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Toasted Kale Salad

Kale is densely nutritious and hugely versatile — so aren’t we all going through two bunches a week?

People may think kale is too tough or chewy, but unlike some of the most hearty greens — collards, I’m looking at you — kale is actually not all that difficult to prepare and doesn’t require a ton of boiling to be palatable.

A light toasting in a heavy skillet will it break down just enough to maintain a bit of crunch. (All the same, I’ve heard home cooks discuss how long one should “massage” their kale before serving it raw — yes, that’s a thing.)

It really just comes down to having a collection of healthy, achievable recipes at the ready to broaden your repertoire and ease the mind.

This Kale Salad is an easy way to incorporate this nutritious leafy green into your healthy meal plan.

For their healthy cooking show FIXATE, 21 Day Fix creator Autumn Calabrese and her brother, chef Bobby Calabrese have put together a hearty kale salad topped with blackened chicken breast and the FIXATE Lemon Dijon dressing.

As a bonus, they’ve got the lowdown on the perfect technique to mastering Bobby’s dry-rubbed Cajun chicken. This oil-free pan sear relies on a layer of Cajun seasoning that almost serves as a crust and beautifully blackens the exterior of the chicken breast.

Because toasting kale is easy, but not entirely obvious, Bobby shares a few tips that help to ensure your Kale Salad doesn’t end up tasting more like kale chips!

This recipe works well as a hearty, satisfying lunch. But also consider it an easy to prepare dinner party salad.

If you’ll be taking on lots of dishes for the holidays and want to add a no-fuss salad that’s sure to impress, this is an ideal choice.

You can easily double or triple this recipe toasting your kale in batches. The tangy Lemon Dijon dressing pairs well with chicken, turkey, or beef and won’t overpower your main dish.


Prep Time: 15 min.

Cooking Time: 25 min.


1 slice low-sodium sprouted whole-grain bread (like Ezekiel®), cut into 1-inch cubes

¼ tsp. +1 pinch sea salt (or Himalayan salt), divided use

1 pinch ground black pepper

2 (4-oz.) raw chicken breasts, boneless, skinless

½ tsp. chili powder

1 bunch kale, torn into large pieces (approx. 6 oz.)

2 Tbsp. Lemon Dijon Salad Dressing (see separate recipe for Lemon Dijon Salad Dressing)

Finely chopped lemon peel (lemon zest) (for garnish; optional)

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: Parchment paper Olive oil cooking spray


1. Preheat oven to 450° F.

2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

3. Lightly coat bread with spray and sprinkle with 1 pinch salt and pepper. Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until croutons are toasted and crunchy. Set aside.

4. Sprinkle chicken on each side evenly with remaining salt and chili powder. Set aside.

5. Heat large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.

6. Add chicken; cook, for 6 to 8 minutes on each side, or until chicken is no longer pink in the middle, and is blackened on the outside. Remove chicken from pan. Keep warm.

7. Lightly coat kale with spray, add to skillet; cook over high heat, for 4 to 5 minutes, turning once, until kale is crispy and lightly charred.

8. Evenly divide kale between two serving plates.

9. Slice chicken into strips, top kale with chicken and croutons.

10. Drizzle each serving with 1 Tbsp. Lemon Dijon Salad Dressing.

11. Top with lemon peel, if desired.

RECIPE NOTE: You can make this salad vegetarian by eliminating the chicken.

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