Kale Chicken Salad with Parmesan and Lemon Vinaigrette

This kale chicken salad with parmesan and lemon vinaigrette is packed with so much flavor, full of nutrients, and easy to throw together.

Kale chicken salad with red cabbage, red onion, parmesan cheese and a lemon vinaigrette in a large clear bowl.

Why you’ll love it

This easy chicken kale salad recipe is crunchy, hearty and the perfect salad to make when the weather’s getting cooler.

This chopped salad was inspired by the best kale salad I used to always grab at a local bakery with my own spin on it. It’s one of those easy salad recipes that you can count on being delicious every single time.

It’s also super quick and uses simple ingredients. You can make your life even easier by buying a rotisserie chicken, pre-shredded cabbage, and even using pre-chopped onions.

Because of the hearty ingredients in this easy salad, it can also be prepped a couple of days in advance, making it a great meal prep option too.

It’s also high fiber, high protein, packed with antioxidants, and super filling!

Ingredients for kale chicken salad on a white countertop with labels.

Ingredients

Salad ingredients

  • Chopped kale
  • Shredded or chopped chicken
  • Shredded cabbage
  • Red onion
  • Sliced almonds
  • Parmesan cheese

Dressing ingredients

  • Lemon juice
  • White wine vinegar
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Dijon mustard
  • Honey
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Make your life easier: Use rotisserie chicken from the grocery store or air-fried chicken breast (get easy juicy chicken with this recipe), buy pre-shredded cabbage, pre-sliced almonds, and use your favorite dressing if you don’t feel like making your own! It’s a great way to use up leftover chicken too!

Step-by-step instructions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, white wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, dijon mustard, honey and salt to make the salad dressing.
A small glass jar of lemon vinaigrette on a wooden plate.
  1. Next, add the chopped kale to a large mixing bowl or salad bowl with 1 tbsp of olive oil. Using clean hands, massage the kale for 2-3 minutes until the greens are tender. PS- Don’t skip this step or your kale will be tough.
Kale, chicken, cabbage, almonds, red onion, and parmesan cheese in a large clear bowl.
  1. Add chicken, shredded cabbage, red onion, parmesan, almonds and salad dressing to the bowl. Tip: Make sure your chicken and veggies are all chopped into small bite-sized pieces. Combine well and enjoy!
Lemon vinaigrette being poured onto unmixed kale chicken salad.

Recipe FAQ

Can I make and store this salad ahead of time?

Yes! Because kale is such a hearty leafy green, this is a great recipe to make ahead (even with dressing) and stored for up to 3 days in an airtight container. If you want the almonds to stay nice and crunchy, simply leave the almonds out until right before you serve.

Do I have to massage the kale?

Honestly yes! Without massaging the kale with a little olive oil, it’s pretty tough and not great for a raw salad. Simply add a bit of oil and massage kale- for 2-3 minutes to tenderize the kale and completely transform the texture.

Will any type of kale work?

You can use any kale that you have. Curly kale, lacinato kale, or even baby kale will work.

Recipe Variations

  • Serve it as a main dish or leave out the chicken and serve as a side salad.
  • Add fresh fruit like sliced apples, sliced pears, or pomegranate seeds.
  • Add dried fruit like dried cranberries, apples, or golden raisins.
  • Swap white wine vinegar for balsamic for a different twist on the dressing.
  • Use any other leafy greens that you enjoy like romaine or spinach. You can even add shaved brussels sprouts to the salad.
  • Add creamy avocado chunks.
  • Swap out the parmesan and use sharp cheddar cheese, blue cheese, goat cheese, or feta cheese instead.
  • Make it vegetarian by trading the chicken for beans or tofu.
  • Top with crunchy croutons or serve with some cheesy garlic bread!
Kale chicken salad with red cabbage, red onion, parmesan cheese and a lemon vinaigrette in a large clear bowl.

Kale Chicken Salad with Parmesan and Lemon Vinaigrette

5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: dinner, lunch, Main Course, Salad
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 511kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 lb cooked chicken shredded
  • 1 head kale washed and chopped
  • 2 cups red cabbage shredded
  • 1/2 cup red onion diced
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese shredded
  • 1/2 cup almonds sliced

Lemon vinaigrette

  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 pinch salt to taste

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, white wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, dijon mustard, honey and salt to make the salad dressing.
  • Next, add the chopped kale to a large bowl with 1 tbsp of olive oil. Using your hands, massage the kale for 2-3 minutes until the greens are tender. PS- Don’t skip this step or your kale will be tough.
  • Add chicken, shredded cabbage, red onion, parmesan, almonds and salad dressing to the bowl. Combine well and enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 511kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 43g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 0.003g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 534mg | Potassium: 707mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 3992IU | Vitamin C: 72mg | Calcium: 473mg | Iron: 3mg

Sharing is caring!

2 Responses

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




It's me, Jamie!

I’m a Registered Dietitian dedicated to helping you break free of the all-or-nothing dieting with balanced and realistic healthy eating.

Search Recipes & Blogs

3-Day Meal Plan

Meet Jamie

I’m a Registered Dietitian and I’ve been exactly where you are, right now. The all or nothing dieting, the constant food guilt, the scale obsession, absolutely no balance with food…. Sound familiar?