Toasted Bread and Parmesan Kale Salad

Kale Salad with Parmesan cheese, homemade breadcrumbs, and a lemon olive oil dressing in a mixing bowl with spoons.

I might have just crossed the line: Bread, Parmesan, and Salad all typed together in the same recipe title.

So, uhmmm, yes – this IS the best day of 2015 so far, thanks for asking.

It’s almost hard for me to describe how much I love this salad AND I KNOW I say that almost every time, but this time (just, come on, stick with me) it’s really the truth. It’s like everything wonderful that I love all in a bowl waiting to add extra happy to my meal with its tangy, crunchy, delicious green presence, and yet the only words the come to mind (mind-blowing! life-changing! the best kale salad ever!) can’t even really touch it.

We’re talking about bits of buttery toasted bread, a handful of finely shredded Parmesan cheese, and shredded baby pieces of kale that are small enough to be super delicious all tossed together in a bowl with a homemade shallot, olive oil, and lemon dressing.

The pure definition of simple and MOST YUMMY SALAD. These foods just bring out my best creative writing.

Kale salad with breadcrumbs in a bowl.

Pinkie promise, I would eat this kale salad every day for the rest of the month and never get tired of it. It goes with everything (even skillet chicken with bacon and white wine sauce, maybe?) and it always always ALWAYS tastes good to me.

But so let’s talk about what it is, in case you were feeling confused about the title or the fact that this is indeed a kale salad in spite of it being mostly a bread and cheese bowl. I’m a born rule-breaker.

I’ll start with the part where we soak the bread cubes in a little bit (…) of butter and then toast them in the oven to make some kind of crazy simple and delicious homemade crouton-esque crunchies.

Always a good place to start, friends. Alwaysssss.

Breadcrumbs on a sheet pan.

Kale salad in a mixing bowl with cheese and breadcrumb toppings.

And then, that dressing. HELLO THAT DRESSING.

Why is it so good?

Something about the olive oil and lemon juice and delicately minced shallots? I don’t even pretend to know these things, but it’s seriously the simplest thing you’ve ever shaken up together in a jar and it will leave your mouth a tiny bit puckery and so very happy for a lifetime.

Thank you, toasted bread, Parmesan, and kale with a homemade shallot dressing, for making my Minnesota-in-February life a totally crunchy, colorful, bearable thing right now.


Kale salad in a clear mixing bowl.

Check Out Our Video For How To Make Parmesan Kale Salad (1 Min):

A picture of Toasted Bread and Parmesan Kale Salad

Toasted Bread and Parmesan Kale Salad

  • Author: Pinch of Yum
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 (we served it as a side with 7 people and still had a little left over)


This is THE BEST Kale Salad! Lots of shredded kale, Parmesan cheese, homemade breadcrumbs, and a lemon olive oil dressing. So simple, SO GOOD.


For the Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • juice of one lemon
  • juice of one orange
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Salad

  • 68 slices French bread or baguette
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 56 cups fresh kale, very finely chopped


  1. Dressing: Place all the dressing ingredients in a jar and shake to mix. Taste and adjust as desired.
  2. Breadcrumbs: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Place the bread on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, flipping the pieces over halfway through baking. When the bread is very dry and crusty, remove from oven and allow to cool. Break the bread into pieces and place in a food processor. Pulse until crumbs form. Toss the breadcrumbs with the melted butter and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Spread on the baking sheet and bake for another 5-10 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
  3. Salad: Toss the kale, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and dressing together. Serve immediately.


If you’re storing leftover salad that’s already been tossed with the dressing, you’ll probably find that the bread soaks up the dressing so you might need an extra squeeze of lemon juice or olive oil to re-moisten the salad.

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Category: Lunch
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: toasted bread and kale salad, kale salad, parmesan kale salad

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