vegan food blog

chickpea caesar salad

chickpea caesar salad

A vegan take on a classic standard salad.

As a kid, any time my family went out to a restaurant I would order a caesar salad. Without fail.  Since going vegan, I’ve been on the lookout for a recipe that comes close to tasting like the real thing, and this one adapted from hotforfood is perfection.  The look, consistency, and taste are nearly identical to a standard caesar dressing, making my salad dreams a reality.


To spice up your salad add the pan-fried chickpeas and some homemade croutons on top, giving a protein boost, and a change to the texture.  Whenever we buy baguettes we can’t seem to get through the whole thing without it going stale; thus our crouton recipe was born!

Nutritional yeast is featured in the dressing and crouton recipe; despite it’s strange appearance, when blended into sauces it adds a cheese-like flavour.  These yellow flakes are a pure strain of yeast called Saccharomyces cerevisiae.  B-vitamins are added during the growing process to provide the yeast with the nutrients it needs; making it one of the few sources of vitamin B-12 that can be found on a vegan diet, since it is normally only found in animal products.

Caesar Dressing Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pitted medjool date
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 3 1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast*
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill, minced

*nutritional yeast can be found in the bulk section or by Bob’s Red Mill in the natural foods section of the grocery store


1. Place cashews in a small boil, bring 2 cups of water to boil in a kettle and pour over cashews.  Let sit for 10 minutes, drain off the water.

2. Place the cashews and all other ingredients in a blender and mix on high until smooth.

3. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving. In the meantime, prepare the croutons and salad.

Crouton Ingredients

  • 4 cups cubed whole wheat bread (we like to use a baguette)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

1. Preheat your oven to 400°F.  Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, toss to mix so bread cubes are evenly coated.  Place on the baking sheet in a single layer.  Bake for 10 minutes, tossing cubes halfway through cooking.

Yields: 4 entree size salads, or 8-10 side salads

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped (or 3 romaine hearts)
  • 4-5 kale leaves, shredded finely
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced thinly
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

1. Heat a pan on medium heat with 1 tsp olive oil.  Add the rinsed chickpeas to the pan and add cumin, paprika, basil, salt, and pepper.  Pan-fry for 10 minutes, until golden brown.

2. Wash kale and remove the leaves from the ribs/stems and discard those. Finely chop the leaves into ribbons or shreds and place in a large mixing bowl.  Add the romaine, bell pepper, cucumber,  chickpeas, croutons.  Add approximately 1 cup of dressing and toss to mix.

3. Chickpeas will settle at the bottom of the salad, so scoop from the top and bottom when serving.



Dressing adapted from hotforfoodblog

Caesar dressing will keep sealed in the fridge for 2 weeks.

Store the croutons in a large air-tight freezer bag, will keep well in the cupboard.

Make it Gluten-free: Use certified gluten-free bread for croutons


Hottinger, G. (2016) Nutritional yeast.  Retrieved from: