Salmon, Sweet Potato, and Avocado Kale Salad with an easy balsamic dressing makes the perfect easy lunch or dinner. This Whole30 and Paleo friendly salad is nutritious, satisfying, and most importantly tastes amazing.
This Salmon, Sweet Potato, and Avocado Kale Salad is filled with so many things I love - broiled salmon, massaged kale, tender sweet potatoes, creamy avocado, and a homemade balsamic vinaigrette that brings everything together. If you salmon and want a hearty salad, this should be your next meal.
Salmon kale salads have started showing up on menus everywhere, at least here in LA. And after having the most epic salmon and kale salad last week, I have been eating this homemade version on repeat lately for lunches. I am totally in love. Not only does it leave me completely satisfied, it is packed with nutrients and healthy fats. Plus it has plenty of protein and fiber for energy to keep you going all afternoon. Personally, this is a bit rare for me since normally when I have a salad for lunch I am hungry just a few hours later and searching for snacks. But I promise you this will not happen with this salad.
Since it takes a little bit of prep work, I usually prepare the salmon, sweet potatoes, and kale on the weekend so that almost everything is ready to go. Then I can just toss in my other chopped veggies and lunch is ready. The whole salad can be prepped ahead of time, but the avocado and apple will likely turn slightly brown. You can either squeeze some lemon or lime juice on to help prevent browning or wait until mealtime to cut those items. And if salmon isn't your thing, you can also use chicken, tofu, or chickpeas instead of the salmon depending on your dietary needs.
How to Cook Salmon
There are so many different ways to cook salmon but the one I use the most often is cooking salmon in the broiler. Not only does it come out perfectly tender every time, you also get a nice crust on the outside from the super hot oven. If you prefer to bake the salmon, you can bake it for 12-15 minutes in a 425 degree oven. You can also use grilled salmon or pan-seared salmon for the salad. Honestly pretty much any cooked salmon will work. You could even use the canned salmon. Just make sure to buy a high quality one that is going to have good flavor. This is the one that I like. I also always buy skinless and boneless. Costco makes a really good sockeye canned salmon as well.
Do I have to massage the kale?
As much as I would like to scream YES, you don't have to massage the kale, but you absolutely should. It will taste so much better. Massaging kale softens up the kale and makes it much more enjoyable to eat. It also adds flavor to the kale because the dressing has a chance to penetrate the greens. Since kale can be fibrous and difficult to chew, massaging the kale first, totally changes the texture and makes it taste so much better. It only takes a couple of minutes but delivers amazing results. So yes! Massage your kale every time.
How do I make an easy Balsamic Vinaigrette?
This recipe uses an easy Whole30 and Paleo balsamic vinaigrette that I make weekly to have for salads and roasted veggies. All you need is olive oil, balsamic vinegar, whole grain mustard, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. I also add a touch of honey or maple syrup, but that can be left out if you follow Whole30. The apple in the salad will add sweetness. And you could use date paste for a natural sweetness as well.
Looking for a low carb salmon salad? Check out this low carb salmon kale salad using butternut squash.
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Salmon, Sweet Potato, and Avocado Kale Salad
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- 1 lb. coho salmon (or any boneless skinless salmon)
- 1 U lemon
- Salt and pepper
- 6 cups kale
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp. honey (maple syrup or leave out)
- 1 tbsp. whole grain mustard
- 1 U apple, chopped
- 1 U tomato, chopped
- 1 U cucumber, chopped
- 1/4 cup green onions, chopped
- 1 U sweet potato
- 1/2 U avocado
- Preheat the broiler on high. Squeeze half the lemon juice over the salmon and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook the salmon under the broiler for 6-8 minutes or until flaky and cooked through.
- Meanwhile combine the remaining lemon juice, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, and mustard. Massage into the kale for 1-2 minutes until kale begins to soften.
- Pierce the sweet potato a few times with a fork or knife. Microwave for 4-5 minutes until tender. You can also bake it in the oven. Carefully chop.
- Toss everything together. Season with salt and pepper.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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