The best creamy vegan Caesar salad with chickpeas.

Flavorful, crunchy and a blend of intoxicating flavors… this is a lovely vegan Caesar salad!

My oldest is a big fan of Caesar salad and let’s be honest, vegan Caesar salads normally fall short, at least the one’s we’ve had. So with 2 huge bunches of fresh kale from my garden harvest this weekend, I thought it would be the perfect time to whip up a big salad. Now you can add a vegan chicken of choice. Breaded, pieces… whatever you prefer. We recently discovered Daring vegan chicken and I had a bag of cajun style that pair perfectly with this salad. This post is not sponsored!

You can use Romaine in the salad for a classic take or a combination of Romaine and kale would also be divine. The must if you use kale is that its massaged and I’ll get into that more later on in the recipe. I listed out the step in order of preparation. Their are a lot of steps but it comes together quite fast and is totally creamy, delicious and crowd-pleasing!

Ingredients for Croutons:
1/3 of a loaf of artisan or a good crusty bread is best, chopped into cubes
Olive oil

Method for croutons:
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Onto a baking sheet, add your bread cubes and drizzle with some olive oil (about 2 tbl), sprinkle with a pinch of salt and some fresh cracks of pepper. Toss to coat. Place in the oven for about 15 minutes or until golden. Remove and set aside.

Ingredients for baked chickpeas:
1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed well – allow to dry on a towel for about 10 minutes
Olive oil
2 tsp smoked paprika
Pinch of salt

Method for chickpeas:
On a baking sheet drizzle with olive oil, smoked paprika and salt. Toss to coat. Bake at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes. They should be golden and crunchy. Remove and set aside.

Ingredients for dressing:
1 cup of soaked raw cashews, drained
1/4 cup of water plus additional water if necessary (I ended up using about 1/4 cup plus 2 tbl of water)
1 tbl brine from a jar of capers
1 tsp capers
1/3 cup of nutritional yeast
1 tbl of Dijon mustard
1/2 of a lemon, juiced
1 tsp of white miso paste
1 tsp salt
Freshly ground pepper

Dressing method:
Into a blender or a jar using a hand immersion blender, add all of your ingredients with 1/4 cup of water. Blend until creamy. If you need to thin the sauce out, add 1 tsp of water at a time to achieve your desired consistency. Please note that you will need to keep scraping the sides down and blending on repeat until completely creamy. Set aside.

Massaged Kale Ingredients:

1 bunch of curly kale, washed, rinsed and stems removed, torn into pieces ( I used 2 bunches and did have plenty of dressing remaining which can be stored in the fridge for future salads.)
Juice from 1 lemon
1 tbl olive oil
2 tsp of coarse salt
Vegan Parmesan cheese

Method for kale salad:
Into a bowl add your greens, lemon juice, oil and salt. With freshly washed hands, get in there and start massaging the kale. It will break the greens down perfectly and make them more digestible and delicious! This should take a few minutes.

Keep the salad in the mixing bowl. Add your dressing and toss to coat (I used about 1/3 of the dressing I made). Then add your croutons, chickpeas and parmesan and give one more toss. Serve immediately.

I wanted to highlight the products I used personally. This is my go-to miso paste. It’s perfection in soups, dressings and in this recipe. New-to-me, a cleaner vegan chicken that is uncanny for texture and flavor. And my favorite parmesan.

Let me know if you give this recipe a whirl and what you thought! I can’t wait to hear the reviews. ~ox

— Knead to Cook

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