Kale Caesar Salad

This Kale Caesar Salad is a more robust and nutrition packed rendition of a Caesar Salad. Two types of kale serve as the base, which gets all the classic Caesar flavor treatments!

If you’re looking for some lighter and healthier meals that are still a joy to eat, it’s time to try the kale caesar.

Kale Caesar Salad - With Homemade Scratch Dressing and Homemade Croutons

A classic Caesar salad uses romaine, which has a more refreshing water-crisp texture to it. I do enjoy it. But I think the flavor of kale is better. Full disclosure: I am one of those people who truly loves kale.

Because kale leaves are so hearty, they can be well-coated with the caesar dressing and hold up really well. And unlike regular salad greens, you can actually refrigerate any leftovers and enjoy it again the next day. 

I also often add Crockpot Chicken Breast from the fridge to make this a complete entree. Just make sure to add extra dressing for the chicken.

How to Make Kale Caesar Salad:

For the base of the salad, I like to use two types of kale.

On the left we have lacinato kale, which also goes by the names dino kale and tuscan kale. On the right is curly green kale:

Lacinato Kale and Curly Kale

I love them both for different reasons and it’s worthwhile to add two kinds to the salad for different textures.

How to Prep the Kale:

Strip the leaves from the stems, and wash the kale well.

Next, just as with any salad, make sure to dry the greens thoroughly. I first spin out excess water with a salad spinner (affiliate), then I dry it further with kitchen towels or paper towels.

Nothing ruins a salad like watery greens.

Chop the prepped kale and place into a bowl. Then it’s time to add the other classic caesar salad flavors.

First up, a true Caesar Dressing made from scratch:

Caesar Salad Dressing - Made from Scratch

This is the real deal, made with egg yolks, anchovy paste, etc.

I’ve seen recipes where you make a “cheat” caesar dressing starting with mayonnaise as a base, and my opinion is this “halfway version” is not worth the bother.

Make the caesar dressing from scratch if you can, but if you can’t, just buy a quality storebought version.

Caesar Dressing - Made from Scratch with Egg Yolks and Anchovy

Massage the dressing into the kale leaves to tenderize them, then you can toss in your croutons.

I’m a huge fan of homemade Croutons, and they really aren’t hard to make.

Croutons - Homemade Using Fresh Bread

The thing that’s special about homemade croutons is that unlike the storebought ones, they actually have some moisture in them.

They’re crisp and soft at the same time, unlike the styrofoam shelf-stable ones. 

For the final touch, add two textures of parmigiano reggiano cheese: shaved parmesan, and grated parmesan.

Kale Caesar - Easy Salad Recipe with Parmigiano Reggiano and Croutons

We have so few ingredients here, but enjoying them in different textures adds different types of enjoyment. 

The grated parmesan gives you little salty flecks that coat the leaves well and melt in the mouth with punchy flavor. While the smooth shaved parmesan has true bite to it but presents the flavor in a more subtle way.

Enjoy!

More Favorite Salads:

Kale Caesar Salad

A classic Caesar Salad, but with two types of kale swapped out for the romaine, yielding a heartier eating experience.
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword kale caesar salad
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 367kcal
Author Joanne Ozug fifteenspatulas.com

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch lacinato kale*
  • 1 bunch curly kale*
  • 1/4 cup caesar dressing (4-6 tbsp depending on coat level)
  • 1 cup croutons
  • 1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano shavings or more as desired
  • 2 tbsp grated parmigiano reggiano

Instructions

  • Strip the leaves from the stems of the kale, and wash well. Thoroughly dry the kale, first with a spinner, and then with kitchen towels or paper towels. Nothing ruins a salad like watery greens.
  • If you have time, also chill the greens in the fridge. It makes the salad a bit more refreshing.
  • Chop the kale into bite-sized pieces, then place into a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the caesar dressing and use clean hands to gently massage the dressing into the kale leaves. This helps tenderize the leaves.
  • Toss in the croutons and parmigiano reggiano cheeses.
  • Taste and make adjustments as necessary. It may need more dressing per your tastes, or maybe you'd like some freshly ground black pepper on top. Enjoy!

Notes

*For those who care about precise measurements, here I had a combined 8 cups, loosely packed, for 2 servings and this dressing amount.

Nutrition

Calories: 367kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 736mg | Potassium: 1001mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 20078IU | Vitamin C: 240mg | Calcium: 474mg | Iron: 4mg