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

5 from 17 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 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Salad, Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Servings 2 -4 servings


  • 3 bunches lacinato kale Tuscan kale or cavolo nero, thick ribs cut out
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese plus more to finish
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 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

  • 1/2 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.

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


  1. This is unrelated to your recipes, which I love. I used to be able to save your recipes to my Dropbox, but I can no longer do that. Has something changed about the way your website works? (I am able to save other recipes to Dropbox. Only “New York Times Cooking” is saved on their site.)

    I do have your cookbook, and, often, I can find your recipes there. Thank you.

  2. I would like to make this tonight, but I don’t have your seasoning on hand. What can I garnish with that would be similar?

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  4. Hi Gabi,

    This salad seems so good… what about replacing the bread with quinoa or cuscus?

    I never cook but would like to start trying some of your recipes.
    Thank you for sharing!


  5. This salad is perfection! Made it tonight and I am in love!! The breadcrumbs are amazing and must not be left out. Delish!!!!

  6. I’m in the UK and rstyleme won’t let me on the web site, so I can’t see the seasoning at all to work out what I could use instead.

  7. Just tried this recipe, so delicious! I did add a little Dijonaise to the dressing. Had Heritage pork chops as the protein….definitely a staple in our house!
    Can’t wait to try some more of your recipes and I love watching you and the hubby on Instagram TV!
    Keep up the great food!

  8. wait do you really cut the kale 1/16 of an inch?? the photos look much thicker. Making this tonight 🙂

  9. HI! Just saw your IG video for this recipe and wondering where you linked the knife and cheese grater?


  10. 4 stars
    very yummy~ I marinated the kale in the dressing for 45 min, and I think it helped. Also did the salmon on the grill, which added a depth of flavor. Thanks for the great recipe!

  11. 5 stars
    Obsessed with this one. I used GF panko and vegan butter due to our family’s dietary restrictions and it was still sooooo goooooood.

  12. 5 stars
    Getting the Tuscan kale makes this the most Incredible salad. Thanks for teaching me how to properly cook salmon! Yum!!!! Love this salad!

  13. QUESTION GABY – I’m thinking about buying the gift crate with your seasonings as an xmas gift. Wondering whether or not I need the cookbook to supplement. Do a lot of your recipes in your cookbook use the seasoning? I know I’ve seen some of your recipes online use it (like this one), but haven’t seen it in the cookbook. Although I know the cookbook is great on its own just wondering if it needs to be a combo. xo


  14. Made this for myself and my husband, who, if asked, claims he hates kale, lemon, and avocado (apparently I ruined that for him), and who is currently completely defeated by covid-19, working from home, and keeping two toddlers occupied. What could go wrong. He took one bite and asked, who’s recipe is this? I answered, Gaby’s, at which he rolled his eyes (he’s been forced to listen to your instalives too many times) and proceeded to eat in cranky silence. Then he announces it was the best Caesar salad he’s ever eaten. And because one compliment was one too many, he added, I was also really hungry.

    This salad was awesome. I did massage the kale with a little oil (I heard that’s a thing?) before adding the dressing. And I used plain breadcrumbs instead of panko and grated Parmesan (because covid19) and they worked great! Thank you for such a great recipe! Can’t wait to make it again!

  15. 5 stars
    One of my all time favorite salads! Although I’ve never actually made it with the salmon.. Someday!

    It’s delicious, easy, and makes bringing salad to lunch a breeze. You can dress it and leave it in the fridge for a few days and since the kale is tough, it doesn’t get soggy and you don’t have to worry about a pesky salad dressing container! Just make sure to add fresh avocado in the morning and omit the breadcrumbs (even through the breadcrumbs might be the highlight of the dish!).

    Thanks for yet another great one, Gaby!!

  16. 5 stars
    This salad is amazing and your instructions on the salmon yield the perfect cook.
    I subbed gluten free Panko, vegan butter and cheese. It still turned out amazing.

  17. 5 stars
    Holy this was so good. I’ve ordered this at [will remain nameless] restaurant and it was terrible (too much kale, not enough dressing or salmon). This recipe is so easy and so delicious!! It’s what I thought I’d ordered at that namelesss restaurant. Correction—it’s way better than what I imagined I ordered. OMG THANK YOU.

  18. Made this last night and it was a hit with the entire family. My kids don’t like salmon so I grilled some chicken for them but we loved the salmon with it. It came together quickly and was delicious. Definitely a keeper!

  19. The best salad! My husband didn’t want the salmon mixed into his salad so I just served it on the side. We also added some garlic powder to the breadcrumbs because that’s how we like them. Otherwise we made the recipe exactly as written and it was excellent. It was a wonderful and easy meal to make for a weeknight dinner. And now I have leftover kale salad and salmon for lunch!

  20. Love….love…love! Agree, “worth the wait.”Easy and delicious! Next time I’ll take a picture. This recipe will be saved as a family favorite. Everyone gave it a thumbs up!

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