This copycat Chick Fil A kale crunch salad recipe with purple kale, strawberries, feta, toasted almonds and maple-dijon dressing is a tasty and summery salad that's great as a light lunch or delicious side dish. Way better than a Chick Fil A kale salad, this healthy homemade version comes together in just 15 minutes!JUMP TO RECIPE
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A deliciously simple Kale, strawberry and feta salad- ready in just 15 minutes!
Satisfying and super tasty, this Kale Crunch Salad checks all the right boxes. Great taste? Check. Flavorful? Check. Light and low calorie? Check. Nutritious? Check.
With fresh, juicy strawberries, toasted almonds, thinly sliced scallions, hearty and healthy kale, and a tangy maple and dijon vinaigrette- this salad has easily become one of my faves for a filling lunch or light summer side. Serve it alongside some grilled steak, or add in some grilled chicken for an easy no-fuss meal you can feel good about!
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Making the Kale Crunch Salad
This light, filling kale salad is a summery treat that comes together in just 15 minutes! You'll need to chop and massage the kale, slice the strawberries and scallions, toast some slivered almonds, and make a quick and tangy dressing. Then you'll season the salad with salt and pepper, toss it all together, and top it will some tangy and salty feta to finish it off. I can eat a whole bowl myself for a big-salad lunch, but this salad can easily be split to serve 2, or even 4 as a light side!
Making the Maple Dijon Dressing
To make the easy and tangy Maple Dijon Dressing for this salad, you will need:
- Maple syrup. Good quality stuff is best. I like this one from Mink Dog Blends.
- Some stone ground dijon mustard, such as Grey Poupon Country Dijon.
- Natural/organic Apple cider vinegar.
- Extra virgin olive oil.
- A clove of fresh garlic, and a garlic press (or some very tedious mincing with a sharp knife).
- A lemon, for juicing and zesting.
You can choose to whisk the dressing by hand with a wire whisk, blend it, or shake it up in a mason jar. Dress the salad to taste and preference. Any leftovers will keep up to a week in the fridge!
An upgraded Chick fil a kale crunch salad recipe!
This Kale Crunch Salad is WAY tastier than any grab and go Chick Fil A kale crunch salad, and just as nutritious and delicious. Making it yourself let's you control the ingredients and amount of dressing, as well as presents and opportunity to add a little extra fresh flavor with juicy strawberries, tangy scallions, and a touch of crumbly feta. This summery take on the much-loved Chick Fil A kale crunch salad is never a disappointment, and something you can indulge in, guilt-free!
Health benefits of purple kale
I used purple kale from my garden for this recipe. Purple kale is very nutrient-dense, and is an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, protein, carbohydrates and fiber. Not only is it filling, it's low fat, and pretty to boot! If you can't find purple kale, any variety will work for this recipe, even pre-washed and cut kale. Just be sure to massage the kale well first before tossing with the dressing.
Why massage the kale?
Lightly massaging your kale before tossing with the salad gives it a better bite and texture. It also makes it easier to digest! Be sure to massage it gently, until it just starts to wilt. Over-massaging the kale will make for a lifeless and rubbery salad. You want to break it down a bit, while still reserving some of it's crisp and bouncy texture. Read more on handling kale with care here.
What kind of kale should I use for the copycat Chick fil a kale crunch salad recipe?
Any of your favorite kale varieties will do for this recipe. I used purple kale, because I grow it in my veggie garden, and it's pretty. You can also use curly kale, dinosaur kale, bagged pre-cut kale, etc.
Can I substitute the strawberries in the salad?
Sure! Great substitutes for the strawberries would be some fresh blueberries, dried cranberries, or thinly sliced granny smith apple!
More substitutions and additions to make this kale salad your own:
- Swap the strawberries for dried cranberries, apple slices or blueberries. If you’re making this in the fall, fresh slice figs or some roasted butternut squash would be great, too!
- Switch out the feta for goat cheese or grated parmesan.
- Use honey in place of maple syrup for the dressing.
- Try some white wine vinegar in place of the apple cider vinegar in the dressing.
- Add some grilled chicken to beef up the salad as a hearty meal.
- Try some toasted walnuts pr pecans in place of the slivered almonds.
Why salt and pepper the salad?
Seasoning the salad with a bit of salt and pepper just before dressing it makes for a more flavorful, well rounded salad. It enhances the natural flavors of the dressing and ingredients. I opt to salt and pepper most of my salads.
Kale Crunch Salad with Strawberries and Feta
- 1 large bunch of kale
- ¼ cup slivered almonds
- 1 cup thinly sliced strawberries
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon crumbled feta cheese
- salt and pepper, to taste
Maple Dijon Dressing
- 2 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon stone ground dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove finely minced/pressed garlic
- ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1. Heat a small nonstick frying pan over medium low heat, and add slivered almonds. Cook, moving occasionally, until well toasted, 5-7 minutes. Transfer to a plate, and allow to cool completely before adding to salad. 2. Remove tough stems from kale, chop leaves into small pieces, rinse and dry well, and massage with your hands. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. 3. Slice strawberries and scallions, and add to bowl with kale. 4. Make the dressing: Whisk, shake or blend all dressing ingredients together until well combined. 5. Season kale, strawberries, scallions, and almonds with salt and pepper, and toss with dressing. 6. Top with crumbed feta and enjoy! Serves 2-4 (depending on whether its a side or meal)
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