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Grilled Chicken with Kale Salmoriglio Sauce

This quick and easy recipe for Grilled Chicken with Kale Salmoriglio Sauce is a delicious step outside the ordinary. Salmoriglio is an Italian green sauce with a warm but tart flavor.

Grilled Chicken with Kale Salmoriglio Sauce recipe

As a food writer, I sometimes find myself falling down the rabbit hole of research. I dig into my whims, searching for the ingredient or flavor that isn’t being talked about yet or a technique that should be. It doesn’t always prove to be fruitful either. Sometimes I spend an afternoon researching only to find my notebook page blank and my creativity sapped.

Sometimes it feels like all flavors and combinations are already in the kitchens of home cooks everywhere.

Fortunately, that isn’t the case. Not really, anyway.

There are so many interesting sauces from Italian, French and other cuisines that haven’t achieved the notoriety of pesto. They’re simple combinations — often an acid, garlic, greens and oil — slightly modified by the addition of this herb or that spice. On paper, they may seem so similar. But when you drizzle them onto a juicy piece of grilled chicken, the differences and nuances in flavor become vastly apparent.

I love those nuances.

Kale Salmoriglio

It’s research like this that led me to salmoriglio sauce. Salmoriglio is an Italian green sauce traditionally made with parsley, oregano, lemon zest, olive oil and garlic.

The flavor is warm but slightly tart. Oregano is what sets it apart, giving it a certain aromatic earthiness. Oregano’s hint of bitterness also offsets the tartness of the lemon, so it’s not as acidic as other similar sauces.

Grilled Chicken with Kale Salmorglio

For this dish, thin-cut chicken breasts are seasoned well with salt and pepper, and then drizzled with a little olive oil. Then it’s grilled to juicy, golden perfection. The salmoriglio sauce is made with kale, instead of parsley, and skips the lemon zest so it’s more of a pantry sauce (assuming you have kale in your fridge).

And best of all? It’s really a quick and easy recipe. The whole dish can be made in about 15 minutes. Don’t you just love 15-minute dinners?

Have you ever had salmoriglio sauce? What’s your favorite sauce?

Yield: 4 servings

Grilled Chicken with Kale Salmoriglio Sauce

Grilled Chicken with Kale Salmoriglio Sauce
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 3 lbs thin-cut chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Kale Salmoriglio Sauce

  • 1 cup packed kale leaves
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Heat your grill over its medium setting (or prepare charcoals for grilling).
  2. Wash the chicken breasts and then pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle all over with salt and pepper (be generous!). Drizzle the chicken breasts with olive oil.
  3. Grill the chicken for 3-5 minutes per side, until cooked through.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the kale salmoriglio. Combine the kale leaves, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper in a food processor. Process until uniformly combined. Adjust the salt and pepper as needed to desired flavor.
  5. Serve the chicken with the sauce for drizzling. Enjoy!


Saturday 7th of September 2013

Typo... shrimp :)


Saturday 7th of September 2013

This recipes made me hungry at 4:35am, thank you!!! :) i will try this using TJ's 21 season salute rather than S/P. I think the seasoning and sauce will be a wild taste ride. Can't wait to make this... I bet this sauce is outrageous on shrinp/fish... yummmmmmmmmmmmmmm

20+ Italian Recipes Roundup for #HGEATS #LoveItaly Week | The Hungry Goddess

Monday 19th of August 2013

[...] Grilled Chicken with Kale Salmoriglio Sauce from Sarah’s Cucina Bella – I had never heard of this sauce so THANK YOU, Sarah because now I think I must have it! [...]


Wednesday 24th of July 2013

Salmoriglio reminds me of chimichurri sauce. It fascinates me how very different cultures often have very similar dishes.


Saturday 13th of July 2013

As a full-blooded Italian I feel kind of guilty that I've never heard of this! I'm always up for including greens in my sauces though so I definitely think this needs to get into my life!

Sarah W. Caron

Tuesday 16th of July 2013

Try it! And don't feel bad. There are so many sauces that aren't popular. But should be :)

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