Southwestern Chopped Kale Salad

This summer my friend Melissa and I met up with our families at the pool for an evening swim and were swapping summer salad recipes, because that is what we do when we get together.  We are always looking for yummy, fresh, new recipes that can be simply done and made ahead.  This one is a winner.  She was inspired by a recipe from a blog but then she tweaked it so much, I think it is absolutely fair to call it her creation!

I have made it multiple times this summer and wanted to post it but haven’t had/taken the time to get it written. But before the fresh corn is gone for the year, I knew I must post it.

The first time I made it, I was meeting my friend Jennifer and her kids at their community pool and I wanted to make a yummy salad that my kids and I could eat and that would be a treat for Jennifer too. So, I made it that morning instead of packing up sandwiches. When it was lunch break and we pulled out our food, I opened my container of salad and started chopping up an avocado to mix in.  Two other mommas near us peered over and one said, “YUM! What is that? That looks good!”  I told her what was in it and that it was my friend’s creation that I was trying out for the first time.

I scooped up some on a little plate and handed it to this unknown pool lady for her to try.  She gratefully accepted it.  She gobbled it up and said she would try making it at home.

From –> friends swapping recipes at the pool –> to –>  friends sharing salad at another pool –> to –> salad and recipe sharing with strangers –> and so it goes!

I loved that she was outgoing enough to inquire about the salad- it was fun to share a recipe and a taste test with pool strangers.  (If you are reading this, kind lady at the Nolensville pool, I’m finally posting the recipe!)

This salad is versatile and one of the benefits of kale is that it is a sturdy green, and therefore can be made ahead of time! (Just stir in the avocado right before serving.)

it just takes some chopping


the corn makes it nutty and hearty

Southwestern Chopped Kale Salad
from Melissa Broadwell

8 cups chopped fresh kale

1/2 bunch of chopped cilantro

2 chopped green onions
(red would be good too)

1 container of chopped grape tomatoes quartered (or 2 diced larger tomatoes)

1 finely chopped jalepeno pepper (with seeds removed)

2-3 cobs of corn (depending on how big they are)- steamed or microwaved and cut off the cob

1 cup cooked quinoa

1-2 avocados (depending on size and how much you love it)

Crumbled tortilla chips for crunchy topping

Simple Lemon Dressing:
The juice of one lemon and 1/4 cup olive oil, kosher salt and pepper swirled together.

Stir together all ingredients (besides the dressing and crumbled tortilla chips)

the quinoa can be made ahead and kept in the refrigerator

Add dressing drizzle by drizzle until fully incorporated and the right amount of wet.  Add avocado just before serving.  Stir in well and then top with the crumbled chips.


As always, tweak as you like, and add some meat or beans in the salad or make this a side and serve with a piece of meat. We served it once with Italian sausage and once with sautéed shrimp.


The pools are closed now in our community for the most part, as Labor Day has passed, but the Southwestern Kale Salad is still going strong.  Hope you find it as tasty and satisfying as we have!

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