Kale + Avocado Caesar Salad with Homemade Dressing, Roasted Chickpea Croutons and Coconut ‘Bacon Bits’

Nothing beats a classic caesar salad. Crisp greens and crunchy croutons tossed in a creamy, garlicky dressing.  It seems a lot more indulgent than a regular salad,  and it goes perfectly as a side to everything from burgers and sandwiches, to soups or pasta.  

This caesar salad has all the creaminess and crunchiness of the original, with a healthy twist. It’s made with a mixture of romaine and kale, a homemade vegan caesar dressing, spicy roasted chickpeas, salty brazil nut crumble, and optional (but highly recommended) coconut bacon (DIY version here). 

The homemade dressing here is as easy as blending a few ingredients together, and it tastes so good!  I suggest doubling it and saving half to use as a veggie/chip dip, pasta sauce, or to eat by the spoonful throughout the week. 


This would be perfect as a side dish with a loaded sandwich, a bowl of soup, or  a bowl of chili….but it’s also filling enough to be served in larger bowls as an entree.

If you get a chance to try this, be sure to let me know by tagging it #peacemealxo on instagram!

Kale + Avocado Caesar Salad with Homemade Dressing and Roasted Chickpea Croutons
Prep time
Total time
This caesar salad is hearty and delicious and made with homemade, vegan caesar dressing. It's perfect for weeknight meals or to serve to groups.
  • -----Chickpea Croutons-----
  • 1 standard can of chickpeas (15 ounces)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • -----Caesar Dressing-----
  • ¾ cup cashews, soaked in boiling water for 20 minutes
  • 2 tbsp hummus (homemade or store bought)
  • ½ cup water
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 tsp capers
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • -----Brazil Nut Crumble-----
  • ½ cup brazil nuts
  • salt to taste
  • -----For the Salad-----
  • 3 cups kale, washed and chopped
  • 3 cups romaine, washed and chopped
  • -----toppings-----
  • coconut bacon bits
  • avocado
  • seitan, tofu or tempeh
  • sunflower seeds
  1. -----for the chickpeas-----
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 400F
  3. Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Dry them with a dishcloth.
  4. Mix the paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
  5. Drizzle the chickpeas with olive oil, sprinkle on the spices and mix with a spoon until chickpeas are well coated. Spread them on the baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes, tossing around a couple of times while they're roasting.
  6. -----for the dressing-----
  7. Drain and rinse cashews, and mix them with all other ingredients in a blender or mixer.
  8. -----for the brazil nut crumble-----
  9. Pulse brazil nuts in a blender (make sure it's dry) until you're left with small crumbles. Add salt to taste and quickly pulse again.
  10. -----for the salad-----
  11. Put kale and romaine in a large bowl, toss with the dressing and top with brazil nut crumble, chickpeas and any desired toppings