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This crazy delicious Crispy Kale Salad is the most asked for kale salad around our house. It's made with both raw kale and homemade kale chips, which gives the salad tons of awesome texture. It's our favorite!
Crispy Kale Salad magic coming atcha!
My friends, I've made us a salad with chips. Kale chips. Lots of crispy kale chips. Cause salad + chips = awesome.
Back in my kid-free days when I had a supper club (aka underground restaurant/ dinner party club/ closed door restaurant), this was one of the most asked for dishes by returning guests. Now it's one of the most asked for dishes from my family.
Why you need Crispy Kale Salad in your life:
- Kale chips. In your salad. Enough said.
- Candied pecans spiced with lots of black pepper that are the world's best ever snack.
- Parmesan cheese. Goat cheese. All the cheese, please.
- Sweet roasted baby beets.
- Kale chips. x2.
See those crispy kale chips up there? That's where all the magic happens. I used to use curly kale in this recipe. Since my little girl was born and life kicked into ‘OMG I had no idea I could be this busy' land, I take all the reasonable shortcuts I can. You with me? #noshame
Now I used prewashed bags of baby kale. I think the curly kale is the better option if you've got the time to wash and dry and sort through all the kale. If you do, go that route. Also, you're amazing.
If not, grab a bag of baby kale and pat yourself on the back for being a time-saving genius.
So this Crispy Kale Salad idea originally came from the blog A Tasty Love Story. It seems like so long ago that I first saw the recipe that I hardly remember it wasn't my idea. The recipe has changed over my years of making it, but the idea was hers.
BTW she makes hers with walnuts, which is a great idea. If you candy the walnuts like I've done with the pecans here, it's an even better idea. Mmm candied nuts.
Note on the crispiness of the crispy kale salad: the crispy kale does get less crispy when tossed with the dressing. Don't despair, the flavor and texture of it (even when coated in the dressing) is amazing.
Have a kale salad obsession? I *might* know a little something about that.
→ The Best Kale Salad (with bacon, Boursin cheese, and caramelized onions. OMG.)
If you love this Crispy Kale Salad as much as I do, make sure to give it a 5-star review in the comments below!
- 1 lb. beets (about 6 small, cut into 8 pieces each)
- 8 cups 10 ounces of kale leaves or baby kale, divided
- 2 teaspoons olive oil (divided)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt (divided)
- ¼ cup shaved parmesan cheese (use your vegetable peeler for nice big pieces)
- Optional: ¼ cup goat cheese
Black Pepper Candied Pecans
- ½ cup pecans (roughly chopped)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey (sub maple syrup for vegan)
- 1 ½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 small garlic clove (grated on a Microplane or very finely minced)
- A pinch of sea salt
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Turn your oven on to 400 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Toss the beets in half the oil and salt and place them on one of the baking sheets. Put them in the oven and let them roast for 20 minutes. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees.1 lb. beets
- Toss half the kale with the remaining oil and salt and spread them out on the remaining baking sheet. Put them in the oven with the beets and cook the kale chips for 15-20 minutes. Watch them closely after 15 minutes as they burn easily near the end.8 cups 10 ounces of kale leaves or baby kale, divided
- While the beets are in the oven, make the candied pecans and the dressing. Place the pecans, maple syrup, and black pepper in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and continue to boil, stirring often, until the pecans are coated in a thick syrup, about 2 minutes. Add the butter and stir to coat the pecans. Transfer the pecans to a piece of parchment paper and make sure they are not touching each other. Once they dry (after a couple minutes) you can store them in a bag.½ cup pecans, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon butter
- Add all the dressing ingredients to a bowl and whisk. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until the dressing is nice and creamy.2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons honey, 1 ½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1 small garlic clove, A pinch of sea salt, 4 tablespoons olive oil
- When the kale chips and roasted beets are ready, add both to a large salad bowl with the candied pecans, raw kale, parmesan cheese, and (if using) the goat cheese. Pour the dressing over the top and toss.¼ cup shaved parmesan cheese, Optional: ¼ cup goat cheese
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.