This easy lemon kale salad recipe is made with crunchy lacinato kale, a bright lemon dressing, and extra flavor from crunchy panko and shredded Parmesan cheese. After my cousin brought this kale salad to Thanksgiving one year, it was requested year after year – it’s that good!
You can go in a few directions for this easy kale salad. It’s the perfect side to fish (try blackened cod or panko salmon) or an easy protein (like grilled chicken thighs or crockpot pesto chicken), but you could also turn it into a main-dish salad with some grilled or sous vide chicken and garbanzo beans.
Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
- What You'll Love About Lemon Kale Salad
- Kale Salad Video
- Ingredients to Make Kale Salad
- How to Make Kale Salad
- Storage Instructions
- What to Serve with this Kale Salad Recipe
- How to Feed Kale Parmesan Salad to the Whole Family
- Want More?
- More Kale Salad Ideas
- Let me Meal Plan for you!
What You’ll Love About Lemon Kale Salad
- Bright and fresh lemon dressing
- Crunchy breadcrumbs and savory cheese
- Made with simple ingredients
- Nutritious side dish or main meal
- Easy to prep ahead
Kale Salad Video
Ingredients to Make Kale Salad
- Kale – I think lacinato kale (also known as Tuscan kale and dinosaur kale) is far superior to curly kale in this salad. It has a flatter shape with thinner leaves that are more tender so you don’t really need to massage the leaves. It’s pretty common so you should be able to find it at your store.
- Lemon – Use fresh lemon as we’re using both the lemon zest and lemon juice.
- Oil – Use high-quality olive oil for best flavor.
- Garlic – Use fresh garlic cloves for best flavor. I love using the zester to grate the garlic instead of mincing as it almost creates a paste. It ensures that there aren’t any big clumps of garlic to bite into and the zester is already out anyway! 🙂
- Parmesan cheese – Use high-quality shredded Parmesan cheese for best flavor. This simple kale salad shines with basic, but high quality flavors.
- Panko – The panko bread crumbs add extra crunch and delicious flavor to the salad.
How to Make Kale Salad
This is an overview on how to make kale salad, the detailed instructions can be found below in the recipe card.
How to soften kale for salad?
Some kale salad recipes require massaging the kale to soften it up. This is typically recommended with salads made with green curly kale. Because this salad uses lacinato kale, it doesn’t require any massaging, but instead softens when it sits with the dressing.
Can you eat kale raw in a salad?
Yes, you can absolutely eat kale raw in a salad. It is a thicker green, which is why massaging is sometimes recommended. For this particular salad, we’re using lacinato kale, a more tender green that doesn’t require massaging. If you find that your kale salad is too much to chew, either massage or let it sit with the dressing for a few hours.
Is kale salad good for you?
Yes, this kale salad is nutritious and full of vitamins and minerals. It all depends on your body, though, as raw veggies aren’t recommended for everyone.
Store leftover lemon kale salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a day.
What to Serve with this Kale Salad Recipe
All this best kale salad recipe needs is a main course, give one of these a try:
How to Feed Kale Parmesan Salad to the Whole Family
I get it, feeding kids can be tough! But following the Division of Responsibility and knowing your job and your child’s job makes it SO much more enjoyable. You’ll be able to feed your kids any meal, which will help ensure that they are eating a variety of nutritious foods – with plenty of play food sprinkled in.
I would recommend serving a small portion of this Tuscan kale salad in a pinch bowl (taster bowl) if it’s a new or learning-to-like it food. My kids usually enjoy this salad – it’s a tasty one!
More Kale Salad Ideas
If you like this recipe for kale salad with lemon dressing, you might also like these other salad recipes:
Let me Meal Plan for you!
In a dinner time rut? Overwhelmed with the task of meal planning? It’s time to hand over meal planning to a pro!
This done-for-you plan can easily be customized and your grocery list is made with the click of a button – all while you sit in the school pick up line.
You’ll save time, save money, waste less food, and go into meals calm instead of stressed. Your dinner is planned and your grocery list is made and everything is conveniently delivered to an app so you can print it out, access from your phone, or computer.
This easy kale salad has a bright, lemon dressing and is topped with parmesan and bread crumbs. Perfect as a side or easily turn it into a meal.
- 1 bunch lacinato (dinosaur) kale
- juice and zest from 1/2 lemon
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced (or use citrus zester!)
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- freshly cracked pepper to taste
- 2 Tbsp. shredded parmesan
- 2 Tbsp. panko bread crumbs
- Wash and dry kale. Remove stems and thinly slice into really thin ribbons and transfer into a salad bowl.
- Whisk together lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, sea salt, and black pepper.
- Pour dressing over kale and toss together until combined. Let sit for at least 15 minutes.
- Sprinkle parmesan and bread crumbs over the salad, toss together, and serve.
Keywords: lemon kale salad, kale salad, kale salad recipe
This post may contain affiliate links. They do not add any charge to you, but I will make a very small commission from them. I only link to products I use and recommend. Thank you for your support!