Chicken, Apple, Bacon Kale Salad

Think a salad can’t fill you up? This hearty Chicken, Apple, and Bacon Kale Salad wants to prove you wrong!

This hearty kale salad is loaded chicken, bacon, apples, and walnuts with a balsamic poppyseed dressing.

My husband likes kale salad about as much as he likes going to the dentist. Mention the word “kale” around him and his face instantly goes into grimace mode.

I, on the other hand, really appreciate some bitter greens every now and then. Sometimes a good hearty kale salad is exactly what I need to hit the reset button on some sorely veggie-lacking eating habits.

So what’s the compromise? It looks something like this Chicken, Apple, and Bacon Kale Salad. This isn’t your average wimpy, run of the mill salad. This salad is hearty, filling, and loaded with flavor and crunch in every bite.

This healthy kale salad is loaded with chicken, bacon, apples, and walnuts.

In my last post, I mentioned a salad a friend made for us after our miscarriage. It was full of apples, avocado, and nuts on a bed of kale. It was exactly the kind of nourishing food I needed to get through that dark time.

This is my take on that salad, and one I’m always happy to share with friends.

All the goodness starts with a big bowl of kale. Thinly slicing the kale gives it a great texture and prevents that awkward moment where you’re trying to shove a huge kale leaf in your mouth all at once.

On top of the kale goes all kinds of goodies.

First, some shredded chicken. I love having leftover chicken in the house because it makes meals like these so simple. Leftovers from this Italian Dressing Chicken or Air Fryer Chicken Thighs would work great.

Think a salad can't fill you up? This Chicken Bacon Apple Kale Salad wants to prove you wrong!

After the chicken comes fresh diced apples, which provide a little pop of sweet, followed by walnuts, which give the salad extra crunch.

Then, of course, there’s bacon. Jim Gaffigan jokes that bacon is the fairy dust of the food world, and I have to agree. A little bippity boppity bacon action, and suddenly even the skeptical Mr. is ready to dive in!

I always cook bacon in the oven, but you can feel free to fry it if you prefer.

My favorite dressing for a kale salad is actually a mixture of poppyseed and balsamic. The combination of dressings is just the right balance of sweet and tangy, with a good amount of creaminess to coat the kale.

This is one area where I don’t make my own dressing. Just pick up your favorite of each kind, combine it in equal parts in a jar, shake, and use! It really is the best!

This Chicken Bacon and Apple Kale Salad with balsamic poppyseed dressing is a healthy fall meal!
Think a salad can't fill you up? This Chicken Bacon Apple Kale Salad wants to prove you wrong!

Chicken, Apple, Bacon Kale Salad

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

This Kale Salad with Bacon, Apples, Chicken, and Walnuts is paired with a tangy balsamic poppyseed dressing for a healthy, filling, and delicious meal!


  • 4 cups finely chopped curly kale (make sure to remove the tough stems!)
  • 1 apple (I used Pink Lady), diced
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 1/2 cups leftover chicken breast, sliced
  • 1/4 cup Balsamic dressing
  • 1/4 cup Poppyseed dressing
  • Salt and Pepper


  1. In a large bowl, toss the kale with the apple, bacon, walnuts, and chicken breast.
  2. In a container with a lid, combine the balsamic and poppyseed dressing. Shake until well combined. Pour half the salad dressing over the greens and use tongs to toss it until everything is well coated. Add additional dressing, a little bit at a time, to taste. Sprinkle the salad with salt and pepper and toss one more time to combine.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 425Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 634mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 5gSugar: 12gProtein: 21g

Please note nutritional information for my recipes is calculated by a third party service and provided as a courtesy to my readers. For the most accurate calculation, I always recommend running the numbers yourself with the specific products you use.

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