Kale Salad with Avo, Mustard Vinaigrette and Grilled Cheese Croutons

Yes, you heard that right. I took grilled cheese and made it into croutons. Not sure how I never thought of this before, but the results were FANTASTIC.

I have been making a lot of grilled cheese lately, and I get a lot of heat on Instagram for using mayo on the outside of the sandwich before grilling, as opposed to butter.

LISTEN. I hate mayo for the most part – the smell, the texture – it just kind of grosses me out. BUT when it comes to grilled cheese, the wise ones out there know it is a KEY ingredient to a golden, flavorful crust. I’m not saying you can’t achieve similar results with butter, but mayo has a higher smoke point so it’s less likely to burn, and the flavor is a bit tangier. It just works perfectly with a grilled cheese and I implore you to try it.

And in the case of this recipe, just remember to let it cool before you slice it into squares. If it’s hot, the cheese will ooze out and ruin everything. This is the ONE instance where oozing cheese is not a plus.

This mustard vinaigrette is also one of my favorite easy dressings to whip up. If you like mustard and vinegar, you will LOVE this.

Kale Salad with Avo, Mustard Vinaigrette and Grilled Cheese Croutons

  • 2 slices white or wheat bread
  • 1-2 tbsp mayo
  • 4 slices American cheese
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard (I use Maille, my fave)
  • 1 tbsp whole grain mustard
  • Pinch of Kosher salt
  • 1 bunch ribollita kale, stems removed and torn into bite size pieces
  • 1 avocado, peeled and sliced into cubes


  1. Make the grilled cheese first. Slather the mayo from edge to edge on the OUTSIDE of the bread. Layer the cheese evenly on both sides (2 pieces per slice of bread). Close the sandwich.
  2. Heat a griddle or large pan over medium heat. You don’t want the heat too high. Place the sandwich in the pan and don’t move it. Press down occasionally with a spatula to get everything melting together. Wait a couple minutes and then flip, repeating the process on the other side. When golden brown on the other side, remove from heat and set aside to cool while you assemble the dressing and salad.
  3. In a mason jar (or small bowl), mix the olive oil, vinegar, mustards, and a pinch of Kosher salt. If using a mason jar, just close it and shake vigorously to combine. If using a bowl, whisk until everything is incorporated and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  4. In a large bowl, add the kale and avocado bits. By now hopefully your grilled cheese has hardened, so slice it up into bite size cubes. You can leave out the crusts if you want! 
  5. Drizzle the mustard vinaigrette over the kale and avocado, toss to coat. Then add the grilled cheese croutons on top and toss lightly once more. Serve in bowls and enjoy the crispy, cheesy, vinegary bites!

Thanks as always to FreshDirect for the ingredients! #fdambassador

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