If you shy away from salads because you find yourself hungry 45 minutes after eating one, you aren’t alone. This Kale Caesar salad is not your average salad. It’s actually filling, creamy and crunchy. Plus, this is a vegan caesar salad, so no bloating, cramping or bathroom runs from a dairy-filled lunch.
This combo of flavors is worth packing in your lunch.
Salad isn’t always a filling lunch option, yet I find myself full and satisfied after sitting down to this fun dish. Dress it up to your preference and get ready to enjoy a truly tasty creation.
Table of Contents
Kale Caesar Salad Tips
Kale is clearly the star of this salad and it’s no wonder! This Top Superfoods List is hearty and a bit more filling than romaine lettuce. If kale isn’t your favorite then swap for dark romaine or do half romaine, half kale and enjoy!
The Garlic Lemon Aioli is super easy to make, remember to give your cashews time to soak. If you forget to soak them ahead of time, pour hot water over them and let them sit for 10-15 minutes. The drain and add to the recipe.
The last time I made this kale caesar salad I actually roasted the chickpeas with some olive oil and seasoning and you have to try this! It gives them a crouton-like texture to add extra crunch to your lunch.
How to Make a Caesar Salad Vegan
I’ve got two drool-worthy secrets to making a vegan caesar salad and still enjoy it. First, I smother the whole creation with my Garlic Lemon Aioli. It is seriously good and super easy to make. If you forget to soak the cashews ahead of time then just pour some hot water over them and let them sit for 10 minutes before draining and using.
Second, I have a recipe for vegan Parmesan Cheese that totally tastes like the real deal and yet is completely dairy-free. I keep a jar of this wonderful creation on hand at all times since it goes with almost everything.
Vegan doesn’t have to be gross, less flavorful or boring. This kale caesar salad still has the creamy dressing and the crunch. It fills me up and doesn’t give me the uncomfortable side effects that dairy does.
Vegan Caesar Salad FAQs
It depends on what’s in it. The one you get at a restaurant, drowning in dressing and covered in croutons probably isn’t. Yet my version is 100% plant-based, creamy and filling.
Vegan Caesar salad omits the cheese and dairy-based dressing, replacing them with vegan ingredients. My salad has a vegan cheese sprinkle (that’s wonderful!) as well as a dairy-free dressing that you might need to double because it’s so good.
Caesar dressing is dairy-based, which makes it vegetarian yet not vegan. My Kale Caesar salad has a cashew garlic aioli that is super creamy and flavorful and 100% vegan.
Tis’ The Season for Leafy Greens
With Spring rapidly approaching I know many of us are starting to plan our kitchen gardens. What is a kitchen garden? Well, it’s the perfect place to grow and harvest the ingredients you use daily. I’m talking leafy greens, fresh herbs and your favorite veggies. Then toss them into one of these epic salads. Trust me when I say everything tastes better when you know you grew it yourself:
- Avocado Caprese Salad
- Healthy Taco Salad
- Vegan Potato Salad
- Vegetarian Noodle Salad
- Mixed Greens Salad
- Sweet Potato Taco Salad
- Grated Carrot Salad
Simple Salad Dressings
A great salad has a great dressing. And a great dressing doesn’t come from a store. Here are some super simple recipes that will have you cleaning out your fridge to make room for all your new creations:
- Lemon Vinaigrette
- Citrus Tahini Dressing
- Cashew Garlic Aioli
- Roasted Pear Vinaigrette
- Lemon Tarragon Dressing
- Strawberry Basil Vinaigrette
Don’t forget to leave a comment and review to let me know how your Vegan Caesar salad turns out! I love sharing my favorite recipes with you.
Kale Caesar Salad
- 1 food processor
Garlic Lemon Aioli
- ¼ cup raw cashews soaked 1-4 hours
- 1 garlic cloves peeled
- ½ tsp Dijon mustard
- ¼ tsp lemon squeeze of juice
- 2 cups kale stems removed and thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juiced
- ½ cup chickpeas canned, drained and rinsed
- 2 tbsp pepitas raw
- dash sea salt
- dash ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp vegan parmesan cheese
- In a food processor, puree the Garlic Lemon Aioli ingredients until creamy. If needed, add a few tablespoons of water. The mixture should be thick and creamy.
- Place the kale in a large serving bowl and drizzle it with oil. With clean hands, gently massage the kale until tenderized (5 minutes, at most). Squeeze the lemon juice over the top.
- Mix in the chickpeas and Cashew Garlic Aioli until well combined.
- Serve with pepitas and Vegan Parmesan Cheese.
- Soaking the cashews is necessary to get the aioli creamy.
- Massaging the kale helps relax the leaves as well as takes out some of the bitterness.
- If you don’t have kale on hand, swap with spinach or romaine lettuce.
- Kale does have a bite, so if you’re new to kale then use half kale, half romaine to start.
- Toasting the chickpeas slightly before adding gives them a crouton-like texture.
Made this salad today for Easter dinner and it was a big hit!
Hi Erin! So glad this one was a hit for your family! We have many more salad recipes on our blog that you can check out!
This salad was so good I didn’t even need dressing!
Awesome, so glad you enjoyed it. Keep rawkin the salads!
Kale is king and the dressing is an incredibly innovative wholesome twist on a popular unhealthy Caesar
Good, but not a favorite. I did not roast the chickpeas and pepitas, but definitely would try that next time.
This salad surprised me! I normally pass on Caesar salad since I like veggie toppings but this came together well. Also, combining pepitas with chick peas makes them so much easier and enjoyable to eat on a salad due to the balance of texture with the seed crunch. The dressing was pretty good, but after tasting it I added a bit of Worcestershire sauce to give it more of a true Caesar flavor (I know, not vegan, but delicious!). The extra lemon used in the kale prior to mixing in the main sauce also really helped. I admit to not massaging my kale, but I purposely bought baby kale to avoid that and it made this salad come together very quickly. This will get made often, as long as I have cashews on hand.
Yes, gotta love a little crunch in your salad.
A quick and easy salad with an amazing dressing. Great as a side or healthy snack.
This is my favorite salad of the challenge! I’ve always enjoyed kale; however, I have never tried massaging it with olive oil before and I think that made a huge difference in the flavor. The sprinkles and the cashew AIOLI really added flavor that tasted faintly of a real Caesar salad dressing. It is definitely a keeper!