Vegan Kale and Pasta Caesar Salad is a rich, yet satisfying salad. First, kale is amongst the most nutrient dense foods on earth. In fact, I love a kale salad because it can be dressed in advance! Although most salads wilt over time, a dressed kale salad gets better as it soaks up the dressing. So, if you meal prep, Kale and Pasta Caesar salad is great for lunch the next day.
The dressing is decadent, yet very low in calories and oil free. In order to get the creamy texture, all you need is a high speed blender and a few ingredients. Although the dressing is perfect for this salad, it also makes a wonderful dip or sandwich spread. The Caesar dressing will last refrigerated for up to a week and can also be frozen.
As someone who plans meals in advance, I always make more than I plan to eat, and prepare lunches in advance to take to work during the week. Although I usually meal prep on Sundays, I also just double recipes for dinner during the week, I plan to eat again for lunch. Despite not being a fan of leftovers, there is a lot to be said for prepping food in advance, and being creative so you don’t eat the same thing every day.
For instance, if you keep your ingredients separate, you can use ingredients for separate meals. For example, if I made an entire box of bow tie pasta, I could use it for salad and pesto pasta. Planning in advance has its advantages.Print
This vegan kale and pasta caesar salad is a twist on a traditional caesar salad with pasta, kale, and chickpea croutons topped with vegan parmesan cheese.
- 2 bunches of kale, stemmed and cut into bite sized pieces (approximately 4 cups)
- 2 cups whole wheat bow tie pasta (gluten free pasta works just as well in any preferred shape)
- 1/2 large red onion, cut into slivers
- I can chickpeas, drained (but do not dry them)
- 1 Tablespoon garlic Powder
- 1 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
Dressing: (makes 3/4-1 cup):
- 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
- 1/4 cup +2 Tablespoons water
- 3 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 small garlic clove (you can add another if you like it super potent)
- 1/2 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce (I use Annies brand)
- 4 teaspoons capers
- 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt and pepper, or to taste
- 3/4 cup + 1 tbsp raw cashews
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Lemon wedges
- Soak cashews overnight (if you don’t soak them, you can use raw cashews; you just need to blend longer and may have to add more water)
- Drain cashews (if soaked)
- Put all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
- DO NOT rinse cashews overnight.
- Place cashews in a small food processor.
- Grind nuts on pulse mode until granules form (powder like)
- Remove cashews and add other ingredients, and stir)
- I store in a container in the refrigerator.
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
- Mix all seasonings together
- Drain chickpeas from a can, but leave them wet.
- Add chickpeas and seasoning to a ;large ziplock bag.
- Shake seasoning and chick peas in the bag until chickpeas are covered.
- Place the chickpeas on a pan with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- Bake for 30 minutes until crisp.
- Remove from oven.
- Let cool
- Add to salad before serving to avoid soggy croutons
- Keep extras in an airtight container for a snack or another salad
- Wash and remove the stems from the kale.
- Cut or tear the kale into bite sized pieces.
- Cut red onion and mix with kale
- Cook pasta according to box directions (mine was 11-13 minutes)
- Immediately drain pasta and run cool water over the noodles to stop cooking.
- Make sure noodles are rinsed and cool before adding to the salad
- Toss pasta with kale and onions.
- Add half the dressing and toss (you may do this hours before serving, as the kale will not wilt)
- When serving, top with chickpea croutons, vegan parmesan, capers, and a lemon wedge if you prefer.
- I also serve with additional dressing and vegan parmesan for those who want more.
Keywords: Caesar Salad, Pasta, Vegan, Vegan Parmesan, Vegan Caesar Dressing