Made with crunchy chickpeas and a creamy tahini dressing, this crispy chickpea salad recipe makes a delicious side dish or main meal. The dressing comes together quickly and the chickpeas are roasted to perfection! This vegetarian salad can easily be made vegan with a few simple swaps.
I’ve had my share of kale salads and along the way, I’ve figured out what makes a really, really good kale salad. It comes down to three things: a creamy dressing, something crunchy, and bite-sized pieces of kale.
This kale salad recipe has all of those components. It has a lemony and creamy tahini dressing, crispy chickpeas with classic spices, and rich and bite-sized kale. And the great part about this salad is that you can customize it with fun additions like sweet potatoes, avocado, or quinoa!
Why you’ll love it
- So many textures are in this salad that make it so fun to eat and serve!
- It’s a versatile dressing and salad because the salad can be a side dish or a main meal and the dressing can be enjoyed on tons of other proteins or vegetables.
- Caesar salad flavor in a delicious vegetarian salad and it can easily be made vegan with a few simple swaps.
Let’s Talk About What’s In This Salad
This salad has a few components that all come together into greatness.
- Crispy Tahini Chickpeas: These chickpeas only need tahini, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and smoked paprika!
- Tahini Dressing: This dressing can be made in a jar or bowl with Greek yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, dijon mustard, garlic, salt, and a little water to get it to the texture you’d like.
- For The Salad: Last but not least, the kale and parmesan to make the salad!
How to make a vegan kale salad
To make this salad vegan, you just need to use a plant-based yogurt and plant-based parmesan shreds. Easy peasy!
How to make A Chickpea Salad with Kale
This salad is so fast to make and will be ready for you to eat in 25 minutes. Most of that time is spent just waiting for the chickpeas to get nice and crispy!
- Make the chickpeas, a delicious combination of spices and tahini.
- Make the dressing by combining it all in a jar or bowl.
- Make the salad by combining everything with the kale and parmesan.
Kale stores better than any other salad base because it can hold up to the dressing! To store it, keep it in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. The chickpeas will start to lose their crispiness so it’s great if you can keep the chickpeas separate.
Why this Recipe Works
I’ve done loads of testing on this salad and here’s what I’ve learned and why it works!
- It stores well thanks to kale being so hardy.
- The chickpeas are absolutely next level. They’re like croutons, protein, and flavor morsels all in one.
- It’s a versatile salad that can be made with croutons if you don’t like chickpeas or you can add sweet potatoes or tofu for a little extra umph.
This large nonstick sheet pan is one of my everyday favorites!
What kind of kale is best for a salad?
I prefer to use Tuscan kale because it is less bitter. However, when using this kale the stems are very thick so you might need to remove the stems.
Can you meal prep this salad?
Yes, to prep this salad in advance, prepare the dressing and kale salad, storing them separately. Chickpeas can be roasted in advance, then reheated on the stove of in the air fryer when it’s time to eat (or enjoy them room temp). Top the kale salad with them just before serving.
Do you need to cook kale for the salad?
Nope, kale can be eaten raw! It’s just best to chop everything really small and remove large stems. Keeping it raw also helps it hold up to the creamy tahini dressing.
what to serve with a kale salad
Kale salads can be paired with so many things. From proteins to grains and citrus to potatoes. Here are some classic dishes to serve with a kale salad.
- Lemon Pepper Tofu only takes 4 ingredients and creates a full dinner.
- Sweet Potato Fries made in the air fryer are the perfect complement to the fresh salad.
- Quinoa is so easy to mix with a kale salad and adds more protein, turning it into a warm grain bowl.
“Looove the crunch that the chickpeas give this salad and the tahini gives it such a wholesome flavor. ” —Molly
- 1 14-oz can chickpeas drained, 425 g
- ¼ cup tahini 60 g
- ½ tsp each salt, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt can sub dairy-free, 120 g
- ¼ cup tahini 60 g
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice 30 mL
- 2 tsp dijon mustard 10 g
- 1 clove garlic minced
- ½ tsp salt
- water to thin
- 1 bunch kale
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese about 50 g
- Prep Chickpeas: Preheat oven to 400°F (204C). In a medium bowl, stir together 1 14-oz can chickpeas (drained), ¼ cup tahini, and ½ tsp each salt, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika.
- Bake Chickpeas: Spread chickpeas onto a parchment-lined baking sheet ina single layer, then bake for about 20 minutes, or until crispy.
- Tahini Dressing: In a medium bowl, stir together ½ cup plain Greek yogurt, ¼ cup tahini, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, 2 tsp dijon mustard, 1 clove garlic (minced), ½ tsp salt, and water to thin to your desired consistency.
- Make Salad: Wash then cut 1 bunch kale into bite-sized pieces. Add to a large bowl, and gently massage the kale for a few seconds to make it more tender. Add Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas, Tahini Dressing, and parmesan. Toss to combine and serve!