Crunchy Kale and Chicken Salad

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 from 8 votes
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Crunchy Kale and Chicken Salad

This Crunchy Kale and Chicken Salad is both filling and flavorful with it's protein, fiber, and deliciously sweet, creamy, and tangy dressing.

Total Cost $6.19 recipe / $1.55 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

SALAD

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts* $1.99
  • Pinch salt and pepper $0.05
  • 8 oz or one bunch curly leaf kale $1.50
  • 2 stalks stalks celery $0.33
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds $0.76
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins $0.39

DRESSING

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (I used light mayo) $0.77
  • 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar $0.18
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp honey $0.17
  • 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard $0.06
  • 1/4 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, 1/4 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.

Recipe 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 Chicken

Begin 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 Celery

While 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.

Dressing

Also 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 Chicken

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

Kale

I 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 Salad

Now 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 Salad

Then 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 Salad

If 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.