Baby kale is relatively new on the salad scene. It’s less “toothsome” than its adult counterpart, and eats almost like a less peppery arugula. Baby kale is a fantastic way to get lots of vitamins and minerals into your diet without the carbs, and it’s perfect in this Easy Kale Caesar Salad. Chicharrones add just the right crispy crunch to replace bread-based croutons if you're eating keto. If you want to use a gluten-free bread for this easy kale caesar, I love New Cascadia bread.
You’ll love this rich, flavorful easy kale caesar salad.
Can you use regular kale in this salad?
Yes! I recommend removing it from the tough stems, and then massaging it a bit first to breakdown the tough cellulose that makes it a bit hard to eat.
You can also make this with arugula or any other salad greens you prefer.
Featuring Balanced Bites SUPER TRIFECTA spice blend, this salad is easy to make and full of flavor.
Easy Kale Caesar Salad
- 8 cups baby kale (see Notes)
- 2 pounds bone−in skin−on chicken thighs, grilled or baked, then sliced (see Notes)
- 1/2 cup Caesar Dressing (recipe below)
- 1/4 cup grated hard cheese such as Parmigiano−Reggiano or Pecorino Romano
FOR SERVING (optional)
- Chicharrones pork rinds (see Notes)
- Grated lemon zest
- SUPER TRIFECTA or TRIFECTA spice blends
- Divide the kale and chicken slices among 4 plates, then drizzle 2 tablespoons of the dressing on each plate. Top with the grated cheese. Add the chicharrones, lemon zest, and spice blends, if desired, before serving.
- Use the dairy-free version of the Caesar dressing and omit the cheese.
- If you can’t find baby kale, you can use arugula or Lacinato kale. To use Lacinato kale, remove the stems and finely chop the leaves, then squeeze it gently to break down some of its rigidity, so it begins to soften before you mix it with the dressing.
- If you’re baking or grilling chicken thighs just for this recipe, depending on your protein needs, you may or may not need to use it all. Keep any extra on hand for snacks or easy meals.
- The chicharrones provide crunch and replace croutons! They’re a delicious addition to this salad, but they’re not required. A few brands include 4505 (my favorite), EPIC, and Pork Clouds.
This extra-lemony take on Caesar dressing is perfect with baby kale, but it’s also great on a more classic romaine lettuce Caesar salad—or any kind of salad.
Try this dressing with simple grilled chicken and roasted vegetables to turn the flavor way up!
- 2/3 cup extra−virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice about 2 lemons
- 2 tablespoons grated hard cheese such as Parmigiano−Reggiano or Pecorino Romano
- 2 teaspoons SUPER TRIFECTA or TRIFECTA spice blend (or 1 to 2 cloves of grated or minced garlic)
- 1 to 2 anchovy fillets minced, or 1 to 2 teaspoons anchovy paste (see Note)
- 1/2 teaspoon gluten−free Dijon mustard
- Sea salt and ground black pepper (optional if not using SUPER TRIFECTA or TRIFECTA blend)
- Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend on low for 10 to 20 seconds, until smooth. Taste the dressing and adjust the seasoning to taste with salt, pepper, and/or more oil or lemon juice.
- Store the dressing in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
- Use 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast instead of the cheese.
- If you prefer a saltier dressing, use 2 anchovy fillets or 2 teaspoons of anchovy paste.
- When adding raw garlic to a dressing, sauce, or dip that will remain uncooked, more is not always better! The potency of raw garlic intensifies as it sits, so don’t let this recipe be one where you read “1 clove” and translate it to “4 cloves,” as garlic lovers often do when cooking!
Other salad recipes you might enjoy:
For more recipe ideas and recipes that use Balanced Bites Spices, head to our recipes index page here.