I was invited last week to try out the new Chick-fil-A Superfood Salad that launched last Monday and get a peek behind the scenes of the making of it. I was not compensated, and all opinions remain my own.

what is the new chick-fil-a superfood side

I’ll state it right upfront. I love kale. I could eat kale chips until the cows come home, and my homemade kale salad is my ten year old daughter’s favorite side dish – one she asks for on the regular. So when I heard that Chick-fil-A was introducing a kale salad, I was a little giddy. Ok, I’ll also admit that I am not a coleslaw fan, so the fact that this item is being introduced just as Chick-fil-A removed the beloved coleslaw from its menu does not distress me the way I know it does so many others. I went in with a somewhat positive attitude towards this.

As I learned more about it, I was a little bit leery. The dressing is a sweet and tangy maple vinaigrette, and in addition to not being a huge coleslaw fan, I also am not a maple syrup person. At. All. I was prepared for the salad to be overdressed and sickly sweet, but I really wanted to like it, and I couldn’t wait to head to see the new Chick-fil-A Superfood salad being made and taste it for myself.

To say I was pleasantly surprised by the flavor is putting it mildly. When it is made properly, the salad is amazing. The dressing is there, but it isn’t overpowering. The kale has been properly broken down and is well complemented by the broccolini, and the sweet dried cherries add that pop of tart flavor that finishes off the salad. Though it comes with a package that includes a variety of sweetened nuts, I could happily eat the salad with just the dressed kale, broccolini, and cherries. The nuts do add some protein, and they work well with the salad, though I could handle some roasted nuts without the sweetened piece for an even healthier topping to the Chick-fil-A Superfood salad.

Delicious new Chick-fil-A Kale salad Superfood side

The trick, however, is in making the salad, and the feedback that I’ve heard from friends near and far is that the salad hasn’t been perfected by all the employees in the chain yet. Kale, unlike other greens, can’t simply be cut or torn and eaten with dressing. It needs to be worked and massaged to break it down a little, which decreases the bitterness and creates the flavor I love.

Prepping broccolini for Chick-fil-A Superfood saladPhoto courtesy Chick-fil-A Vernon Hills Marketing Director Evelyn Wagoner

This salad is no different. It is made according to a strict recipe where the broccolini (that is cut in store – when they say things are made fresh at Chick-fil-A, they aren’t joking) is weighed into a container, with the kale – more than the broccolini by weight and volume – coming second.

Weighing out the Chick-fil-a Superfood Salad

The dressing is then added, and a gloved employee then needs to spend time stirring and massaging the salad. There are no tools involved, and it isn’t a quick stir and go, which I think this issue arises for anyone who has had a salad they haven’t liked. This is a minutes long process, and it needs to be.

Stirring the new Chick-fil-A Superfood Salad

Once it’s mixed, a lid is added, and the salad needs to “rest” to let flavors meld. It is placed in a cooler for a half hour before it can be served, and it is only saleable for 18 hours, so you know the salad you’re eating has been made fresh. To ensure this, just like so much else, the Chick-fil-A Superfood salad container has stickers attached noting the time and date it was made to ensure any remaining is discarded past that 18 hour timeframe.

Time the salad was made

After a half hour has passed, the salad can be finished and served. It is served in a 5 ounce and 8 ounce size at this point (personally, I would love to see this as an entree salad, and I know I’m not alone), with the dried cherries added to the top of the salad. The best part for me – it is January after all, and I’m still working on making those small changes to healthier eating – is that the small Chick-fil-A Superfood salad is just 140 calories while the larger size is just 170 calories.

Those are not typos. The store owner and I puzzled over this for awhile because the math to get from 5 ounces to 8 ounces doesn’t intuitively made sense to have just a 30 calorie jump. But we figured it out. The nuts that come with the Chick-fil-A Superfood salad are 70 calories, and you receive one package, regardless of the size you purchase. That means the salad itself is 70 calories for the 5 ounce and 100 for the 8 ounce. The kale and broccolini are minimal calories, and the dressing is not overdone, so it isn’t adding all that many either. The dried cherries don’t increase that much from the 5 ounce to the 8 ounce size because the container openings are similar in size and the cherries are sprinkled on top. So yeah, 140 and 170 calories for this salad that absolutely does not feel like that few calories.

I know that not everyone is in love with this salad, and there are several reasons. If you’ve never had kale before and this doesn’t…sound like you, give it a shot. Many Chick-fil-A restaurants have been sampling the Superfood salad when they can, and I’ve heard story after story of people who have been doubters and become firm advocates of the change. It is a great crunchy, sweet, tangy, tart combination that is somehow a relatively decent choice for those monitoring what they eat. I can’t ask for much more than that.

Enjoying the new Chick-fil-A superfood side

It is not a heavily dressed salad, and if you are one who is used to the typical American salad whose strongest flavor is the dressing, this will be a change. The dressing is meant just to enhance the flavor and not dominate it. When the salad is properly mixed, the dressing is incorporated and the kale is broken down, which changes the flavor and texture for the better. I understand that this is a new product and that many of the employees (and customers) may not be familiar with it yet, but those kinks will get worked out, and I know that I can’t wait to head back up and get more of that Chick-fil-A Superfood salad!

Healthy choices at Chick-fil-A fast food

Even better? The owner of the Chick-fil-A I visited generously offered to provide 10 Chick-fil-A calendars for me to give away as I choose. So you know I have to give them away to my readers so they can enjoy them. If you haven’t ever seen or used a Chick-fil-A calendar before, a quick heads up. The calendars are sold for $7 apiece starting well before Christmas and include not just fun cow pictures on the monthly wall calendar but a special Chick-fil-A promotional card that has offers loaded each month. Some are mystery offers that you’ll learn about via email shortly before the start of the month while others are announced when you purchase your calendar. And yes, I purchased one for myself and one for my husband – with my procrastination requiring me to visit multiple stores to find a store that hadn’t sold out.

The January offer will have ended by the time the winners receive their calendars, but there are still 11 more months and offers left for the calendars. February’s mystery has been announced, and those with a calendar will get their choice of a Free Medium Bowl of Hearty Breast of Chicken Soup or Chicken Tortilla Soup. Yum! March is a free large soft drink, June has a free frosted lemonade or soft drink, December has a Chick-fil-A Sandwich or Chick-fil-A Spicy Sandwich. So yes, you want one of these calendars. Trust me.

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Have you tried the newkale and broccolini side? What do you think about the new Chick-fil-A Superfood Salad?


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    Comments

  • Jody Sanders


    My favorite chick-fil-a menu item is the original sandwich. The fries are a close second. I tried the superfood salad and my opinion of it was much like yours … loved the mild dressing and didn’t find the salad bitter at all. And I saved 70 calories, because my store didn’t serve the nuts. The small is a small side dish, but only 60 calories(!) … I’m happy.

  • Susie


    My favorite menu item is the chicken minis

  • Lori


    Is there anything not to love at CFA? We love nuggets and fries with some sweet tea the best!

  • Krystal


    I always order the grilled chicken sandwich with bacon.

  • Kate


    I go old school at Chick-Fil-A: waffle fries dipped into Chick-Fil-A sauce.

  • Ann


    I have not tried it but would be willing to give it a try.

  • Renee Arbia


    I have not gotten a chance to try the superfood kale salad but I was not a fan of the coleslaw and I love Kale. I’m excited it is on the menu. The spicy chicken sandwich is always something I have to get when I go to Chick-Fil-A.

  • Sarah


    Fellow Chick-Fil-A Mom here! Great, informative post! My fave CFA food is probably an original chicken sandwich.

  • Cher


    Chicken Minis!

  • Kristen H


    Chickfila cookies!

  • Kristy


    I love the Superfood side!! Like you, I wish there was an entree size version. I also find that it pairs very nicely with the grilled nuggets for a very healthy low calorie lunch or dinner. Thank you for the behind the scenes peek!

  • Susan


    I love the spicy chicken sandwich 🙂

  • Betsy


    My favorite menu item used to be the Chicken Tortilla Soup but now that I tried the Kale Salad I switched my allegiance. Thanks for adding another healthy option!

  • Celeste Calcote


    Chicken sandwich

  • Jenna


    I love their fries!

  • Amanda Brewer


    My favorite item is the chicken bites

  • shelly


    I love the chargrilled chicken wrap or chicken salad sandwich

  • Carol M


    La la la lemonade!

  • Lauren


    I like the original chicken sandwich.

  • Rebecca


    I had the new Kale salad tonight and it was delicious!! I don’t like kale, so I was pleasantly surprised that it was delicious! Will definitely replace fries with this side!

  • Rachel Akers


    I’m a huge fan of the frosted lemonade. Like I could drink one a day, they are that amazing.

  • Amy dendy


    The minis

  • Sara P. (@SensiblySara)


    I love the Cobb Salad! SO GOOD!

  • tara pittman


    I like the kale salad, just wish it was bigger.

  • rachel


    Haven’t tried the salad yet. I like their chicken salad.

  • Annette


    My favorite menu item is ice cream! It tastes like the old fashioned stuff and the shakes are just incredible. I rarely get one, because there’s no room after eating a delicious sandwich with waffle fries.

  • anne n


    I love the original Chick fil a sandwich with chick fil a sauce.

  • Jessica


    I didn’t even know that Chick fil a had cole slaw, so this doesn’t bother me at all. I LOVE the asain salad from there though!!! It’s amazing, but could be healthier so I’m excited to try this!!! Thanks for the review!

  • Ashley


    I love the lemonade

  • Starla B


    The new salad looks awesome and it’s great to see a company come out with something this fresh and unique! My favorite item is definitely the chicken sandwich with extra pickles!

  • Sandra


    I like the original chicken sandwich

  • Steph


    The chicken of course

  • Laura


    Love all their breakfast items!

  • Patricia Wojnar Crowley


    I love their original chicken sandwich!

  • Shannan


    My daughter went for the first time this week and discovered the waffle fries. There is no going back 🙂

  • Paula @ Frosted Fingers


    My favorite item is the frozen lemonade. I also love the Cole slaw…sad it’s gone!

  • Alison Groen


    Extra crispy waffle fries!

  • Susie


    Extra crispy waffle fries

  • Carrie


    I’ve only been to a Chick-Fil-A once (none close by where I live), but loved the sauces I had with my chicken fingers.

  • Lori


    I love the waffle fries!

  • Pet Mark


    Love the kale salad. it is way toooo small. The large is no bigger than the small. They need to make an entree size. It is very delicious!

  • Mandy


    You can order ahead for a “catering size” superfood salad. I ordered it, and was able to pick it up in about 30 minutes from when I ordered it. They say it serves 9, but that would be if you are serving side salads. You can get 3 or 4 nice-sized salads from the catered size. Just a heads up – around here it costs about $22, so it comes out to roughly $5.50 to $7ish/salad if you break it up into 4 or 3 servings.

    • Michelle


      I should have mentioned that – yes, you definitely can. The store didn’t have the cost for me of what the catering version was, so I didn’t include it, but I appreciate you doing the work for me 🙂

  • MAS


    I really like the taste of this and was hoping it would be gluten free. Because there is SOY sauce in the dressing, it is not gluten free. If they used gluten free soy sauce or tamari, it would be a gluten free option and delicious.

    • Michelle


      Oooo I’ll have to ask about that. When I looked at the dressing ingredients, I did not see the gluten allergy warning on there and missed the soy sauce. Bummer because ABSOLUTELY a GFCF salad would have been perfect.

    • Jayne


      I’m wondering if they use gf soy sauce? The allergen list does not include wheat, and the ingredient list for the soy sauce does not say wheat either.

      • Michelle


        I *just* got the official answer for you. The dressing uses a GF soy sauce. That said, I have also been given the heads up that CFA does not have a dedicated GF prep area, so they cannot guarantee that there is no cross contamination within the restaurant. I hope that helps!

  • s


    Tried it and Love it! Order it every time….

  • Billie


    I was a the restaurant today and have been trying to ascertain if the calorie count included the nut packet. If you look at the fine print on the tray paper insert that they serve you with as a dine-in customer it says the calorie count listed does Not include toppings or dressing. So I am really confused now how to really know how many calories it has. I was thinking also that I was saving the 70 calories by not using the sugared nut packet. I have also been leaving the dried cherries off to save even more calories…any way to know how many calories the dressing has in it? Feeling frustrated! Love this salad and with the grilled chicken it is fantastic!

  • Lin


    I tried the kale salad and loved the taste. However, the soy dressing used on the salad includes maltodextrine and causes tummy issues for those of us with celiac disease. Sure do wish they’d use a different dressing recipe so that I could order it in the future.

  • Colleen L Runne


    The new Super food Salad is Awesome. I am trying to get a recipe for the dressing or maybe Chik-fil-a can bottle it. I would definitely buy that.

    • Kathryn


      Copy cat has recipe

  • Karen Tucker


    Let me just say that I love, love, love the new superfood salad!! I tried it tonight and it is my new favorite!! The next time I’m getting a large!

  • Ann


    I love kale and broccolini and ordered the small size yesterday just to try it. I got 2 dainty bites out of the small salad. It was served in a 3inch-by-3inch container which was filled to 1 inch capacity. There was no broccolini, only kale and 2 dried cherries. CFA needs to work on their portion sizes. $2.59 + tax for a two-bite salad is highway robbery. Organic kale at my local Kroger is under a dollar.

    • Michelle


      Yikes – it should be a larger salad and not filled to 1″ capacity. It sounds like that Chick-fil-A salad was not done the way it should be. I’ve had a few instances where Chick-fil-A has messed up, and they are FAST to make it right. I would without a doubt contact the store to let them know your experience, as that is not a good representation of the salad. It’s not 2 dainty bites and shouldn’t have been served that way to you!

  • marie


    I tried the Super food salad today and thought it was absolutely delicious. I didn’t even eat the nuts because I’m allergic to walnuts and pecans. It didn’t matter. The flavor of the vegetables with the light, sweet dressing and tangy cherries was amazing. I’m sure the nuts ( if they were not sweetened) would make it even better. I do wish that Chic-fil-a would offer plain roasted almonds as an option. Those of us who have nut allergies are often allergic to walnuts and pecans, but not necessarily almonds. I also do not think they need to add sugar to any of their nuts. This salad is sweet enough with the dressing and cherries. I don’t imagine that I would like it with sweetened nuts and the extra sugar detracts from the healthfulness of the salad.

    • Michelle


      I’ve had it with the nuts and without the nuts, and I am completely fine enjoying it sans nuts. I agree about the sugar on them regardless, and I hadn’t even thought about almonds v pecans and walnuts but that’s a great point, too. I do really enjoy the salad and glad you did, too!

  • Kim Lawton


    Have tried the superfood salad twice and I love it; so much so that I am going to try to re-create at home.

  • Kathy


    I thought the superfood salad was delicious! I actually want the maple vinaigrette recipe so I can make it.

    • Michelle


      I do, too! I may have to work on a copycat recipe because it is GOOD!

  • Stephanie Adkins


    The salad is tasty but it comes with to much of the stalk trying to fill up the cups I was eating this salad just about everyday but not anymore .

  • Rachel


    So in LOVE! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Super food Salad! I hope it stays on the menu for all time. Seriously, folks this is so amazing, you must try it if you haven’t. <3

  • Nancy


    Love it next time large one

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