Here’s a fantastic copycat version of the Chick Fil A Kale Salad – a simple recipe with optional add-ins for more deliciousness!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
We’ve all had a kale salad recipe or two by now, and they aren’t always that exciting. I rarely go to fast food restaurants, but this kale crunch side salad gets a lot of buzz, and is a great option (to eat with some french fries as part of my “healthy diet”:) )so I thought put my two cents in, and turns out it’s a healthy option too.
It’s not hard to make this copycat recipe, in fact, it’s really simple, but wow is it tasty! Here’s some good reasons to give it a try:
- This is a new salad that’s like a kale crunch salad, with lots of textures and great flavors
- The sliced almonds for the top are an upgrade in my recipe, and worth the extra 10 minutes of minimal effort
- This salad is easy to customize with other ingredients based on personal preference, and great if you meal plan for lunches during the week
- The salad dressing is ridiculously easy and shakes up in a mason jar. The great thing is, it lasts for a week in the refrigerator
Ingredients You’ll Need
For the full recipe and list of ingredients, please scroll to the recipe card below.
- Kale: Lacinato kale is used here and is common in most grocery stores
- Green Cabbage: Just a bit, and thinly sliced
- Apple Cider Vinegar: For the tangy dressing
- Olive Oil: Extra virgin if possible
- Almonds: The sliced variety, and we’ll need a little sugar too
- Pure Maple Syrup: For the flavorful dressing
- Dijon Mustard: To make the Dijon mustard vinaigrette
Step-By Step Instructions
First, make a quick & delicious salad dressing. Here’s how:
- Put the Dijon mustard, pure maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, salt & black pepper and olive oil in a small glass jar with a well-fitted lid. Or use a small bowl.
- Give it a good shake. Add the greens to your salad bowl and drizzle a little on top.
- This dressing will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to a week, just shake it well before using.
Tips for Quick Candied Almonds
Next, make the candied almonds. Don’t worry, this is quick, and trust me when I say these nuts are worth the price of admission… they’re that good.
Prep a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper before you begin.
- Use a non-stick or cast iron skillet, add the sugar and almonds
- Turn the heat to medium high, and don’t go anywhere 🙂
- When the sugar starts to melt, toss with a wooden or silicone spoon
- Keep watching and waiting and stirring occasionally for a full minute or so. As the edges start to get golden brown, pull the skillet off the heat and keep stirring. It will continue to cook off the heat, and the sugar will have completely melted into a clear puddle in the pan.
Pour the mixture onto the baking sheet and let it sit and harden for about 10 minutes. Then break it up and sprinkle on your kale salad! So easy!
Tips for Assembling the Salad
- Massage Kale: This is first on the list, and here’s a secret about kale – it tastes better if you massage it first. Why? to immerse the flavor of the vinaigrette into the leaves, and also to break down the tough fibers. Sounds silly, totally works.
- Add the kale to a large bowl, then sprinkle a little vinaigrette on top
- Massage it with clean hands, making sure to cover all the leaves.
- That’s it! Next, add in the sliced cabbage
Sprinkle some of the candied almonds and more vinaigrette, then toss. You could stop here and be totally happy with this salad.
For variation, add more stuff to your kale salad! Here’s some ideas:
- Sliced apple
- Thinly sliced shallots
- Toasted Hazelnuts
- Dried Cranberries
Tips and Possible Variations
This salad is perfectly good on its own, it’s simple with loads of flavor. Take it a step further with these add-ins:
- A thinly sliced apple, tossed with fresh lemon juice to prevent browning
- Use toasted hazelnuts or walnuts instead of the candied almonds
- A sprinkle of dried cranberries or cherries
- Very thinly sliced shallots are wonderful
- You can add some cheese to the mix, like shaved Parmesan
- Protein of your choice
- This salad is sturdy enough for picnics, but just be sure to dress it right before serving
- It’s excellent with sliced, warm chicken or steak on top
- This makes a great side dish with a good soup, and this Cherry Tomato one is excellent. Or try a nice big bowl of Pasta Fagioli, or this easy and flavorful Italian Greens and Beans soup. Tough decisions!
- For dessert, how about a warm Mini Caramel Apple Pie?
- If pie’s not your thing, this old fashioned Apple Cake is amazing, and Apple Hand Pies with Pillsbury Crust are both delicious choices, and here’s a list of a few more dessert favorites, all in one place 🙂
Frequently Asked Questions
You can store the main ingredients separately in an airtight container the day before, but the salad will taste best if dressed with the vinaigrette just before serving.
Yes! This is a delicious recipe when you add sliced and grilled sausages, chicken breast or sliced steak.
More Recipes to Try
- Decorated Chocolate Covered Strawberries: A pretty & easy dessert
- Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad: So fresh and flavorful!
- Best Cider Apples: Who doesn’t love a baked apple with warm brown sugar crumble inside?
- Lemon Shrimp Salad: A wonderful salad for lunch!
- How to Make the Strawberry Acai Refresher: Starbucks copycat of this popular drink!
- Melon Balls Recipes: Easy, fresh ideas…
- Tin Foil Baked Chicken with Vegetables: Easy and fun to make!
- Hellmann’s Potato Salad Recipe: A classic, wonderful version of potato salad
- Low Carb Stuffed Zucchini Boats Recipe: A wonderful, favorite recipe
- Mini Eggplant Recipe: Wondering what to do with those little guys? Solved!
- Teriyaki Chicken Skewers Recipe: Wonderful and tender!
- Blackberry Goat Cheese Salad: A wonderful, fresh salad that’s great year-round
If you’ve tried this Chick Fil A Kale Salad Recipe, please rate the recipe 5 stars and tell me how you liked it in comments below!
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Chick Fil A Kale Salad Recipe
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
- ⅓ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
- ¼ teaspoon Freshly ground pepper
- 8 cups Kale, washed, dried and chopped, stems removed
- 2 cups Green Cabbage, thinly sliced
- ½ cup Sliced almonds
- 2 tablespoons Sugar
- Optional ingredients: Dried cranberries, sliced apples, nuts and seeds
- MAKE THE VINAIGRETTE
- In a glass jar with a well-fitting lid (like a Ball jam jar) add the maple syrup, dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, salt & pepper. Put the lid on and shake until combined.
- MAKE THE CANDIED ALMONDS
- Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper. In a medium non-stick skillet, add the sugar and the almonds and toss the two together with a wooden or silicone spoon until combined. Put the heat on medium high and let it sit for a minute while the sugar melts. Stir a little, and continue to cook until the sugar has dissolved and the nuts just start to turn brown on the outside edges. At this point, remove the skillet from the heat, and continue to stir …the nuts will still cook and brown after you remove the pan from the heat. Immediately pour the nut/sugar mixture on the parchment-lined baking sheet, spreading it out a little with your spoon. Let it sit for 10 minutes or so while it sets up into a brittle.
- FOR THE SALAD
- Wash and dry the kale with a clean kitchen cloth or paper towel and remove the leaves from the stems. Roughly chop into 2-3" inch pieces and place in a large mixing bowl. Add a little of the vinaigrette to the bowl with the kale (about a tablespoon) and with clean hands massage the dressing and the kale until all the leaves are covered. Slice the cabbage thinly and add it to the bowl with the kale. Break off some of the almond brittle and sprinkle it on the salad and serve.
- Add optional ingredients to this salad: * One apple, thinly sliced and tossed with fresh lemon juice to keep it from browning. * ¼ Cup of Dried Cranberries * ¼ Cup of toasted hazelnuts, almonds or walnuts * 2 tablespoons thinly sliced shallots
- Any leftover vinaigrette can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- If using sliced apples in this recipe, toss with a little fresh lemon juice after slicing to prevent browning.
- Super important to read the whole recipe before you begin
- Pay attention to the ingredient list and photos for the recipe
- If possible, prep your ingredients a little before you start
- Always use a sharp knife for safety
- Use the size of pan called for in the recipe
- For savory recipes, taste and season as you go
- Buy fresh, organic ingredients, locally sourced whenever possible