This Kale Caesar Salad is one of my favorite ways to serve kale. It’s tossed in an addictive vegan Caesar salad dressing that’s made with tahini, and it couldn’t be easier!
Why Use Kale in a Caesar salad?
Kale is a nutritional powerhouse loaded with iron, vitamin K, and antioxidants, but its chewy texture and dark-leafy-green-flavor can sometimes be a bit intimidating. That’s why I’m so excited to share this vegan Kale Caesar Salad, because it’s making me crave kale on a near-daily basis.
The Easiest Caesar Salad Dressing (No Eggs!)
This untraditional Caesar dressing gets its creaminess from raw tahini, a paste made of ground raw sesame seeds (in most cases, no oil is added).
Sesame seeds are naturally high in calcium, and their mild flavor blends seamlessly into this garlicky dressing. Paired with fresh garlic, a splash of lemon juice, and a hefty pinch of salt and pepper, this dressing can be stirred together in minutes and compliments the flavor of raw kale perfectly.
Making Chickpea “Croutons”
This salad gets another nutritional upgrade by using garlic roasted chickpeas as a grain-free swap for bread-based croutons. Chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans, are packed with plant-based protein and fiber, which can help keep your blood sugar levels stable and aid in weight loss.
Chickpeas, like many other pulses, may also help balance cholesterol levels and protect again heart disease, while providing essential nutrients like iron, zinc, folate, and B vitamins.
The chickpeas take 45 minutes to roast to crispy perfection, they take only a few minutes of hands-on preparation so you won’t have to spend too much time in your kitchen. Just toss in a bit of olive oil and garlic, pour them into a pan, and bake!
You can make them as soft or as crunchy as you like. (Start checking on them around the 30-minute mark if you don’t want them to be too crisp.)
Kale Caesar Salad with Tahini Dressing
Garlic Roasted Chickpeas
- 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (or one 15-ounce can, drained)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF. To prepare the Garlic Roasted Chickpeas, toss the cooked chickpeas with olive oil, garlic, and salt in a large bowl, then pour them into a rimmed baking sheet. Arrange them into a single layer, then bake until crisp, about 45 minutes.
- While the chickpeas are baking, prepare the dressing. Stir together the tahini, lemon juice, water, garlic, mustard, salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Stir until smooth and adjust any seasonings as you like.
- To assemble the salad, remove the tough stems from the kale leaves and use your hands or a sharp knife to rip the kale into small pieces. Toss the leaves with the dressing and let them marinate in the fridge while you wait for the chickpeas to be done.
- When the chickpeas are done roasting, remove the pan from the oven and let them cool for 10 minutes. Sprinkle them generously over the kale salad and serve. Leftovers can be stored separately in an aitigt container in the fridge for up to 4 days. (The chickpeas do soften with time, but you can toast them in the oven again to re-crisp.)
Nutrition information is automatically generated using an online nutrition calculator, and is an estimate, not a guarantee. For more accurate results, be sure to check the labels on your ingredients at home.
For more pulse-based recipes, you might enjoy:
- Vegan Flourless Black Bean Brownies
- Lentil Potluck Salad
- Lentil, Kale & Quinoa Stew
- Instant Pot Red Lentil Curry
- Black Bean & Sweet Potato Enchiladas
- Black Bean Gingerbread Bars
- White Bean Maple Pecan Blondies