This Kale Crunch Salad is light, fresh and crunchy. It takes only 10 minutes from start to finish. This Paleo kale salad is great for a quick and easy lunch, light dinner, and meal prep. The homemade dressing is sweet, savory and so flavorful!

Kale crunch salad in bowl with dressing

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • This Kale crunch salad is just like the salad from Chick-Fil-A!
  • It is quick and easy to make.
  • Only about 10 minutes needed.
  • This salad is light and can be eaten for both lunch and dinner.
  • The toasted almonds add a crunchy crispy element.
  • Feel free to add any meat or other toppings. Grilled chicken, salmon, and steak tips are delicious on top!
  • This recipe is Paleo, grain free, gluten free, dairy free, and easily made Whole30 compliant. For Whole30, use date syrup instead of maple syrup.
  • Check out this Whole30 Brussels Sprouts Salad for another healthy recipe.

Ingredients & Substitutions

These are the main ingredients and substitutions for kale crunch salad. Scroll down to the recipe card for full ingredients list and instructions.

The slivered almonds add some crunch to this Paleo kale salad. Whole almonds, cashews, pecans, and walnuts are great nut substitutes. In addition, pumpkin seeds are great for a nut free option!

Both the kale and green cabbage are crisp and fresh. Other mixed greens will work but they will be significantly less crunchy. Red cabbage can be used instead of green if desired.

Pure maple syrup can be replaced by honey or date syrup.

Replace coarse mustard with Dijon or honey mustard if desired.

Feel free to slightly adjust dressing ingredients to suit your taste. Taste and adjust as you cook.

Paleo kale salad with almonds

Chick-Fil-A Dressing

The dressing that is served with the Kale Crunch Salad at Chick-Fil-A is described as an apple cider and Dijon vinaigrette.

For this recipe, I used coarse mustard for some added savory flavor and texture. Feel free to use Dijon in its place.

The apple cider vinegar and maple syrup add a touch of sweetness.

How to Make

Step 1

First, toast slivered almonds. Add almonds to a skillet over low heat.

Almonds in skillet

Step 2

Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until lightly toasted. Remove from heat.

Toasted almonds in skillet

Step 3

Next, massage kale with hands. Add chopped kale to a large salad bowl.

Massaged kale in bowl

Step 4

Then, add sliced green cabbage to bowl.

Kale and cabbage in bowl

Step 5

Add toasted almonds to salad bowl.

Paleo kale salad in bowl

Step 6

Make the dressing. Add all salad dressing ingredients to a small bowl. Stir to combine.

Salad dressing in bowl

Step 7

Pour dressing on kale crunch salad. Toss until coated.

Kale crunch salad with spoons

Step 8

Finally, serve crunch kale salad!

Variations & Add Ins

This recipe is a great starting point for a salad! It is not traditionally served with croutons. Here are some toppings that would work well:

  • Grilled chicken
  • Steak tips
  • Salmon
  • Dried cranberries
  • Chopped apple
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Pecans
  • Cashews
  • Walnuts
  • Sliced avocado
  • Baby tomatoes

Expert Tips & Tricks

Toasting the almonds gives them a hearty and nutty flavor. In addition, they become crispy. I highly recommend doing this!

Massage kale until it has a softer texture. This prevents tough kale.

Slice cabbage into long thin strips. It is crunchy and crispy to begin with. This is much easier to eat.

Fully toss kale crunch salad until greens are covered in dressing.

Crunchy kale salad in bowl

How to Serve & Store

Serve salad fresh. It is best right after it has been made.

If making ahead of time, store salad and dressing separately in fridge. Then, toss salad with dressing just before eating.

Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use another leafy green?

I highly recommend kale and green cabbage for that crunch element. If needed, mixed greens can be used.

Can I use another dressing?

Sure! A poppyseed dressing or maple balsamic vinaigrette would work well.

Can I make this nut free?

Yes. Instead of almonds, use pumpkin seeds.

Can I add a protein?

Yes, see above for some salad topping suggestions.

Can I make this salad ahead of time?

Sure! Store salad and dressing separately in fridge until time to eat. Then, toss salad with dressing.

Is it gluten free? Vegan? Paleo?

Yes, this recipe is gluten free, Vegan and Paleo as written.

Salad with kale and cabbage

You May Also Like

If you make this kale crunch salad recipe, I would really appreciate a review! You can find me on InstagramFacebook, and Pinterest. I would love for you to follow along! For more ideas, check out these Dinner Recipes.

Kale crunch salad in bowl with dressing

Get the Recipe: Kale Crunch Salad (Chick-Fil-A Copycat)

This Kale Crunch Salad is fresh, crunchy, and delicious. It takes just minutes to prepare and has the most flavorful sweet and savory dressing. This Paleo kale salad is great for a quick and easy lunch, dinner, or meal prep!
5 from 2 votes



  • 2 cups kale, massaged and chopped
  • 1 ½ cups green cabbage, chopped into thin strips
  • ½ cup slivered almonds



  • First, add slivered almonds to a skillet over low heat. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until almonds are lightly toasted. Remove from heat.
  • Next, massage kale. Take kale in your hands and massage until it is not as tough. Chop kale and place in a large salad bowl.
  • Then, slice green cabbage into long thin strips. Add cabbage to salad bowl.
  • Add toasted slivered almonds to salad bowl.
  • Then, make dressing. Combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Stir to combine.
  • Pour dressing into salad bowl. Toss to combine.
  • Finally, serve!


  • Toasting the almonds takes just 3 to 5 minutes and adds a ton of flavor!  Feel free to use whole almonds or another nut or seed if desired.
  • Massaging the kale is important.  Kale can be a little stiff and rigid until massaged.  Simply massage kale with your hands until it has a softer texture.
  • Red cabbage can be substituted for green cabbage.
  • Slice cabbage into long thin strips.
  • Add meat, protein, dried cranberries, or any other desired toppings!
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • If possible, store salad and dressing separately.  Then dress salad as needed.
  • Nutrition facts include full salad dressing.
Calories: 370kcal, Carbohydrates: 14g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 34g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 24g, Trans Fat: 1g, Sodium: 62mg, Potassium: 338mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 3375IU, Vitamin C: 50mg, Calcium: 110mg, Iron: 1mg

Love this Kale Crunch Salad? You can sign up here to receive healthy meal plans and new recipes!