Citrus Kale Salad with Baked Chicken Recipe

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Citrus Kale Salad With Baked Chicken recipe – this sweet kale salad is bursting with orange, lemon, kale, sunflower seeds, craisins, and baked chicken flavor!

salad with nuts, kale, cranberries, poppyseeds, lemon, lime, and roast chicken in a white bowl

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salad with nuts, kale, cranberries, poppyseeds, lemon, lime, and roast chicken in a white bowl

Easy Citrus Kale Salad with Baked Chicken

This citrus kale salad is fresh, bright, and bursting with flavor – full of crunchy sunflower seeds, sweet and tart dried cranberries, shaved brussels sprouts, broccoli slaw, baked chicken, and a knockout citrus poppyseed vinaigrette dressing.

This salad is one of my favorites of all time – and if we’re being honest, I’m not even a big fan of kale! It is crunchy, sweet, tangy, and delicious – and it even tastes better if you make it about an hour or two ahead of serving – so it is a knockout recipe for picnics, cookouts, BBQs, and anytime you need a hearty and healthy salad that is perfectly portable!

salad with nuts, kale, cranberries, poppyseeds, lemon, lime, and roast chicken in a white bowl

How to make Citrus Kale Salad with Baked Chicken

First you will want to assemble the following ingredients:

  • Chicken breasts – you can use a different cut of chicken but I like using chicken breast since it cooks easily and quickly in the oven.
  • Olive oil – I use this to help the adobo seasoning stick to the chicken, you can use your oil of choice.
  • Adobo seasoning – abobo seasoning is a mixture of garlic, onion powder, salt, pepper, oregano, citrus zest, and turmeric. It is available in any supermarket in the spice section.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil – I use high quality olive oil for the fat in the dressing. You can use whatever oil you prefer.
  • Orange juice, Lime juice, Lemon juice – these juices combine to create the wonderful bright citrus flavor you want in your dressing.
  • Honey – you need honey or a similar liquid sweetener to counterbalance the acid in the juices and the bitterness of the oil. Use locally sourced raw honey for the best flavor.
  • Salt – I use fine grain sea salt to season the salad dressing which then is spread over the whole salad and seasons the other ingredients.
  • Poppy seeds – poppy seeds will add a nice crunch as well as make the dressing coagulate so you get a thicker dressing.
  • Kale – young kale is best for this recipe since it doesn’t have the sharp edge. Kale holds up well to a strong dressing.
  • Broccoli slaw – broccoli slaw is a great way to get some bite in your salad and it holds up well to the citrus poppyseed dressing.
  • Brussels sprouts – shredded brussels are a great source of vitamin C and folate which is why I use them here.
  • Cranberries – tart cranberries are kale and poppy seed’s best friend and they help create the perfect balance of flavors in this salad.
  • Sunflower seeds – you can use any type of seeds you want; I prefer sunflower seeds since they are small but pack a big crunch.

Once you have the ingredients, use the following method.

Season and cook chicken. Generously coat the chicken in the olive oil and abobo seasoning. Wrap in a foil pouch and bake in the oven at 375 until internal temperature is 170 degrees, about 25 minutes.

Let rest and make dressing. Let the chicken rest after you remove it from the oven for about 10 minutes the chop into pieces for your salad. Meanwhile mix all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl until well combined.

Combine and enjoy. In a bowl or on a plate, combine all the salad ingredients and chicken. Drizzle the citrus poppyseed dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Enjoy immediately after dressing!

salad with nuts, kale, cranberries, poppyseeds, lemon, lime, and roast chicken in a white bowl

Tips and Tricks to Perfect Citrus Kale Salad with Chicken

Make too much dressing. I personally love to make a big batch of dressing and put it in an easy-to-use container for later in the week – find my favorite in my amazon must-haves list here!

Use leftover dressing over fruit. The dressing for this recipe is very versatile and can be used to make my poppyseed spinach fruit salad.

Mix up your chicken. If you want to use chicken prepared differently, see the options in the section below.

Wait to dress the salad. If you are prepping this for meals or are not planning on enjoying all of it right then, wait to dress the salad to prevent it from getting soggy.


How long will the salad dressing last?

The dressing will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Can I use chicken thighs instead of chicken breast?

Yes, chicken thighs will cook for about the same amount of time as the breast depending on how large they are. Use boneless skinless chicken thighs.

Other Delicious Chicken Recipes

If you’d prefer to go with another easy chicken recipe, I am rounding up some of my favorites for salads – especially my easy boiled chicken recipe.

This shredded boiled chicken is a total knockout for salads, enchiladas, tacos, and more – so you can make a big batch and get a ton of recipes out of one cooking session!

Other Easy Salad Recipes You’ll Love:

If you love this easy and delicious citrus kale salad with chicken, be sure to check out some of my other favorite easy salads!

These recipes are all simple and easy – many of them keto or low carb – and all designed to fill you up without packing on empty calories!

Some dishes, like a stunning fig and chevre salad, a to die for spicy beef Thai salad, and a hearty low carb taco salad are my favorites!

You can also visit my salad recipe archives here.

salad with nuts, kale, cranberries, poppyseeds, lemon, lime, and roast chicken in a white bowl

Citrus Kale Salad With Baked Chicken Recipe

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salad with nuts, kale, cranberries, poppyseeds, lemon, lime, and roast chicken in a white bowl

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Citrus Kale Salad with Baked Chicken.

Citrus Kale Salad with Chicken Recipe

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Citrus Kale Salad With Baked Chicken recipe - the most delicious citrus kale salad, bursting with orange, lemon, kale, sunflower seeds, craisins, and baked chicken flavor for a healthy, hearty salad the whole family will love!


  • For the Chicken:
  • 2 medium sized chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp adobo seasoning
  • For the Salad:
  • 4 cups firmly packed shredded kale, finely chopped
  • 2 cups broccoli slaw
  • 2 cups finely shredded Brussels sprouts
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • For the dressing:
  • 1/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 c. freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 T. honey
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. poppy seeds


For the chicken:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Generously coat chicken in olive oil and adobo seasoning.
  3. Wrap in a foil pouch and bake until digital thermometer comes to 170 degrees internally. About 20-30 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and let rest 10 minutes (chicken will continue to cook to 175 degrees in the foil pouch) before chopping into 2" chunks.

For the dressing:

In a small bowl, whisk ingredients together until well combined.

For the salad:

Mix salad ingredients and toss gently to mix well.

As you're tossing, drizzle with dressing, and add in chicken.

Serve immediately.

Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 381Total Fat 22gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 18gCholesterol 34mgSodium 524mgCarbohydrates 34gFiber 6gSugar 23gProtein 17g

Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.

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About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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  1. This salad looks absolutely delicious!! I love all the ingredients. Salads are my favorite during summer!