Kale Caesar Salad

kale caesar salad

The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 12 mins
Total: 27 mins
Servings: 2 to 4
Yield: 4 cups
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
1446 Calories
127g Fat
55g Carbs
28g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 1446
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 127g 163%
Saturated Fat 25g 123%
Cholesterol 93mg 31%
Sodium 2455mg 107%
Total Carbohydrate 55g 20%
Dietary Fiber 10g 37%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 28g
Vitamin C 164mg 820%
Calcium 782mg 60%
Iron 6mg 34%
Potassium 1176mg 25%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Kale Caesar salad is the perfect creamy, crunchy salad—and it's packed with nutrients and antioxidants. Raw kale has the highest levels of minerals and antioxidants. Cooking may reduce the nutritional value of kale, so this raw salad is a great way to get the full benefit of those nutrients (though most nutritionists say it's best to eat both raw and cooked kale dishes). If you don’t know how to prepare kale, you can end up with a tough, chewy dish, but with our tips you can learn how to make this easy and simple salad without any tough pieces or bitterness.

The dressing is full of classic Caesar flavor from garlic, lemon juice, and anchovies. It's the perfect addition to your favorite steak dinner or pasta dish.

Ingredients

For the Salad:

  • 6 cups curly or lacinato kale

  • 2 cups cubed country-style or Italian bread

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shaved

For the Caesar Dressing:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise

  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated

  • 1 clove garlic

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 to 2 anchovy fillets

  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Steps to Make It

Prepare the Salad

  1. Gather your ingredients. Preheat the oven to 400 F.

    kale caesar salad ingredients
  2. Remove the tough stems from the kale and chop it as coarsely or finely as you like. We went for thin strips, but you can use larger pieces if desired. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and massage with your hands to soften; set aside.

    chopped kale
  3. Meanwhile, toss the bread cubes with the olive oil, garlic powder, and salt on a baking sheet.

    garlic croutons on a baking sheet
  4. Bake for 12 minutes or until the bread is golden brown, shaking the baking sheet after 6 minutes to ensure even browning.

    baked garlic croutons

Prepare the Caesar Dressing

  1. Add the mayonnaise, parmesan cheese, garlic clove, dijon mustard, anchovy fillet(s), remaining lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and black pepper to a food processor.

    Blend until completely smooth, then with the processor on low, slowly drizzle in the olive oil as it is blending.

    caesar dressing in a food processor
  2. Add the dressing to the bowl with kale. Using a wooden spoon, pound the kale and the dressing together. This will tenderize the kale and help it absorb the flavors from the dressing. Stir and continue to pound with the spoon for another minute. It’s hard to bruise the kale, so don’t be afraid.

    kale beaten with dressing
  3. Chop the baked bread cubes until they resemble large breadcrumbs.

    chopped croutons
  4. Toss the dressed salad with the shaved parmesan and crumbled croutons. Serve immediately.

    kale caesar salad in a bowl

Recipe Tips

  • The dressing can be made up to 4 days in advance. The longer it sits, the more intense the flavors become.
  • Store the dressing in the refrigerator in an airtight container until you are ready to prepare the salad. 
  • The chopped kale with the lemon juice can also be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days. 
  • You can store the dressed kale, minus the croutons in the fridge for one to two days. The longer it sits, the soggier it will become. 
  • The lemon juice helps to tenderize the kale, so does massaging the kale with the spoon. Don’t skip these steps!


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