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!
Kale Chicken Caesar Salad
Servings: 2 as a main, 4 as a side
For the croutons:
- 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
For the salad:
- 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
For the dressing:
- 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!
Take some lettuce, place it in a bowl.
Top with your favorite protein, veggies, nuts, fruits, & cheese.
Drizzle with homemade dressing.
Congratulations. You just made dinner.
Seriously! Dinner doesn’t have to be a long drawn out affair every night.
Sometimes the simplest dinners are the most enjoyable ones.
Like this Rosemary Blue Cheese Chicken Salad.
It comes together in twenty minutes. Less time than it would take to grab dinner or order takeout!
Plus, who doesn’t want bites of creamy blue cheese dressing, crispy chicken pieces, sweet & salty nuts & cranberries, and tender fresh lettuce?
It’s a party in a bowl, people.
If you feel intimidated by dinner, this salad is a great place to start.
Easy recipe, big flavor.
Rosemary Blue Cheese Chicken Salad
- 1 ¼ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Drizzle of olive oil or other cooking oil
- ¾ lb mixture of red & green leaf lettuces, washed, dried, & torn into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup walnut pieces
- ½ cup dried cranberries optional
For the dressing:
- 1 ½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ½ cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese
Place the cubed chicken in a medium bowl & add the salt, ground black pepper, rosemary, and garlic powder. Toss with your hands until evenly coated.
Wash your hands well with warm soapy water & get out a skillet for cooking the chicken. Drizzle olive oil (or other cooking oiinto the pan, & warm over medium-high heat. Add the chicken & cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken pieces are crispy & golden all over, roughly ten minutes. Remove to a plate & set aside.
Add the lettuce to a large serving bowl, & prepare the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the red wine vinegar, sour cream, salt, pepper, olive oil, and honey. When combined well, stir in the gorgonzola.
Pour half of the dressing over the lettuce & toss to combine.
Divide the lettuce onto 4 serving plates, top with chicken, walnut pieces, cranberries (if using) and drizzle with extra dressing. Enjoy!
Every week, I visit a local farmers market.
Whether it’s Culver City, Palms, Santa Monica, Mar Vista, or even Hollywood, I love love love the bounty of fresh produce & locally produced goods.
Walking through the stalls, browsing the best that nature has to offer, gives me chills… and mega inspiration.
This week was all about PEACHES.
Warm, sun-ripened peaches with enticingly sweet flesh & delicate fuzzy skin.
Fresh picked peaches taste nothing like the ones sold at chain grocery stores.
Fresh peaches are actually allowed to ripen on the vine, so they develop maximal sugar and sweetness. They are soft, juicy, and bursting with flavor.
In contrast, many grocery store peaches are picked while still rock-hard and unripe.
That green-tinge you see on so many supermarket peaches? Yeah, that’s not supposed to be there.
Green means the peach was picked while under-ripe to help it hold up better during transport. Unripe fruit has firmer flesh, so it can be stacked & stored without squishing & bruising.
Yes, that unripe peach will eventually ripen on store shelves, but it will never reach the same level of deliciousness as a fresh picked peach.
Since this salad features peaches, try to seek out locally grown organic peaches before making it. It will seriously make a world of difference.
The sweet, tender slices of fresh peaches are easy to pierce with a fork, and melt in your mouth with the creamy, tangy goat cheese & fresh basil.
Extra-firm peaches will change the texture & experience of this salad, so splurge for the best peaches you can find!
Peach Frisee Salad with Goat Cheese & Basil
- 2 small heads frisee, torn
- several handfuls of baby greens
- extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
- 2 small yellow peaches, halved, pitted, & thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup torn basil
- 1/3 cup chopped macadamia nuts or walnuts
- ½ cup crumbled goat cheese
- fresh cracked salt & pepper
Thoroughly wash and dry your baby greens, using a salad spinner or paper towels.
Place in a large serving bowl, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar & toss to mix well. Remember to drizzle lightly at first. You can always add more oil or vinegar, but you can never take away! Aim for a ratio of roughly 2 parts oil to 1 part vinegar.
Sprinkle the sliced peaches, torn basil, nuts, and goat cheese over the salad.
Season with fresh cracked salt & pepper & serve family style!