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Kale Caesar Salad with Salmon

This Kale Caesar Salad recipe uses thin ribbons of kale, parmesan cheese, and toasted bread crumbs that are tossed with homemade Caesar dressing and topped with baked salmon to create an easy, healthy, and delicious twist on this classic salad.
Servings: 2 people
Total Time: 30 minutes
kale caesar salad with salmon in a pink bowl with a glass of wine

Several years ago while visiting Atlanta we ate at Brezza Cucina (it has unfortunately closed) which was the brainchild of James Beard award-winning chef Jonathan Waxman. We ordered a short rib pizza and their kale salad. Both were amazing but the kale salad really stuck with us. It was topped with a mountain of toasty, buttery Panko breadcrumbs and this amazing anchovy dressing. We took inspiration from that kale salad to make this recipe for Kale Caesar Salad with Salmon.

kale caesar salad with salmon in a pink bowl with a glass of wine

Key Ingredients and Substitutions


Move over boring Caesar Salad – this recipe includes nutrient-rich kale, salmon, and crunchy, golden-brown breadcrumbs.

The complete ingredient list and measurements are listed in the printable recipe below.

  • Lacinato Kale: Also known as dinosaur kale or Tuscan Kale, it tends to be more tender than other kale making it perfect for a salad. Curly kale is the most common variety found in most grocery stores but it is a bit tougher and more bitter than Lacinato kale.
  • Salmon: Center-cut salmon fillets with the skin. The skin adds a little protection during the cooking process but skinless will also work.
    We also like steelhead trout or if you are not a fish fan, chicken is a great substitute.
  • Panko: One of our favorite things about this salad is the light, toasty panko breadcrumbs. Every bite has a little bit of that buttery, crunchy crouton flavor. You can substitute with your favorite store-bought or other homemade breadcrumbs.
  • Caesar Dressing: There are a lot of wonderful Caesar dressings that you can pick up at your local supermarket but it is also really easy to make at home. This is our favorite recipe.
ingredients for kale caesar salad with salmon

How to Make Kale Caesar Salad with Salmon


Here are the quick step-by-step instructions with visuals; you can find the full instructions with the exact ingredients in the recipe card below.

Pro-tip: The toasted panko breadcrumbs will get soggy if added with the dressing to the salad too soon, so add them just before serving.

1. Cook the Salmon: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the salmon in a medium-size baking dish, lining the baking dish with parchment or aluminum for easy clean-up. Brush the top of the salmon with room-temperature butter and sprinkle with the smoked paprika, orange pepper, onion powder, and kosher salt. Place it in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the salmon flakes easily with a fork. Allow it to cool slightly before removing it from its skin.

process shot for step 1 - cooking the salmon in a baking dish

2. Cook the breadcrumbs: While the salmon is cooking prepare the kale and breadcrumbs. For the breadcrumbs, melt butter in an 8-inch nonstick skillet. Add the panko breadcrumbs and toast for 1-2 minutes until golden brown and fragrant, then remove from the heat and set aside.

process shot for step 2 - toasting panko breadcrumbs

3. Prepare the Kale: Remove the thick ribs (or spines) from the kale then wash and dry thoroughly. Cut the kale into thin ribbons by stacking several kale leaves on top of each other and rolling them into a tight cylinder. Using a sharp knife cut them crosswise into thin ribbons. Toss the kale ribbons, kosher salt, black pepper, and Caesar dressing until thoroughly combined. Allow the salad to sit for approximately 5 minutes (or up to an hour in the refrigerator) so the kale will slightly soften. Right before serving top with toasted breadcrumbs and Parmigiano Reggiano and gently toss.

process shot for step 3 - chopping kale into ribbons

4. Serve: Divide the salad into two bowls (or more if you are making a larger quantity) and then top with the baked salmon. Add additional dressing, cheese, or breadcrumbs if desired.

kale caesar salad with salmon in a pink bowl with a glass of wine

Recipe Tips and Notes


  • Not all kale is created equal. The best kale to use for salad is Lacinato kale (also known as Tuscan kale or dinosaur kale).
  • Make sure to wash and dry the kale well to remove any sand or dirt that has been trapped in the leaves.
  • Remove the ribs (or spines) before cutting or tearing them for the salad.

Frequently Asked Questions


How do I store leftover kale salad?

The leftover kale salad should last 1-2 days in the refrigerator. Do not add the breadcrumbs to the salad prior to refrigerating as they will get soggy. The salmon can be stored in a separate air-tight container for 1-2 days in the refrigerator. Store the toasted panko breadcrumbs in an air-tight container at room temperature.

kale caesar salad with salmon in a pink bowl with a glass of wine

Let’s Connect! If you make our Kale Caesar Salad with Salmon or any other recipe on Casual Epicure, please don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It helps others who are considering making our recipes and we love hearing about your cooking experiences. And if you snapped some shots, share them on Instagram, and be sure to tag @casual.epicure so we can feature them in our stories.

Other Recipes to Try


If you enjoy this recipe, we recommend checking out some of these:

kale caesar salad with salmon in a pink bowl with a glass of wine

Kale Caesar Salad with Salmon

This Kale Caesar Salad recipe uses thin ribbons of kale, parmesan cheese, and toasted bread crumbs that are tossed with homemade Caesar dressing and topped with baked salmon to create an easy, healthy, and delicious twist on this classic salad.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 2 people
Calories 526 kcal

Equipment

  • 8-inch Nonstick Frying Pan
  • Baking or Casserole Dish

Ingredients  

Salmon

  • ½ pound salmon
  • 1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon orange pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Breadcrumbs

  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Kale Caesar Salad

  • 1-2 bunches of lacinato kale, washed, dried, and with thick ribs removed
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • cup Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated
  • ½ cup Caesar Dressing

Instructions 

Salmon

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Place the salmon in a medium-size baking dish then brush the top with the room-temperature butter and sprinkle with the smoked paprika, orange pepper, onion powder, and kosher salt.
  • Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the salmon flakes easily with a fork.
  • Allow salmon to cool slightly before removing it from its skin.

Breadcrumbs

  • Melt butter in an 8-inch nonstick skillet. Add the panko breadcrumbs and toast for 1-2 minutes until golden brown and fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside.

Kale Caesar Salad

  • Remove the thick ribs from the kale then wash and dry.
  • To cut kale into thin ribbons, stack several leaves of kale on top of each other and roll them into a tight cylinder. Then with a sharp knife cut them crosswise into thin ribbons.
  • Toss kale, kosher salt, black pepper, and Caesar dressing until thoroughly combined. Allow the salad to sit for approximately 5 minutes so the kale will slightly soften.
  • Top with toasted breadcrumbs and Parmigiano Reggiano.
  • Divide the salad into two bowls and topped the baked salmon (with skin removed) to the salad and serve.

Notes

1. Lacinato Kale is also known as Tuscan Kale or Dinosaur Kale.
2. The key to kale salad is washing and drying well, removing the ribs (or spine), and cutting them into thin ribbons.
3. Chicken is a great substitute for salmon.
4. You can substitute the homemade Caesar dressing with your favorite store-bought brand.
5. While the salmon is cooking, prepare the kale and breadcrumb.
6. Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.  It does not include the nutrition for the salad dressing.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 servingCalories: 526 kcalCarbohydrates: 16 gProtein: 28 gFat: 39 gSaturated Fat: 17 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1 gMonounsaturated Fat: 4 gCholesterol: 121 mgSodium: 1299 mgPotassium: 58 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 2 gVitamin A: 31 IUVitamin C: 13 mgCalcium: 18 mgIron: 5 mg
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