Looking for a healthy and delicious salad recipe? Look no further than this Chicken Kale Salad! Packed with flavor, nutrients, and protein, this salad is perfect for a quick and easy meal. Kale is one of the healthiest vegetables around, and when paired with chicken and a delicious dressing, it makes for a perfect lunch or dinner.
Kale: Kale gives this salad some texture. You can use flat or curly kale in this salad.
Chicken Breast: Chicken breast adds a substantial dose of filling protein to this salad and adds another element of flavor as it is coated with a zesty, flavorful marinade of lime juice, garlic, paprika, oil, and salt and pepper.
Lamb’s Lettuce: This kale chicken salad uses fresh lamb’s lettuce that adds a delicate nutty, tangy flavor to the salad. If you cannot find lamb’s lettuce, you can use more arugula or baby spinach leaves.
Arugula: Arugula adds a peppery, slightly sweet flavor to this kale chicken salad.
Green Onions: Green onions have a sharp peppery flavor that pairs perfectly with the arugula and offsets the flavors of the other salad ingredients.
Avocados: Avocados add a rich creamy, earthy, almost buttery flavor and texture to this salad that works in tandem with the chicken breast to keep you fuller longer.
Celery: Celery has a crisp, refreshing texture and a slightly salty flavor that is the perfect finishing touch to this salad.
Cherry Tomatoes: Cherry tomatoes add texture to the salad. However, they also add a crisp, sweet, and acidic flavor to the salad.
Parsley: Parsley adds a fresh peppery, earthy flavor to the salad.
Cucumbers: Cucumbers brighten up this salad. They give this kale salad a refreshing dose of texture.
Pomegranates: Is perfect to decorate the salad and to give it a little sweetness.
How to make Chicken Kale Salad
First, start by preparing the salad and cut all of the vegetables into bite-sized pieces, and set them aside in a large salad bowl.
Next, prepare the Chicken. Marinated it and allow the chicken to sit in the marinade for at least 30 minutes so that it can absorb all of the flavors.
Once the chicken has finished marinating, heat a skillet over medium-high heat or use an air- fryer and cook the chicken until it is cooked through and slightly charred on the outside. Allow the chicken to cool before chopping it into bite-sized pieces.
Now, it’s time to assemble the salad! Add all of the prepared vegetables to the large salad bowl. Top with chicken, and drizzle with your favorite salad dressing. I love a simple creamy sauce. Serve immediately.
Using an Air Fryer
For the marinade, I use lime, onion powder, salt, pepper, fresh garlic, paprika, and olive oil.
Simply brush the chicken fillets with the marinade before putting it into the preheated air fryer. Cook it for around 10 minutes and you’re good to go!
The salad is best enjoyed when all of the ingredients are mixed together. However, feel free to add the chicken on top or on the side for those who want it.
This Chicken Kale Salad is perfect as a quick and easy meal that you can enjoy any time of day! It’s healthy, delicious, and sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
Using a Pan
I use a slightly different marinade when cooking the chicken in a pan. I add chili flakes, salt, chicken stock, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, olive oil, and dry herbs. This gives the chicken a bit more of a kick.
After the chicken has marinated for at least 30 minutes, heat some oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for about 12 minutes, flipping once, or until cooked through.
Remove from the pan and let rest for a few minutes before chopping into bite-sized pieces.
Strips, fillets, or cubes
There are a few different ways that you can prepare the chicken for this Chicken Kale Salad. You can either cut it into strips, filets, or cubes. Depending on the size of the chicken breast, I usually cut them into strips.
If you’re using a pan, I recommend cutting the chicken into strips. This will help the chicken cook evenly and prevent it from drying out.
If you’re using an air fryer, I recommend the fillet option as it’s the quickest and easiest way to cook the chicken. Simply brush with the marinade, place in the air fryer, and cook for about 12 minutes.
Kale Salad with Mango: This variation of the salad uses mango in place of avocado. The sweetness of the mango pairs perfectly with the other flavors in this salad.
Kale Salad with Quinoa: If you like a bit more of a filling in your salad, add some quinoa. Quinoa is a complete protein and will help to keep you fuller longer.
Kale Salad with Feta and Olives: To add a bit of a Greek flavor to this salad, add some feta cheese and olives. The salty feta pairs perfectly with the other flavors in this salad.
Kale Salad with Cranberries: For a bit of sweetness, add some dried cranberries and walnuts to this recipe.
There are endless possibilities when it comes to Chicken Kale Salad. I also tried it with garbanzo beans, roasted red peppers, and a balsamic vinaigrette.
I also love to add some crispy bacon or grilled shrimp to this salad for extra protein. There are just so many different ways that you can customize this Chicken Kale Salad recipe to your own liking.
So, get creative and have fun with it!
If you are looking for different dressing recipes for Kale Salad, let me give you a few of my favorites.
Balsamic Vinaigrette: This dressing is simple to make and uses ingredients that you likely already have in your kitchen. It’s perfect for any type of salad but especially pairs well with kale salads.
Honey Mustard Dressing: This dressing is also simple to make and only requires a few ingredients. It’s perfect for those who like a bit of sweetness in their salad.
Ranch Dressing: Ranch dressing is a classic that goes well with any type of salad. If you are looking for a store-bought option, I recommend this one.
Lemon Vinaigrette for Kale Salad: If you like lemon dressings, this one is for you! This dressing is perfect for those who like a tart and tangy flavor.
No matter what dressing you choose, Chicken Kale Salad is sure to be a hit! So, get creative and enjoy!
Is the Chicken Kale Salad healthy?
As you will see, this kale chicken salad is loaded with kale, lettuce, arugula, air-fried chicken breast, and avocados to keep you fuller for a longer period of time.
Furthermore, this salad is not only filling but it is loaded with healthy ingredients. Avocados contain high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids, while kale contains higher concentrations of vitamin C than oranges and more calcium than milk.
What Type Of Kale Is Perfect For Salads?
Curly kale is almost always the kind of kale you will find on salads as it can easily be found in the grocery store. Curly kale can be bitter and needs to be massaged.
Nevertheless, if you can find flat kale, you can use it since it has a subtle, nutty flavor and doesn’t need to be massaged. Alternatively, you can also cut the kale into small strips so it blends evenly with the other salad greens if you are not a fan of kale.
Why is it necessary to massage the Kale?
Kale is often overlooked when it comes to salads because it can be bitter. Most people prefer to use kale to make chips, stews, or soups.
However, the trick to removing the toughness from kale is massaging it.
Massaging kale breaks the fibers down, leaving behind soft leaves. Additionally, massaging kale helps remove some of the bitterness.
You can use olive oil and salt or lemon juice and salt to massage kale. Simply remove the kale leaves from the stem by hand or using a knife.
Cut the kale into bite-sized pieces, add a tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt, and with your hands, massage the kale leaves for 2 minutes until the kale leaves soften and begin to wilt.
How Long Does Massaged Kale Last?
When stored in the refrigerator, massaged kale will last approximately 4-5 days. However, depending on how fresh your kale was before it was massaged, the temperature of the fridge, and how it was stored, it may have a shorter shelf life.
Can I Substitute Kale With Different Salad Greens?
Of course, you can use another green if you do not like kale. This kale chicken salad also contains lamb’s lettuce and arugula.
You can increase the quantities of these salad greens or substitute crunchy romaine lettuce in place of kale. Alternatively, you can also use finely shredded cabbage in place of kale, as it will give the salad some texture in the same way kale does.
What Type Of Chicken Should I use For Kale Chicken Salad?
I used thin chicken breast that I seasoned and cooked in the air fryer. If you can only find thick chicken breast, cut 1 chicken breast into 2 pieces. Alternatively, you can also use rotisserie chicken and chop or shred it.
MORE SALAD RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
If you like salads, here are some ideas for delicious and healthy salads:
- Ensalada Rusa-Russian Potato Salad
- Lemon Fennel Salad – Limão e Salada de Funcho
- Botswana Oregano-Bean Salad
Chicken Kale Salad
Chicken (Using Air Fryer)
- 1/2 Juice of lime
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Black pepper
- 1 tsp Paprika
- 1 glarlic clove,mined
- 2 Tbsp Olive oil
- 2 Thin chicken fillets
Chicken (Using Pan)
- 1/2 tsp Chilli Flakes
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Chicken Stock
- 1 tsp Paprika
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Dry Herbs
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 3 baby cucumber
- 1 Celery stalk, diced
- 1 Green spring Onion
- 1 Avocado, halved, pit removed, cut into quarters.
- 1/4 cup yellow cherries tomatoes
- 1/4 cup red cherry tomatoes
- 3 cup masaged kale
- 1 cup arugula
- 1 cup lamb's lettuce
- 2 Tbsp freshly chopped parsley
- ¼ Pomegranate
- Whisk the lime juice, salt, black pepper, paprika, garlic, and olive oil in a small bowl until combined.
- Place the chicken fillets onto a plate and brush both sides with the lime juice olive oil mixture.
- Cover the chicken fillets and chill them in the fridge for a least 30 minutes.
- Preheat your air fryer to 375°F.
- Place the chicken fillets into your air fryer and cook them for 5-6 minutes.
- Turn the chicken fillets over and cook them for an additional 5 minutes until they have an internal temperature of 165°F.
- Place the kale, lamb's lettuce, arugula, and parsley into a bowl and add the cucumber, celery, green onion, avocado, and cherry tomatoes.
- Slice the air-fried chicken breast into 1/4-1/2-inch slices.
- Divide the kale salad between two bowls and add a sliced chicken fillet to each bowl.
- Serve and enjoy!