Baby kale salad with avocado and parmesan is a quick and easy dish to enjoy any time. It’s perfect for a light lunch or to serve at the start of dinner.
The popularity of kale really blew up after becoming a staple ingredient for healthy smoothies. I’ve seen it used in everything from chips to soups and popsicles!
Kale is a trendy vegetable because it’s loaded with vitamins and minerals. For starters, it contains a huge amount of vitamins A and C, both of which are antioxidants.
One cup of kale has about 200% of the daily value of A and 130% of C. In addition, there’s a decent amount of calcium (roughly 10 percent).
Kale also contains over a quarter of your supply of manganese. Like vitamin K, manganese plays a role in bone health, but the benefits of manganese go beyond bones. If you’re counting your net grams of carbs, you’ll be glad that manganese helps normalize blood sugar levels.
Pound for pound, kale is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. It also contains essential fatty acids and a decent amount of copper.
But, the one nutrient kale is loaded with is vitamin K - there’s almost 700% daily value. That’s just one reason to make my baby kale salad recipe!
Ingredients Needed For Baby Kale Salad
This is a simple salad recipe - and there are lots of ways that you can change it up.
Here is what you'll need to make it:
The main ingredient is obviously baby kale leaves. If you don't like the taste of kale (or maybe the texture), you can use your favorite type of lettuce. Baby spinach is the perfect substitute.
The sliced almonds give it a satisfying crunch. They also add to the protein and healthy fat content.
Dice the avocado, so it is in bite-sized pieces. You only need about one avocado for this recipe.
The bacon really goes perfectly with the kale and parmesan cheese. Always use sugar-free bacon!
Instead of bacon, you can use your favorite sugar-free cured meat (prosciutto would taste amazing in this recipe too).
I used shredded cheese for this kale salad. It won't change anything about this recipe if you use diced, cubed, or small chunks of parmesan cheese.
The best dressing for this salad is olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Any oil and vinegar dressing will taste delicious, so use your favorite!
Please note: Check out the recipe card at the bottom for a full list of ingredients used to make this low-carb recipe.
- Store ingredients separately. Then, make this salad fresh. After I add dressing to my salad, I never store leftovers. The kale becomes too soggy.
- Use your favorite sliced or chopped nuts for extra crunch. I like the texture of thinly sliced almonds.
- Change the type of cheese! For example, shred different types of hard cheese, like gouda, for a different flavor.
How To Make The Best Baby Kale Salad
It couldn’t be easier to make this baby kale salad recipe. All you do is toss together kale, sliced almonds, avocado, bacon, and parmesan cheese in a big bowl!
Then, I like to top everything off with my olive oil and balsamic vinegar salad dressing. Of course, you can use any vinaigrette that you like or choose another favorite low-carb salad dressing, such as this avocado cilantro lime dressing.
I also like to dress up the top with some additional grated parmesan cheese and bacon! You can also sprinkle on some salt and pepper to taste.
What To Serve With Baby Kale Salad
This is the perfect salad to serve with almost any low-carb dinner that you make. I think tastes amazing with baked bacon ranch chicken! It will also go great with beef tenderloin and herb garlic butter.
Frequently Asked Questions About Baby Kale Salad
Before we get to the recipe card, here are some questions people often have about it.
Is baby kale low carb?
One serving size of baby kale is about 2 cups. Each serving contains about 9 grams of total carbs and 2 grams of fiber.
With 7 grams of net carbs per serving, baby kale may not be the best choice for a ketogenic diet. Because it has more carbohydrates than other low-carb vegetables, you may only want to consume it occasionally.
Is this a healthy baby kale recipe?
This salad is not any less nutritious due to the fact that it contains dairy. In fact, cheese plays an important part in helping curb cravings. But, you can certainly replace the parmesan with a dairy-free alternative if desired.
You want your salads to have a decent amount of natural dietary fat. Otherwise, you could end up overeating the main entree and be unable to resist snacking on high-carb foods later.
That’s why I include a few healthy fats in this keto kale salad recipe: parmesan, bacon, avocado, and olive oil.
Is bacon good for you?
Now, I know what you might be thinking: bacon is healthy?
Yes, industrial bacon indeed can be one of the worst things for you. But, if the bacon is nitrate-free and cured without sugar, a little bit of it is good for you.
Natural, minimally processed fat is the best thing for avoiding high-sugar, high-starch foods on a keto diet. And, fat is the one macronutrient that does not raise blood sugar levels at all.
Even eating too much protein can raise your blood sugar levels. That’s why it’s not a good idea to eat a lot of animal protein.
However, you don’t have to feel guilty about the fat content when it comes to olive oil and avocado. Instead, think of fat as your friend, especially for those following low-carb diets.
Why did you add almonds to the salad?
I don’t know about you, but I gotta have some crunch in my salads. For this recipe, I use sliced almonds.
And, not only do almonds provide a pleasing, crunchy, and hearty texture, they’re no nutritional slouch either. They also have natural fat, protein, and fiber!
One cup of sliced almonds contains over 60% of the daily value for magnesium. They are also high in calcium and iron.
This baby kale salad is so easy to make. And, because it contains a lot of good fats, you really can eat it as if it were an entree!
I think one of the best ways to slim down is to eat a high-fat salad for lunch and dinner at least a few days a week.
But if nothing else, this recipe is perfect for those times when you’re making something quick for your family or for when you’re hosting guests for dinner.
Other Salad Recipes To Try
Need some more quick and easy keto salad ideas? Here’s a few more to try:
- Keto Cobb Salad is a classic recipe that makes the perfect side dish or main course for lunch.
- Low Carb Taco Salad is perfect when you are craving tacos but don't want to cook - it has all of the same tastes but less work.
- Thai Chicken Salad is bursting with umami taste and is the perfect thing to eat for lunch.
- Keto Tilapia Salad is a light lunch or dinner and is packed with healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
- Asian Spiralized Zucchini Noodle Salad has 3.6g net carbs per serving and has a refreshingly different flavor.
Be sure to let me know what you think of this simple baby kale recipe in the comments.
Baby Kale Salad with Avocado
- 5 ounces baby kale and or baby spinach
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- 1 medium avocado diced
- 8 slices bacon cooked and chopped
- ½ cup parmesan cheese
- ½ cup Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar Salad Dressing
- In large bowl, combine baby kale, sliced almonds, avocado, bacon and Parmesan cheese.
- Blend in salad dressing and serve.
Array ( [serving_size] => 2 [calories] => 468 [carbohydrates] => 7 [protein] => 14 [fat] => 43 [saturated_fat] => 11 [cholesterol] => 37 [sodium] => 505 [potassium] => 367 [fiber] => 1 [sugar] => 1 [vitamin_a] => 3655 [vitamin_c] => 42.5 [calcium] => 237 [iron] => 1.3 [serving_unit] => cups )
Notes on Nutritional Information
Nutritional information for the recipe is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts as it has been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.
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First published on August 7, 2019. Post updated on June 24, 2021, with additional recipe information and clearer images.