A bright and citrusy Crunchy Kale Parmesan Salad with lemon juice, olive oil, and parmesan cheese. This is the perfect healthy salad for a picnic, BBQ, or a side dish and it only takes 4 ingredients!
This Crunchy Kale Parmesan Salad is so easy to make and so delicious. If you are unsure of kale, this is a great recipe to break you in. The fresh lemon and olive oil in this salad soften the kale and brighten up this hearty vegetable. This healthy salad will make the perfect side dish for a summer BBQ, picnic, or dinner.
Ingredients Needed to Make Crunchy Kale Parmesan Salad
- fresh kale
- shredded parmesan cheese
- good olive oil
Benefits of Eating Kale
I'm sure you have heard that kale is good for you. Raw kale has vitamin A (from beta-carotene), vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese, calcium, copper, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), iron, and phosphorus. It's low in calories, only 33 calories/cup, and high in protein and fiber. Kale contains very little fat, and that fat is an omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid. Given its low-calorie content, kale is said to be among the most nutrient-dense foods in existence. Whew, I guess kale is worth eating!! 😁
How to Make This Kale Salad
- Rinse the kale and remove the leaves from the stem. Dry the kale with a salad spinner or paper towels.
- Chop the kale into smaller bite-sized pieces and add to a large mixing bowl. Zest and juice the lemon and add all of the zest and all of the juice to the bowl with the kale.
- Pour in the olive oil and parmesan cheese and mix everything together using tongs or salad forks. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour.
Tips on Making a Delicious Salad
- The thick main stems of kale are the most bitter part so make sure you remove the leaves before chopping the kale into smaller pieces.
- This salad needs to chill for a MINIMUM of an hour but more 3-4 is even better. This will give the flavors a chance to really settle in and for the kale to soften from the lemon juice and olive oil.
- Use good olive oil for this salad. You don't have to spend a fortune, but don't use the cheapest stuff you can find. Since it's not being cooked, you will notice the difference.
- Use fresh lemon juice. You will need a lemon for the zest anyway but do not use bottled lemon juice. The taste will be completely different and not nearly as good as a fresh lemon.
- As with olive oil, use good parmesan cheese too. Freshly grated is best, or find the grated cheese in the deli section if you can. Since this salad only has 4 ingredients, make sure they are high quality.
- This salad will last 2-3 days covered in the fridge. You can also make this salad a day ahead of an event or party.
- If you want to make this salad into a meal, add some grilled chicken, steak, or tofu and some fresh vegetables and you will have a healthy and easy meal.
Crunchy Kale Parmesan Salad
- tongs or salad servers
- micorplane or zester
- citrus juicer
- sharp knife
- 1 large bunch of kale, rinsed and chopped (usually 1 lb or 8 cups chopped)
- 1 large lemon, zested and juiced
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Rinse the kale really well and remove the leaves from the stems. The stems are the most bitter part of kale. Use a salad spinner or paper towels to dry the leaves as best you can. Chop the kale leaves into small pieces. The smaller pieces help the salad be less tough and easier to eat.
- Zest the lemon and then juice it. You will use all of the zest and all of the juice. Add the kale, lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, and parmesan cheese to a large mixing bowl.
- Toss everything together until the kale is coated and everything is combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour, 3-4 hours is best.
- Store leftover salad covered in the fridge. It will last 2-3 days.
- This salad can be made a day in advance of an event or party.
Any nutrition calculations are only estimates using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.
Did you make this Crunchy Kale Parmesan Salad?
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Great recipe! So delicious!
Kristina Tipps says
So glad to hear it!
What a delicious and easy salad. So refreshing on a hot day.
Yup, a perfect salad for summertime, BBQs, picnics, etc. Enjoy!
Kale salads are my favourite - and this is delicious.
I'm so glad you enjoyed it!
Love this crunchy Kale Salad recipe!
Thanks, Leslie, it's one of my favorites!
Parmesan and kale - what a great combination! I will make this salad all summer long!
It's a great combo, you will def love it when it's hot outside!
This is such a cool and refreshing salad for summer! The cool crisp of the kale with the added flavor from the parmesan and lemon is perfect!
Thanks, Jess, it will quickly become a favorite for summer for sure!
Oh wow, cheesy yumminess on healthy kale! I love this.
I have the same feelings about this salad. The perfect balance of healthy and of course, cheese!
I love adding parmigiano to salads like this. This kale salad looks so good. Simple but fresh and flavourful. Pinning for later!
Thanks, Jacqueline! I hope you get a chance to make this one.
This looks and sounds so healthy and yummy!
ISn't it great when you get healthy and yummy?!?😁
This salad is amazing because it's SO simple yet amazingly flavorful. I make up a big salad in the beginning of the week and have some with lunch daily. Love it!
I totally agree, Lindsay! And what a great idea to have it all week for lunch!