This kale Caesar salad features tender greens, garlic croutons, and a creamy homemade dressing. Serve it as a flavor-packed side or a meal all on its own.
If you think a traditional Caesar salad is good, wait until you try this kale Caesar salad! It features everything you love about a classic Caesar. It has crisp romaine, garlicky croutons, a creamy, savory dressing, and Parmesan cheese, but I throw leafy green kale into the mix too. The dark, curly leaves make the salad feel lush and abundant. Plus, once they’re massaged with olive oil and a little salt, they take on a tender texture that contrasts beautifully with the crunchy lettuce.
This kale Caesar salad recipe would be a perfect side dish for any meal this season (special occasions included!). But if you’re anything like me, you’ll like this recipe so much that you’ll want to put it at the center of your plate. If that’s the case, pile this kale Caesar salad with crispy chickpeas and diced avocado, and you’ll have a great healthy lunch.
Kale Caesar Salad Recipe Ingredients
Here’s what you’ll need to make this kale Caesar salad:
- Kale, of course! I like the texture of green curly kale here. In a pinch, lacinato kale (aka dinosaur kale) would be fine too.
- Extra-virgin olive oil – You’ll massage it into the kale to soften the leaves.
- Romaine lettuce – The blend of kale + romaine offers the perfect balance of tender greens and refreshing crunch.
- Croutons – These homemade garlic ones are delish, though store-bought would work too.
- Shaved Parmesan cheese – Sub in vegan Parm if you prefer!
- Roasted chickpeas and avocado – Optional, but super yummy. They make this salad a bit more substantial if you want to enjoy it on its own for lunch.
- The dressing – Ok, so a classic Caesar salad dressing is made with egg yolks, anchovies, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, Dijon mustard, and Parmesan cheese. It is a) not vegetarian and b) a bit fussy to make at home. So here, I have two alternatives for you. One has a Greek yogurt base, and it’s easy to stir together by hand. The other is totally vegan(!), and it’s made in a blender with a cashew base. Both are super creamy, and in each, lemon juice, mustard, and capers deliver the tangy, briny flavor you want in a Caesar dressing. You can’t go wrong with either!
- And salt and pepper – To make all the flavors pop!
Find the complete recipe with measurements below.
How to Make a Kale Caesar Salad
This kale Caesar salad recipe is super simple to make!
Start by making the croutons and dressing. Find my homemade crouton recipe here. Then, pick either my Greek yogurt Caesar dressing or my vegan Caesar dressing. Both are quick and easy to make! If you’re using the roasted chickpeas, make them now too.
Next, massage the kale. Tear the kale leaves off the stems (you can discard the stems, or save them to blend into pesto or a smoothie). Tear or chop the kale leaves into bite-sized pieces, and place them in a large bowl. Add the olive oil and a pinch of salt, and use your hands to massage the kale until it softens and wilts down.
Then, add the romaine. Toss to mix it with the kale. Pour on half the dressing and toss again.
Transfer the salad to a serving dish. Top it with the croutons and Parmesan. Drizzle on the remaining dressing, and add the chickpeas and avocado, if you like. Season with fresh black pepper to taste, and enjoy!
Kale Caesar Salad Serving Suggestions
Topped with the avocado and chickpeas, this kale Caesar salad is a wonderful healthy lunch. It’s also a crowd-pleasing side dish. Serve it with your favorite protein, veggie burgers, or homemade pizza, or pair it with one of these comforting classics:
If you want to get ahead, you can make the dressing and croutons and massage the kale up to 2 days in advance. Store the kale and dressing in the fridge, and store the croutons in an airtight container at room temperature until you’re ready to serve. Fully assemble the salad just before you eat.
More Favorite Salad Recipes
If you love this kale Caesar salad, try one of these delicious salad recipes next:
Kale Caesar Salad
Serves 4 to 6
Tear the kale into bite-size pieces and place in a large bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Use your hands to massage the leaves until they wilt.
Add the romaine and toss. Drizzle with half the dressing and toss again.
Transfer to a serving bowl and top with the croutons and Parmesan. Add more dressing, roasted chickpeas, and avocado, if desired, and serve.