This kale salad is packed to the max with goodies!  Kale is tossed with shredded Brussels sprouts, lots of sweet caramelized onions, crispy bacon and grilled chicken plus a super tasty hot bacon dressing.  It’s dairy free and paleo with both Whole30 and keto options. 

This kale salad is packed to the max with goodies!  Kale is tossed with shredded Brussels sprouts, lots of sweet caramelized onions, crispy bacon and grilled chicken plus a super tasty hot bacon dressing.  It’s dairy free and paleo with both Whole30 and keto options. 

In my opinion salads can be the absolute best or worst, and I’m sure some of you know what I mean.

Like when we’re traveling and I have to eat a basically plain green salad with sad, scattered strips of “grilled chicken” – yup, the worst.  Especially when it’s day after day of that same salad, I shudder!  But this salad?  Pretty much the best.

You see, when I make a salad at home, I make sure it’s the exact opposite of all the salads I can’t stand.  The ones that gives “salad” a bad name!  Now this LOADED kale salad might just blow your mind if you’re used to salads being hopelessly boring.

This kale salad is packed to the max with goodies!  Kale is tossed with shredded Brussels sprouts, lots of sweet caramelized onions, crispy bacon and grilled chicken plus a super tasty hot bacon dressing.  It’s dairy free and paleo with both Whole30 and keto options. 

First of all, the green part of this salad isn’t just kale – it’s shredded brussels sprouts, too.  I like the combination of the two and also couldn’t decide between them – so we’re getting both.

And yes, we have the chicken.  I know that salads need lots of protein and fat to really fill you up, so that’s all there, too.  But, the star-duet of this kale salad is the combination of the caramelized onions and hot bacon dressing.  The dressing is definitely just as good as it sounds!

This kale salad is packed to the max with goodies!  Kale is tossed with shredded Brussels sprouts, lots of sweet caramelized onions, crispy bacon and grilled chicken plus a super tasty hot bacon dressing.  It’s dairy free and paleo with both Whole30 and keto options. 

If you haven’t truly caramelized onions before, I’ll tell you now that it’s a long – but basically hands off – process.  They’re cooked low and slow in coconut oil (or ghee) for about 30-35 minutes, adjusting the heat to prevent any from browning too quickly.

The result is sweet savory MAGIC that tastes like salted caramel to me, for real.  They’re just so good!  So we have the onions, then some bacon and chicken, and THEN the bacon dressing.  Double bacon is always the way to do bacon!

This kale salad is packed to the max with goodies!  Kale is tossed with shredded Brussels sprouts, lots of sweet caramelized onions, crispy bacon and grilled chicken plus a super tasty hot bacon dressing.  It’s dairy free and paleo with both Whole30 and keto options. 

The dressing is made with rendered bacon fat, plus raw apple cider vinegar, seasonings, and a little sweetener.   The sweetener you use will vary depending on whether you need this salad to be Paleo, Whole30, or keto.

The dressing is cooked and mixed with crumbled bacon, then poured over the salad.  Once you toss everything together, you’ll be ready to start digging in by the handful!  Seriously, it’s hard to keep your hands off while making it with all the yummy ingredients!

Another great thing about this salad is that, unlike most salads, you can save the leftovers after dressing it and it’ll be just as good slightly heated up later on.  Nothing gets too soggy since you’re dealing with kale and Brussels sprouts, which are sturdy greens that just love dressing!

I hope you’re ready for a salad that you’ll want to make again and again – I’m so sad mine is gone!  Grab lots of bacon (and probably an apron!) and let’s go!

Kale Salad with Chicken, Caramelized Onions, and Hot Bacon Dressing {Paleo}

This kale salad is packed to the max with goodies!  Kale is tossed with shredded Brussels sprouts, lots of sweet caramelized onions, crispy bacon and grilled chicken plus a super tasty hot bacon dressing.  It’s dairy free and paleo with both Whole30 and keto options.  This kale salad is packed to the max with goodies!  Kale is tossed with shredded Brussels sprouts, lots of sweet caramelized onions, crispy bacon and grilled chicken plus a super tasty hot bacon dressing.  It’s dairy free and paleo with both Whole30 and keto options. 

Kale Salad with Chicken, Caramelized Onions, and Hot Bacon Dressing {Paleo}

This kale salad is packed to the max with goodies! Kale is tossed with shredded Brussels sprouts, lots of sweet caramelized onions, crispy bacon and grilled chicken plus a super tasty hot bacon dressing. It’s dairy free and paleo with both Whole30 and keto options.
Author: Michele
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Course: Dinner/Lunch
Cuisine: Paleo, Whole30
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients

Salad:

  • 4 cups kale chopped
  • 2 cups brussels sprouts shredded
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil or avocado oil plus sea salt, for kale
  • 2 med yellow onions thinly sliced
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil refined, or avocado oil
  • Sea salt for the onions
  • 1 lb chicken breasts pounded to 1/2” thickness
  • Sea salt + pepper for chicken
  • 7 slices nitrate free bacon try to go for thicker slices, cut into pieces

Hot Bacon Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup bacon fat rendered from cooking your bacon
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup - or date paste for Whole30. Stevia can be used for keto*
  • 1 Tbsp mustard I used stone ground
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper or to taste

Instructions

  1. First, caramelize the onions. Heat a large skillet over med-low heat and add 3 Tbsp coconut oil. Add sliced onions and stir to coat, sprinkle with a bit of sea salt. Cook and periodically stir, for 25-30 minutes, lowering heat or adding a bit more coconut oil as needed to avoid burning. The onions are done when they are a deep golden brown color and very fragrant.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the chicken. Drizzle a skillet with oil and heat to medium/med-hi (adjust as needed)
  3. Sprinkle chicken breast on both sides with sea salt and pepper, then grill 4-5 mins on each side or until juices run clear and inside is no longer pink. Set aside covered in aluminum foil.
  4. Set heat to medium and add bacon pieces. Cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, then remove with slotted spoon to drain on paper towel. Reserve all the bacon fat.

Make the Dressing:

  1. Measure your reserved fat and use just 1/4 cup for the dressing. If you’re short, add a little olive or avocado oil. Add hot fat back to the skillet over medium low heat. Whisk in all the remaining dressing ingredients, plus half of the cooked bacon (crumbled) and cook 1-2 more minutes, until hot and bubbly.

Assemble Salad:

  1. First, massage the kale. Place it in a large bowl and drizzle with the 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Knead the kale with your hands as if kneading bread dough for about 2-3 mins or until desired texture is achieved.
  2. Transfer kale to a serving bowl and toss with the shredded Brussels sprouts. Slice the chicken or cut into bite size pieces and place on top of the greens. Top with caramelized onions (leave excess oil in the skillet), second half of the bacon, and the hot dressing, toss to coat and combine.
  3. Serve right away. This salad should be served warm since the dressing is made with bacon fat and will start to solidify if it gets cold. Salad can be reheated in the microwave if necessary. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

*If using stevia to sweeten, add in at the end and adjust taste to preference. 

**Nutrition is calculated using maple syrup to sweeten the dressing.

Nutrition

Calories: 434kcal
Fat: 32g
Saturated fat: 14g
Cholesterol: 74mg
Sodium: 424mg
Potassium: 724mg
Carbohydrates: 13g
Fiber: 1g
Sugar: 4g
Protein: 22g
Vitamin A: 4715%
Vitamin C: 82.5%
Calcium: 97%
Iron: 1.6%

Shop Products and Ingredients:

Want More Paleo Salad Recipes?  Try One of These!

Crispy Chicken Salad with “Honey” Mustard Dressing

Kale Chicken Caesar Salad

BLT Chicken Salad with Peppercorn Ranch 

Brussels Sprouts Salad with Bacon and Apple Vinaigrette 

Shrimp Cobb Salad with Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette

Roasted Butternut Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

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