You’ll love this low carb and Whole30 kale chicken Caesar salad with massaged kale, toasted almonds, perfectly cooked chicken, all covered in the best Whole30 Caesar dressing!
I’m one of those people who have always been a kale fan. I just think it’s so versatile and hearty, and I just love that it’s so nutritious as well. When it comes to salads, the best way to incorporate raw kale is to massage them so they soften and wilt, and the leaves turn much more palatable. And that’s exactly what I did for this Whole30 chicken Caesar salad, and it turned out fantastic!
Whole30 Kale Chicken Caesar Salad Recipe
This kale Caesar salad recipe incorporates kale as the base lettuce instead of romaine, making it much more nutritious and hearty. Instead of croutons, you can get the crunchy and addicting texture from toasted and chopped almonds which I actually prefer.
Also. instead of using chicken breasts, I think chicken thighs are way more flavorful and juicy so that’s what I used. However, if you prefer chicken breasts, you can definitely use those instead.
The Best Whole30 Caesar Dressing
When it comes to Caesar salads, the dressing is the most important part and it’s what gives Caesar salad that zesty tangy flavor that it’s so well-known for. Making a Whole30 version is actually super easy and simple, and you just need some simple ingredients to whisk together:
- Whole30 mayonnaise – make sure it’s made with avocado or olive oil, and doesn’t have sugar!
- lemon juice
- dijon mustard
- anchovy paste – another one to read the ingredients carefully to make sure it’s Whole30 compliant
- salt and pepper
The combination of salt, dijon mustard, and lemon juice really gives this Whole30 Caesar dressing that zesty and cheesy flavor without parmesan cheese. You’ll be surprised how much this Whole30 chicken Caesar salad tastes so much like the real deal!
Tips for Making Whole30 Kale Chicken Caesar Salad
This kale caesar salad recipe is made by preparing different components separately and putting them all together to serve at the end. To make it delicious with the best results, I think these tips will be helpful for you:
- Kale is tough and crunchy raw, so make sure to massage the leaves very well until they are wilted. I recommend you do this towards the beginning, so the leaves have time to soften and marinate while you prepare the other ingredients.
- This Whole30 Caesar dressing is on the thick side, and that how traditional version is as well. However, if you want to thin it out, you can do so by whisking in a little bit of dairy-free milk like coconut milk or almond milk.
- You probably won’t need to use all the dressing to make this kale Caesar salad recipe. The Whole30 Caesar dressing can keep for up to 7 days chilled in the fridge, stored in an airtight container.
- Traditional Caesar salad uses chicken breasts, but I used chicken thighs because it has way more flavor. Feel free to use whatever cut you prefer.
- This Whole30 chicken Caesar salad can be made ahead of time and refrigerated. Because the kale leaves are so sturdy and they actually taste better wilted, the texture will still be amazing after sitting in the dressing overnight.
I personally think this kale chicken Caesar salad is way better than the original version. It’s way heartier, healthier, and has so much more flavor. If you can tolerate dairy, feel free add parmesan cheese to your salad if you’d like!
Other recipes you might love…
- Whole30 Cobb Salad
- Paleo & Whole30 Mandarin Chicken Salad
- Paleo Asian Chicken “Noodle” Salad
- Roasted Whole30 Roasted Greek Salad
Whole30 Kale Chicken Caesar Salad + The Best Whole30 Caesar Dressing
- Whisk together all the ingredients for the Whole30 Caesar Dressing and set aside.
- Bunch up the kale leaves together and slice into thin strands. Transfer to a big bowl.
- Add olive oil and 1/8 tsp sea salt to the kale leaves and massage for 3-4 minutes with your hands until they start to soften and wilt.
- Add red onion slices to the kale and toss together. Set aside.
- Heat a dry skillet over medium heat and add the almonds.
- Stir frequently and toast for 4-5 minutes until golden and fragrant.
- Remove from heat and cool slightly before roughly chopping.
- Heat avocado oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
- Generously sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper on all sides.
- Add the chicken in a single layer to the skillet and cook for 6-7 minutes until you can easily flip the chicken.
- Flip and cook for 5 more minutes.
- Remove from heat and cut into bite-sized slices.
- Combine kale, onion slices, almonds, and chicken in a large bowl.
- Drizzle with caesar dressing (you'll only need about half) and toss together before serving.
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