Grilled Chicken Kale Caesar Salad

The best ever grilled lemon garlic chicken served over a bed of massaged kale with tomatoes, parmesan cheese, whole wheat croutons, and caesar dressing.

Grilled Chicken Kale Caesar Salad //

If you read that recipe description above that first photo, chances are you are like, “massaged what?”.

Massaged KALE.

…and chances are you’re probably still like, “What?”.

I know, I know. It sounds a little bizarre. But trust me, if you are eating your kale in a salad you simply must try massaging it first.

Here’s why. See this bunch of kale? Good, good. Well kale can be a little… stiff. That’s the best way to describe it, in my opinion.

Grilled Chicken Kale Caesar Salad //

But if you drizzle kale with a little E-V-O-O, give it a sprinkle of sea salt, and rub it real good between your fingers, it turns this beautiful deep green color aaaaaaaaand it becomes a lot more tender.

Grilled Chicken Kale Caesar Salad

Admittedly, the first time I tried kale, I did not like it. It was in a soup. I didn’t try it again for a couple of years. The second time I had it was in a smoothie. I was NOT a fan.

But then I had kale in a salad, and I’ve loved it in salads ever since.

Grilled Chicken Kale Caesar Salad

The chicken in this salad is FABULOUS. It might be the BEST grilled chicken I have ever eaten. The recipe for the marinade comes from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe, the only difference being that I add some lemon zest to the marinade for even more lemon zing.

Pop the chicken in this amazing lemon garlic marinade, let it sit for about an hour, then grill it. The result is a super-moist lemon garlic chicken. It’s the perfect protein to pair with this massaged kale caesar salad.Grilled Chicken Kale Caesar Salad // bakingyum.comAs far as healthy food goes, this salad is my jam. Excuse me while I go stuff my face with the leftovers in our fridge.

Grilled Chicken Kale Caesar Salads
Recipe Type: Main Dish Salad
Author: © Amanda Jenks
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 servings
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • zest of one lemon, peeled off in large strips
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice (from about 1 medium lemon)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 4 (4-6 ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 bunch kale
  • olive oil + fine sea salt
  • whole wheat croutons
  • light or regular caesar dressing
  • grated parmesan cheese
  • cherry tomatoes, halved
  1. Peel the zest off of the medium lemon in strips. Set aside. Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, and oregano in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk until combined. Drop the lemon zest strips and the chicken into the marinade. Cover and marinate one hour (you can marinate up to overnight, just make sure to refrigerate).
  2. Meanwhile, wash and dry the kale. Pull the greens off of the stems and tear the kale into bite size pieces. Place in a medium serving bowl. Drizzle with 2-3 tsp of olive oil, and sprinkle with a pinch of fine sea salt. Massage all of the leaves gently between the tips of the fingers, until they’re all lightly coated with oil, a deeper shade of green, and more tender. Set aside.
  3. Preheat the grill to medium high. Grill for 3-5 minutes per side (depending on chicken breast size), until internal temperature reaches 160˚F. Remove to a serving platter, tent with foil and let rest 5-10 minutes.
  4. Slice chicken, and serve over massaged kale with whole wheat croutons, halved cherry tomatoes, grated parmesan cheese, and your favorite caesar dressing.

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