Grilled Chicken Kale Salad - a THM-S recipe with Keto and Gluten-free options | #THM #THMS #kalesalad #TrimHealthyMama #TrimHealthyMamaS #Smeal
Grilled Chicken Kale Salad - a THM-S recipe with Keto and Gluten-free options | #THM #THMS #kalesalad #TrimHealthyMama #TrimHealthyMamaS #Smeal
Grilled Chicken Kale Salad - a THM-S recipe with Keto and Gluten-free options | #THM #THMS #kalesalad #TrimHealthyMama #TrimHealthyMamaS #Smeal

The Kale Salad at Fresh Chef restaurant is one of my favorite things. I usually order it with grilled salmon on top since I’m the only one in my family who likes salmon. AnnMarie usually orders hers with blackened chicken.

I seriously crave this superfood salad so I decided to figure out how to make it at home. After all, eating out gets pretty spendy (It’s almost $20 including tip each time I order this at the restaurant!).

Grilled Chicken Kale Salad

I’m going to pass on this recipe: I don’t like kale!

True confession: *I* did not like kale. At all. I’d only ever had it cooked and it was disgusting with a capital D! When one of my friends raved about this salad, I was pretty skeptical. But I put my big girl pants on and gave it a try: after all, kale is so good for you.

Y’all? I was hooked after the first bite of this kale salad! And I was shocked.

It was a little garlicky and the kale gave it just the right amount of texture and bitterness. The dressing is also really bright thanks to the lemon juice.

I think the key to this recipe is how the kale is sliced so thin and then the dressing is massaged into the kale to make the leaves soft and flavorful.

This kale salad recipe is a light S meal if you follow the Trim Healthy Mama way of eating. If you follow a keto lifestyle simply omit the crushed croutons, or substitute crushed pork rinds. If you eat gluten-free, you can either omit the crushed croutons or you can substitute gluten-free bread crumbs.

*Please note that gluten-free products often include ingredients that aren’t considered “on plan” for Trim Healthy Mama.

Even if you don’t like kale, I hope you’ll give this a try! Who knows? Maybe you’ll end up loving it as much as I do now!

Here’s What You’ll Need:

Ingredients for Grilled Chicken Kale Salad

{Scroll down to the bottom for printable recipe}

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
lemon juice
garlic powder
mineral salt
black pepper
grated Parmesan cheese
grilled or cooked chicken
sprouted croutons or pork rinds (optional)

Here’s how you make your kale salad:

Prep the Kale

I like to buy whole kale because that’s the cheapest way to get it. You can also buy bagged kale that’s been cut into smaller pieces. Just be sure to remove any stalks from your kale. For a single serving recipe, you’ll need 4-6 stalks of kale depending on their size.

Remove stalks from kale leaves
Next, stack the kale leaves on top of each other and then slice them into thin ribbons. You want your slices to be about 1/4-inch wide or even thinner if you’re really good with a chef’s knife.
Kale being sliced into thin ribbons
Thinly sliced kale
Once your kale is all sliced, transfer it to a medium sized mixing bowl. (I think I need to get some new mixing bowls because this green bowl looks like something from the 70s or something an alien would use!). You should have about 3 cups of lightly packed kale strips.

Then add the grated Parmesan cheese. You can use the kind from a can, but I prefer the freshly grated kind from the deli section of my local grocery store.
Kale strips in a bowl with Parmesan cheese
Toss the Parmesan cheese with the kale so that it’s spread all through fairly evenly.
kale mixed with Parmesan cheese

Prep the Croutons

I love these croutons! They are made from sprouted grains and they brought some crunch back to my salads when I started following the THM way of eating. You can also use crushed pork rinds if you count macros.

If you can’t find these croutons, you can make your own using a slice of sprouted grain bread cut into small chunks and tossed in a teaspoon of butter in a skillet over medium heat and then toasted until crunchy. Chatham Village Sprouted Ancient Grains Croutons
Crush or chop your croutons into breadcrumbs. I usually just use my knife and chop them up because it makes less mess. But you can put the croutons between wax paper or parchment paper and pound them into breadcrumbs if you prefer!

Set these aside when you’re done: we’ll add them after the dressing.
crushed croutons

Make the Dressing

To make the dressing, add the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, mineral salt, and black pepper to a small bowl or measuring cup and whisk it together until blended.

I just use a fork to mix it up because I’m all about minimizing dishes that need to be washed! Yup, you guessed it: this is the same fork I’ll use to eat my salad later. 😉
dressing for Grilled Chicken Kale Salad
Dressing for Grilled Chicken Kale Salad

Assemble the Salad

Pour the dressing over your kale and Parmesan cheese mixture:
Add dressing to kale and Parmesan cheese

This next step is important! Mix the salad dressing into the kale REALLY REALLY well!

I usually do this with my hands and knead the dressing into the kale. This tenderizes the kale so the flavors blend into the leaves. I just haven’t figured out how to mix with my hands AND take a picture at the same time! LOL
mix kale, Parmesan cheese and dressing
Toss your crushed croutons/pork rinds into the bowl with your kale and Parmesan cheese and mix them together well.
Crushed croutons added to kale salad mixture
I like to toss my chopped up grilled chicken into my salad to get the dressing onto the meat. If you prefer a fancier presentation, you can skip this step and just serve the grilled chicken on top of the salad!
chicken added to kale salad mixture
And there you have it: Grilled Chicken Kale Salad that is a copycat of the Fresh Chef kale salad recipe.
Grilled Chicken Kale Salad
Let me know what you think of it in the comments when you make it! Have I converted you to liking kale this way too? Be sure to leave a star rating!

You can find our other entree recipes and ideas here:

Pin it to Remember it:

Grilled Chicken Kale Salad - a THM-S recipe with Keto and Gluten-free options | #THM #THMS #kalesalad #TrimHealthyMama #TrimHealthyMamaS #Smeal

Grilled Chicken Kale Salad - THM S

This salad recipe is what turned me into a kale lover! The ribbons of kale combined with a fresh, garlicky dressing and Parmesan cheese are perfect as a side salad or an entire meal.
Prep Time15 mins
Total Time15 mins
Servings: 1 person
Calories: 690kcal


  • 3 cups fresh kale, stems removed and sliced in thin ribbons
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp sprouted grain croutons, crushed omit for keto or gluten-free diets
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 4 ounces grilled skinless, boneless chicken can substitute steak, grilled shrimp, or grilled salmon


  • Remove stems from kale then slice into thin, 1/4-wide ribbons. Place in medium bowl and toss with Parmesan cheese. Crush the croutons into crumbs and toss into kale mixture.
  • In a small container, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, mineral salt, pepper and garlic powder until well blended. Pour over kale mixture and mix well either with a spoon or massage the dressing in with your hands, slightly crushing the kale to soften it.
  • Top with grilled chicken and serve!


If you follow a keto lifestyle simply omit the crushed croutons when you make this recipe.
If you eat gluten-free, you can either omit the crushed croutons or you can substitute gluten-free bread crumbs. Please note that gluten-free products often include ingredients that aren't considered "on plan" for Trim Healthy Mama.

Nutritional Disclosure


Calories: 690kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 49g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 24g | Cholesterol: 88mg | Sodium: 1361mg | Potassium: 1102mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 622% | Vitamin C: 414% | Calcium: 67% | Iron: 22%

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *