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Easy Kale Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons

  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x


This Easy Kale Caesar Salad is a lighter and vegan take on a classic! The perfect side dish beside any lunch or dinner, this healthy, clean eating (and gluten free!) kale salad so good. And the best part? A super simple dressing made with lemon, olive oil and garlic and those homemade croutons!



For the Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon tamari
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 small clove of garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast (optional but highly recommended)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Sprinkle of fresh ground pepper

For the Croutons:

  • 2 slices of bread
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon italian spice blend
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • Sprinkle of fresh ground pepper

For the Salad:

  • 6 cups finely chopped curly kale
  • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds, optional for serving
  • 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast, optional for serving*
  • 1/2 cup sliced cherry tomatoes, optional for serving
  • Lemon wedges, optional for serving


For the Dressing:

  1. In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, add all ingredients for the dressing. Shake until well combined. Season with additional salt and pepper, if needed. Set a side.

For the Croutons:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat for easier clean up.
  2. Cut slices of bread into (roughly) 1/2-inch squares.
  3. Arrange the bread squares on the baking sheet and drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and spices. Toss to coat the bread squares making sure each one of coated with the seasoning.
  4. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes stirring occasionally until the bread is golden brown and hard and crispy.
  5. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.

For the Salad:

  1. While the croutons are baking, prepare the kale.
  2. Transfer the kale to a large mixing bowl. Pour about 1/2 of the dressing over the kale. Using your hands, ‘massage’ or rub the dressing into the kale pieces. After about a minute of ‘massaging’ the kale, it should look soft and wilted. Transfer massaged kale to a serving bowl or dish.
  3. Sprinkle the hemp seeds, nutritional yeast (or parmesan cheese – see note), tomatoes over top of the salad (if using) along with the slightly cooled croutons.
  4. Serve with fresh lemon wedges and the remaining dressing to drizzle over top.


*Can use parmesan cheese if not vegan.

This recipe makes enough for 2 good-sized portions of salad.

This salad taste best when eaten immediately as the flavour and texture change if left in the fridge over night.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes