Charred Kale Caesar Salad with Honey Chipotle Chicken


Charred Kale Caesar Salad with Honey Chipotle Chicken is a fun twist on a traditional caesar salad, using kale instead of romaine. Chicken is tossed in a sweet, spicy and smoky marinade and then baked to perfection in a hot oven. Kale is charred to give it a unique and sweet taste, and then topped with honey chipotle chicken, homemade caesar dressing, fresh and creamy blue cheese and sautéed mushrooms. This kale caesar salad will be a hit!

Charred Kale Caesar Salad with Honey Chipotle Chicken is a fun twist on a traditional caesar salad, using kale instead of romaine! |

Happy Sunday, everyone! I hope you guys are having a wonderful weekend! Our weekend has pretty much been the norm. We have finally come to a decision on our new home in Wyoming, and the work is underway! I honestly can NOT believe we are building ANOTHER house. Especially since just a year and a half ago we were building the house we currently live in. Oh well, that’s life. Luckily the market is crazy good here in Colorado, so hopefully this house sells quickly! I can’t wait to bring you guys on this journey, and as things progress I’m going to post photos to keep you updated. The style will be that of a modern craftsman-style house. Did I ever tell you how obsessed I am with craftsman-style homes? I originally was dead set on buying on a mid-century craftsman. There are so many beautiful ones in the area in which we are moving, but it just never worked out. So here we are, and we are building our own. Yay!

So, today this post is totally in defense of lacinato kale. I feel like lacinato kale is the forgotten kale. I personally think it has more flavor and texture than the kale that shall remain nameless (I’m not a fan unless it’s wilted or pulverized). It is also perfect for sautéing, grilling and charring. As the warm weather sets in, I become obsessed with grilling all the things. I grill lettuce like it’s my job (well it is kind of my job…since this blog is my job…but you get it). This winter though, I became kind of obsessed with charring kale in a cast iron pan. It works wonders. It really does. I feel like a good char is just what kale needs. ;)

This is totally an untraditional caesar salad. I’m not going to pretend like it’s the best thing ever. These are just a few of my favorite things I like to serve with charred kale, with a homemade caesar dressing drizzled on top. I hope you guys love this charred kale caesar salad just as much as I do. Do yourself a favor and pair it with a brown ale! Have a wonderful week everyone! xo

Charred Kale Caesar Salad with Honey Chipotle Chicken is a fun twist on a traditional caesar salad, using kale instead of romaine! |

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Charred Kale Caesar Salad with Honey Chipotle Chicken is a fun twist on a traditional caesar salad, using kale instead of romaine! |

Charred Kale Caesar Salad with Honey Chipotle Chicken

Yields 2 charred kale caesar salads

20 minPrep Time

1 hrCook Time

1 hr, 20 Total Time

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    Caesar Dressing
  • 3 whole anchovy fillets
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Honey Chipotle Chicken
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey, warmed slightly
  • 1 tablespoon chipotles in adobo (sauce only)
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and black pepper
  • 2 boneless and skinless chicken breasts
  • Kale Caesar Salad
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 4 ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 bunch of Lacinato (Dinosaur) kale (about 8-10 leaves), stems trimmed
  • 4 ounces good-quality hard blue cheese, sliced
  • 1 cup croutons (homemade or store-bought)
  • 2 tablespoons micro greens (for garnish)


  1. To a high powered blender, add the anchovy fillets, garlic, a generous amount of salt and black pepper, mayo, white wine vinegar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon juice. Puree until the mixture just comes together. With the blender running on low, slowly add the olive oil. Continue to blend until smooth and creamy. Lastly, add the parmesan cheese. Blend again until smooth. Adjust seasoning to taste. Transfer the dressing to an airtight container and refrigerate until you are ready to use.
  2. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with foil. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, honey, adobo sauce, mustard, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder and a generous amount of salt and black pepper. Add the chicken to the bowl and toss to coat evenly, rubbing it in where needed. Place the chicken on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 35-40 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside to rest for a couple of minutes.
  4. While your chicken is baking, prepare your mushrooms and kale. To a large sauté pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the mushrooms and season with salt. Cook until tender and brown, about 5-6 minutes. Set aside.
  5. Preheat a large cast iron pan over high heat. Rub the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil on each side of each kale leaf. Once the pan is hot, add the kale. Do this part in batches. Only char about 2-3 leaves at a time so you can leave them flat. Cook for approximately 1 minute on each side or until the edges begin to brown. Remove from heat and repeat for the rest of your kale.
  6. Assemble your kale caesar salads by layering sliced chicken, mushrooms, blue cheese and croutons over 2 beds of kale. Garnish with fresh micro greens or sprouts and drizzle with homemade caesar dressing.
  7. Enjoy immediately!

Charred Kale Caesar Salad with Honey Chipotle Chicken is a fun twist on a traditional caesar salad, using kale instead of romaine! |


Categories: Appetizers and Snacks, Chicken, Food and Beer Pairings, Healthy, Main Course, Meat and Fish, Recipes, Salads, Seasonal, Spring, Summer
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  • Stacey @ Bake.Eat.Repeat.

    I love untraditional salads, and this one looks amazing. Love that chicken! Good luck with the house building – we’ve done that a few times too! Hope everything goes well for you, and quickly! :)

  • marcie @ flavor the moments

    I use lacinto kale more than any other honestly, and I love to grill lettuce (the grill is my best friend)! :) I don’t order caesar salad too often because it can be monotonous — this one definitely isn’t! This whole meal sounds utterly delicious. :)

  • Jen

    okay, so my huge head shot on my last comment – please delete. AH! don’ t know how that happened. BUT what I said was… THIS is stunning! seriously, so gorgeous, I was staring at each photo for at least 5 minutes! And I love this twist! The kale WITH the chipotle AND the Caesar – mmmmmm! Are you sure you don’t want to build your new house in Carlsbad – AKA next to me? :)

    • Haha! How did that even happen?! That totally made my day. ;) You’re adorable. Thanks girlfriend.

  • JoHaPSU33

    Wow, this was delicious and is now in the recipe rotation! Kale has scared me since I tried a kale chip a few years ago (who actually thinks those are good?). Now I can say that I love kale! The honey chipotle chicken was scrumptious as well and only took 20-25 minutes to cook down here at sea elevation. Thanks for the flavorful and nutritious recipe!

  • Katie | HealthySeasonalRecipes

    I just love this variation of Caesar. Theres so much more interest here! Yummy combo!