Ok THIS KALE SALAD. It’s so good. It’s loaded up with roasted butternut squash (or sweet potatoes, or roasted carrots, something orangey and starchy but healthy and amazing– you get it), grilled chicken, apples, toasted almonds and MORE. It’s hearty. But still light! Just trust me.
It popped up at least a half a dozen times in my house this Fall. I brought it to two holiday parties because It’s a total crowd pleaser, and holds up so well throughout the night. I can’t tell you how many times I heard people say “I didn’t even think I liked kale!” and then ask for the recipe.
But truthfully, I haven’t really had a recipe to share since, when it comes to salads I’m usually just gonna keep adding good stuff to a bowl, measuring mostly with my heart. It’s true.
But I did it! For them. And for you. And for everyone at your parties that though they didn’t like kale.
What you’ll need for your Harvest Chopped Kale Salad
- Kale, chopped small (this is KEY!) (100 g)
- Balsamic vinegar (I used a specialty cranberry pear from Baker and Olive)
- Pinch of coarse salt
- Roasted butternut squash
- Chopped grilled chicken
- Apple, chopped small
- Red onion, diced
- Dried cranberries, golden raisins, or dried cherries
- Toasted Marcona almonds, chopped (or other favorite nut)
- Crumbled goat cheese
How to Make the Best Kale Salad
You can buy the bagged, chopped lacinto kale and pick through it to remove any tough stems. Then bundle the kale together on a large cutting board and chop super small using a large knife! Pile the kale on top of itself to run your knife through it a few times from different directions. If I’m doing a huge salad for a group, I like to use the slicing attachment in my food processor to get the job done!
Alternately, you can buy the large leaves of kale, and run a sharp knife down the center on each side of the tough stem to remove it in one long piece! Now you can finely chop the tender, dark green leaves. I prefer this method. But I’ve found I need to buy a lot of kale! Ha. We like big salads over here.
Add your kale to a large bowl and drizzle with a quality balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Give it a squeeze or two with your hands as you toss it to help relax the kale a bit.
To roast your butternut squash, chop about 500 grams of peeled and seeded squash into small squares and lay on a large cookie sheet. Give them a spray of about 1 Tbsp olive or avocado oil spray and sprinkle liberally with kosher salt, pepper, and a little garlic. We also love rosemary! Roast for about 25 minutes at 425 until tender. You can keep any leftovers in the fridge to add to salads all week!
How to Dress Your Kale Salad Without Olive Oil
Ok so I’m sure this will still be great with your favorite balsamic vinegar. And I’m not insane– it would be even BETTER with a glug of olive oil. I mean duh.
BUT, if you appreciate being able to use your fats elsewhere, but love a good huge salad. You want this unsolicited advice. You need a delicious fruit-infused white balsamic vinegar! Yes, just straight vinegar. They have no added sugar, and are just 3 carbs per Tablespoon, but SO sweet and fresh and delicious. Can’t rave enough.
I get mine from Baker and Olive, but you can find amazing products at your local specialty olive oil store if you have one! Baker and Olive also sells online and has kindly given me a code to share for a discount. Lillieeats for 15% off. I’m absolutely OBSESSED with lemon, peach, pineapple, mango, serrano honey, apple… apricot, you can NOT go wrong. And you’ll never go back. I use one on literally every single salad I make. Which is at least daily.
Keep them in business for me mmkay.
I’m kidding — but I’m serious. Can you tell?
Building Your Harvest Chopped Kale Salad
Top your tossed kale with roasted squash, chicken, apple, onion, cranberries, almonds, and goat cheese. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss when you’re ready to eat! Add more vinegar to taste, and if you’ve got room for some fats, drizzle some olive oil on there — and enjoy!
How to serve your Kale Salad
I wrote this for one, but this is a great one to serve at a party! The kale holds up so well and won’t get soggy like normal baby greens. Just triple or quadruple or WHATEVER-ple, skip the chicken and call it a side.
My favorite root veggie for this will always be roasted sweet potatoes! So feel free to use those instead. They’ll add about 8 carbs to the salad. Roasted carrots are also delicious and ring it about the same as the butternut squash. If you’re looking for a tasty grilled chicken recipe to add, here are a few of my favorites:
You Might Also Like These Recipes
Macro friendly salads are one of my favorite lunches. (Behind crunch wraps OBVIOUSLY.) Here are a few of my favorite salads to whip up for lunches, or even dinners!
As always, you can find me on Instagram, @lillieeatsandtells, sharing my days as a busy mom who loves to eat real, healthy food. And lots of it. If you love salads as much as I do, check out all of my salad recipes here, or grab one of my macro-friendly cookbooks here! Macros are always included and pre-loaded into MFP for the EASIEST logging.
Harvest Chopped Kale Salad
Disclaimer: the grams I’ve listed manually after each ingredient are accurate for a single recipe, but they will not multiply if you choose the 2x or 3x option. Please make sure and multiply on your own!
- 2 cups kale chopped small (100 g)
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar I used a specialty cranberry pear from Baker and Olive
- Pinch of coarse salt
- ⅓ cup roasted butternut squash 50 g
- ¾ cup chopped grilled chicken 100 g
- ¼ of an apple chopped small (50 g)
- 2 Tbsp red onion diced (20 g)
- 1 Tbsp dried cranberries golden raisins, or dried cherries (10 g)
- 1 Tbsp toasted Marcona almonds chopped (or other favorite nut) (10 g)
- 2 Tbsp crumbled goat cheese 14 g
- Pick any tough stems out of your kale and chop very small by bundling the kale together on a large cutting board and using a large knife! Pile the kale on top of itself to run your knife through it a few times from different directions. If I’m doing a huge salad for a group, I like to use the slicing attachment in my food processor.
- Add your kale to a large bowl and drizzle with vinegar and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Toss well and using your hands, give it a squeeze or two. Set aside.
- To roast butternut squash, chop about 500 grams of peeled and seeded squash into small squares and lay on a large cookie sheet. Spray with 1 Tbsp olive or avocado oil spray and sprinkle liberally with kosher salt, pepper, and a little garlic. We also love rosemary. Roast for about 25 minutes at 425 until tender. Keep leftovers in the fridge to add to salads all week.
- Build your salad: Top your tossed kale with roasted squash, chicken, apple, onion, cranberries, almonds, and goat cheese. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss when you’re ready to eat! Add more vinegar to taste, and if you’ve got room for some fats, drizzle some olive oil on there!