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
    To our surprise, this tasted delicious and my husband even ate a kale salad and liked it!

  2. 5 stars
    Garlic aioli was so bomb and was a good dressing for the ceaser salad. I added some extras to make a whole meal and it turned out so well! Very different but so yummy ☺️

  3. Usually kale is not my favorite but it was yummy in this recipe. As usual the dressing was delicious.

  4. 4 stars
    Salad challenge: Day 9. I doubled the salad (except the dressing) and we had it as a meal, and it was quite satisfying. Although it wasn’t my favorite, it was still quite tasty.

  5. 5 stars
    This is my favorite salad by far. I love the great flavor of the dressing and it is also easy to make. This salad is delicious and healthy and great for a side or a meal.

  6. 5 stars
    What’s the optimal temperature and time to toast the garbanzo beans? Having them be crunchy would sway me to rate this five instead of four stars. My boyfriend said he’d give it five stars. He said it tasted just like a Caesar salad; I told them that’s because it is! He prepared it without ever even reading the title to notice!

    1. 5 stars
      This salad is the best! I’ve never had to be convinced to like kale. Just eating it always makes me feel healthy. One very good tip is to toast every nut or seed you use in cooking. It triples the flavor!

    2. Wonderful suggestion, I’m going to try that next time!

  7. I made some edits. More veggies. Less dressing and no cashews for mine. This isn’t a salad I tend to like but I still enjoyed it and I’m really enjoying this challenge as it has been stretching me to get variety each day!

  8. 5 stars
    You can’t go wrong with this salad. A little more prep If you haven’t any ingredients already made but so worth it. Tonight I tried it with roasted sweet potatoes, roasted chick peas and sliced avocado as well. Very much a winner! I could pour the garlic aioli on everything

  9. 4 stars
    A different take on the traditional Caesar salad. It took a bit to make the cheese sprinkles and aioli. It tasted similar to a Caesar, but just not quite what I would want. I used Romaine since I didn’t have any kale available.

    1. 5 stars
      This Vegan Kale Caesar Salad hit all the right notes with the hearty kale, creamy/lemony/garlic aioli, and crunchy pepitas – not to mention the umami punch the “cheese” sprinkle added to this salad. Yum! Delicious as a side salad or add in some roasted sweet potato, avocado and/or chick peas to make this even heartier. A winner in our books!