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Kale Caesar Salad – Flavorful Salad Made with Real Ingredients

vegan caesar salad

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.

ingredients for a kale caesar salad

Kale Caesar Salad Tips

Kale is clearly the star of this salad and it’s no wonder! This superfood 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.

garlic lemon aioli in a glass jar

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

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 Salads

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, 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

Kale Caesar Salad

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This simple 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.

Total Time1 hour 15 minutes

Servings2

Ingredients

Garlic Lemon Aioli

  • ¼ cup cashews (soaked 1-4 hours)
  • 1 garlic clove (peeled)
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • squeeze of lemon

Salad Ingredients

  • 2 cups kale (stems removed and thinly sliced)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon (juiced)
  • ½ cup canned chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • 2 tablespoon pepitas
  • dash sea salt
  • dash ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegan parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

  • 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. 

Nutrition (estimated)

Calories: 281kcal (14%) Carbohydrates: 18g (6%) Protein: 11g (22%) Fat: 20g (31%) Saturated Fat: 3g (19%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g Monounsaturated Fat: 11g Trans Fat: 1g Sodium: 157mg (7%) Potassium: 591mg (17%) Fiber: 3g (13%) Sugar: 1g (1%) Vitamin A: 6703IU (134%) Vitamin C: 84mg (102%) Calcium: 129mg (13%) Iron: 4mg (22%)

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