This delicious Kale Crunch Salad is a copycat version of Chick-Fil-A's popular salad. It has hearty kale and cabbage and is topped with toasted almonds and dijon mustard vinaigrette dressing that your tastebuds will love.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
Satisfying: Kale salad has a different flavor and texture than most of the other salads you're used to, and it fills you up quickly and easily with lots of health benefits.
Flavorful Dressing: The dressing is so simple to make and will become a favorite dressing for all of your salad recipes.
Quick and Easy: This copycat recipe is a favorite in our house, even with picky eaters and busy summer evening schedules. The original Chik-Fil-A kale salad is my go-to lunch on-the-go option. But having the ingredients to make it at home is even easier and saves me a stop when I'm on my way to the pool or a camp.
Curly Kale - Chopped kale gives this recipe so much flavor and texture. Make sure to wash your greens well. Massage the kale to ensure all the curly leaves are cleaned and gently washed thoroughly. Baby kale or regular kale can also be used.
Green Cabbage - The flavor of green cabbage is a little lighter and adds a nice variety to the flavors and textures in this recipe.
Almonds - Almonds are a great protein and also have healthy fats. I prefer to use slivered almonds but sliced almonds work well also.
Apple Cider Vinegar - Using apple cider vinegar in salad dressing adds so much flavor and it has more health benefits than white vinegar. But you can also use red wine, white, or rice vinegar.
Dijon Mustard - The deep and rich flavors of dijon mustard gives the dressing a great taste without requiring a lot of ingredients.
Maple Syrup - Pure Maple Syrup (not pancake syrup) is used to add a hint of sweetness to this homemade dressing recipe. Honey could also be used and will give it a different flavor while still adding sweetness.
Parmesan Cheese - This is an optional ingredient that can be left out if you want something dairy-free. If you are using Parmesan cheese then I recommend shaved or shredded cheese from the deli section, as it has so much more flavor than the green can.
Step One: Prepare the dressing
- In a small bowl, whisk the shallot, vinegar, maple syrup, and mustard until well combined.
- Slowing drizzle the olive oil into the bowl while actively whisking.
- Refrigerate the dressing until you are ready to serve.
- You can make the dressing a day ahead and store it in the refrigerator. This allows the flavors to marry. Whisk well before adding to the salad.
Step Two: Toast Almonds
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C).
- Spread the almonds evenly onto a baking sheet.
- Toast them in the oven for 6-8 minutes.
- Keep an eye on your almonds to make sure they don't burn. Cook until they are golden brown.
Step Three: Prepare Salad
- In a large bowl or platter, mix the kale and cabbage together.
- Sprinkle on the almonds and Parmesan cheese when you're ready to serve.
Step Four: Add Dressing
- Drizzle the maple vinaigrette dressing over the top and toss to coat the greens evenly.
Is Kale Crunch the same thing as Chick-Fil-A's Superfood Salad?
The Chik-Fil-A Kale Crunch Salad and the Superfood Salad are different. The superfood side salad is the original kale side from Chick-Fil-A, but they replaced it with the Kale Crunch side salad in 2020. This was a great move for health-conscious diners, as the Superfood Salad had more sugar and less fiber than the Kale Crunch Salad. The superfood salad had dried cherries, no almonds, and a slightly different dressing.
- Main Dish Salad: Add grilled chicken breasts or diced-up chicken strips to make this a satisfying dinner salad. Roasted turkey could also be used if that is what you have on hand. For a hot protein, cook chicken cutlets in the air fryer, slice them and serve on top of the salad.
- Brighter Flavors: Add a splash of lemon juice to the dressing to brighten up the flavors even more.
- Swap the Dressing: You could also make a super quick dressing with just olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper all added to the top, and then give it a good toss to combine and coat the greens. Or use your favorite bottled vinaigrette.
- Additional Crunch: To make this a super crunch salad, add croutons, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or crunch tortilla strips.
- More Flavor: You could even add more sweet or flavorful ingredients to meet personal preferences. A few ideas are dried sour cherries, Romaine lettuce, red cabbage, lemon wedges, dried cranberries, fresh strawberries, shredded brussels sprouts, flaky sea salt, leftover chicken, or baby spinach, and baby or regular broccoli. The great thing about this recipe is you can easily make it your own because the dressing and main ingredients are easy to add to.
I like to serve this as a side dish with soup or protein as my main dish. That way, I get all the hearty benefits of the greens and the apple cider dressing while also having a full meal. If you are craving soup then I recommend Spicy Chicken Noodle Soup or Creamy Potato and Dumpling Soup..
For enjoying on the go, prepare this in a mason jar and put the dressing in a separate container. When you are ready to enjoy, just pour the dressing over the salad, replace the jar lid, and give it a good shake to disperse the dressing.
Yes, you can make this salad recipe ahead. Just store the dressing separately from the salad until you're ready to serve. Both the salad and the dressing should keep in the refrigerator for up to three days if they are separate.
This Chick-Fil-A salad is loaded with healthy leafy greens, which provide great fiber and lots of vitamins. It is fairly low in carbs and fat, with a small amount of protein.
If you wanted to make a vegan version of the Kale Crunch Salad just leave off the Parmesan cheese. Check the labels of all of your ingredients to make sure no animal products are hidden in them.
Let me know how you like this recipe by leaving a review! And follow along on Instagram @stateofdinner for behind the scenes and to be among the first to know when new recipes post!
Kale Crunch Salad (Chick Fil A Copycat)Recipe by:
Apple Cider Vinegar & Dijon Dressing
- 1 small shallot finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Kale Crunch Salad
- 4 cups curly leaf kale chopped
- 2 cups green cabbage chopped or shredded
- ¼ cup almonds sliced or slivered
- ¼ cup shaved Parmesan (optional)
Apple Cider Vinegar & Dijon Dressing
- Whisk the chopped shallots, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, and dijon mustard in a small bowl or jar.
- Slowly pour the olive oil in with a steady stream while whisking continuously. You can also use an immersion blender to mix the oil into the dressing.
- Refrigerate until ready to use.
Kale Crunch Salad
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Place the almonds on a baking sheet in a single layer. Toast in the oven for 6-8 minutes. Keep an eye on the almonds to make sure they do not burn. Once you smell a nutty aroma then they are ready.
- Toss the chopped kale and cabbage in a large serving bowl. Sprinkle with almonds and Parmesan cheese, if using.
- Drizzle with the apple cider-dijon dressing and toss to coat.
- Kale: Baby or regular kale or Romaine lettuce
- Cabbage: Red cabbage, Nappa cabbage, shredded Brussels sprouts or shredded broccoli
- Shallots: 1-2 tablespoons of chopped red onion
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Red, white, or rice vinegar
- Maple syrup: Honey