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Vegan Caesar Salad with Crispy Chickpeas

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vegan caesar salad on a yellow background with a side of cashew caesar dressing and a few stray crispy chickpeas

Missing traditional caesar salad? We’ve got a delicious vegan caesar salad with crispy chickpeas ready to share with you! This recipe has 10 ingredients and is full of flavor.

Can vegans eat caesar salad?

Unless your it is intentionally vegan, there is a good chance that your average caesar salad contains not only dairy but also fish. Let’s start with the parts you can make out – typically a caesar salad has parmesan cheese, croutons, and dressing. Well, parmesan is definitely not vegan, and many crouton varieties contain dairy too. And then there’s the dressing which is a total wildcard. Typically caesar dressing will contain a combination of anchovies, cheese, milk, and sometimes even eggs. 

In conclusion, you probably don’t want to eat a standard caesar salad. Even if the dressing looks transparent (a good sign for no dairy), there is probably still ingredients in it that are not safe for those not consuming animal products.

What ingredients are in vegan caesar salad?

As much as I love a standard caesar salad, ours has a few twists. We love serving our vegan caesar salads with crispy chickpeas and hearts of palm. While we love a good crouton, we love these crispy chickpeas more because they pack in some extra protein. 

ingredient spread of romaine hearts, cashew caesar dressing, chickpeas, spices, olive oil, hearts of palm, red onion and grape tomatoes

In addition to the crispy chickpeas and hearts of palm, you’ve got your standard romaine hearts, red onion, and tomatoes for good measure. Beyond that, all you need is some vegan caesar dressing.

Do ahead

This recipe was developed with the workweek in mind. To best prep for this recipe, we recommend making the crispy chickpeas and the cashew caesar dressing ahead of time. The chickpeas will need to dry out on a counter overnight. I’m sorry to add this extra bit of coordination in there but patience leads to a much crispier result.

Plus, I know there are meal preppers out there! Where you all at? This one is for you. The rest is so low maintenance you’ll forget you even had to prep in the first place.

How to make crispy chickpeas

In addition to prepping your vegan caesar dressing, you’ll need to invest some time in roasting your crispy chickpeas. I love a good crispy chickpea and they’re hands down my preferred salad topper to croutons. If you don’t have time to make the chickpeas, you can always buy some pre-packaged crispy chickpeas and mix the spices in.

To make crispy chickpeas, you’ll need to drain two cans of chickpeas and rinse until the bubbles disappear. Then add to a baking sheet and roast for 50 minutes at 350 degrees. Halfway through cooking, give the chickpeas a little shake and rotate the tray if your oven bakes unevenly.

crispy chickpeas on a baking sheet against an orange background

Once the chickpeas are browned, remove them from the oven and add to a bowl with a little olive oil, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. When chickpeas are mixed, spread them back out on the baking sheet to dry overnight.

One small note here is that I’ve tested making crispy chickpeas a lot and it works best if you’re using organic chickpeas because they’re much smaller. You’ll have better luck getting them to completely dry out. 

How to make vegan caesar salad

Making vegan caesar salad is super easy once you have your crispy chickpeas and caesar dressing prepped. All you need to do is chop some romaine hearts and add it to a large bowl, then add sliced red onion, chopped hearts of palm, and some cherry tomato halves. Lastly, toss on top some crispy chickpeas and vegan cashew caesar dressing and you’re good to go!

If you’re packing this as a lunch I strongly suggest tossing the chickpeas in a zip lock bag and adding them along with the dressing when you’re ready to eat. The moisture of the vegetables will rehydrate the chickpeas, unfortunately.

Adapt the salad to your liking

We think our vegan caesar salad is perfect the way it is, but if you’re interested in these modifications, we won’t hold you back

  • Make it cheesier: Looking for a way to add more cheesy goodness to your vegan caesar salad? Try adding some nutritional yeast to the salad or if you’re feeling really fancy, some Follow Your Heart shredded Parmesan cheese.
  • Make it “fishier”: We love a good tart salad. If you’re finding your salad is lacking a certain level of fishiness, add some kelp granules to your cashew caesar dressing. You can also add some capers straight to the salad to give it an extra kick.
  • Make it more caloric: Maybe this salad is leaving you hungry after? It’s entirely possible! If you’re looking for add-ins to make our vegan caesar salad more filling, we recommend adding your favorite mock chicken (Hint: check out our chicken seitan pieces), some pasta, or quinoa. 
crispy chickpeas in a bowl seasoned with nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper

What can I serve with vegan caesar salad?

While we usually just eat this as a big main meal with no sides, if you’re looking to serve vegan caesar salad as a side, we have a handful of suggestions for mains that would compliment it very well. You should look into

Recipe jam

In this segment, I suggest a song for you to listen to while you make vegan caesar salad with crispy chickpeas! You can even stream it right here in your browser. Today’s recipe jam is Runner Up by TV Priest. 

If you try this recipe, we want to hear about it! Feel free to post your creations to Instagram or Facebook and tag Hell Yes It’s Vegan or #hellyesitsvegan. We look forward to seeing what you make!

cashew caesar salad on a plate surrounded by stray crispy chickpeas
vegan caesar salad on a yellow background with a side of cashew caesar dressing and a few stray crispy chickpeas
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Vegan Caesar Salad with Crispy Chickpeas

Missing traditional caesar salad? We’ve got a delicious vegan caesar salad with crispy chickpeas ready to share with you! This recipe has 10 ingredients and is full of flavor.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Crisping Time12 hrs
Total Time13 hrs 5 mins
Course: Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: caesar salad, crispy chickpeas, vegan caesar salad, vegan caesar salad with crispy chickpeas
Servings: 4
Calories: 338kcal

Ingredients

Crispy Noochy Chickpeas

Vegan Caesar Salad

Instructions

Do ahead

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Drain chickpeas and rinse. Add to baking sheet and roast for 50 minutes or until golden brown shaking halfway through to ensure the chickpeas cook evenly.
  • In a small bowl, combine the roasted chickpeas with the rest of the crispy chickpea ingredients and mix with a silicone spatula. Spread the chickpeas back out on the baking sheet and let dry out overnight.

Assemble salad

  • Chop all salad ingredients and add to a large bowl. Add crispy chickpeas and cashew caesar dressing. Top with optional sea salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Notes

Nutrition is an estimate and does not include optional ingredients.  
Just a heads up – this page contains some affiliate links which means I make a little bit of money if you click on select links and make a purchase. I only recommend products that I use on the reg!
If you’re not eating this right away, wait until the last possible second to add the chickpeas. They will start to rehydrate. I usually pack this salad for work lunches and keep the chickpeas in a separate zip lock bag and toss them on when I’m about to dig in.
Nutrition Facts
Vegan Caesar Salad with Crispy Chickpeas
Amount Per Serving (498 g)
Calories 338 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 654mg28%
Potassium 1081mg31%
Carbohydrates 46g15%
Fiber 15g63%
Sugar 11g12%
Protein 18g36%
Vitamin A 1191IU24%
Vitamin C 32mg39%
Calcium 147mg15%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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