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If you want to start craving salads, you ned to make this vegan caesar salad. I’m telling you; it’s delicious! There is no better way to eat raw kale than massaged with this creamy sunflower seed caesar dressing, tossed with crispy romaine lettuce, and topped with spiced crispy chickpeas. Whether or not you’re a fan of non-vegan caesars, you’ll love this cleaner, fresher, tastier version of this classic salad.
Why this vegan caesar is amazing!
Of all the recipes in my cookbook, Sweet Potato Soul, this is one that I’m most proud of. It’s not that easy to pull off a vegan caesar salad. Most of the ones I’ve tried are too bland, too wet, and too boring. Plus, so many are made with cashew as the creamy base, which I’m allergic too. I set out to create a caesar that is more delicious and nourishing than the original, and I definitely succeeded. I make this vegan caesar salad recipe often because it’s a great way to eat kale, and it works as an entree salad––especially when topped with spiced crispy chickpeas or crunch cornbread croutons (like the recipe in my cookbook).
How to make the dressing
To make the dressing you will need a blender. After the sunflower seeds are soaked overnight, or at least 6 hours, they blend with the other ingredients to make a rich and creamy sauce that you’ll want to eat with a spoon. My favorite blenders are the KitchenAid Pro Line blender and the Ninja Foodi blender, but any high speed blender will work. Even if you can’t get it as creamy as possible, this dressing is still absolutely delicious, and the texture adds to the finished dish. I know this because when I made it to take these photos, my daughter was asleep. I was afraid to turn the blender onto it’s highest setting, so my dressing was a bit chunky, and I still LOVED it!
I’m on my way to the farmer’s market this morning to pick up the kale and romaine lettuce to make this today!
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The Best Vegan Caesar Salad
- 1 bunch of kale stems removed, and leaved sliced into 1/4-1/2" ribbons
- 1 bunch romaine lettuce sliced into 1/4-1/2" ribbons
- 2 cups spiced crispy chickpeas recipe here
- 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds soaked overnight and drained
- 1 large garlic clove
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsp capers drained and rinsed
- 4 tsp vegan Worchestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tbsp tamari soy sauce
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Place the sliced kale in a large salad bowl. Keep the romaine separate for now.
- Make the dressing: Place the sunflower seeds, garlic, nutritional yeast, capers, vegan Worchestershire sauce, lemon juice, tamari, mustard, and pepper in a blender and add 1/4 cup water.
- Blend until creamy, then slowly pour in the oil while the blender is still running and blend until smooth.
- Using your clean hands, massage about half the dressing into the kale until it is tender, about 2 minutes.
- Add the romaine lettuce and a couple more spoonfuls of dressing and toss to coat.
- Top with crispy chickpeas and serve!
Want to eat more salad? Check out my blog post on how to make a salad amazing!
Cindy / April 28, 2022 at 7:52 pm /
We absolutely love this recipe so much. It’s seriously the best caesar salad I’ve ever made and it’s a staple in our house. Thank you for sharing it.
Ginger / March 26, 2022 at 12:30 am /
Just made this dressing and it was so fabulous! Very thick so I may add some more water to thin in out, but other than that, it’s a keeper.
Kat / March 3, 2022 at 12:04 pm /
That dressing is so good! I forgot to soak sunflower seeds overnight, So I did a soak with hot water for 6 hours on countertop. Then forgot to get a lemon so subbed apple cider vinegar. Still tasted amazing. Thanks for sharing!
Fern / February 23, 2022 at 1:15 pm /
This salad is THE BOMB!! You nailed the the dressing! As someone who can’t eat tree nuts, I so love the sunflower seed alternative to cashews. Thanks!
Lindsay T / February 6, 2022 at 12:40 pm /
Can you just soak the sunflower seeds in hot water for a shorter amount of time?
Sabina / February 1, 2022 at 7:02 am /
It’s very good but I haven’t used 2 tsp of pepper. Isn’t that too much? Anyway, I use the dressing also on potatoes or veggies like broccoli and they taste great!
kajsa / February 1, 2022 at 2:02 am /
This dressing is a masterpiece! 100% would recommend
A / January 31, 2022 at 5:06 pm /
This is the closest I’ve been able to get to caesar dressing since I went vegan! Thanks so much!
And, because I can eat enough salad in one sitting to finish the entire dressing recipe, I wanted something a little lighter on the calories the second time I made the dressing, so I omitted half the oil and replaced the sunflower seeds with 1/2 cup of Forager unsweetened cashew yogurt (also don’t add water because it doesn’t need to be thinned). Tasted just as good, so now I definitely have a go to light caesar dressing to use regularly.
E / January 31, 2022 at 12:11 pm /
This salad looks delicious and I am a real salad lover! I have a couple of questions about the dressing. Since I eat oil free, how necessary is the oil that you added to the salad? Also, could I substitute miso for the capers (less salty)?
Thanks so much for answering my questions and for all that you do!!
Kim Petrozzi / January 30, 2022 at 12:12 pm /
OH MY THIS IS THE BEST DRESSING & SALAD!!!
Marcela Rodriguez / January 29, 2022 at 2:01 pm /
Thanks so much for this recipe!!!… is great that you use sunflower seed instead of cashews!… i was thinking what to use to start replacing the cashews in my recipes and is great to find your tip about the sunflower seeds. This is because I am in a elimination diet because of my migraines and you can not eat any nuts because they have high levels of tyramine that triggers migraines so I’m super happy about your recipe for the dressing, delicious!.. Thanks again love, adore your channel!
Brittany T. / November 9, 2021 at 8:04 pm /
I made this recipe straight from your book and I wasn’t even half way through the first batch before I made a second batch of it. It is THAT good. I LOVE Caesar salads. I spend so much money on them that I really wanted to learn to make my own, and took it a step further and wanted to learn how to veganize it. THIS RECIPE IS AMAZING. Make the dressing RIGHT NOW. TODAY. You won’t regret it.
Johanna / July 30, 2021 at 6:14 pm /
Made this tonight!! It’s yummy. The dressing is so good I want it on all my food forever.
Johanna / July 30, 2021 at 6:15 pm /
replying to add that my sunflower seeds only soaked for 6 hours and that was enough, next time I’ll soak longer!
Ingrid B / July 29, 2021 at 11:15 am /
Our entire family (2 parents and 3 teens) loves this recipe, and our sons requested that it become part of our regular rotation. Since we are all able to eat cashews, we have used raw cashews in place of the sunflower seeds since they don’t require soaking. They work well, too. If you forget to soak the sunflower seeds overnight, how many hours do they need to soak? Would 5 hours (the day of) be enough? Thank you so much for sharing this delicious recipe!!
Penny / June 19, 2021 at 10:28 pm /
Made the dressing a few times now and kept it as a sauce to eat throughout the week- it’s good with cooked veggies, too!
Jessie / June 17, 2021 at 12:21 am /
This is the best Caesar dressing (vegan or not) that I’ve ever had! Amazing, thank you so much for this recipe!
Bhavna Patel / May 7, 2021 at 9:28 am /
This recipe is amazing! It’s become a staple at home and we love it. I have played with the Chickpea marinade sometimes including thyme and onion powder as well as some Indian spices but to be honest, it’s great eitherway.
Thank you for sharing, its inspired
Jenne / May 10, 2021 at 6:27 pm /
I’m so glad you enjoyed it! This is definitely my favorite salad. Yum!