When people ask if vegans only eat salad, I laugh. Most people, however, don't think about salad the way I do. Vegan kale pasta caesar salad, for example, isn't a typical salad. Instead, vegan kale pasta caesar salad is a rich, yet satisfying salad full of so many flavors, it's mind-blowing.
First, the base of the salad is kale, one of the most nutrient-dense foods on earth.
In fact, I love all kale salad, because it can be dressed in advance, which means I can make ahead of time! And, it also means I can take it for lunch the next day without worrying about it get soggy.
Even though most salads wilt over time, a dressed kale salad gets better as it soaks up the dressing. So, if you meal prep, vegan kale pasta caesar salad is great for days, so you can make a big batch and eat it all week long.
HOW TO MAKE VEGAN CAESAR SALAD DRESSING
Regardless if you are making a Skinny Vegan Caesar Salad, or a vegan kale caesar salad, the dressing is the key to decadence.
Without a doubt, this oil-free dressing is not only low in calories, it's simply delicious. In order to get the creamy texture, all you need is a high-speed blender and a few, basic ingredients.
Not only is the dressing perfect for any salad, but 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 well.
And, as stated earlier, the salad can be dressed in advance to make preparation and serving easy.
VEGAN PARMESAN CHEESE MAKES A GREAT GARNISH
Once the salad is dressed, to make a perfect vegan caesar salad means it must be topped Vegan Parmesan Cheese!
Vegan parmesan cheese, for example, is easy to make, and stores in the refrigerator for several weeks. With very few ingredients, it can be made in minutes and stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
All you need is a few common ingredients:
- Nutritional Yeast
- Garlic Salt
- Garlic Powder
- Onions powder
- Raw Cashews
HOW TO MAKE VEGAN CHICKPEA CROUTONS
Instead of eating regular bread croutons, vegan kale pasta caesar salad is topped with chickpea croutons.
Not only are chickpeas more healthy than bread croutons, but they also taste crunchy and wonderful.
In order to make crunchy chickpea croutons for vegan kale pasta caesar salad, all you need is a drained can of chickpeas and some seasoning.
Furthermore, the chickpea croutons can also be made ahead of time. In fact, chickpea croutons, actually make a yummy crunchy snack. So, if you're a snacker, baked chickpeas are a treat!
And, they are simple to make. Just season the chickpeas, and then baked them.
As a result, you have the perfect caesar croutons ready to top your vegan kale caesar pasta salad.
YOU CAN INCLUDE PASTA OR NOT...YOU CHOOSE!
Many people, despite the number of gluten-free pasta options available, choose to avoid pasta. In my opinion, gluten-free pasta today are fabulous, unlike many versions in the past.
Despite the availability of all kinds of pasta, vegan kale pasta caesar salad can easily be made without the pasta with the same delicious results.
In fact, I chose whole-grain bow-tie pasta for this vegan caesar salad recipe, but any type and shaped pasta can be used. Because some people in my family didn't want pasta, I separated half the salad and served half without pasta.
Then, everyone is happy!
MEAL PREP AND IDEAS FOR PLANNING AHEAD
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.
Even if you aren't 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 food 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.
Vegan Kale Pasta Caesar Salad
- 2 bunches 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
- ½ large red onion cut into slivers
- 1 can chickpeas drained (but do not dry them)
- 1 Tablespoon garlic Powder
- 1 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
Caesar Dressing (makes ¾-1 cup):
- ½ cup raw cashews soaked overnight
- ¼ cup +2 Tablespoons water
- 3 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 small garlic clove you can add another if you like it super potent
- ½ tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce I use Annies brand
- 4 teaspoons capers
- ½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt and pepper or to taste
- ¾ cup + 1 tablespoon raw cashews
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Lemon wedges
- Soak raw 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 chickpeas 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 the oven.
- Let cool
- Add to the 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.
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂
Your Harvest salad with the smokey dressing is my favorite thing to make when going to a family meal, and Ive made it dozens of times! But this Ceaser Kale salad with Pasta caught my eye, and IM SO GLAD I tried it! Coming back here to make it again as I didnt get enough the last time. I made it for a church meal at my house, and the little bit left over was even better the next day, so it is a keeper! The dressing was perfect, so yummy.