Kale Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

from 17 votes

Skip the salad bar and DIY your way to my all-time favorite recipe for Kale Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette.

Two white plates piled high with kale salad with a small bowl of crispy chickpeas next to it

Last week, Leftover Halloween Candy Blondies got the best of me. But I promised today’s recipe would star nutrient-packed leafy greens. And that it does. It also happens to star bacon, and more specifically, warm bacon vinaigrette. Leave it to me to transform kale—thou holiest of all trendy superfoods—into a salad with hot bacon drippings as a sidekick.

A glass bowl containing shredded kale, chickpeas, bacon, cheese and almonds

There’s just something about a warm bacon vinaigrette that makes people weak in the knees. It also relaxes uptight leafy greens just to the point where they bend at the bite while retaining their crunch.

Warm bacon dressing being poured onto a glass bowl containing kale salad ingredients

This dressing features a quick mix of warm, rendered bacon fat with minced shallots, tangy apple cider vinegar and a dollop of Dijon. And then it’s time to let that salad freak flag fly, as you toss in the likes of toasted nuts, crispy chickpeas (my fave!) shredded parmesan or dried cranberries—all ready for a bacon bath. I’ll leave you with that thought. A bacon bath.

Two plates containing kale salad with small bowls of chickpeas and almonds

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Raw Kale Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

Skip the salad bar and DIY your way to my all-time favorite recipe for Kale Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette.
Author: Kelly Senyei
4.95 from 17 votes
Two white plates piled high with kale salad with a small bowl of crispy chickpeas next to it
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings


  • 1 1/2 lbs kale, washed and thoroughly dried
  • 1/3 cup toasted nuts (such as walnuts, pecans or almonds)
  • 1/3 cup crispy chickpeas
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 2 Tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard


  • Strip the leaves from the stems of the kale, and then roll up the leaves and chiffonade them into thin strips. Place the kale in a large bowl then add the toasted nuts, crispy chickpeas and Parmesan.
  • Cook the bacon in a large sauté pan over medium heat, reserving all drippings and leaving all crunchy bits in the pan. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate.
  • Return the sauté pan over medium heat and add 3 tablespoons of the reserved bacon drippings back to the pan. (If you don't have 3 tablespoons of drippings, use what you have plus some olive oil.) Add the shallots and sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly. Whisk in the vinegar, mustard and brown sugar, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Remove the vinaigrette from the heat and season with salt and pepper.
  • Chop up the reserved bacon and add it to the bowl with the kale and nuts. Toss the kale with the warm dressing and serve immediately.
  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to give it a star rating below!


Calories: 330kcal, Carbohydrates: 24g, Protein: 15g, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 21mg, Sodium: 321mg, Potassium: 1260mg, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 22655IU, Vitamin C: 272.6mg, Calcium: 350mg, Iron: 3.9mg


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Recipe by Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste. Please do not reprint this recipe without my permission. If you'd like to feature this recipe on your site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link to this post as the original source.

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  1. We adore ADORE this salad !! I’m old enough to remember the 60’s Warm Bacon Spinach salad….a nostalgic dish. I cook for a living and had a hankering for the throw back version and found your Kale + Warm Bacon Salad…. My husband went nuts !! The sturdiness of the kale is a game changer and makes this brilliant warm salad one that holds up for hours….unlike the original. We add whatever is on hand….roasted bell peppers….veg from lady night’s dinner….the chick peas are STELLAR but it’s just as good without – ditto for any dry, sturdy grated cheese (manchego is incredible). We’re going to add it to Thanksgiving this year !!! Thank you ever so much !!!

  2. 5 stars
    I received rave compliments from all guests at a recent dinner party! I am definitely going to make it again!

  3. 5 stars
    BEST salad ever!! I’ve passed this recipe on to many friends/family and they all say the same thing, it’s delicious and crave worthy! My friend made it for dinner 3 nights in a row! Yes, it’s that good!

  4. 5 stars
    I found this recipe and wanted to have it with our Thanksgiving meal…to say it was the highlight of the meal would be an understatement! This salad is DELICIOUS! I had to make it again (this time adding some chicken on top) and my husband said I could eat this every single day…I have to agree. It’s a delicious salad/meal! LOVE this recipe!!!!!

    1. Love, love, LOVE reading this Andrea! It’s one of my all-time favorite salads, too. I’m thrilled you enjoyed it!

  5. Hi, I think this will be a great salad…. I do have a question, how do you make the fried chickpeas? I don’t believe I saw anything on how to do them or if you add seasonings to them. You are an amazing cook. Thank you so much for all you do…. God Bless. Claudia

    1. Hi Caludia! You can make the crispy chickpeas by tossing cooked chickpeas (that you’ve dried well) with olive oil and your preferred spices. Spread them on a lined baking sheet and bake them at 425°F for about 25 minutes or until they’re crunchy. Enjoy!

  6. 5 stars
    Made this on New Year’s day for a healthy start to the new year. Delicious, everyone loved it! I added a thin sliced Granny Smith apple and some dried cranberries. I’ll be adding this to my regular kale sides rotation. Thanks for the great recipe!

  7. Hi Kelly,

    Any chance you can add how you make your crispy chickpeas? Salad sounds yummy and will be making it! Thanks.

  8. 5 stars
    In the ingredients you list honey, but in the instructions, you mention brown sugar. Any suggestion for a friendly substitute?

  9. Almost overlooked when to add the honey, added in with the vinegar, etc.
    Didn’t have chickpeas, used blueberries. Next time will use dried cranberries, and again with mandarins and differ nuts or seeds. DELISH!

  10. 5 stars
    Salad with bacon is a no-brainer and this did not disappoint!! I could even see adding a fried egg and eating this for breakfast!

  11. Health food fanatics will be horrified at warm bacon drippings being poured over their beloved kale. Myself, on the other hand, will bow down and thank you forever for this recipe! :)

  12. Yes, warm bacon vinaigrette makes me weak in the knees. Yum! I’m sharing a link to your recipe in my CSA recipe newsletter this week. I know people are gonna LOVE it!

  13. I’m guessing if I served this kale salad to my friends who say they don’t like it, they’ll quickly changed their tune.

  14. This was amazing! We haven’t really been a fan of raw kale, but this salad changed our minds. Now we can do something with all the kale in our CSA boxes besides soup.

  15. My friend just told me about your blog and also “Cooking With Mr. C.” on Facebook. (also a blog) I just “Liked” his Facebook page and came to your site. It looks terrific. I love when people share blogs with each other. Denise

  16. I love the idea of a warm dressing on a kale salad, as it really softens the leaves. Thanks for the idea! Love your photography! – just beautiful!

  17. My husband is a kale lover and actually I much prefer bacon. This is perfect! Dinner this week. Thanks for the beautiful recipe.

  18. This looks delic! I’ve never tried kale but love [turkey] bacon so this would be a great first recipe to try!

  19. I’ve always thought that eating raw kale would be rough, but perhaps not when it’s had a bacon bath! YUM!

  20. i’m a huge fan of raw kale salads. cooked kale? not so much, unless it’s in something (eggs, casserole etc). and with bacon–i’m sure that is even better! love it.

  21. This looks so good – definitely what I need to wake me up today! I am dragging. Superfood to the rescue, right? And bacon wouldn’t hurt, either. :)

  22. A couple months ago I had a spinach salad with a bacon vinaigrette, it was heavenly! I have been meaning to make it at home. But I love the idea of using kale instead – gorgeous salad!

  23. I love bacon and kale together. My favorite is making kale chips with bacon bits. It’s out of this world, amazing so I could imagine your salad being just as good!