Everyone loves a classic Caesar, but most of the time the salad contains dairy and anchovies and is not so friendly for plant-based eaters. We eliminated those two ingredients and added kale, chickpeas, and tempeh, a healthy source of fiber and plant-based protein.

Both kale and romaine lettuces are high in vitamins and fiber, yet kale has more antioxidants and contains more Vitamin C than romaine lettuce. If you haven't had a kale Caesar, you'll love the extra crispy crunch and hearty texture of the vegetable marinated in the flavors of traditional Caesar without any dairy or fish.

We also added crispy chickpea croutons, a healthier-for-you alternative to the real thing, and marinated tempeh for more flavor and texture. You'll finish the salad with a drizzle of the creamy 'creamless' dressing, toss, and serve.

The best part is that this healthy and filling salad feeds 6 people and the entire recipe costs $6.48 to make and $1.08 per serving. With this recipe, eating healthy is both affordable and delicious. Enjoy this recipe all year round.

Recipe Developers: Broke Bank Vegan
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Kale Caesar Salad With Tempeh & Chickpea Croutons

Serves 4


For the Kale:

  • 12 cups kale, washed and roughly chopped ($3.48)

For the Chickpea croutons: 

  •  ½ cups cooked chickpeas ($0.26)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder ($0.02)
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika ($0.05)
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne ($0.02)
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil ($0.06)
  • Salt & pepper to taste ($0.02)

For the Tempeh:

  • 8 oz tempeh ($2.25)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder ($0.02)
  • 1 tablespoon Braggs liquid aminos ($0.18)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil ($0.12)

For the Dressing:

  • Vegan creamy Caesar dressing
  • Garnishes optional
  • Vegan parmesan cheese


For the chickpea croutons:

  1. To start, set your oven to 400°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Next, open, drain and rinse a can of chickpeas in a strainer. Alternatively, you can cook your own with a pressure cooker if you have one.
  2. Once the chickpeas are clean, spread them out on the parchment-lined baking pan.
  3. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle spices over the top, and mix everything to coat the chickpeas evenly.
  4. Bake the chickpeas for 25-30 minutes, or until they are golden and crispy. Make sure to mix them around at the halfway mark.

For the Tempeh: 

  1. For the tempeh, heat olive oil in a pan over medium. Meanwhile, cut the tempeh into bite-size cubes. When you put your tempeh in the pan you should hear a slight sizzle (this means your pan is at the right temperature).
  2. Cook the tempeh for 4-5 minutes per side, or until it's golden brown. Season with garlic powder and liquid aminos with about 2 minutes remaining. Adding the liquid aminos in near the end will prevent burning.

For the Kale:

  1. Once the chickpeas are roasted and the tempeh is cooked, pour some Caesar dressing over the kale in a large salad bowl. Gently massage the kale with your hands for about 1-2 minutes.
  2. To serve, divide dressed kale into bowls and top it with crispy tempeh cubes, chickpea croutons, and vegan parmesan.

The Caesar dressing we used is not reflected in the price of this recipe, but all nutritional information and pricing can be found on that particular post.
Optional ingredients are not reflected in the price of the recipe. We love the brand Vegilante for our tempeh.


Calories 378 | Total Fat 16.4g | Saturated Fat 2.7g | Sodium 338mg | Total Carbohydrates 42.3g | Dietary Fiber 7.6g | Total Sugars 2.9g | Protein 22g | Calcium 360mg | Iron 6mg | Potassium 1455mg |



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