Kale Caesar Salad (with shortcut dressing)

This delicious Kale Caesar Salad is rich and delicious with a shortcut dressing so good, you’ll almost want to drink it!

Everyone loves a great caesar salad topped with bacon and croutons and we love a fresh kale salad too. Combining the two makes for the most perfect meal or side dish!

close up of Kale Caesar Salad in a bowl

 

Panera Power Kale Caesar Salad and the Sweetgreen Kale Caesar are menu favorites but they can’t compare to this fantastic homemade version!

A Hearty Salad

Kale is a superfood packed full of flavor and nutrition, it only makes sense that it would be a good stand-in for the more traditional romaine lettuce.

One thing I love about using kale in salads in place of lettuce is that leftover salad (even with dressing) will last a couple of days in the fridge! Just leave the croutons aside if you’re making this ahead of time.

TIP: Leave out the croutons for a low carb version!

ingredients to make dressing for Kale Caesar Salad

What’s in a Kale Caesar Salad?

VEGGIES Kale, of course, but feel free to add in some romaine or spinach as well.

TOPPING/FILLING Bacon, croutons, and Parmesan are favorite topping ingredients for this crisp and crunchy salad.

DRESSING The real star here is the creamy Caesar dressing! While my traditional caesar salad recipe has a from scratch dressing, this one starts with mayonnaise as a base. The result is a creamy and delicious dressing in no time at all!

Make it a Meal: Grilled chicken or shrimp are the perfect toppers to convert this from side to an full meal. Serve it with garlic bread.

adding dressing to kale to make Kale Caesar Salad

While chicken can be added to make a chicken caesar salad, the addition of pasta makes for a great caesar pasta salad too!

Tips & Tricks

  • After rinsing and patting dry the kale leaves, gently “massage” each piece between your hands until the leaves are somewhat softened and a darker green.
  • Be sure to cut the spine out of each leaf before tearing it into bite-sized pieces. Tender kale is the result, but it still has all the healthy benefits!
  • Kale Caesar dressing will keep in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days.

Our Fave Salads

Did you love this Kale Caesar Salad? Be sure to leave a comment and a rating below! 

Kale Caesar Salad with croutons and lemons on a plate

Kale Caesar Salad

Creamy Caesar dressing with crisp kale, croutons, bacon, and parmesan!
Course Appetizer, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 583
Author Holly Nilsson

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch kale washed, dried, and torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup croutons store-bought or homemade
  • 4 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
  • cup parmesan cheese shredded

Dressing

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup parmesan shredded
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste* see note
  • fresh black pepper

Instructions

  • Combine all dressing ingredients until smooth.
  • Wash kale and dry well. Gently “massage” the kale with your hands until the leaves are somewhat softened and a darker green. While this is optional, it makes for a more tender leaf.
  • In a large salad bowl, combine kale and croutons. Top with dressing as desired and toss to combine.
  • Sprinkle with ⅓ cup parmesan cheese and bacon bits.

Notes

You may not need all of the dressing in this recipe, leftovers will last about 3 days in the fridge in an airtight container.

Be sure to cut the spine out of each leaf before tearing it into bite-sized pieces.

Anchovy adds a salty and briny flavor to the dressing and adding a small amount really boosts the flavor of this dressing. If you literally can’t tolerate anchovy, skip them and add finely minced or chopped capers instead.

Nutrition

Calories: 583 | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 55g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 863mg | Potassium: 281mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 3410IU | Vitamin C: 41mg | Calcium: 240mg | Iron: 1mg
close up of Kale Caesar Salad on a plate with lemons and writing
adding dressing to kale to make Kale Caesar Salad with writing
close up of Kale Caesar Salad with a title
adding dressing to Kale Caesar Salad with finished dish and a title

Originally posted at Spend with Pennies

Best Chili Recipe

Best Chili Recipe

The best chili recipe I have ever made! It’s packed with ground beef, bacon and 3 kinds of beans with just the right combination of spices for the perfect flavor! Top it off with a little sour cream and shredded cheese, Yum!

You all have been loving our award winning Instant Pot chili for quite some time now, but this one is better. I can’t believe I’m saying that because the Instant Pot version is the bomb, but this is THE BEST!

Now, I’ve actually never been a chili fan. Spicy is not my thing and growing up I didn’t like ground beef and wasn’t a huge bean fan so chili was definitely not my favorite. But then I became intrigued, and all from one story…

A bowl of chili. The chili has ground beef, beans and a rich sauce. It is topped with sour cream and shredded cheese and a piece of cornbread is on the edge of the bowl.

My sister once called me later at night and I was juuust about to go to sleep. I knew she’d just been on a date so I answered to hear the details. No. No this was not a, “best date ever” call, but a “you will not believe the awkwardness” call.

He had called last minute and asked if she could pick him up. “Oh sure” she replied, totally not worrying about it as they were nearing the end of college and maybe his car was out of luck. So she picks him up and he tells her he actually doesn’t have a car, or a job, nor is he actually in school. Instead he’s pursuing breakdancing. 😬

A large bowl of the best chili topped with sour cream and grated cheese. Another bowl for chili is in the background and there are a few pieces of cornbread next to the chili.

Best Thing I’ve Ever Eaten

Which is fine, there’s probably some good ones out there, but as he later showed her, he wasn’t one of them. But I’m distracted. So this kind boy tells her, I’m taking you out for the very best thing I’ve ever eaten. “You’re going to love it,” he says. Right up at the light, then head straight down main, take a left at this light and straight down until it’s on the left hand side. Wendy’s.

Well again, she’s so kind and gives him a chance. They get inside and he orders two baked potatoes with chili. Whhhhhaaaaaa? This is the BEST thing you’ve ever eaten? Ahhhhh that date didn’t end up going anywhere, haha, but it sure sparked something in me! I vowed to discover the best chili ever and while it started as a funny joke I ended up falling in love with chili! Jokes on me!

A bowl of Best Chili topped with grated cheese and cilantro.

What Ingredients Do I Need to Make the Best Chili?

So I thought I had found the best chili even in our Instant Pot chili recipe, but then I made this stove top version, and this is the absolute best. If you are familiar with our IP version, the ingredients are similar with just a couple of additions for this recipe. This is what you will need:

  • Ground Beef
  • Bacon
  • Kidney Beans
  • Pinto Beans
  • Black Beans
  • Fire Roasted Tomatoes
  • Tomato Paste
  • Red Onion
  • Red Bell Pepper
  • Jalapeno
  • Beef Stock
  • Oregano
  • Cumin
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Coriander
  • Chili Powder
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Garlic

For Garnish

  • Sour Cream
  • Cilantro
  • Cheese
 
 

The measurements for each ingredient can be found in the recipe card down below.

Two bowls of the best chili. The chili is made with beans, ground beef and herbs and spices. It is topped with sour cream and grated cheese.

How to Make the Best Chili Recipe

Making this homemade chili is so simple and the depth of flavor fabulous. I’m so obsessed! Here are the basic steps:

  1. Cook the bacon until crisp in a large pot, then remove to a plate lined with a paper towel.
  2. Add the onions and pepper and cook until tender.
  3. Add the ground beef and cook until browned.
  4. Drain any grease.
  5. Add the remaining ingredients and 3/4 of the bacon stirring everything to combine.
  6. Let it simmer over medium low heat.
  7. Serve with your favorite chili garnishes and side of skillet cornbread!

All the details can be found in the recipe card at the end of the post.

A bowl of the best chili. There is ground beef, three kinds of beans, spices, sour cream and grated cheese on top.

Does Chili Have To Have Beans?

Some chilis, such as Texas chili, actually forbid the use of beans.

Other chili recipes call for beans. I love the heartiness that beans add!

How Long Will Chili Keep?

Chili will keep for 3-4 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

A bowl of the best chili. It has a spoonful of sour cream and shredded cheese on top. You can see the ground beef and beans in the chili, and a piece of cornbread is on the edge of the bowl. Another bowl of chili is in the background.

Can Chili Be Frozen?

Cool chili completely.

Place in container with a tight fitting lid, or in freezer bags and freeze for 4-6 months.

What is the Difference Between and Yellow Onion and a Red Onion?

A red onion has a slightly more mild flavor than a yellow onion when served raw and can help to mellow out a tomato based dish instead of the more bold yellow or white onion. 

A bowl of the best chili. A spoon is in the bowl. There are beans and ground beef in a rich sauce and the chili is topped with sour cream and shredded cheese.

So no one ever needs to take a date to Wendy’s for the “best thing you’ve ever eaten” because you can just make the best chili recipe right at home and it’s so simple! Now excuse me while I go work on my breakdancing moves and work off that second bowl of chili I just ate! Lol!

Here are some more CHILI RECIPES that you’ll love:

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A bowl of chili. The chili has ground beef, beans and a rich sauce. It is topped with sour cream and shredded cheese and a piece of cornbread is on the edge of the bowl.

Print

Best Chili Recipe

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The best chili recipe I have ever made! It’s packed with ground beef, bacon and 3 kinds of beans with just the right combination of spices for the perfect flavor! Top it off with a little sour cream and shredded cheese, Yum!
Course 50 of the Best Easy Soup Recipes for Families
Cuisine American
Keyword beans, chili, ground beef, main dish, Our Top 10 Best Chili Recipes, soup
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 10 people
Calories 374kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Pounds Ground Beef
  • 6 Strips Bacon good quality, chopped
  • 1 Can Kidney Beans 15 oz., drained
  • 1 Can Pinto Beans 15 oz. drained
  • 1 Can Black Beans 15 oz. drained
  • 1 Cans Tomatoes 15 oz. Fire Roasted with juice
  • 1 Can Tomato Paste 6 oz.
  • 1 Red Onion chopped
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper seeded and chopped
  • 1 Jalapeno seeded and minced *optional
  • 2 Cups Beef Stock
  • 1 Tablespoon Oregano dried
  • 2 teaspoons Cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon Cocoa Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper ground
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Coriander
  • 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Garlic minced

For Garnish

  • Sour Cream
  • Cilantro
  • Cheese shredded

Instructions

  • In a large pot, cook the bacon until crisp, stirring often to cook evenly.
  • Remove the bacon to a paper towel lined plate.
  • Add the onions and peppers and cook until tender.
  • Add the ground beef and cook until browned.
  • Drain off any excess grease, we just tilt the pot and use a large spoon.
  • Add all of the remaining ingredients and 3/4 of the bacon and stir to combine.
  • Cook for a minimum of 45 minutes. If you have the time, it is best if it simmers all day or as long as possible.
  • Serve with sour cream, cheese, cilantro and the remaining bacon.

Notes

Chili can be frozen for 4-6 months.

Want it spicier? Try adding 1/4-1 teaspoon cayenne

Nutrition

Calories: 374kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 970mg | Potassium: 763mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1111IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 4mg

Recommended Products

A bowl of chili. The chili has ground beef, beans and a rich sauce. It is topped with sour cream and shredded cheese and a piece of cornbread is on the edge of the bowl.

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READ: Best Chili Recipe

Originally posted at Oh Sweet Basil

Zuppa Toscana – An Olive Garden Copycat Recipe!

Zuppa Toscana is SO MUCH BETTER made at home!

A rich creamy broth, Italian sausage, crispy bacon, and tender potatoes; all of the best flavors for a cozy comforting soup recipe.

Zuppa Toscana in two bowls with bread on the side

What is Zuppa Toscana Soup?

Zuppa Toscana, or “Tuscan Soup” is a  delicious creamy soup and this copy cat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana is even better than the restaurant version!

MEAT Bacon adds a smoky salty flavor while Italian sausage is hearty and seasoned (not to mention a generous dose of garlic).

POTATOES Help thicken the sauce slightly and add some starch. If you’re low carbing, swap them out for cauliflower!

KALE (or not!) Kale is great in this soup but needs a bit of time to cook. Other greens can be substituted. If using spinach, add it right at the end as it needs just a couple of minutes to wilt.

 

Zuppa Toscana ingredients on a marble board

Variations

One of the best things about soup is the fact that you can add almost anything to it! Add leftover chicken in addition to the sausage.

Skip the potatoes and stir in cannellini beans, cooked orzo, or your favorite pasta!

Time Saving Tips

  • I found frozen chopped onion in the freezer section of our local grocery store, it’s great for quick prep!
  • Check your grocery store for pre-washed kale/spinach or even diced potatoes.
  • Real bacon bits (or pre-cooked bacon) saves the step of cooking bacon. If you use bacon bits, crisp them in the microwave a few minutes before adding to the soup.

ingredients for Zuppa Toscana in a pot with broth being poured in

How to Make Zuppa Toscana Soup

  1. Brown sausage and onion, drain and set aside. Cook the bacon until crispy.
  2. Place all ingredients in a soup pot (except bacon & cream) into a large pot. Simmer per recipe below.
  3. Stir in heavy cream and garnish with crumbled bacon.

PRO TIP: For an even thicker soup, make a slurry by whisking a small amount of corn starch in cold water (1:1 ratio) and then add to the soup until desired consistency is reached.

Storing and Freezing Leftovers

  • Zuppa Toscana will keep in the refrigerator for about 4 days and is easily reheated on the stovetop or in the microwave. Garnish with grated parmesan cheese and it’s just like new again!
  • Diary doesn’t always freeze well so if you’d like to freeze this soup, scoop some out before adding the cream. Once thawed, stir in the cream after heating.

More Creamy Soups You’ll Love

Did your family love this Zuppa Toscana Soup? Be sure to leave a comment and a rating below! 

Zuppa Toscana in two bowls with bread on the side

Zuppa Toscana

Zuppa Toscana is an easy Italian soup filled with sausage, potatoes, and greens, with a rich, creamy broth.
Course Appetizer, Dinner, Entree, Lunch, Main Course, Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine American, Italian
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 520
Author Holly Nilsson

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 6 slices bacon diced
  • 4 cups potatoes peeled and cut into ½” cubes
  • 1 ½ cups kale chopped, or fresh spinach
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 5 cups chicken broth low sodium
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red peppers (optional)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • pepper to taste

Instructions

  • In a large pot, cook sausage and onion until no pink remains. Drain and set aside.
  • Cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Drain on a paper towel and drain fat from the pan.
  • Add in potatoes, kale, garlic, chicken broth, crushed peppers (if using), and sausage. Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer uncovered 12-14 minutes or until potatoes are softened.
  • Stir in heavy cream and pepper and let simmer 1 minute.
  • Garnish with bacon.

Notes

If using spinach, add in the last 2 minutes of cooking.

If you’d like a thicker soup, combine 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water. Drizzle into the boiling soup while stirring until soup reaches desired consistency. You may not need all of the cornstarch mixture.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.25cup | Calories: 520 | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 48g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Cholesterol: 126mg | Sodium: 1438mg | Potassium: 546mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2256IU | Vitamin C: 38mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 2mg
Zuppa Toscana ingredients and Zuppa Toscana in a pot with a ladle and writing
Zuppa Toscana in a pot with a ladle and writing
Zuppa Toscana in two white bowls with a title
Zuppa Toscana in white bowls with text

Originally posted at Spend with Pennies