Caesar salad is made with kale and topped with delicious pan fried salmon. Top with freshly grated parmesan, croutons, almonds, and caesar dressing. Impress your dinner guests with this healthy meal.Jump to Recipe
We love caesar salad, it’s one of our favorite sides for our meal. This recipe is not your traditional caesar salad. Instead of romaine, we use kale which adds so many vitamins and minerals to the plate. This time instead of serving it as a side, we made it into a meal by serving fresh pan fried salmon over top.
The salmon is what completes the meal. It’s pan fried in butter, garlic, salt and pepper, and topped with lemon juice. It's extremely flavorful while simple at the same time. Salmon is a fish we don't eat enough of. It’s healthy and cooks up perfectly whether you choose to make baked salmon in the oven or pan fry it on the stove.
- Why You’ll Love this Salmon Kale Caesar Salad
- The Ingredients to make Salmon Caesar Salad
- How To Make The Salmon Caesar Salad Recipe
- Using Skin on Salmon vs Skinned Salmon
- The Benefits of Kale
- Tips for Prepping the Kale
- Is Caesar Salad Actually Healthy?
- Can You Meal Prep Salmon Kale Caesar Salad?
- Try These Delicious Salads!
- The Best Salmon Kale Caesar Salad
Why You’ll Love this Salmon Kale Caesar Salad
- This salmon kale salad is perfect for a weeknight meal after work, make in 30 minutes or less
- You only need simple ingredients, we love cooking from scratch but that's just not what we were going for with this recipe. Instead of homemade croutons and homemade caesar dressing we wanted to simplify the recipe and get those items from the store. This makes it easy and practical for those that don't have a ton of time to slave away in the kitchen
- You’ll feel full and satisfied with this kale and salmon salad hours after eating. By adding a protein and substituting the romaine for kale you’ll find that it really does make a difference.
The Ingredients to make Salmon Caesar Salad
The ingredients for the salmon kale caesar salad are extremely simple. We're not going for a 100% homemade dressing and crouton thing here. If you want to and have the time then I encourage you to but this is a little more practical and time friendly. Choose your favorite store-bought caesar dressing and croutons and let’s get cooking.
For the salmon
- Wild Caught Salmon
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
For the salad
- Chopped Kale
- Shredded parmesan cheese
- Caesar salad dressing
- Sliced almonds
How To Make The Salmon Caesar Salad Recipe
Step 1: Remove the salmon from the fridge and bring to room temperature. Pat dry with a paper towel. Heat a skillet with olive oil over medium heat. While the skillet is heating, drizzle all sides of the salmon with fresh lemon juice from 1/2 lemon. Top with a generous pinch of salt and pepper.
Step 2: After the skillet is heated, place the salmon in the skillet. If using skin on salmon place in the skillet flesh side down. Cook undisturbed for 4 minutes. Flip the salmon and cook for another 2-3 minutes undisturbed. As soon as you flip the salmon, add the garlic and sauté between the salmon filets. After one minute of cooking on the other side squeeze 1/2 lemon juice into the pan to deglaze. Top with chopped parsley and set aside.
Step 3: In a large mixing bowl toss together the kale, parmesan cheese, croutons, caesar salad dressing, and sliced almonds. Mix until the kale is coated in the dressing. Serve on a plate or bowl and serve with whole or chopped salmon filets.
Notes: If you're looking for a gluten free option, omit the croutons or opt for gluten free croutons. Be sure to read the ingredients list of the dressing before using!
Using Skin on Salmon vs Skinned Salmon
Should you choose salmon with or without the skin? Is salmon skin edible? Which is healthier? There are so many questions about this and we’re going to get right into it.
When I go shopping for salmon I’m usually looking for the best prices. Because I don't normally buy salmon, I don’t have a preference between skin on and skin off. After cooking with it, I really still don’t have a preference and I’ll tell you why.
Yes, salmon skin is edible and contains a lot of the minerals and nutrients that salmon has. I would only consider eating it if I bought a high quality piece. Crisping it up in a pan and seasoning it well like we do in this recipe gives it good flavor and a crispy texture.
Many people avoid skin on because they don’t know how to cook it but it’s not as intimidating as you might think. It may not look entirely appetizing but whether you leave it on or off the recipes you use work just fine with or without.
I don’t specialize in nutrition so I can’t speak on which is healthier but I know that salmon skin is said to have a lot of antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and protein. Whether you choose a skin on or skin off salmon it will be good either way!
The Benefits of Kale
Typically caesar salad uses romaine lettuce but in this version we’re substituting the romaine for kale. Kale is a superfood because it’s packed with so many vitamins and minerals. Using it as a base for your salad is perfect because of this and it has a delicious flavor. If you’re not familiar with eating kale regularly, the leaves are tender, chewy, and slightly bitter and peppery.
There are many different types of kale. The most common type that you’ll see in your local grocery store is the curly kale which has large leaves that are frilled on the edges. My personal favorite is Lacinato kale which is also known as dinosaur kale. The leaves are rumpled and puckered and it looks almost reptilian which is where it gets it’s name. If you come across this, I highly recommend you get some!
Other less common types are:
- Ornamental - frilly, fluffy, and colorful, commonly used as a display for buffets
- Red Russian - ranges in color from blue-green to purple-red, it’s semi-sweet and great for salads
- Chinese Kale - can be substituted for broccoli, has a long stock and large smooth leaves
- Siberian Kale - this variety is better cooked
- Redbor Kale - has curly leaves with purple veins can be used as plate decor or can be eaten
When we compare kale to romaine lettuce there are quite a few noticeable differences in taste and texture but let’s get into the health benefits of kale. Below are some differences between kale and romaine on a nutritional level.
To start, kale has more of the following than romaine:
When we look at kale alone, it is one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. It’s also known to help prevent against some diseases and can combat with weight loss. It’s a great choice for this chopped kale caesar salad recipe if you’re looking for more of a nutrient dense meal.
Tips for Prepping the Kale
You may or may not have heard but prepping your kale before adding it to the salad is a very important step that could change the texture and flavor for the better. Prepping kale can make it softer and give it a more subtle flavor. So how do you prep kale? Well let’s get into it.
Rinse the kale. Rinsing is important, you should wash all your vegetables and lettuce before using them. Many times they’re covered in dirt or sand and nobody wants to eat that.
Massage the kale - massaging the kale softens it and reduces the vegetable’s bitterness. Stop massaging when you notice it’s softer. Avoid over massaging it which can lead to mushiness. Massaged kale is good for around 2-3 days.
I don’t recommend placing the caesar dressing on the kale until you’re ready to serve the caesar salmon salad. Adding the dressing and leaving it on can wilt the kale and may result in an undesirable flavor. Keep this in mind if you’re meal prepping or plan to have left overs.
Is Caesar Salad Actually Healthy?
So is caesar salad actually healthy? A lot of times this is the salad that gets a bad reputation because of the saturated fat content and calories. I’ll admit this isn’t the lightest on calories but with salmon and kale, it’s packed with nutrition.
If you’re looking to cut back on saturated fat and calories, consider using a “light” caesar dressing and cut back on the parmesan cheese when you’re topping the salad. It’s very easy to over-do the dressing. Start with a little and mix, only add more if you absolutely need it.
On the other hand, traditional caesar salad is looked down upon because of the lack of variety you get in the salad. This salmon kale caesar salad is different because it’s topped with sliced almonds, salmon, and is made with kale.
If you’re worried about the lack of variety, I highly recommend adding more veggies to this kale salmon salad like tomatoes, chickpeas, broccoli, or any other salad topping that you love.
Can You Meal Prep Salmon Kale Caesar Salad?
Yes, we love meal prepping and this salmon and kale salad is very easy to prep for the week. It’s perfect for school or work lunches too! To meal prep, let the cooked salmon cool before placing on the lettuce to prevent the veggies from getting soggy.
Also, pack the salad dressing and croutons in their own separate containers to keep them fresh. This will keep the croutons crunchy and the kale from being wilted from the dressing.
Try These Delicious Salads!
The Best Salmon Kale Caesar Salad
For The Salmon
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2-3 4 oz Salmon filets
- 1 lemon
- Salt and pepper
- 4 large cloves garlic minced
For The Salad
- 1/2 bunch of kale washed and chopped
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup croutons
- Caesar salad dressing
- 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
- Bring salmon to room temperature and pat dry with a paper towel. Season with salt and pepper on all sides. Top with 1/2 lemon juice.
- In a skillet heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Once the butter has melted and the pan is hot, add the salmon flesh side down. Cook undisturbed for 4 minutes. Flip then cook the salmon skin side down for 2-3 minutes undisturbed. Right after flipping the fish, add the garlic and cook in between the salmon filets. After 1 minute add 1/2 lemon juice to the pan to deglaze. Top with chopped parsley and set aside.
- In a large bowl toss together the kale, parmesan cheese, croutons, caesar salad dressing, and sliced almonds. Mix until the kale is coated in the dressing. Serve on a plate or bowl and serve with whole or chopped salmon filets.