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Chick-fil-A Lemon Kale Cesar Salad (Copycat Recipe)

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This lemon kale Cesar salad is just like the Chick-fil-A version, but made right at home with a delicious tangy dressing. Try this salad with chopped grilled chicken or salmon for a delicious, healthy dish! 

cesar with kale lemon parmesan shredded cheese
lemon kale Cesar ingredients are simple and healthy

Why you’ll love this salad

This salad is my lunch go-to for any time of year, especially during the summer. My family loves this easy chicken salad because it’s healthy, refreshing and keto friendly.

How do I prepare kale? 

I prefer to use my hands to grab the leafy portion and rip from the stalk, but you may use a knife. 

From there, roughly chop the kale or continue tearing into smaller bits with your hands.

Give the kale a good rinse in a colander. 

tossing salad ingredients
a mix of Romaine and kale

Do I need to “massage” kale? 

Turns out, when kale is “massaged” or crunched between your hands, it provides better flavor and texture. Who knew?! 

salad ingredients with grilled chicken
simplify and make grilled chicken ahead of time

How many calories/ carbs are in Chick-fil-A’s kale Cesar salad? 

According to Chick fil A’s nutritional info, Chick-fil-A’s version has 22 carbs and 400 calories. 

The ingredients in Chick-fil-A’s salad include grilled or crispy chicken, shaved parmesan, lemon wedges, romaine lettuce, kale, panko breadcrumbs, and lemon Cesar vinaigrette dressing.

This chick-fil-a lemon kale cesar salad copycat recipe has 7 total carbs (5 net) and 400 calories.

chick fil a copycat salad
the perfect lunch

What can I substitute for kale? 

You may use any lettuce of preference. 

Try arugula and baby spinach if you do not have kale on hand. 

Carbs/calories in kale

One cup of chopped kale only has 33 calories and 6 g. carbs.

What makes kale healthy? 

Kale is a healthy superfood because it contains fiber, vitamins C and K, iron, antioxidants, calcium, and tons of other nutrients. 

How long will kale keep in the fridge? 

Fresh kale should keep for up to a week in the refrigerator. 

You’ll want to store in a supermarket plastic bag or a zip-top plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper drawer and reduce moisture. 

kale with lemon parmesan
shaved parm is yummo!

Toppings (protein) 

At the drive-thru, this chick-fil-a lemon kale cesar salad is typically served with a grilled chicken filet, but you may opt to serve it with grilled steak or salmon. 

And, if you enjoy a nice kale salad, try our copycat Chick fil A superfood salad made with dried cranberries and nuts.

Tips for grilling chicken at home

For this recipe, I used a George Foreman-type griddle, cooking my chicken breast filets evenly on both sides. 

You may also just a skillet with a bit of olive oil, a sprinkle of lemon pepper/ garlic powder. 

If you’re working with large chicken breasts, slice them in half to cook more evenly. 

chopped juicy grilled chicken
top with lean meat for the healthiest option

Making this salad for meal prep

For meal prepping, grill chicken breasts ahead of time and chop. 

Place chicken and dry salad ingredients into meal prep containers (or Mason jars) and seal. 

Tip: dressing should be kept separate until ready to eat (prevents soggy lettuce). 

easy lemon vinaigrette dressing
simply delicious

How to make lemon-vinaigrette salad dressing 

This dressing is easy to make as a low-carb / keto version: 


  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar (or lemon juice)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. Confectioner’s Erythritol or sweetener to preference (optional)

If you prefer a creamy lemon dressing

Prepare dressing according to directions, but add in 1/2 cup sour cream, 1 tsp dill, and 1/2 cup mayonnaise. 

Store-bought dressing

Too busy to make your own homemade dressing? Try Marzetti’s Simply Dressed Lemon Vinaigrette. 

It’s not only healthy and low-carb, it’s super yummy! 

chicken salad with kale and romaine
crunchy and delightful

Delicious and healthy Cesar salad toppings

Depending on your preference, you may use any kind of roughly chopped nut, dried fruit, cheese crisps or shredded cheese. 

Other low carb salad toppings include:

  • Boiled eggs
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumber 
  • Bacon bits
  • Red pepper flakes
copycat lemon parmesan kale cesar salad

Copycat Chick fil A Lemon Kale Cesar Salad

A lemon kale Cesar salad just like Chick-fil-A you can make at home with a delicious dressing.
3.78 from 35 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 7 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 400kcal
Author: Amber @ Low Carb Quick


  • 1 lemon cut into wedges
  • 3 cups kale chopped
  • 3 cups romaine lettuce chopped
  • 3 chicken breasts grilled and sliced
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese shaved

Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder optional
  • ½ tsp confectioner's erythritrol optional, for sweeter dressing


Salad Instructions

  • Rinse kale and lettuce. Chop.
  • Massage kale by squeezing to release natural flavor and texture. Add in other ingredients. Top with dressing.


Calories: 400kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 117mg | Sodium: 507mg | Potassium: 1037mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 8251IU | Vitamin C: 78mg | Calcium: 257mg | Iron: 2mg

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