This vegan kale caesar salad recipe is a simple + light dinner that everyone will love. Served with a creamy tahini dressing + topped with crispy chickpeas!
When I first set out to create this recipe, I was planning to just share my favorite kale salad with you. That's usually a base of kale with a creamy tahini dressing that's got some freshly grated garlic, some lime juice and some miso. The toppings are usually pretty simple; just crispy quinoa, avocado and crispy chickpeas.
But as it turns out, I've kind of shared that salad with you already, so today I decided to switch gears and give you this: my favorite kale caesar salad!
This is unlike any kale caesar salad I've ever had before. For one, the dressing is a bit lighter than the vegan ones you see because instead of loading it up with cashews — which granted are amazing, but a little heavy sometimes — we're actually just using a bit of tahini and hemp seeds.
Then there are the “croutons”. Oh, these croutons. I'm calling them croutons because that's the role they're playing in my version of a caesar salad, but really they're far from croutons.
They're actually just crispy chickpeas that I've roasted with some coconut oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper. And they're just amazing. They complement the tangy dressing so well, they add a much-needed crunch for the salad, and they double as a pretty incredible snack while you're cooking up the rest of your meal!
Oh, and by the way, I've been pretty much obsessed with crispy chickpeas since I first started making them a year ago, and was thinking it might be fun to share a video that shows you a few different flavor options. What do you think about that? Let me know in the comments!
This salad is for you if you're looking for something that is:
gluten-free + vegan
creamy but still light
full of tons of textures
tastes like real caesar without any of the junk!
So now it's your turn…
What are your favorite salad toppings? And what is your go-to salad recipe? Let me know in the comments and I'll try to incorporate that into my recipe planning for the summer!
More Hearty Kale Salads To Try:
- Totally Addicting Vegetarian Kale Salad
- Creamy Kale Salad with Smoky Tempeh Croutons
- Loaded Winter Kale Salad with a Honey-Mustard Vinaigrette
- Creamy Superfood Kale & Lentil Quinoa Salad
- Tropical Kale & Quinoa Power Salad
Kale Caesar Salad with Crispy Chickpea Croutons
- for the chickpeas:
- 1 15oz can organic chickpeas
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 heaping teaspoon garlic power more or less to taste
- Salt + pepper to taste
- for the dressing:
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 tablespoons hemp seeds I used Bob's Red Mill
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon capers
- ¾ teaspoon caper juice
- ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
- Juice of ½ a lemon
- 1 garlic clove
- ¼ cup water
- Salt + pepper to taste
- for the salad:
- 1 large bunch curly green kale
- 1 batch crispy chickpeas
- 1 batch vegan caesar dressing
- 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup quinoa crispies optional
- Additional toppings as desired
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas then transfer them to a large bowl. Top with oil, garlic, salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Transfer chickpeas to a baking sheet and roast for 40 - 45 minutes, until golden brown and crispy, shaking the pan a few times to avoid burning.*
- While the chickpeas are cooking, prepare the dressing. Add all the dressing ingredients into a high powered blender and blend on high until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a container and set aside.
- For the salad, wash the kale leaves thoroughly, then remove the stems. Tear the leaves into smaller pieces into a large salad bowl. Repeat with entire bunch.
- When ready to assemble the salad, pour the dressing over the kale and begin to massage it with your hands until the leaves begin to soften. Transfer to serving dishes and top with chickpeas, pumpkin seeds and quinoa crispies.
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