Crispy Kale Caesar Salad with Chickpea Croutons and Smoked Salmon

Inspired by the classic Caesar salad! Kale is roasted and tossed in a creamy cashew dressing and dotted with the crispiest of croutons made with chickpeas, making this Caesar salad gluten-free. Served alongside smoked salmon or protein of choice.

Meal Prep


  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees, fan bake.
  • Roast the chickpeas.
  • Prepare and roast the kale.
  • Make the cashew caesar dressing.
  • Assemble the salad.


  • We rub the kale in olive oil until slightly wilted to ensure it's well coated in olive oil before popping it in the oven to roast. Kale which isn’t coated in any oil will burn quickly, be dry and unpalatable.

  • Start by adding just 2 Tbsp of water to the dressing, if it isn’t a pourable consistency add an additional 2 Tbsp of water.

Meal prep guide - if you followed the meal prep guide you would have made the creamy cashew dressing and prepped the kale.

This recipe serves four, if you’re cooking for two simply halve the recipe. To prevent food waste, we recommend making the full batch of crispy chickpeas and storing the extras in an airtight container in the pantry for up to 3 days, use as a delicious salad topper.


Crispy kale salad with chickpea croutons

  • 400g tin of chickpeas (drained, rinsed and patted dry)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 ½ bags kale, approx. 260g
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Cashew caesar dressing

  • ½ cup raw cashews (soaked overnight or for 15 minutes in boiling water and then drained)
  • 6 - 8 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp capers
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp miso paste
  • 1 garlic clove

  • 200g smoked salmon fillet

  1. ​​Preheat the oven to 200 degrees, fan bake.
  2. Add the chickpeas to a baking tray, then sprinkle over the paprika, cumin, salt and pepper; drizzle generously with olive oil. Pop in the oven to cook for 25-30 minutes or until crunchy and golden.
  3. In the meantime, prepare the kale. Rinse, dry and pull the kale leaves off the stems, roughly chop and add to a baking tray; drizzle generously with olive oil and season with salt. Massage the oil into the kale with your hands for a few minutes until the kale has softened.
  4. Pop into the oven to cook for 15 minutes or so. Keep a careful eye on it as it burns easily - you want it to be a little crispy but not over done as this will dry the salad out.
  5. To make the cashew caesar dressing, add all ingredients to the blender; blend until creamy and pourable consistency.
  6. Once everything has cooked, add the kale to a large mixing bowl and pour over the ¾ of the dressing. Mix well to coat the kale in the dressing.
  7. Add the chickpeas, flake over the salmon then drizzle over the remaining dressing and a pinch of chilli flakes, alternatively serve the salmon on the side.


  • For some extra greens, roughly chopped 1 broccoli head and roast at the same time as the kale. Roast on separate trays as the broccoli will take a little longer.


  • Swap smoked salmon for baked salmon, and cook while you cook the chickpeas. Note that the salmon should take 12-15 minutes (time will vary depending on the thickness of your salmon fillets), allow to cool while you prepare the remainder of the salad.

  • For a vegetarian option, omit the salmon. Add ¾ cup freekeh (cooked as per packet instructions) to the kale and toss well in the dressing. For some added nutrients, add avocado.

  • Swap salmon for grilled chicken.


  • If breadcrumbs are more your thing, replace the chickpeas with 1 slice of sourdough torn into bite-size pieces, drizzle with olive oil, a sprinkle of paprika, a garlic clove, salt and pepper. Pop into the oven and roast until crispy.
  • Add shaved parmesan to the salad.