Crunchy Kale and Chicken Salad

$6.19 recipe / $1.55 serving

If you think a salad can’t fill you up, think again. This awesomely crunchy and flavorful salad has chicken, almonds, and lots of fiberlicious kale and celery to keep your belly full. And flavor? Oh don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about flavor. A tangy, sweet, and creamy honey mustard dressing drenches the salad in tongue-tickling flavor. Throw a few sweet golden raisins on top for a pop of sweetness and you’ve got salad magic.

If you weren’t team salad before you tried this Crunchy Kale and Chicken Salad, you will be after.

Crunchy Kale and Chicken Salad

Crunchy Kale and Chicken Salad

5.0 from 7 reviews
Crunchy Kale and Chicken Salad
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Total Cost: $6.19
Cost Per Serving: $1.55
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
SALAD
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts $1.99*
  • Pinch of salt & Pepper $0.05
  • 8 oz. (or one bunch) curly leaf kale $1.50
  • 2 stalks celery $0.33
  • ⅓ cup sliced almonds $0.76
  • ⅓ cup golden raisins $0.39
DRESSING
  • ½ cup mayo (I used light mayo) $0.77
  • 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar $0.18
  • 1½ Tbsp honey $0.17
  • ½ Tbsp Dijon mustard $0.06
  • ¼ tsp salt $0.02
  • Freshly ground pepper $0.03
Instructions
  1. Season the chicken breast liberally with salt and pepper. Cook the chicken in a countertop grill, or in a skillet until cooked through. Let the chicken cool completely, then chop into small pieces.
  2. While the chicken is cooling, dice the celery into small pieces. The easiest way to do this is to cut each stalk into strips lengthwise, then cut across the strips into small cubes.
  3. Prepare the dressing my mixing the mayonnaise, cider vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, ¼ tsp salt, and some freshly cracked pepper.
  4. Tear the kale into small, bite-sized pieces, rinse, and then dry the leaves well. (Rinsed kale can be rolled up in a clean, dry dish towel to help absorb excess water). Place the kale in a bowl, then layer the chopped chicken, diced celery, sliced almonds, and golden raisins over top. Add the dressing and stir very well, or until everything is well coated in the dressing. Serve immediately.
Notes
To keep the salad fresh, combine only the chicken, celery, almonds, raisins, and dressing and stir until well mixed. This mixture can be stored in the refrigerator. Add the dressing/topping mixture to fresh kale just before serving each day.

*I buy chicken breasts only when they are on sale and then freeze them for later use.

Crunchy Kale and Chicken Salad

 

Step by Step Photos

Cook ChickenBegin by cooking the chicken, so that it has time to cool before adding it to the salad. Season the chicken well with salt and pepper before cooking. I used one large chicken breast (about 1 lb.) and cooked it in my George Foreman Grill (about 7-10 minutes). You can also cut it into chunks and just cook it in a skillet until the pieces are cooked through. Whatever method you use is fine because it will be cut into small chunks later anyway.

Chop CeleryWhile you’re waiting for the chicken to cool, dice two stalks of celery. To do this, cut each stalk lengthwise into strips, then cut across the strips into small cubes.

DressingAlso mix up the dressing by combining 1/2 cup mayonnaise (I used light mayo), 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1.5 Tbsp honey, 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard, 1/4 tsp salt, and some freshly cracked pepper.

Chopped ChickenOnce the chicken is finally cooled, chop it into small pieces. Remember, smaller pieces mean more chicken pieces in every bite.

KaleI used this awesome bagged kale that already has the stems removed and is cut into pieces. I tore the kale into even smaller pieces for the salad, though. You’ll want to wash the kale thoroughly and remove as much water as possible. To dry kale, you can roll it up in a clean, dry dish towel to help absorb the excess water (after it drains well in a colander). I used half of this one pound bag, which is about equivalent to one bunch of kale.

Build Kale SaladNow it’s time to build the salad! Layer the chicken, celery, sliced almonds, and golden raisins on top of the kale…

Crunchy Kale and Chicken SaladThen Pour on the delicious dressing. Stir it really, really well, or until the dressing is well distributed. The dressing will partially wilt the kale, making it easier to spread throughout the salad as you stir (so it may look dry at first, but keep stirring). 

Crunchy Kale and Chicken SaladIf you don’t plan on eating the whole salad at once, combine the dressing with just the toppings (chicken, celery, almonds, and raisins) and store that mixture in the fridge. Add the dressing/topping mixture to a fresh bowl of kale just before serving each day.

20 Comments

  1. Jess says:

    I love the suggestion above of adding apple — I added that when I made it the other night, and also threw in some sunflower seeds I had leftover from another recipe. This salad is delicious! And it needs so little dressing to give it a good flavor. The only thing I regret is that I didn’t take the time to chop the kale up more — would have made it easier to eat. Maybe next time I won’t be quite so lazy…

  2. Allison says:

    Oh my gosh I could eat this salad everyday for the rest of my life! I made a few substitutions- I used a rotisserie chicken and used regular raisins rather than golden. I also subbed half of the mayo with greek yogurt. The creaminess of the dressing works perfectly with the crunchy toppings. Now it’s going to be really tough to decide between all of your amazing kale salads!

  3. Sam T says:

    I love pretty much all of your recipes but this one is especially delicious!! I’ve made it a few times already- last time I forgot to get celery so I diced up an apple instead and it was just awesome.

  4. Bethany says:

    I made this yesterday and am eating leftovers for lunch at work now, and want to say that this is the first time I’ve ever actually enjoyed eating kale. Thank you!

  5. Chasity says:

    This was delicious! It even kept well the next day with the dressing on it :)

  6. tatiana.larina says:

    I tried it today and it was also the first time in my life I tried kale (the kale craze has not quite hit my country yet and it’s quite difficult to buy it here). I liked it but I found kale a bit stringy, more difficult to chew than other kinds of lettuce. Is it how it is supposed to be? It was a newly opened bag, four days before its “sell-by” date, so freshness should not be an issue.

    • Yep, that’s just how kale is. :) You might learn to enjoy the texture, you might not. It’s not for everyone. :)

  7. Artiste says:

    Yet another hit at my house toonight! thanks Beth!

  8. Tammy R. says:

    So good! My husband, who tolerates kale when I add it to recipes, actually liked this recipe! First time he’s eaten kale and LIKED it. He took the left-overs for lunch today. My sons also agreed this is the best kale recipe I’ve made. I followed the recipe exactly, so the credit goes to you!

  9. Ashley says:

    Just made this for dinner. Omg. So good! My favourite recipe of yours so far. I substituted the kale with green leaf lettuce since its what I had on hand. Served on a kaiser. I’m ready for seconds!

  10. Vanessa says:

    This was excellent and I already had all the ingredients in the house. I used leftover baked chicken thighs and subbed green pepper for the celery. I also used half greek yogurt and half mayo to make the dressing a little healthier. We enjoyed it for dinner last night with onion rolls and a glass of white wine.

    • Antonia says:

      Sounds like it would go really well with a glass of wine! ;) Can’t wait to try this one, perfect way to eat more kale.

  11. Thanks so much for this recipe. It looks and sounds just wonderful. Kale is growing pretty well in my garden this year. I don’t have golden raisins so I’m going to try it with Craisins. Thanks, again. Pinning it now.

  12. Jaime says:

    Yum!! Made this tonight but added a second chicken breast to the mix! It was so yummy!! Thank you!

  13. Kendra says:

    I am 100% on Team Kale, but my mom refuses to touch the stuff. She adores spinach but I know it wouldn’t give the same body or crunch…any ideas for green substitution? Romaine maybe?

    • Yes, I think romaine would be my next choice, although it’s no kale. ;) Maybe even shredded cabbage? Ooh, yes, that would be good because the dressing is very similar to a cole slaw dressing.

  14. Heather K says:

    Do you think white beans would work well for a vegetarian version of this?

  15. Oh god that looks amazing. I have to make this soon.

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