Chicken restaurant chain Chick-fil-A announced Thursday the addition of a new entrée salad to its menu: the Lemon Kale Caesar salad, set to launch Monday, April 26, nationwide, as a limited-time offer. The Atlanta-based quick-service chain hasn’t added an entrée salad to its menu since 2016, when it introduced the Spicy Southwest Salad.
The Lemon Kale Caesar salad has warm, grilled chicken nuggets on a bed of romaine and kale, and is topped with shaved parmesan cheese, lemon wedges, lemon parmesan panko and lemon Caesar vinaigrette dressing.
“We wanted to create a modern version of a Caesar salad with a refreshing twist,” said Chick-fil-A senior culinary lead Christy Cook in a statement. “And we also wanted a salad that would spotlight our warm Grilled Nuggets.”
In more of a nod to fine dining and a step away from the brand’s quick-service roots, Cook, who created the salad, said there is a preferred way of eating it: squeezing the lemon over the salad rather than looking at it as a garnish.
“You should squeeze the lemons over the salad and chicken,” Cook advised, noting that the fresh citrus flavor from the lemons highlights the distinct taste profiles of the kale and parmesan.
This salad is not aimed at the dieting consumer, but rather serves as a “showcase” for the brand’s grilled chicken nuggets and a more healthful option at the chain. Cook is a certified dietician.
“The Lemon Kale Caesar Salad is one of the new items we're adding to the menu in 2021 to offer our guests more variety,” said Kaitlin Miller, menu category leader at Chick-fil-A, in a statement. “It’s a delicious lower calorie salad option for those who enjoy a traditional Caesar salad and those looking to try something new. After testing this item in 2017 and receiving great feedback, we're excited to add it to our 2021 lineup of seasonal offerings.”
Throughout Cook’s 17 years with Chick-fil-A, she’s been responsible for the chain’s iced coffee and limited-time offers like the white peach lemonade, the frosted sunrise and the smokehouse BBQ sandwich.
“For Cook, it’s about creating menu items that provide ‘nourishment’ but also offer a sense of ‘community,’” the company said in 2018, which explains the healthful twist on a very popular salad.
The salad was previously tested at select Los Angeles locations. No word on how long the LTO will be on menus.