The new and improved not-so-classic Caesar Salad.
Healthy and modernized.
With caesar salads being such a popular favorite, why not remake a vegan friendly version?! Even before I went plant based, I was never a true fan of caesar salads, probably because of the anchovies in the high-fat dressing.. and knowing how there was little nutritional value from romaine and croutons.. but after eating (basically) this entire bowl of Vegan Kale Caesar Pasta Salad to myself for 2 meals straight, you can probably guess that I’m a new fan now!
This pasta salad just works. For any event or party, any lunch or dinner, anytime of the year.
It’s cheesy, peppery, crunchy, rich and seriously satisfying. The super easy nut-free tangy dressing uses hemp seeds as a base instead of cashews like many vegan caesar dressing recipes. Who knew?! Then I used a gluten free corn-based fusilli pasta, but feel free to add any pasta of your choice and of course… what’s a salad these days without kale? Kale is the powerhouse of leafy greens and the lemony dressing softens the kale leaves perfectly. This recipe makes it easy to get more greens in your life! You could use any kind of lettuce though, just tryin to make it extra healthy 😉
I decided to venture away from my usual veggie picks and chose radishes for crunch, color and a bit of a bite. Radishes are not something I buy often, but I think they make the perfect addition to any salad, really, especially this caesar salad due to their sharp, peppery flavor. The cheesy aspect comes from nutritional yeast as a swap for parmesan cheese – it really works wonders on those taste buds – you would never know!
I drained the pasta and ran cold water over it to cool it down for this salad but it could be eaten warm as well. Pair this with some garlic bread, maybe?!! Sounds like the perfect, easy and crisp summer dinner to me.
I’ll let the pictures do the talking.
Vegan Kale Caesar Pasta Salad
- Prep Time: 15
- Total Time: 20
- 1 pound gluten free pasta (or any pasta of choice)
- 1 bunch of kale (about 3 cups, chopped)
- 5–6 radishes (1 cup, chopped)
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1/3 cup hemp hearts
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 small lemon)
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Cook pasta according to directions.
- In a large bowl, combine the cooked pasta, kale, radishes and nutritional yeast.
- For the dressing, combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and well combined. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss.
- Stays fresh in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
- Serving Size: 5
I subbed walnuts for the hemp seeds as I was out.I thought it came out very good.Adding this to my regular salads and next time I’m using the radishes too.
Made this today – soooooooooo good!!!!
Nichole Kraft, Food Writing Copyeditor
What a gorgeous salad! I love mixing greens up with heartier things, like pasta, because it encourages me to eat more greens and associate them with feeling full and satisfied. I’m not a fan of raw radishes, but I do liked them roasted. Do you think roasted radishes would work in this?
Thanks for sharing! 🙂
Thank you Nichole! I’m right there with ya on mixing greens with heartier ingredients like pasta, it totally works. Yea I’m sure roasted radishes would be perfect. Let me know how it goes!
Looks SO yum! I make a kale Caesar salad with roasted chickpeas and tofu at least once a week
Hey Lisa – Mmm I like the tofu idea 🙂 I should have started making caesar salads a long time ago!