Chick-Fil-A Kale Salad (Copycat Recipe!)This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read my disclosure.
This copycat Chick-Fil-A kale salad recipe will quickly become one of your new favorite salads! It is made with a blend of kale and cabbage, and tossed in a homemade apple dijon vinaigrette for the perfect combination of tangy and sweet. If you are looking for healthy options for lunch or dinner, give this simple recipe a try!
While many fast food restaurants have tried to incorporate healthier choices into their menus, you still have to look out for sneaky ingredients like unhealthy oils, added sugars, and preservatives in their healthy menu options!
That’s why I decided to make over Chick-Fil-A’s superfood side salad. With a few small changes, this copycat Chick-Fil-A kale crunch salad is made clean and wholesome!
The main ingredients include fresh kale, shredded green cabbage, and toasted almonds which are tossed in a flavorful homemade dressing. It’s an easy way to get a bunch of veggies into your diet in a super tasty way!
This easy Chick-Fil-A kale salad recipe caters to the whole family. Serve it as a full meal with healthy sides or added protein, or enjoy it as an appetizer before the main course. The best part? It is super customizable so even kids can enjoy it with their own favorite toppings! Plus, it is naturally vegan and gluten-free.
👩🏽🍳 Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Quick & Easy: You can make this kale salad recipe in a total time of 10 minutes, making it a great choice for a quick lunch or side!
- Nutrient-Rich: While the original recipe isn’t the best option for a healthy diet, this copycat kale crunch salad is made with clean ingredients and full of healthy fats, dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Plus, there is no added sugar – just a little bit of pure maple syrup!
- Tastes Great: This delicious salad is far from boring. The maple vinaigrette dressing provides all the flavor you need, and will impress both vegans and non-vegans alike.
Latest Recipe Video!
With a few simple ingredients, you’ll have the most amazing Chick-Fil-A copycat kale salad! Grab everything you need for this copycat recipe from your local grocery store. Check out the recipe card at the bottom of this post for exact measurements.
- Curly Kale: Kale is a highly nutritious leafy green that has a refreshing bite to it. When massaged with dressing, it breaks down a bit for the perfect texture.
- Green Cabbage: Shredded green cabbage is crisp and healthy! It’s rich in fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin K.
- Roasted Almonds: Move on over croutons, roasted almonds are here and they’ll provide a nutritious and delicious crunch for this kale salad. This recipe calls for roughly chopped almonds, but whole almonds are fine too.
- Apple Cider Vinegar & Lemon Juice: Add the perfect tang and acidity to the dressing with ACV and refreshing lemon juice.
- Maple Syrup: The sweetness of pure maple syrup helps balance out the acidic notes.
- Dijon Mustard: Using dijon mustard is a must for the amazing taste it will provide!
- Olive Oil: Use a high quality extra virgin olive oil for the best flavor.
- Spices: You can keep spices minimal since there is plenty of flavor here. Garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper are all you need.
🍲 Ingredient Substitutions
- Cabbage: For a fun pop of color use shredded red cabbage instead of the green cabbage. Another idea would be to shred napa cabbage or regular broccoli!
- Nuts: This Chick-Fil-A recipe for kale crunch salad is customizable! Swap the almonds for any of your preferred nuts or seeds!
- Citrus: For added citrus flavor, use some fresh lemon zest. It is a great way to make this flavorful dressing really pop as a lemon vinaigrette. Alternatively, change up the citrus flavor with some fresh lime juice instead of lemon juice.
- Honey: Use raw honey in place of the maple syrup for more of a honey mustard flavor.
- Oil: While olive oil is my preferred choice, you can use avocado oil in this copycat version of Chick-Fil-A’s kale salad.
🔪 How To Make This Chick-Fil-A Kale Salad Recipe
Grab your large salad bowl and get ready to make the most perfect salad! Here is how to make this healthy Chick-Fil-A kale salad:
Combine Dressing Ingredients: Prepare the dressing by adding all ingredients into a glass jar, screw the lid on tightly and give it a good shake to combine. Alternatively, you can whisk all ingredients in a small bowl.
Wash & De-Stem Kale: Set dressing aside and prepare the salad by washing and removing the kale leaves from the stems.
Combine Dressing & Greens: Roughly chop the kale and place in a large mixing bowl. Next, add the shredded cabbage. Drizzle ½ of the salad dressing over top of the salad.
Massage Kale & Chill: Using clean hands, massage to soften the kale. Then, cover the large bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes – 1 hour.
Toss & Serve: When ready to serve add the roasted almonds, reserving some to sprinkle on top, and toss to combine. Add more apple dijon dressing if desired. Serve this kale crunch salad copycat immediately.
💭 Expert Tips
- Save Time: If you prefer, you can buy pre-chopped kale and slivered almonds to make this kale crunch salad recipe even quicker to make!
- Wash Thoroughly: If you are starting from a bunch of kale, be sure to wash thoroughly to remove any bugs and dirt. I’d still give a little rinse for a packaged, pre-washed kale, too.
- Massage Kale: Massage the kale for 3-5 minutes to soften the leaves. You do not want to skip this step, as it makes it easier and more enjoyable to eat.
- Texture: For the perfect consistency and texture, finely shred the cabbage.
- Allow Rest Time: Resting this Chick-Fil-A superfood salad in the fridge helps to infuse the flavors as well as soften the kale and cabbage.
- More Protein: Add tofu, sliced grilled chicken breasts, chickpeas, or quinoa to this salad to give it a boost of protein for a balanced, filling meal on its own.
- Toppings: Try out this delicious kale crunch salad with some extra toppings like vegan parmesan cheese, feta cheese, or a variety of nuts and seeds.
🍽 Serving Suggestions
This Chick-Fil-A kale salad copycat is a great side dish or snack! I personally love to pair it with a protein-rich main meal or other side dishes. Here are some of my favorite serving suggestions:
- Sandwiches: It only makes sense to pair a Chick-Fil-A salad alongside a tasty sandwich! Try it out with this vegan chicken sandwich or this grilled cheese with pickles.
- Soups: I love a soup and salad combination. This kale salad Chick-Fil-A recipe pairs perfectly with a warm bowl of vegan minestrone soup, creamy garbanzo bean soup, or Instant Pot broccoli cheddar soup.
- Sides: For a light lunch or dinner, simply add another side to go with this CFA kale salad. Vegan gluten free chicken nuggets and air fryer frozen french fries are a must-try combo! Air fryer tofu nuggets are another fun side.
🙌 Dietary Adaptations
- Nut-Free Option: To make this CFA kale crunch salad recipe nut free simply omit the roasted almonds. If you still want a bit of crunch to your salad try adding in pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or puffed quinoa instead.
- Sugar-Free Option: While the copycat Chick-Fil-A kale salad dressing is refined-sugar free, the recipe does call for maple syrup. For a sugar free option, try monk fruit syrup (use a little bit and add more to taste since it’s sweeter than maple syrup). You can also leave out the maple syrup, or reduce the amount of maple syrup for a more tart dressing.
- To Store Leftovers: Leftover salad can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 24 hours after adding dressing. By the next day, the salad will become quite limp.
- To Store For Meal Prep: The salad can be prepared ahead of time and kept covered in the fridge, without the addition of the dressing, for up to 2 days. The salad dressing can be prepared ahead of time and stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Be sure to remove it from the fridge and stand at room temperature for 2 hours before using it to dress your salad.
According to the Chick-Fil-A website, their kale crunch side salad includes green cabbage, kale, soybean oil, apple juice concentrate, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, distilled vinegar, water, extra virgin olive oil, salt, mustard seed, white wine, preservatives, citric acid, natural flavor, spice, tartaric acid, xanthan gum, calcium disodium EDTA, and almonds.
Making a copycat Chick-Fil-A kale salad is a great option when you want something healthier, avoiding the inflammatory soybean oil, preservatives, and unknown natural flavors.
It really is a matter of personal preferences, but for best results I do recommend using curly leaf kale in this copycat kale salad from Chick-Fil-A . It will massage and soften well and has a great flavor and texture. Lacinato kale and baby kale will both save some time and are naturally more tender, so you can consider this as an option, too.
It is super easy to prepare kale and make it tender. Simply drizzle your choice of dressing or plain olive oil, and then massage the leaves with clean hands. You can do this for about 3-5 minutes depending on how soft you’d like your leaves to be.
Absolutely! This dijon mustard vinaigrette can be stored in a sealed jar, like a mason jar, for up to 4 days. It is delicious on any type of salad, or even could be added to a pasta salad!
🥗 More Easy Salad Recipes!
- Apple Walnut Salad
- Roasted Pumpkin Salad
- Breakfast Fruit Salad
- Roasted Cauliflower Salad
- Keto Greek Salad
- Beetroot And Feta Salad
- Mexican Fruit Salad
Love this vegetarian salad recipe? Please leave a 5-star rating 🌟 in the recipe below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page!
📋 Recipe Card
🎥 Watch How to Make It
Chick-Fil-A Kale Salad (Copycat Recipe!)
For The Salad Base
- 1 bunch curly kale
- 3½ oz shredded green cabbage
- ½ cup roasted almonds roughly chopped
- Prepare the dressing by adding all ingredients into a glass jar, screw the lid on tightly and shake vigorously to combine. Alternatively, you can whisk all ingredients in a bowl.
- Set dressing aside and prepare the salad by washing and removing the kale leaves from the stems.
- Roughly chop the kale and place in a mixing bowl.
- Next, add the shredded cabbage.
- Drizzle ½ of the salad dressing over top.
- Using clean hands, massage to soften the kale.
- Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes – 1 hour.
- When ready to serve add the roasted almonds, reserving some to sprinkle on top, and toss to combine. Add more dressing if desired.
- Serve immediately.
- Thoroughly wash the kale to remove any bugs and dirt.
- Massage the kale for at least 5 minutes to soften the leaves, making it easier and more enjoyable to eat.
- Finely shred the cabbage.
- Resting the salad in the fridge helps to infuse the flavors as well as soften the kale and cabbage.
- Salad can be prepared ahead of time and kept covered in the fridge, without the addition of the dressing, for up to 2 days.
- Salad dressing can be prepared ahead of time and stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Be sure to remove it from the fridge and stand at room temperature for 2 hours before using.
- Leftover salad can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up 24 hours after adding dressing. After this time the salad will become quite limp.