Bacon and Kale Salad

A muscle-building salad that's a quality excuse to eat bacon.

Bacon and kale salad
Courtesy Image

Bacon can easily be part of a healthy salad—but only if you do it right. In this recipe, each serving contains just enough bacon to give it flavor without going overboard on calories.

Paired with walnuts and cheese, the result is a muscle-building salad with less than 300 calories per serving, and 14g of protein.

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories: 297; total fat: 19g; saturated fat: 5g; protein: 14g; carbohydrates: 21g; sugar: 10g; fiber: 3g; cholesterol: 37mg; sodium: 690mg

Recipe and photo by Dana Angelo White, M.S., R.D., A.T.C., sports dietitian and certified athletic trainer.

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Prep time

15 min.

Cook time

10 min.

  • 4 oz bacon, chopped
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 8 cups chopped kale
  • 1 medium pear, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup diced Manchego cheese
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Cook bacon in a non-stick skillet until crispy. Transfer bacon and any renderings aside to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, combine oil, vinegar, mustard, honey, and garlic; season with salt and pepper, and whisk well.

Add cooked bacon to dressing, and stir to coat.

Add remaining ingredients, and toss well.