Chopped kale & romaine lettuce are tossed in a creamy homemade Caesar dressing then topped with shredded parmesan & toasted garlicky sourdough croutons! You’re going to love this healthier kale Caesar salad!
I love kale salads. But apparently the man I married’s only definition of a salad is Caesar… Soo needless to say, it can be a bit of a struggle at our house sometimes. BUT with this kale caesar salad recipe I now have a salad that can satisfy us both! It’s bright and refreshing, lemony, loaded with parmesan cheese & garlicky croutons and everything you love about Caesar salad! (Plus my healthier homemade Caesar salad dressing is out-of-the-world delicious!) It’s a great way to introduce people to kale too since we’re using a mixture of kale and romaine lettuce as the base, so it won’t be too over powering. Trust me when I say this – you’re going to love this easy kale caesar salad recipe!
Ingredients For Kale Caesar Salad
- Kale: Green kale or lacinato kale work the best for this recipe. (When looking for kale, look for bunches that have sturdy leaves and no yellow parts. You’ll be massaging the kale leaves later to soften them.)
- Romaine lettuce: We love using the leafy green parts and the core for this salad! It adds a nice crunchy texture to counter your massaged kale. (Plus using romaine gives your salad a traditional Caesar salad feel.😉)
- Parmesan cheese: Use fresh parmesan cheese and grate it yourself for the best results. (It’s much more flavorful than pre-shredded parm!)
- Sourdough bread: You’ll need 1 large loaf to make your croutons.
- Olive oil: Helps keep your croutons golden brown while toasting in the oven!
- Spices: Garlic powder, dried parsley, salt & pepper are used to season your croutons and make them extra tasty!
The Best Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing!
When it comes to Caesar salad it’s all about the dressing, right?! Right! And while most Caesar salad dressings call for mayonnaise as the base, this one is 100% mayo-free! Instead we’ve replaced it with greek yogurt to cut the fat and up the protein! It’s creamy, lemony and everything you love about Caesar salad! Here’s what you’ll need to make this healthier Caesar salad dressing:
- Plain greek yogurt
- Olive oil
- Grated parmesan
- Dijon mustard (smooth not grainy)
- Worchestershire sauce
- Anchovy paste (just a touch!)
- Milk (any kind)
- Cracked black pepper
How To Make A Kale Caesar Salad
- Make the dressing. Add all your dressing ingredients to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Then keep your dressing stored in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
- Toast your croutons. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Then cut your sourdough bread into 1 inch pieces and add them to a large bowl with your olive oil, garlic powder, dried parsley, salt and pepper. Give them a good mix until they’re fully coated, then spread your pieces out on your prepared baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes. (Your croutons should be golden brown once done.) Set your croutons aside to cool completely while you prepare the rest of your salad.
- Cut & massage your kale. Cut the kale leaves off the stem and chop them into bite-size pieces. Then place the leaves in a large bowl and drizzle them with a splash of olive oil and a good squeeze from half a lemon. Use your hands to massage the kale for at least 5 minutes or until the kale softens and shrinks in size.
- Mix. Add your massaged kale, chopped romaine lettuce and parmesan cheese to a bowl and pour your desired amount of dressing over the top. Toss the salad until it’s fully coated.
- Serve! Top your salad with your toasted sourdough croutons and few cracks of freshly ground black pepper and serve immediately.
- Do I have to use anchovy paste in the dressing? YES! Anchovy paste is a must when it comes to caesar salad dressing! (But don’t worry, you can’t even taste it because we use such a small amount.)
- Do I have to massage my kale for this salad? YES! Massaging the kale is essential for this caesar salad! It helps to soften the leaves making them easier to eat and also brings out the kale’s mild flavor.
- Can I prep any ingredients in advance? Absolutely! Your croutons and dressing can easily be made 3-4 days in advance and your kale can be massaged the night before.
- Can I save my leftover kale caesar salad? I would not suggest saving this salad once you’ve tossed it in your dressing. The romaine can become soggy and very unappealing after sitting in the dressing overnight.
Why you’ll love this kale caesar salad recipe
- Healthier caesar salad dressing! Most caesar salad dressings are loaded with mayo – but not this one! We’ve replaced it with greek yogurt to pack on the protein and ease up on the fat.
- Flavor on flavor! Lemony kale, salty parmesan, crunchy garlicky croutons & the perfect creamy dressing to tie it all together! This salad has it all!
- Side dish or main course! Light enough for a side dish yet easily becomes the main course with some added protein!
More salad recipes you might like:
- Mexican Street Corn Kale Salad
- Spinach Salad with Bacon & Hard Boiled Eggs
- Mexican Chopped Salad with Creamy Taco Dressing
- Mediterranean Chopped Salad with Tzatziki Dressing
- Avocado Tomato & Mozzarella Salad
[Made one of my recipes? Make sure to tag my Instagram @kalefornia_kravings & leave a review in the comments. I love seeing what you create!]
Kale Caesar Salad with Sourdough Croutons
For the caesar salad dressing:
- ½ cup plain greek yogurt
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp milk (any kind)
- 1 tsp smooth dijon mustard
- 2 small garlic cloves
- 2 tsp worchestershire sauce
- 1 tsp anchovy paste
- ¼ tsp salt
- Cracked black pepper, to taste
For the sourdough croutons:
- 4 cups sourdough bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp dried parsley
For the kale caesar salad:
- 4 cups kale, leaves cut off the stem & chopped
- 2 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
- ½ – ¾ cups parmesan cheese, shredded
- Cracked black pepper, to taste
To make the dressing:
- Add all your ingredients to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Keep your dressing stored in the fridge until you're ready to serve.
To make the croutons:
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Then add your sourdough bread pieces, olive oil, garlic powder, dried parsley, salt and pepper to a large bowl and mix until fully coated. Spread your pieces out on your prepared baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes. (Your croutons should be golden brown once done.) Set your croutons aside to cool completely while you prepare the rest of your salad.
To make the salad:
- Add your chopped kale leaves to a large bowl and drizzle them with a splash of olive oil and a good squeeze from half a lemon. then use your hands to massage the kale for at least 5 minutes or until the leaves begin to soften and shrink in size.
- Next add your massaged kale, romaine lettuce and parmesan cheese to a separate bowl and pour your desired amount of dressing over the top. Toss the salad until it's fully coated.
- Top your salad with your toasted sourdough croutons and few cracks of freshly ground black pepper and serve immediately.