Eeeek, I’m so excited to share this recipe with you guys.
It’s one of my absolute favorites.
This kale chicken salad is my go-to dinner when life gets crazy. It’s quick, classic, and delicious.
Simply grab a rotisserie chicken, a bunch of kale, some cheese, bread, & basic dressing ingredients & you’re good to go.
I personally love to make my own croutons (recipe below).
But if you’re lucky enough to find fresh-made ones at your local grocery store, you could use those & cut down on prep time even more!
I’m not going to lie, the salad dressing is what makes this dish.
It’s a riff on a classic caesar, but doesn’t contain the usual anchovies. It’s a little more mild with a bit of extra tang from the red wine vinegar. It’s bold and creamy, and stands up well to the hearty kale.
This salad is delicious as-is, but also makes a fab side salad or party dish if you omit the chicken.
In fact, I recently brought a chicken-free version to a bridal shower & it was eaten up in 0.2 seconds 🙂
So be prepared, this salad has turned many kale-haters into kale lovers!
- 1 sourdough boule, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 of a cooked rotisserie chicken
- 1 large bunch of dinosaur/lacinato/cavolo nero/Tuscan kale
- 1/2 cup shaved parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup grated romano cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Start by making the croutons! Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread the cubes of bread on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil & sprinkle with the salt & garlic powder. Use your hands to toss the bread cubes with the oil and seasonings until they are evenly coated.
When the oven is preheated, place the baking sheet with the bread cubes in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, until the croutons are crispy and golden brown. Remove from the oven & let cool while you prep the rest of the salad.
Use your fingers to remove all the meat from 1/2 of a rotisserie chicken & shred it into bite-sized strips. Set aside. (When you've eaten all the meat from the chicken, you can freeze the carcass to make chicken stock later on!)
Next, prep the kale. Rinse the leaves well under running water, or submerge them in cold water and shake to dislodge any grit or bugs. Pat the leaves dry with paper towels, then tear the leafy greens into bite-sized pieces. Discard the ribs and stem.
Place the kale & chicken in a large salad bowl. Top with several large handfuls of croutons (save the rest for later), and the parmesan & and romano cheeses.
In a separate smaller bowl, make the dressing. Add the salt, garlic powder, red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, sour cream, mayonnaise, and pepper & whisk together until smooth and creamy.
Pour the dressing over the salad & toss to combine. Enjoy now, or save until later. The kale holds up well to the dressing & makes great leftovers!