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.

vegan caesar salad in white bowl next to black utensils.

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
  1. Kale Caesar Salad Tips
  2. How to Make a Caesar Salad Vegan
  3. Vegan Caesar Salad FAQs
  4. Tis’ The Season for Leafy Greens
  5. Simple Salad Dressings
  6. Kale Caesar Salad Recipe

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!

bed of shredded kale in glass bowl next to a small white bowls of pumpkin seeds,. vegan parmesan, chickpeas, garlic aioli, sea salt and olive oil.

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.

garlic lemon aioli in a glass jar on a black towel.

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.

delicious homemade salad with all plant based ingredients in white bowl with black utensils.

Vegan Caesar Salad FAQs

Is caesar salad good for you?

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.

What is in a vegan caesar salad?

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.

Why is caesar dressing not vegan?

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:

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:

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 with garlic lemon aioli.
4.65 from 155 votes

Kale Caesar Salad

This simple kale caesar salad is the perfect filling lunch. It's made with 100% plants and is both creamy and filling. I love the flavor and bit of the kale paired with the creamy aioli.
Prep: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total: 1 hour 15 minutes
Author: Jen Hansard
Course: Entree, Salad
Cuisine: Vegan
Serves: 2


  • 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

Salad Ingredients

  • 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. 


Calories: 328kcal, Carbohydrates: 23g, Protein: 13g, Fat: 23g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g, Monounsaturated Fat: 11g, Trans Fat: 1g, Sodium: 56mg, Potassium: 592mg, Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 6708IU, Vitamin C: 68mg, Calcium: 211mg, Iron: 5mg
Tried this recipe? Show me!Mention @SimpleGreenSmoothies or tag #SimpleGreenSmoothies!

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  1. 5 stars
    Really enjoyed this salad. I don’t think the topping tasted like cheese but it was good. Took me awhile to get the aioli creamy in my small food processor but it was very tasty. It’s a keeper.

  2. 3 stars
    Not one of my favorites. I love the real Caesar salad, even though it’s not as healthy and I’m not a fan of kale.

  3. 4 stars
    I liked the flavor of this salad ! I love new recipes for kale. I can grow kale!

  4. 5 stars
    Kale me more. I live ceaser salad. It is my go-to lunch salad. I will be making this one more often.

  5. 5 stars
    This is the first time I enjoyed a fully kale salad. I love cooked kale and kale chips. I usually mix it with other greens because it has such a tough texture when it’s raw. I never knew massaging it works so well. The dressing is very good. This challenge is the first time I have ever made my own dressings using nuts. The recipes are all so easy to follow.

  6. 4 stars
    Great salad. Only gave it 4 stars because I am not a huge fan of chick peas in a salad, however my husband loves them. Loved the addition of pepitas (I try to keep them on hand). And I love a dressing made with lemon & mustard!

    1. I’m so glad you both enjoyed it (minus chickpeas for you!)

  7. 2 stars
    It was ok, but I wouldn’t call this a caesar salad. I found the dressing to have a sweetness and lacked the savouriness that I expect with caesar dressing.

    Also take the step to salt and oil massage the kale before dressing

    1. Feel free to make this recipe your own and adjust as needed!

  8. 4 stars
    Liked it, though felt it was missing something. Loved the kale and the cheese sprinkles!

  9. 4 stars
    Such a good salad. I love Caesar salads. The aioli really made this salad complete.

  10. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious. I used mixed leafy greens. Not a kale fan, but I would like to try massaging it sometime and or soaking it in the dressing. Easy to make but the aioli was fairly messy in my VitaMix.

  11. 5 stars
    Love a good Caesar Salad and this is gooood. I was so excited to have success with the aioli & it had amazing flavor. It seems like somewhat of a miracle that you can take a few ingredients, mix them together and get such a dramatic rich sauce. The combination of kale and chic peas went well together in this Caesar Salad.

  12. 5 stars
    I wasn’t feeling good today, so my husband made this salad. Since I already had cashew cream made, I just told him to add garlic and Dijon. So it was ready in a flash. This is a wonderful salad, as is. But you could also play with it a bit and add roasted chicken, or roast the garbanzo beans for a little extra crunch. I also love the vegan cheese sprinkle. I always keep a jar in the fridge to add to salads, soups or spaghetti. Thanks to hubby for keeping me on track and picking up the slack. Lovely dinner.