Simple plant-based caesar salad with crispy chickpea “croutons” and a creamy oil-free avocado tahini dressing. Perfect for meal prep and weekday lunches!
When I first delved into finer dining on dates and amongst friends, I got nervous ordering off of the food menu.
I always ordered a Caesar salad in those instances because it’s easy to pronounce and tasty to eat.
You know exactly what you’re going to get with a Caesar.
Plentiful salad green smothered in creamy white dressing with buttery croutons and flecks of parmesan.
My ordering anxiety is gone now, which is good, because this Kale Caesar with Avocado Tahini Cream & Crispy Chickpea Croutons isn’t quite as easy to pronounce, but just as easy to fall head over heels for.
I wanted to recreate this comforting classic in a salad that is plant based and healthy with just a few substitutions.
Okay, maybe everything is a substitution, but when you taste it you’ll agree you wouldn’t have it any other way.
It manages to still have that refreshing creamy “Caesar” feel without any of the dairy, oil, and gluten.
Plus, you get the added benefits of healthy fats and protein where your typical Caesar can sometimes be lacking.
Heres’s the breakdown:
Hearty kale takes the place of wimpy romaine.
A luscious avocado cream tahini makes for an oil-free creamy dreamy dressing.
Crispy baked chickpeas take over for croutons.
Microgreens add that little garnish at the end that just makes it look fantastic.
The key to this salad is to really massage the avocado cream tahini into the kale leaves with your hands and let it sit for a few minutes to soften the leaves and infuse flavor.
If your avocado cream tahini is a bit on the thicker side, don’t worry– this is OK and actually desirable!
This will give your salad that “caesar” feel.
This Kale “Caesar” Salad with Avocado Tahini Cream is perfect for meal prep!
Make the chickpeas and dressing ahead of time to easily assemble your salad for weekday eats.
The dressing keeps in the fridge for several days without oxidizing- so no ugly brown sauce.
Enjoy it for lunch, dinner, or as a side to any entree and feel good about your substitutions.
I love mine with a handful of microgreens and hemp hearts!
If you make this Kale Caesar Salad with Crispy Chickpeas & Avocado Cream Tahini I’d love to hear what you think!
Love this post and want more? Go to my homepage and subscribe to get updates delivered right to your inbox!
Simple plant-based caesar salad with crispy chickpea “croutons” and a creamy oil-free avocado tahini dressing. Enjoy for weekday lunches, a side salad, or light dinner.
- SPICED CHICKPEA CROUTONS
- 1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 TBSP Tandoori Masala seasoning (or sub your favorite spices)
- 1 tsp avocado oil (if OF, omit)
- Himalayan sea salt
- Black pepper
- AVOCADO TAHINI CREAM
- 1 small avocado
- 2 TBSP runny tahini
- 2 TBSP lemon juice
- 4–6 TBSP water
- Himalayan sea salt
- Black pepper
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1 bundle of kale, torn into bite-sized pieces
- Wash and shred your kale and set aside for easy assembly later.
- Heat a skillet over medium high with a bit of avocado oil spray.
- Add the chickpeas and cook for 5 minutes, until they start to brown a little.
- Add in the tandoori masala seasoning (or spice of choice), Himalayan sea salt, and black pepper, and stir to combine. (If OF, bake chickpeas dry instead to achieve the same result– about 20 minutes at 400 degrees should do it!)
- Cook an additional 5-10 minutes, until chickpeas start to pop and crack and are browned on all sides.
- Meanwhile, prepare your avocado cream tahini by combining avocado, lemon juice, tahini, Himalayan sea salt, black pepper, and garlic powder in a blender and processing unill smooth and creamy.
- Add the washed shredded kale to a large bowl and add the avocado tahini cream. Massage the adressing into the kale leaves and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes to soften the kale.
- To serve, top with crispy chickpea croutons, optional microgreens, and fresh black pepper.
- Store leftovers separately in the fridge for 3-5 days.
*Recipe adapted from Minimalist Baker
- Category: Salad, Entree
- Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free Option
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning I earn a commission if you use these links. I only recommend brands I love, trust, and can’t keep quiet about!