Salmon and Kale Salad w/Citrus Dressing
This colorful salmon and kale salad with citrus dressing is healthy, easy to prepare, and makes a satisfying dinner or hearty lunch.
This healthy, hearty dinner salad is a favorite of ours during winter months when oranges are at their peak.
How to make salmon and kale salad
The salmon fillets that top this salad are glazed with a simple blend of sweet Thai chili sauce and fresh orange zest, and oven-roasted for a short time at a high heat to make sure the salmon stays tender and moist.
While the salmon cooks, the salad ingredients are tossed with a light and creamy dressing that includes orange juice and a little of the same glaze mixture used on the salmon.
By repeating those ingredients in the dressing you get a tangy combination of sweet and savory flavor in every bite.
Here’s a list of the special ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe:
- Granny Smith apple
- Navel orange
- Red bell pepper
- Salted cashews
For more dinner salad recipes see: Super Satisfying Main Dish Salads
A word about the salmon fillets
We always recommend using wild-caught salmon when you can. The health benefits are well worth the extra cost per pound and you’ll be helping the environment too.
Summer recipe variation:
To make a summer version of our salmon and kale salad, replace the kale with a combination of spinach and spring greens and swap out the apple and orange for chunks of fresh pineapple and strawberries.
For the glaze on the salmon, omit the orange zest and replace the orange juice in the dressing with pineapple juice.
Salmon and Kale Salad with Citrus Dressing
- 4 6 ounce salmon fillets, skin removed
- 1/4 cup sweet Thai chili sauce
- Zest of 1 orange, about 2 teaspoons
- 1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 orange, peeled, sliced and separated into segments
- 1/2 medium red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and shredded
- 6 cups shredded kale, stems removed
- 1/3 cup salted cashews
- 3 to 4 scallions, sliced
For the dressing:
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1-1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 2 tablespoons cream or half-and-half
- 1 teaspoon minced shallot
- 2 teaspoons Thai chili sauce/orange zest mixture
- Preheat the oven to 500°F, line a shallow baking pan with foil and coat with nonstick spray.
- Season both sides of the salmon with salt and pepper and arrange on the prepared pan.
- Combine the Thai chili sauce and orange zest in a small bowl. Transfer 2 teaspoons to a separate prep bowl for use in the dressing, then spread the remainder of the mixture evenly over each piece of salmon.
- Roast the salmon for 6 to 8 minutes (depending on thickness), remove from the oven and set aside.
- While the salmon roasts, prepare the dressing by whisking the vegetable oil, mayonnaise, lemon juice, orange juice and cream together in the bottom of a large salad bowl until smooth and creamy.
- Add the shallot and reserved Thai chili mixture and whisk to combine.
- Add the apple, orange segments, red bell pepper and carrots. Toss with the dressing and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Add the kale, toss to coat with dressing, taste again and adjust the seasoning as needed.
- Add the cashews and scallions, give the salad a final toss and divide between 4 serving plates.
- Top each salad with a portion of salmon and serve immediately.