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Grilled Kale Caesar Salad with Spicy Shrimp

June 29, 2020

Spice things up this summer with this grilled kale caesar salad with spicy shrimp. Boring old kale gets a makeover in this flavorful and filling summer salad recipe.

I’ll be honest, cooking in the summer is probably my least favorite cooking season. I know, it sounds counterintuitive since summer is when all the fresh produce comes to life and there’s so much variety. But I also find my cooking methods become a lot less interesting in the summer. I pretty much only want to eat salads and grill food. This obviously isn’t the worst thing in the world, but when you’re a recipe developer, coming up with fresh, seasonal, summer meals becomes a little limited. I mean there’s only so many ways you can eat a salad…right?!

So I’ve taken it upon myself to keep things interesting this summer by combining my two favorite cooking methods: raw + grilled. Grilled salad! I think a lot of people have heard of grilled romaine, but did you know you can grill kale? I shared a grilled kale salad a couple of years ago but I wanted to share another variation of grilled kale caesar salad using my favorite greek yogurt caesar dressing. And to make this a meal (and since the grill was already on!) I topped it with spicy grilled shrimp. This meal comes together fairly quickly (if you pre-marinate the shrimp) and makes a boring old salad so much more interesting. So with that, let’s look at how we make it.

 

How to Grill Kale

Ever since I learned how to grill kale it’s pretty much the only way I eat it in the summer. It just makes it so much more interesting and you don’t need to expend energy massaging your kale. To make grilled kale:

Lay your individual kale stocks on a plate or baking sheet. Brush each piece with olive oil on both sides.

Bring your grill up to medium-high heat and place kale directly onto the grill. Cook for 1-2 minutes on one side and then flip and cook for 1 minute on the other. Keep top open and watch carefully. You want the kale to wilt slightly and get crispy around the edges but remove before it begins to burn.

The BEST Greek Yogurt Caesar Dressing

This is my go-to caesar dressing since it comes together so quickly and has the probiotic benefits of greek yogurt. Plus we always have greek yogurt in the house. Just combine the following in a blender:

  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • juice, 1/2 lemon
  • pinch of salt + pepper
  • optional: 1/2 tsp anchovy paste

The anchovy paste is totally optional though it does make the recipe taste slightly more authentic. You will likely have some leftover dressing so just save it in the fridge for up to one week and use as a dressing or even dipping sauce for veggies.

Grilled Spicy Shrimp

This is our go-to protein recipe for the summer. We pretty much just throw grilled shrimp onto everything. The key is to make sure you marinate! From there it takes exactly 4 minutes to cook so it’s worth waiting to marinate! Here’s how to make this grilled spicy shrimp:

Combine shrimp with spices + olive oil in a large bowl. Let marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Once it’s marinated, string shrimp onto wood kebab sticks.

Grill should already be hot (medium-high) from when you grilled the kale so once kale is done just remove and add your shrimp. Cook for 2 minutes on each side. Do not overcook as it will make your shrimp taste rubbery. And that’s it! Just remove your shrimp from the kebab sticks and top onto salad.

Easy Swaps You Can Make

  • Trying to keep this vegetarian? Swap tofu for shrimp!
  • No kale? Replace with romaine for a more traditional caesar salad. Just cut your head of romaine into quarters and cook for slightly longer on the grill.
  • For a dairy-free version of this greek yogurt caesar dressing replace with plain mayo or a vegan yogurt.
  • No grill? Use an indoor grill pan or bake in the oven.
  • Add some croutons! Just bake 1-inch pieces of bread in the oven for 6-8 minutes at 350 degrees F.
Print

Grilled Kale Caesar Salad with Spicy Shrimp

Spice things up this summer with this grilled kale caesar salad with spicy shrimp. Boring old kale gets a makeover in this flavorful and filling summer salad recipe.

  • Author: Davida Lederle
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Grill
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free
Scale

Ingredients

For the spicy shrimp:

  • 1 lb raw shrimp (peeled + deveined)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne (more or less depending on spice preference)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 4 wooden or metal kebab sticks

For the Grilled Kale Salad:

  • 1 head raw kale
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • optional: 1/3 cup shaved parmesan

For the Caesar Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • juice, 1/2 lemon
  • pinch of salt + pepper
  • optional: 1/2 tsp anchovy paste

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl combine shrimp, olive oil and all spices and coat to cover.
  2. Place in the fridge to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat grill to medium-high heat (at least 450 degrees F)
  4. Meanwhile, lay kale on a large plate or baking sheet. Add 2 tbsp of olive oil to a small bowl and using a basting brush, brush each piece of kale with olive oil.
  5. Once grill has heated place kale directly onto grill. Grill for 1-2 minutes on first side and then flip and grill for 1 more minute. Keep lid off and watch carefully to ensure it doesn’t burn. You want kale to wilt slightly and be crispy around the edges.
  6. Remove kale when finished and set aside.
  7. Once shrimp is done marinating, string evenly onto kebab sticks.
  8. Place shrimp kebabs directly onto grill (still at medium-high heat) and cook for 2 minutes on each side. Do not overcook.
  9. For the caesar dressing: combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  10. Divide kale evenly between two plates or bowls (option to chop up kale or keep whole and eat with fork + knife) and top with cherry/grape tomatoes and parmesan, if using.
  11. Add shrimp whole or removed from kebabs and top with caesar dressing to desired amount.
  12. Store any remaining caesar dressing in the fridge for up to 1 week and salad ingredients, undressed for 2 days.

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  • Reply
    Tamara
    July 3, 2020 at 5:23 pm

    So delicious and so easy – this recipe is definitely a winner 🙂

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