No ratings yet

Easy Kale Salad with Parmesan and Lemon-Basil Dressing

 March 25, 2024

A refreshing kale salad is the perfect dish anytime of day. Whether you’re serving it alongside a warm and cozy salmon or enjoying it on its own, a good kale salad is a classic recipe that can be enjoyed so many ways. This is my Easy Kale Salad with Parmesan and Lemon-Basil dressing, and it may just be the best kale salad that you ever eat. Plus, it comes together in just 15 minutes, making it perfect to whip up when you want a salad that’s even better than that one famous salad chain (you know which one!)

A bowl of the kale salad with lemon-basil dressing, sitting on a countertop with metal serving utensils resting in the bowl

Despite the fact that my name is Kalejunkie, you won’t find many kale recipes on my blog. Why is that, you ask? Well, let me paint the picture for you: a few years ago, back when I was in law school in New York City, I was suffering in silence from a binge eating disorder. Once I got into recovery, I became obsessed with eating healthy- and sharing my journey creating delicious, healthy recipes. At the time, I held the belief that eating healthy meant eating recipes made with lots of kale. So, I named my page “Kalejunkie” and never looked back!

But over the years, I’ve learned that eating healthy isn’t just about eating an abundance of kale. In fact, eating healthy is about learning that ALL foods have a time and place! Whether that means a gooey chocolate chip cookie or, yes, a kale salad, a healthy diet leaves room for all foods that are satisfying and nourishing… for both the body and the heart.

That said, I do enjoy a good kale salad, especially when it’s as amazing as this one is. When I was back in New York a few weeks ago, I ended up eating a rendition of this salad that was truly one of the greatest kale salads I’d ever had. I knew I had to recreate it once I got home, and I’m confident in saying that you will love this salad just as much as I do.

What You Need to Make This Toasty Kale Salad with Lemon-Basil Dressing

  • Kale: Of course, it wouldn’t be a kale salad without the kale! Any variety of kale works well, in this recipe. Just be sure to wash it, chop it, and remove the stems!
  • Panko Breadcrumbs: The best part of this salad is the toasted breadcrumbs. You can use traditional panko breadcrumbs or swap them out for gluten-free breadcrumbs!
  • Parmigiano Reggiano: Parmigiano Reggiano is truly the best of the best when it comes to parmesan cheese, and is absolutely worth the small splurge.
  • Basil: Fresh basil is a must for this lemon-basil dressing!
  • Anchovies: These are optional, but I love adding in anchovies for that briny, salty flavor (and a boost of Omega-3’s). If you want to keep this salad vegetarian-friendly, or if you don’t like anchovies, you can simply omit them.
  • Garlic: I love to use fresh garlic because it’s much more flavorful than using garlic powder. But, if you don’t have fresh garlic on hand, you can use 1 teaspoon garlic powder.
  • Dijon Mustard: The dijon mustard adds the perfect tang to this dressing!
  • Red Wine Vinegar:  I love the flavor of red wine vinegar, so if you have it on hand, make sure to use it!
  • Lemon: I highly recommend using the juice of a fresh lemon, in this recipe. It will add the best flavor!
  • Olive Oil: Olive oil is my favorite oil to use in dressing recipes, as it just adds the most delicious flavor.
  • Sea Salt and Ground Black Pepper: A pinch of salt and pepper add the perfect finishing touch to this recipe!
A blender, sitting on a countertop with all of the ingredients needed to make this lemon-basil dressing inside of it
Next, prepare the dressing by adding the the basil, garlic, mustard, anchovies (if using), red wine vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, sea salt, and ground black pepper to a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Then, pour the dressing over the kale. Using clean hands, massage the dressing into the kale.

How to Make The Best-Ever Easy Kale Salad

To make this salad, start by preparing the kale. Wash the kale and remove the stems, chopping it finely. Set the kale aside while you prepare the breadcrumbs. Add the breadcrumbs to a pan, on the stove, over medium heat. Use a spoon or spatula to stir the breadcrumbs around until they’re toasted – this should take approximately 3-4 minutes. Be sure to watch them carefully so that they don’t burn. Once they’re done, set them aside. Then, grate the Parmigiano Reggiano into a small bowl.

Next, prepare the dressing by adding the the basil, garlic, mustard, anchovies (if using), red wine vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, sea salt, and ground black pepper to a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Then, pour the dressing over the kale. Using clean hands, massage the dressing into the kale.

Finally, add in the toasted breadcrumbs and grated cheese and toss to coat well. Once it’s done, serve it immediately with your favorite protein and enjoy!

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a review and rating below! To see more recipes and behind the scenes, follow along on InstagramTikTok, and Youtube! I’m also now on Pinterest, so stop by and take a look at what’s new.

** Photography by Tanya Pilgrim
A bowl of the kale salad with lemon-basil dressing, sitting on a countertop with metal serving utensils resting in the bowl
Dairy Free/Nut Free/Refined Sugar Free

Easy Kale Salad with Parmesan and Lemon-Basil Dressing

No ratings yet
Nicole Modic
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
SERVES 4 Servings
Print It Pin It
A refreshing kale salad is the perfect dish anytime of day. Whether you're serving it alongside a warm and cozy salmon or enjoying it on its own, a good kale salad is a classic recipe that can be enjoyed so many ways. This is my Easy Kale Salad with Parmesan and Lemon-Basil dressing, and it may just be the best kale salad that you ever eat. Plus, it comes together in just 15 minutes, making it perfect to whip up when you want a salad that's even better than that one famous salad chain (you know which one!)

Ingredients

  • 2 Bunches Curly Kale washed and chopped with the stems removed
  • 1 Cup Panko Breadcrumbs toasted
  • 1 Cup Parmigiano Reggiano freshly grated
  • 6 Leaves Basil
  • 3 Anchovies optional
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 2 Teaspoons Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Lemon juiced
  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • Ground Black Pepper to taste

Instructions

  • To make this salad, start by preparing the kale. Wash the kale and remove the stems, chopping it finely. Set the kale aside while you prepare the breadcrumbs.
  • Add the breadcrumbs to a pan, on the stove, over medium heat. Use a spoon or spatula to stir the breadcrumbs around until they're toasted – this should take approximately 3-4 minutes. Be sure to watch them carefully so that they don't burn.
  • Once they're done, set them aside. Then, grate the Parmigiano Reggiano into a small bowl.
  • Next, prepare the dressing by adding the the basil, garlic, mustard, anchovies (if using), red wine vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, sea salt, and ground black pepper to a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  • Then, pour the dressing over the kale. Using clean hands, massage the dressing into the kale.
  • Finally, add in the toasted breadcrumbs and grated cheese and toss to coat well.
  • Once it's done, serve it immediately with your favorite protein and enjoy!

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love to see what you made – tag @kalejunkie
in your posts and I’ll re-share!

S
H
A
R
E

WHAT DID YOU THINK?

Rate + Review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *