Looking for a copycat version of Chick fil A’s superfood side salad? This kale salad recipe is a great option if you’re craving Chick fil A, but not all the added sugar that fast food restaurants use. A great option for a main course or side dish, a kale crunch salad elevates any meal.
And the best part? Even my kids love this salad! With six kids, each of whom have their own picky eating habits, it can be hard to find something healthy that everyone enjoys. From my adult children down to the pre-teens, all it took was telling them it’s from Chick-fil-A and they couldn’t get enough.
This delicious recipe, made with kale, Brussels sprouts, crunchy almonds, and an apple dijon dressing, uses ingredients that are easy to find in the grocery store. A superfood salad that makes a healthy diet easy sounds too good to be true, but this copycat recipe gives you all of the scrumptious kale crunch salad taste right at home for your entire family to enjoy.
What is Chick-fil-A?
One of the most famous chicken fast food restaurants, Chick-fil-A has lots of delicious options. But while fast food is easy, it’s expensive, it comes with a lot of added sugar, and let’s be honest—sometimes you just can’t be bothered to get in the car and drive somewhere!
When you want that great Chick fil A taste without the expense, sugar, and hassle of fast food, this version of Chick-fil-A’s kale crunch side salad is the way to go. Plus, since you can store it in a mason jar, it’s a great option for a make-ahead meal that helps you meal plan.
Main Ingredients Needed for This Salad
Kale is the main ingredient in this copycat Chick-fil-A salad. It’s a superfood packed with vitamins A, K, B6 and C, calcium, and potassium.
Brussels sprouts complement the kale. Did you know Brussels sprouts are also considered a superfood? With both in one salad, you’re getting tons of essential vitamins and minerals in one go!
Crunchy almonds and Parmesan cheese add texture and flavor to the salad, taking it to the next level.
Olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, salt, and black pepper combine to make the salad dressing and finish off this delicious recipe.
Chick fil A Kale Salad Recipe FAQs
What do I need to make this recipe?
The great thing about this recipe is that you don’t need fancy equipment or hard-to-find ingredients.
Besides the ingredients listed above, you’ll need a salad bowl, or any large bowl. You’ll also need a knife and cutting board to chop the kale and Brussels sprouts, a grater for the cheese, and a whisk to make the dressing.
How do I make kale more tender?
One of the tricks of this delicious recipe is that it has a built-in step for softening your kale. By dressing the kale and Brussels sprouts and letting them sit before adding the rest of the ingredients, you’ll end up with tender kale every time.
To make sure your kale has the best taste, chop off the stems. It’s also important to toss the kale in the salad dressing and let it sit for at least 15 minutes. This process also softens the kale. You can also let it sit for longer—up to 45 minutes.
If your salad bowl or large bowl has a lid, an easy way to ensure the kale is thoroughly coated in salad dressing is to pop the lid on and give the whole bowl a good shake.
For extra-tender kale, try using your hands to massage kale while it sits in the dressing. You’ll feel it getting softer while you massage. While this amazing superfood is chock full of vitamins and nutrients, its bitter taste can be off putting to some. Massaging your kale provides the added benefit of making it less bitter, making your Chick Fil A kale salad taste even better.
How do I store kale crunch salad?
If you have leftovers or want to make this salad as part of your meal prep, you can store it for up to 5 days in the fridge. Since kale is tougher than lettuce or spinach, it stores well without getting soggy.
To store, make sure you use an airtight container such as tupperware, glass containers with lids, or plastic bags. If you use a plastic bag, squeeze excess air out before storing. One great way to store this superfood salad is in a mason jar—it’s airtight, reusable, and it looks great on your fridge shelf!
What if I want meat in my salad?
While this is a great vegetarian recipe that helps you get more vegetables and less meat in your daily diet, you can also add chicken breast.
You can cook the chicken breast however you’d like—grill it, bake it, or cut it into chunks and sauté it. Once cooked, let it cool while you chop the kale and Brussels sprouts, make the dressing, and soften the kale. Add the chicken breast alongside the almonds and Parmesan cheese to finish off the salad.
Chicken breast is a great option to add extra protein to this superfood salad. Chicken breast is also an excellent way to serve kale crunch salad as a main dish, since it adds a little more substance to each bite.
What are other ingredients I can use in this Copycat Chick fil A Kale Salad Recipe?
The best part of this recipe is its flexibility. There are tons of variations you can use to spice up this superfood salad. Make it as is, add your own twist, or try one of the ingredients I have here:
Green cabbage. If you don’t like Brussels sprouts, don’t have them on hand, or are looking for a change, you can use green cabbage instead. You can also add green cabbage to the existing ingredients to include extra veggies.
Baby broccoli. Baby broccoli, the generic term for broccolini, is another great vegetable addition or substitution. Like green cabbage, use baby broccoli instead of Brussels sprouts, or just toss it in with the other veggies for an even more vitamin- and mineral-packed kale crunch salad.
Lemon juice. To turn a kale crunch salad into a lemon kale caesar salad, try lemon juice instead of apple cider vinegar.
Maple syrup. Instead of apple dijon dressing, you can make a maple vinaigrette dressing instead. Use maple syrup instead of honey.
Garlic powder. For a more intensely-flavored salad dressing, add garlic powder to taste along with salt and black pepper.
Other add-ins. There are many other things you can add to kale crunch salad for extra flavor and texture. Sour cherries make a great addition, as do chopped apples, dried cranberries, or pecans.
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Making your favorite fast food salad in your own kitchen!
6 cups kale, chopped thin
4 cups Brussels sprouts, sliced thin or into small pieces
1 cup slivered or sliced almonds, toasted
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
Before serving, top the salad with the almonds, Parmesan cheese and additional vinaigrette if needed. Toss to combine.
Feel free to add your favorite cooked protein, dried fruits, or veggies to mix it up! See the post above for suggestions.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 502
- Sugar: 8 g
- Sodium: 690 mg
- Fat: 38 g
- Saturated Fat: 5 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 14 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 25 g
- Fiber: 8 g
- Protein: 13 g
- Cholesterol: 5 mg
Keywords: healthy salad recipe, copycat recipes