Kale-and-Chicken Salad with Jalapeño-Lime Dressing


When the weather warms up the family is able to spend more time outside and, instead of staying inside the kitchen preparing a heavy meal, we look for quick-fix, light, and healthy suppers to put on the table. Main dish salads are always a good idea. Packed with healthy greens, you can include fresh fruits, raw vegetables, whole grains, and nuts to add taste and texture to the salad. You can keep your main dish salad vegetarian, or add proteins such as eggs, chicken, steak, or shrimp. This stretches the salad and makes it a bit more filling. A rotisserie chicken is used in this recipe to help this salad come together quickly, but you an also use grilled steak. You can also use a bag of pre-shredded cabbage, if you prefer.  Raw kale can sometimes be a little tough, so here is an easy trick for tender greens. When using raw kale in salads, it is always a good idea to tenderize the destemmed leaves. Drizzle them with a small amount of oil, then gently rub or massage the leaves with your fingers until they start to soften. When making the dressing, be sure to remove all the seeds from the jalapeño chile. This recipe makes a big batch, about 8 cups, so it is a hearty meal. While you are keeping things easy, finish the meal with a leisurely five-ingredient dessert, a simple yet satisfying way to provide the sweet finishing touch to your evening.

Kale-and-Chicken Salad with Jalapeño-Lime Dressing
Photo: Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
20 mins
4 serves


  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/4 cup olive oil, divided

  • 1 (5-oz.) bunch curly kale, destemmed and chopped (about 6 cups)

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 1 large lime)

  • 2 tablespoons chopped seeded jalapeño chile (from 1 medium chile)

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey

  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 2 cups sliced green cabbage (from 1 small cabbage)

  • 1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves

  • 1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves

  • 2 cups coarsely shredded rotisserie chicken

  • 1/2 cup honey-roasted peanuts


  1. Massage 1 tablespoon of the oil into kale in a bowl until kale softens, 30 seconds.

  2. Process lime juice, jalapeño, honey, salt, pepper, and remaining 1/4 cup oil in a mini food processor until blended, 30 seconds.

  3. Add lime dressing, cabbage, cilantro, and mint to kale in bowl; toss to coat. Stir in chicken. Arrange salad on a platter, and sprinkle with peanuts.

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