale, creamy avocado, grilled chicken with a homemade Caesar dressing that is low carb, keto and Whole30 compliant.
- 1 medium avocado divided
- 1/4 cup Whole30 mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup water , plus more to reach desired consistency
- 2 teaspoons avocado OR olive oil
- 1 bunch kale stems removed, chopped (5–6 cups)
- 1 avocado , cut into slices
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon microgreens , for garnish
- 1/2 teaspoon hemp seeds , for topping
- 4 oz cooked chicken breast
- 1 tablespoon crumbled feta OR grated Parmesan , if not Whole30 / Paleo`
Add the avocado, mayo, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, garlic, salt and water to a blender or a food processor. Process until smooth, add more water as needed to reach desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings.
PREP & MASSAGE KALE: Remove and discard the hearty stems and tear or chop the kale leaves into thin piece and place in a large bowl. Drizzle with oil & a pinch of salt and use your hands to massage until the leaves start to soften and wilt.
ADD DRESSING AND ASSEMBLE SALAD. Drizzle with dressing, black pepper and toss lightly to coat. Top with avocado and optional toppings of choice.