Grilled Ham Steaks with Southern Kale Salad

Cozy Grilled Ham Steaks with Southern Kale Salad. A light family dinner that is big on southern charm!

Light Grilled Ham Steaks with Southern Kale Salad |

Now, I try to be a good southern girl… often with little success.  Growing up in a straight-forward Midwestern family, the concepts of being genteel and prim took second fiddle to hard work  and direct honesty.

I’m ok with that. Yet now that I live in the South, I strive to achieve southern greatness in the kitchen, even if I’ll never achieve it in manner.

Quick Light Grilled Ham Steaks with Southern Kale Salad |

So when working with raw greens, I went with subtle southern flair. What’s more southern than ham, cornbread, and greens?

Grilled Ham Steaks with Southern Kale Salad is a light modern take on this deep south favorite.

Easy Light Grilled Ham Steaks with Southern Kale Salad |

I rubbed ham steaks with brown sugar, cumin and coriander to give them a smoky kick. Then grilled them for a couple minutes per side.

Next I toasted crumbled cornbread and roughly chopped almonds to provide contrast for the kale.

Making Light Grilled Ham Steaks with Southern Kale Salad |

Finally I dressed the salad with a bright citrus vinaigrette made with orange zest, orange juice, honey, chive and almond oil.

Simple Grilled Ham Steaks with Southern Kale Salad |

The verdict? Grilled Ham Steaks with Southern Kale Salad is YUM. Double yum.

Yum with a southern twist, Ya’ll.

Salty, sweet, crunchy, zesty plate of Kale-icious yum!

Simple Light Grilled Ham Steaks with Southern Kale Salad |

Plus, there is much less guilt involved in eating Grilled Ham Steaks with Southern Kale Salad than most southern dinners.

Light Grilled Ham Steaks with Southern Kale Salad |
5 from 1 vote

Grilled Ham Steaks with Southern Kale Salad

Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
12 mins
Total Time
32 mins
Easy delicious Grilled Ham Steaks with Southern Kale Salad. Wilted kale salad with crispy cornbread crumbs served with thick juicy ham steaks.
Servings: 6


For the Ham:
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4-6 thick-cut ham steaks
For the Southern Kale Salad:
  • 1 bunch kale (large), 6 cups chopped
  • 2 corn muffins or cornbread squares, crumbled into large chunks
  • 3/4 cup roughly chopped almonds
  • 2 tablespoons butter
For the Dressing:
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup almond oil, or vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped chive
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  1. Preheat the grill to medium and preheat a large skillet on the stovetop to medium-high.

  2. Mix the brown sugar, cumin, coriander and pepper. In a small bowl, rub the mixture on both sides of each ham steak. Set aside.
  3. Shred the kale into (very) thin strips. Place the kale in a large serving bowl.
  4. Place the ham steaks on the grill for about 3 minutes per side—or just until grill marks form. Remove and tent with foil to keep warm.
  5. Meanwhile, add the butter to the skillet. Pour in the crumbled cornbread and chopped almonds. Gently move around the pan until toasted, 5 minutes.
  6. Whisk the ingredients together for the vinaigrette. Toss the kale with your desired amount of vinaigrette. Then top with the toasted cornbread and almonds. Best if served immediately.

Recipe Notes


  • Don't salt the ham. It tends to be salty enough on it's own.
  • Ham steaks are also precooked, so the grilling is simply for texture and appearance, don't over do it!
  • I used whole raw almonds in the kale salad and roughly chopped them, but you could substitute slivered almonds.
  • I adore almond oil, but any mild flavored oil will work for the vinaigrette.
  • I used store-bought corn muffins for the salad.

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50 comments on “Grilled Ham Steaks with Southern Kale Salad

  1. Pingback: Cheesy Cauliflower Gratin - A Spicy Perspective

  2. plasterer bristolposted September 21, 2015 at 10:54 am Reply

    This sounds really delicious and something new to try. Thank you for sharing this.


  3. plasterer bristolposted September 21, 2015 at 10:53 am Reply

    This sounds really delicious and something new to try. Thank you for sharing this.


  4. Pingback: Grilled Ham Steaks with Southern Kale Salad

  5. Magic of Spiceposted April 21, 2011 at 12:37 pm Reply

    Perfect southern meal…I have never tried raw kale either, sounds wonderful :)

  6. Monicaposted April 19, 2011 at 9:55 am Reply

    Sounds great! But one suggestion. To complete the “Southernness,” I would have used pecans instead of almonds. You know we Southerners love our Pee-CANS. :-) I look forward to trying a raw kale salad myself!

  7. Cécyposted April 18, 2011 at 10:55 am Reply

    So I ended up using this. I made a Kale salad with slices oranges, dried cranberries, maple-sugar roasted pecans and goat cheese plus your dressing. It was great.
    I used the dressing again for a similar salad but with spinach this time for a friend who just had a baby and she really loved it. The maple syrup replaced the honey quite well too.

  8. elle marieposted April 18, 2011 at 4:19 am Reply

    My kind of women!!! Kale, southern style, is hands-down-the-best ever! I have been away from the US for quite a long time, and can you clue me in on what ham steak is? I know what it is, but not sure how to go about asking what piece the butcher should prepare for me?

  9. Monetposted April 17, 2011 at 10:06 pm Reply

    My oh my! What we’ve been missing! Ryan loves to eat raw greens, but I don’t think we’ve tried kale yet. I love how thin you sliced it…I think that made all the difference. Thank you for sharing another beautifully rendered post, my sweet friend. You know how to get my week off to a great start. I hope your week bursts forth with flavor and love. Hugs from Austin!

  10. soniaposted April 17, 2011 at 7:21 pm Reply

    Hi Sommer,
    Oops dear, by mistake wrote incorrect name, my due apologies to you…regards, MCF !!!

  11. soniaposted April 17, 2011 at 6:58 pm Reply

    Hi Soma, The salad is looking so vibrant. Very nicely made and presented. Its always fun to see ur appetizing recipes. I wud love to give ur version a try on the coming weekend. Have a great day !

  12. Eileenposted April 17, 2011 at 5:28 pm Reply

    I love grilled ham steak. Now, the raw kale is a different story. It’s more the rough texture I don’t care for than the flavor. I have texture issues – lol… I love the grace and charm associated with the South. I’m afraid to admit I don’t have much of either :)

  13. Lea Annposted April 16, 2011 at 3:57 pm Reply

    well…..alright, I’ll give raw kale a try. :-) Now for that ham steak, I’ll give you a definite yum double yum

  14. [email protected]posted April 16, 2011 at 12:48 pm Reply

    Oh wow, that looks scrumptious!! I could dive into that! I am a sucker for Ham Steaks… so good!!

  15. Kankanaposted April 15, 2011 at 11:04 pm Reply

    you got me convinced .. I have to make this kale salad… :)

  16. Lora @cakeduchessposted April 15, 2011 at 7:31 pm Reply

    Gorgeous Southern meal, Sommer:) That ham has gotten me hungry and craving a piece. I never ate raw kale. I always add it my bean soups or in a pasta dish. Thank you for sharing delicious recipe:)

  17. sweetlifeposted April 15, 2011 at 3:44 pm Reply

    my hubby loves ham steak, but I should try raw kale..thanks for sharing!!


  18. Maria @ Scandifoodieposted April 15, 2011 at 2:34 pm Reply

    I actually really like raw kale! This sounds so tasty with almonds and almond oil!

  19. soniaposted April 15, 2011 at 10:55 am Reply

    Hi Sommer, This is looking absolutely delightful. Very nicely made and presented. I wud love to give it a shot on the coming weekend… Have a great day !

  20. Geniposted April 15, 2011 at 7:30 am Reply

    I’ve never had raw kale before…only cooked it in the skillet or baked it. You’ve convinced me to try it raw with your delicious looking salad! And the ham steaks looks pretty delicious as well!

  21. carolinaheartstringsposted April 15, 2011 at 8:48 am Reply

    Wow is all I can say. You did good Midwestern/Southern girl!

  22. Emily @Cleanlinessposted April 15, 2011 at 7:16 am Reply

    This is beautiful. I love this recipe.

  23. Lizposted April 15, 2011 at 5:37 am Reply

    Gosh, I never would have thought to eat kale raw, either…glad you have this wonderful recipe to share :)

  24. Ilkeposted April 15, 2011 at 5:22 am Reply

    I think this is good, healthy dose of southernness!(is this a word?) now I will head over to rk page to vote. Go Asheville Team!

  25. Angie's Recipesposted April 15, 2011 at 2:00 am Reply

    This is something I would love to try too.
    Photos are simply mouthwatering!

  26. Aldyposted April 14, 2011 at 9:20 pm Reply

    What a MOUTH-WATERING dish ! Great combination, Sommer :)


  27. Kitaposted April 14, 2011 at 8:03 pm Reply

    My momma used to make ham steaks for us. They always bring back memories. I love kale – love. I have got to try this.

  28. Claudiaposted April 14, 2011 at 7:10 pm Reply

    I love kale salads – but no one else here does. Maybe with that delicious dressing? The spiced ham steaks are perfect! Lovely change from mine.

  29. Nelly Rodriguezposted April 14, 2011 at 7:05 pm Reply

    I’ve never had raw Kale and I don’t think you can find it here, but I will try it someday! By the way, your pictures are simply gorgeous.

  30. Annaposted April 14, 2011 at 5:03 pm Reply

    I love kale salad, we eat kale or collar greens raw in Brazil. Your dish looks fabulous, corn bread and ham….what great combo.

  31. Maris (In Good Taste)posted April 14, 2011 at 4:17 pm Reply

    What fabulous photos! Everything looks so good!

  32. Parsley Sageposted April 14, 2011 at 2:29 pm Reply

    Kale-icious indeed. This looks stunningly yummy. Thanks for doing the legwork on this :)

  33. Sprinkled With Flourposted April 14, 2011 at 2:24 pm Reply

    Now I really want some ham. I love finding new ways to fix favorite cuts of meat, and this is a great one to try!

  34. Tricia @ Saving room for dessertposted April 14, 2011 at 10:11 am Reply

    This is wonderfully inspired! The orange flavor must be fantastic on Kale. I’ve eaten it raw but bet it is great served with all your fixin’s. Great creation!

  35. Cécyposted April 14, 2011 at 9:59 am Reply

    Yum, this looks great.
    I haven’t made a kale salad yet, but I do use some raw one straight from the garden into a smoothie. Or an other favorite for breakfast is toasted bread, egg, goat cheese and a leaf of raw kale.

    I think I’m going to try your salad this week-end, we have a bunch of kale in the yard, now on to making cornbread.

  36. Belinda @zomppaposted April 14, 2011 at 9:40 am Reply

    Beautiful meal! Kale is fantastic…and I am hard pressed to ever pass on a ham steak.

  37. Jennifurlaposted April 14, 2011 at 9:39 am Reply

    Looks like a kick butt meal to me overall, we dont eat enough ham in my house.

  38. Fresh and Foodieposted April 14, 2011 at 8:28 am Reply

    This salad looks great. I love kale and eat it raw pretty often, but I’ve also had it semi-raw (I guess that’s what you’d call it) where it’s blanched for a second to take some of that hearty edge off. I happen to like kale for that reason, but I can see why others may not.

    Really like this recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  39. Kristenposted April 14, 2011 at 7:26 am Reply

    It’s a beautiful meal. Is raw kale bitter? I love the idea of using it as a new green in a salad, but my iceberg loving family may have issues if it’s really strong.

  40. pamposted April 14, 2011 at 7:14 am Reply

    Raw kale!!! Genius!

  41. [email protected]posted April 14, 2011 at 7:10 am Reply

    This looks fantastic!

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  43. Kellyposted April 14, 2011 at 6:45 am Reply

    This looks delicious and I absolutely LOVE your blog!! I will definitely be a frequent visitor :)

  44. Danposted April 14, 2011 at 6:44 am Reply

    That looks like a great rub for the ham. mmm!

  45. Kateposted April 14, 2011 at 6:42 am Reply

    This looks delicious! I don’t even like kale and your photos make me think that mayvbe I really do like it or should at least give it another try!

  46. Jasonposted April 14, 2011 at 6:37 am Reply

    Those ham steaks and kale salad look absolutely delicious. People definitely do not do enough Ham steaks and they do really well on the grill.

  47. Lana @ Never Enough Thymeposted April 14, 2011 at 6:15 am Reply

    I’ve never eaten kale raw, either, but why not! Sounds like a delicious salad.

  48. Jo-Lynne {Musings of a Housewife}posted April 14, 2011 at 6:05 am Reply

    That looks DIVINE!

  49. Nisrine M.posted April 14, 2011 at 5:11 am Reply

    Gorgeous photos. Make me wish I were there for this meal.

  50. 5 Star Foodieposted April 14, 2011 at 6:03 am Reply

    Very interesting to experiment with raw kale, grilled ham steaks sound awesome to pair with the salad.