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Kale Salad with Sheet Pan Sausage and Mushrooms
and polenta croutons / tomatoes

Active: 40 Total: 40

This satisfying salad full of warm, roasted toppings is as hearty as they come. Herby polenta croutons provide some crispy contrast and cherry tomatoes offer pops of sweetness. 
Smarts: We call for using pre-made polenta here for ease. If you'd like to make your own, be sure to make it at least a day ahead, as it needs time to firm up in the refrigerator.



Kale Salad:
  • Vinegar, balsamic - 1 Tbsp
  • Lemon juice - 1 tsp
  • Mustard, Dijon - 1 tsp
  • Honey - 1 tsp
  • Oil, olive - 3 Tbsp
  • Tomatoes, cherry or grape - 1 cup , halved
  • Baby kale - 5 oz
  • Cheese, parmesan - 2 oz , shredded
Sheet Pan Sausage and Mushrooms:
  • Sausage, raw Italian or chicken sausage links - 1 lb , sliced
  • Mushrooms, any button - 1 lb , halved or quartered if large
  • Thyme leaves, fresh - 1/2 tsp
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
  • Basil, dried - 1/2 tsp
  • Garlic powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Red pepper flakes (opt) - 1/4 tsp
Polenta Croutons:
  • Polenta, prepared (18 oz / 510 g) - 1 tube , cut into 1/2" / 1.3 cm cubes
  • Thyme leaves, fresh - 1/2 tsp
  • Parchment paper - for roasting
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
  • Basil, dried - 1/2 tsp
  • Garlic powder - 1/4 tsp


  1. Slice sausage - Cut sausage into 1/2" / 1.3 cm slices. If your sausage is difficult to slice when raw, freeze it for 15 minutes to firm up, then slice. (Can be done 1 day ahead)

  2. Make dressing - (If prepping right before cooking, get oven heating first.) Whisk together vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, and honey. Add olive oil slowly while whisking. Once thoroughly combined, season to taste with some salt and pepper. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  3. Polenta / Mushrooms / Thyme leaves (both portions) - Prep as directed and store separately. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)

  4. Tomatoes - Prep as directed.

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  1. Situate oven racks to accommodate two sheet pans. Heat oven to 425F / 218C degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Toss polenta cubes with cooking oil, thyme leaves, basil, and garlic powder (portions for croutons). Season with some salt and pepper and spread out on the sheet pan.

  3. Bake croutons until golden brown and crisp, 30 to 35 minutes, flipping the croutons halfway through.

  4. While croutons bake, brush a second sheet pan lightly with some oil. Spread sliced sausage on one half of the sheet pan. Toss mushrooms with cooking oil, thyme leaves, basil, and garlic powder (portions for sausage and mushrooms), and red pepper flakes (if using). Season with some salt and pepper. Place mushrooms on baking sheet with the sausage and roast for 10 minutes to get them started cooking.

  5. Remove sausage and mushrooms from the oven and flip them. If mushrooms have released a lot of liquid, carefully pour it off before returning the pan to the oven. Continue roasting until mushrooms are golden brown and tender and sausage is cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes more.

  6. When croutons are done, remove from oven and and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.

  7. OPTIONAL STEP: If you like, you can turn on the oven’s broiler and broil the sausage and mushrooms for 3 to 4 minutes to brown them and cook off any remaining liquid.

  8. Place baby kale in a large serving or mixing bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of dressing (amount for 4 servings; adjust if customizing).

  9. Assemble salads by dividing kale among serving plates. Top with sausage, mushrooms, tomatoes, croutons, and Parmesan cheese.

  10. Drizzle remaining dressing over top of the salads until they are dressed to your liking. Enjoy!



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