Have you tried Chick-fil-A's side healthy side salad that came out January 13, 2020? If you are a fan, and you want to recreate it at home, breathe easy, because we've got you covered. You'll be coming back to this recipe again and again, because it's quick to assemble and so good for you.
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Chick-fil-A describes the ingredients for their newest side salad as curly kale, green cabbage, and salted, crunchy almonds tossed with their apple Dijon dressing. You might be thinking that's it? Yeah, it's pretty basic, but it's super healthy, so if you're closely watching your calories and carbs, you'll want to put this salad on repeat.
- Greens: curly kale
- Vegetables: green cabbage
- Nuts: roasted and salted almonds
- Dressing: apple Dijon
If you are looking for ways to change up this salad for variety or to upgrade it to a main course below are some more suggestions.
- Grains: quinoa
- Fruit: chopped apple, dried cranberries
- Vegetables: sliced Brussels sprouts, julienned carrots, broccoli matchsticks, spring onion
- Cheese: Parmesan shards
- Nuts: roasted sunflower seeds
- Meat: grilled chicken, grilled salmon
How to Make
- To make the apple Dijon dressing, pour the apple cider vinegar on top of the pure maple syrup.
- Add the distilled vinegar, lemon juice, white wine, Dijon mustard, and the spices (sea salt and black pepper). Whisk until well mixed, then add the olive oil, and slowly pour it in while whisking.
3. If you find that the dressing isn't emulsifying with a whisk, pour it into a mason jar and give it a good shake. There should be 1 ¼ cups of dressing.
4. To assemble the salad, mix the kale and cabbage together.
5. If you're planning on eating this within 30 minutes, add most of the chopped almonds. (Save some for a garnish.) Pour on all the dressing. If you are making this ahead of time, only pour the dressing on what you plan to eat that day or within 24 hours.
6. Massage the kale with your hands for roughly 5 minutes. The kale should get softer, change color, and shrink down a little.
7. Add 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice and sea salt to taste. Toss and cover and let it rest for 30 minutes on the counter or in the fridge overnight.
8. When ready to serve, toss it again and adjust any seasonings (vinegar, lemon juice, salt, or pepper). Garnish with the reserved almonds. Serve cold or at room temperature.
Is the kale crunch salad at Chick-fil-A healthy?
Their website states it's a good choice for a healthy snack, and we also agree. It's also easy to eat on the go, because there's minimal ingredients that aren't messy.
What sizes does this salad come in?
If you are ordering this from Chick-fil-A, the two sizes are the small (1 cup) and the large (2 cups). It is a better deal to get the larger one, but if you don't have someone to share it with, or you're not that hungry, we suggest you order the small size.
How much does this salad cost?
Chick-fil-A's large size costs $3.37 with tax. However, if you are ordering a chicken sandwich meal, you can sub out the waffle fries for the kale crunch salad at no additional cost. If you and your family are fans, you'll want to learn how to make our copycat version so you can save some money.
How many calories are in this recipe?
Chick-fil-A's side salad has 120 calories with 8g of carbs and 9g of fat for 1 cup of salad. Our copycat version has a serving size of 1 cup with 227 calories, 14.3g of carbs, and 18.5g of fat. For more nutritional information, scroll to the end of the recipe card.
Our copycat recipe is higher in calories, fat, and carbs because of the salad dressing. Feel free to reduce the amount of dressing or have a smaller serving size if you're watching your calorie intake.
What does this salad taste like?
The Chick-fil-A salad apple Dijon dressing tastes slightly sweet and is subtle and mild. The curly kale is chewy, but not soggy. The crunch in the title comes from the green cabbage and the roasted salted almonds. Our copycat version tries to mimic the CFA original, but feel free to adjust the seasonings to your personal taste if you like a salad with a bit more bite.
Is the Chick-fil-A kale crunch salad vegan?
Yes and no, if you consider the Dijon mustard used in the dressing, then it's not. If you make the dressing yourself, it's easy to swap that ingredient for spicy brown mustard. Unfortunately, the side salad already comes with the dressing on it. If you make this salad yourself, you can control what goes into your dressing and how much you pour on it.
What's the difference between the older superfood side and the newer kale crunch?
The main difference is their is fewer ingredients and less sugar. The superfood side salad had broccolini, dried cherries, roasted whole walnuts, pecans, almonds, and a maple vinaigrette. This side salad was discontinued January 12, 2020.
Can you make this salad ahead of time?
Yes, please do! This salad tastes better if it can rest with the dressing on it for at least 30 minutes to 3 hours for maximum results. We have also had it 24 hours later and it is still good. If you are planning on making a big batch, we suggest that you portion out what you want to eat in the next 24 hours before pouring on the dressing. Add the salty roasted almonds just before serving to have the maximum crunch.
- Can't have nuts? Try roasted sunflower seeds.
- Don't want to use green cabbage? Swap it out with red cabbage; it's more colorful.
- Need more fat? Add avocado chunks.
- Want some grains? Add cooked and cooled quinoa.
- Want this to be vegan? Replace the Dijon with spicy brown mustard and omit the optional parmesan shards.
- The additional add-ins suggested in the ingredients list in the recipe card make this a meal in itself.
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Copycat Chick-fil-A Kale Crunch Salad
Apple Dijon Dressing
Kale Crunch Salad
- 1 Gala apple, chopped
- ¼ cup roasted sunflower seeds
- 2 ounces Parmesan cheese shards
- ¼ cup shredded carrots
- 1 ½ cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved and sliced
- ½ cup of dried cranberries
Apple Dijon Dressing
- Pour the maple syrup and apple cider vinegar into a medium bowl or large mason jar.
- Add the distilled vinegar, white wine, and the Dijon mustard. Whisk if using a bowl, or shake together if using a mason jar.
- Next add the freshly squeezed lemon juice, sea salt, and black pepper. Whisk or shake together.
- Slowly pour in the olive oil while whisking, or put the lid on the mason jar and shake well. This recipe makes 1 ¼ cups.
Kale Crunch Salad
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Toss the whole almonds in the coconut oil and salt. Spread them on a small baking tray and roast for 10-15 minutes. Allow them to cool before cutting into smaller pieces with a large chef's knife.
- Remove any ribs from the chopped kale, then add the shredded green cabbage and toss with your hands.
- Pour on all of the apple Dijon dressing and massage the kale with your hands for roughly 5 minutes. You will notice the kale softening and turning a darker shade of green.
- Cover the salad and let it sit for 30 minutes (or up to overnight) in the fridge. This gives the kale time to soften, and for the cabbage and kale to marinate in the dressing.
- When ready to serve, add the roasted almonds and toss. Adjust seasonings, adding a bit more vinegar, lemon juice, salt or pepper if desired. You should have about 9 cups of salad.
- Add the Brussels sprouts, carrots, and dried cranberries after messaging the kale.
- Add the sunflower seeds and the Parmesan shards just before serving. You should have about 10 cups of salad.
- If you want this to be a stand-alone meal, add the additional add-ins suggested in the ingredients list.
- If you want this to be vegan, replace the Dijon with spicy brown mustard and omit the optional parmesan shards.