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close up of green caesar salad in a black bowl with chickpea croutons
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5 from 2 votes

Kale Caesar Salad

Hearty kale is tossed in a briny caesar dressing and topped with chickpea croutons to make this Kale Caesar Salad. It’s a crowd-pleasing vegan recipe that’s ready in just 30 minutes!
Prep Time30 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Italian
Servings: 4 large servings
Calories: 337kcal
Author: Nora Taylor

Ingredients

  • 2 large bunches lacinato kale, stems removed and chopped into 1 inch pieces*
  • 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • sprinkle salt + black pepper

Caesar Dressing

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 small cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon brine from a jar of capers
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Optional

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and lightly grease a baking sheet with a rimmed edge (or use a silicone mat/parchment paper.) Drain chickpeas and dry slightly with a clean tea towel or paper towels, trying to remove as much moisture as possible. 
  • Add the chickpeas to the baking sheet. Drizzle on the olive oil. Sprinkle the garlic powder plus a pinch of salt and pepper on top of the chickpeas. Mix gently with your hands or a spatula in the pan. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes, until crispy but not burnt. Set aside.
  • Meanwhile, bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Pour the hot water over the cashews and let soak for 5 minutes. Drain the cashews and discard the soaking water. Add them to a high powered blender along with ¾ cup fresh water and all the remaining dressing ingredients. Blend until very smooth.
  • Add the washed and chopped kale to a large salad bowl. If desired, massage the kale for 2-3 minutes with a teaspoon of olive oil or dressing. Pour in the dressing and toss with the kale. Top with the chickpea croutons and a good sprinkle of vegan parmesan cheese. Serve with extra vegan parmesan cheese. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Notes

  1. Alternatively, you can use pre-chopped kale. The negative thing is that there are almost always lots of stems left in pre-chopped kale, so it's better to chop it yourself.
  2. Feel free to use a mix of kale and romaine, or baby kale instead.
  3. Possible additions: halved cherry tomatoes, sliced avocado, diced cucumbers, Tempeh Bacon or shredded carrots.
  4. Instead of chickpea croutons, feel free to use real croutons <---- these are my favorite and they are vegan.
  5. The salad makes about 4 entree sized salads, or around 8 small servings.
  6. Kale is hearty and the salad will keep for up to 3 days, even with the dressing.

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 4 servings | Calories: 337kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 830mg | Potassium: 442mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 659IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 197mg | Iron: 3mg