Kale salad has gained notoriety for its healthy profile – just like most other salads.
It has more nutrients, though, yet it maintains the same level of crunchiness.
It has a refreshing profile, yet it should be cooked for maximum efficiency.
Now, eating plain salad is not always the most fulfilling idea.
Whether you use it as a side dish or a main dish, you probably try to figure out what to serve with kale salad.
The good news is there are plenty of choices – the bad news is not all of them will impress.
Here is everything you have to know before making a decision.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes with Kale Salad?
Unless you are on a drastic diet that implies eating salads for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, chances are kale salad will disappoint you when eaten alone.
Sure, it is crispy and slightly sour, but it feels like it asks for something else.
Even if you only cook for yourself, you should know that you have lots of options out there.
Things change to 180 degrees when you cook for someone else.
You will never impress anyone with a bowl of kale salad by itself.
So, what options do you have then?
What to Serve with Kale Salad? 7 BEST Side Dishes
Here are some excellent side dishes when unsure what to serve with kale salad.
1. Crunchy BLT
BLT is a classic, and its name comes from the main ingredients – bacon, lettuce, and tomatoes.
While often described as a sandwich, the truth is BLT can come in more forms – you might as well get everything ready and serve on a plate.
The lettuce and bacon add a bit of crunchiness, while the soft and refreshing tomatoes keep the meal light.
Some people choose to leave the lettuce and replace it with kale salad, but this is not a general rule.
Make sure you prepare more bacon than what you need.
2. Tangy Cucumber Salad
This combo may not be the most fulfilling one, but it will make an excellent brunch or perhaps a light dinner – especially in the summertime, when you need refreshing foods.
The cucumber has the same refreshing aroma as the kale salad, yet it is way crunchier.
Since most of it is based on water, it will make the meal feel lighter.
To give this combo a tangy and slightly spicy profile, add a bit of ginger.
All in all, no matter what extra enhancements you go for, you can get it ready within minutes only.
3. Crispy Lettuce and Kumquats
This is another excellent dish if you want something light and refreshing.
It can be mixed into a heavier meal – or even a meaty one.
All in all, the lettuce works well with kale because they have a similar texture.
Since the kale salad must be cooked first, the lettuce will feel a bit more refreshing.
Kumquats will give it a slightly sour aroma – excellent for the combo, but they will also make it feel a bit sweet.
It is not the type of sweetness that makes you feel nauseous, though, so feel free to exaggerate with the kumquats.
4. Coconut Rice and Tofu
A bit of rice will turn a light brunch into a proper lunch.
From all the different types of rice out there, coconut rice is the one that can impress.
You do not want a classic taste, but the refreshing coconut flavor.
Tofu, on the other hand, can be a bit crispy – great with the crunchy kale and the soft rice.
Mix everything in, and you are likely to impress your audience.
The ingredient combination is suitable for those who appreciate something unusual or Asian cuisine.
5. Crispy Tofu and Bulgur
Similar to the above-mentioned side dish, bulgur has the same hearty profile as rice.
It is that special ingredient that will turn your simple salad into an actual meal.
On the other hand, tofu adds a bit of extra flavor and feels crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
Everything should be mixed together for a proper meal, rather than have things separately.
While bulgur and tofu may seem a bit heavy, the kale salad will give this combo a refreshing flavor.
You can have this dish cold or hot – whatever you prefer. Most people have it hot, though.
6. Barley and Feta Cheese
This combo is aromatic, rich in different flavors, and extremely fulfilling – but without feeling heavy.
Barley has a chewy texture, as well as a nutty aroma.
Feta cheese annihilates it with its salty and refreshing profile.
Throw in lots of kale salad, and you have extra crispiness and refreshing flavors.
You can have things separately on more plates, so your guests can have as much as they want – but for a better mix, you should mix everything in the same bowl.
Barley is the only ingredient that takes more to prepare.
7. Wheat Berries and Onions
This is another great combo that can turn a plain dish into an actual meal.
Wheat berries will bring in a nutty and hearty aroma.
They are savory, and they will make the most consistent part of your dish.
On the other hand, onions will add a tangy profile without taking over from the kale – plus, they are slightly crispy, even when cooked.
Bring in the crunchy kale salad, and the whole dish will feel like a refreshing salad, despite its fulfilling consistency.
What else can you ask for?
As a short final conclusion, there are plenty of choices when not sure what to serve with kale salad.
Salads are often considered side dishes, but there are times when they make the difference and become the main players on your guests’ plates.
The above-mentioned dishes bring in alternatives for those who want fulfilling meals, as well as those looking for light brunches or dinners.
Any of them will be able to turn a dull salad into an actual meal – plus, they only take minutes to prepare, so they are great for emergencies.