The New Go-To Kale Salad

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I'm back from a whirlwind trip to NYC and one thing is certain - I over did it on the pizza. Which means today feels like the right time to introduce you to my New Go-To Kale Salad!

The New Go-To Kale Salad from (@whatsgabycookin)

A few months back we were up in Portland visiting some friends and we had the most life changing kale salad as a starter one night. I know, who says a kale salad is life changing, right? But trust me - it is!! It's the most glorious kale salad on the planet. Add a few things to it and just you wait. First, some perfectly cooked flaked salmon, yes please. My This Is Everything blend sprinkled on top because duh. Then an avocado or two and you're almost there. Don't skimp on the bread crumb topping - it gives it that crunch you love!! And voila - you're looking at your new favorite salad. Pinkie promise!!

The New Go-To Kale Salad from (@whatsgabycookin)

The base of this recipe was inspired by that night at Ava Gene's and the corresponding chefs cookbook which we featured a few months back!

The New Go-To Kale Salad

Author: Gaby Dalkin
4.9 from 28 votes
You'll be obsessed with this kale salad. Perfectly cooked flaked salmon, creamy avocado, crunchy bread crumbs, and everything but the bagel seasoning it couldn't get any better.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Lunch, Salad, Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings


  • 3 bunches lacinato kale Tuscan kale or cavolo nero, thick ribs cut out
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • cup finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese plus more to finish
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ teaspoon dried chile flakes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Lemon wedges for serving on the side of the salad
  • 2 teaspoons Gaby’s This is Everything Seasoning
  • 1-2 avocados sliced

For the Salmon

  • 1 lb salmon cut into 4 4-ounce filets
  • kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

For the breadcrumbs

  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons butter


  • Stack several kale leaves on top of one another and roll them up into a tight cylinder. With a sharp knife, slice crosswise into very thin, about 1/16 inch, ribbons. Put the kale in a salad spinner, rinse in cool water, and spin until completely dry. Pile the kale into a bowl.
  • Put the chopped garlic on a cutting board and mince it even more until you have a paste. Transfer the garlic to a small bowl, add the pecorino, a few tablespoons of olive oil, lemon juice, chile flakes, salt, and plenty of black pepper, and whisk to combine.
  • Pour the dressing over the kale and toss well to thoroughly combine. Taste and adjust with more lemon, salt, chile flakes, or black pepper. Let the salad sit for about 5 minutes so the kale softens slightly. Top with the toasted breadcrumbs, avocados, more cheese, and drizzle with more oil and the This Is Everything seasoning.

For the salmon

  • Sprinkle the salmon filets with salt and pepper. Heat a nonstick pan over high heat. Add the oil to the pan and then add the fish. Cook the salmon about 2-3 minutes until there’s a golden crust. Then flip the salmon and cook another minute or two on the skin side. Remove the salmon and add on the salad as needed

For the breadcrumbs

  • Melt the butter in a small non stick skillet. Add the panko breadcrumbs and toast for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside.


Feel free to use canned tuna or salmon if you are in a rush. Any sort of protein will fit nicely on this salad.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 458kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 86mg | Sodium: 493mg | Potassium: 1536mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 20595IU | Vitamin C: 195mg | Calcium: 641mg | Iron: 5mg
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @WhatsGabyCookin or tag #whatsgabycooking!

Photo by Matt Armendariz // Food Styling by Adam Pearson // Prop Styling by Gena Sigala // Recipe by What’s Gaby Cooking


  1. 5 stars
    This was so yummy! All the extras (breadcrumbs, everything seasoning, avo) really bring it all together so don’t skip any! So simple but will definitely be making this on the regular.

  2. 5 stars
    Delicious! Thank you. William Sonoma doesn't have your Everything spice. Any other suggestion on where to purchase?

  3. 5 stars
    Longtime Gaby fan and I have to say easily one of the top ten WGC recipes-- this salad is truly everything: kale/panko dressing combo is outstanding.

  4. 5 stars
    Another fabulous recipe from Gaby! I skipped the breadcrumbs, added pepitas and made my salmon blackened. It was so delicious - light, yet satisfying, and full of flavor. Loved it, thanks Gaby!

  5. 5 stars
    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this salad. When hubs travels for work, I just make it and eat for lunch and dinner as long as it lasts. That’s how much I love it, never get bored of it. One thing I add is orange segments. With the avocado and spicy dressing, chef’s kiss!

  6. Yum! I loved the recipe and didnt really need salt in the dressing as I loved the lemon and cheese flavor. The panko crumbs are a must!

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