This Vegan Kale Caesar Salad with Chickpea Croutons and Pickled Onions is a delicious twist on a classic salad. This salad is also protein-packed, super satisfying, and takes less than 15 minutes to throw together!
Vegan, Oil-free, Gluten-free, Nut-free, Sugar-free, can be Soy-free
- 4 cups kale, any variety (I used lacinato / dinosaur kale), washed and torn into bite-size pieces
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 1-15 oz can chickpeas, drained
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup pickled red onions, optional
- 1-15 oz can white beans (can sub soaked cashews or tofu), drained and rinsed
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 3 tbsp unfortified nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp capers
- 1 tbsp brine from capers
- 1 tsp yellow or white miso paste (use chickpea miso paste if avoiding soy)
- 1-2 tsp ume plum vinegar
- 1 tbsp dulse flakes
- 1/4 cup water, for blending
- If baking, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C). If airfrying, you'll set your airfryer to the same temperature.
- Toss your still wet chickpeas in the onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, and salt. If they are dry, run them under a little water to get the spices to stick. Spread them out on a lined baking tray or add them to your airfryer so that they're in a single layer.
- If baking, bake chickpeas for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. If airfrying, set your airfryer for 10 minutes, and shake the basket halfway through.
- While chickpeas are cooking, make your dressing in a food processor or blender. Blend everything in the dressing ingredients list above EXCEPT the dulse flakes. After the dressing is smooth and creamy, taste it. If you're happy with it, add the dulse flakes and just pulse a few times to incorporate the dulse but not blend it up entirely.
- Add washed, torn, and stemmed kale to a large bowl. Pour on 2/3 of the dressing and use clean hands to massage the dressing into the greens for two minutes, really working the leaves. Let the salad sit until ready to serve.
- When the chickpeas are done, remove them from the oven or airfryer. I like my chickpeas to be a little crunchy on the outside and softer on the inside. If you would like, you can cook them longer and make them crunchier, or cook them for less time if you would like a softer chickpea.
- To serve, add salad to a bowl and toss in capers and pickled red onions if using. Drizzle on remaining dressing. Add crunchy chickpeas on top. Enjoy!
- Storing dressed salad not recommended for more than 1-2 days. To meal prep salad, store dressing separately until ready to use. You can massage kale ahead of time with just lemon juice and it will stay fresh in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Category: Salad
- Method: Blender
- Cuisine: Vegan, American
Keywords: Vegan, Oil-free, Soy-free, Gluten-free, Nut-free, Sugar-free, Caesar Salad, Plant-based