Chickpea Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing

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A nourishing and refreshing chickpea kale salad with a creamy tahini dressing. Naturally vegan and gluten-free.

A close shot of a silver fork in a white bowl filled with kale salad.
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❤️ Why You Will Love This Recipe

  • This kale salad recipe has a beautiful medley of textures and flavors.
  • The homemade creamy lemon tahini dressing used in this salad is super rich and creamy, yet packed with healthy ingredients.
  • You can make this kale tahini salad to enjoy right away or store it and enjoy later. It makes a great meal prep salad!
  • This is a filling salad that is suitable as both a main course and a side salad.
  • Dark leafy kale is one of the most nutritious foods and makes for one healthy salad.
  • This kale salad is naturally vegan, dairy-free, nut-free, gluten-free and soy-free.
Close view of a delicious tahini kale salad in a large white ceramic bowl.

🥬 Ingredients and Substitutes

Kale: I like to use regular curly kale in this recipe, but lacinato kale (also known as dinosaur kale) works very well, too. You can use any type of kale you prefer, but keep in mind different types of kale take different amounts of time to massage sufficiently until tender.

Olive oil: Extra virgin olive works well in this kale salad recipe. If you do not have olive oil, avocado oil makes a great alternative.

Tahini: A nice creamy tahini without any other additives other than sesame seeds works best for the tahini dressing in this recipe.

Lemon juice: Lemon juice pairs well with tahini and adds the needed acid for flavor balance in this salad. If you do not have lemon juice, use apple cider vinegar instead.

Mustard: A good stone ground brown mustard or Dijon mustard adds a nice dose of flavor to this salad. If on a gluten-free diet, check out this list of gluten free mustard brands.

Salt: Salt is used to massage the kale, and is added to both the chickpeas and dressing to ensure maximum flavor. I like to use sea salt or pink Himalayan salt.

Red chili flakes: Red pepper flakes add a subtle heat and a nice touch of flavor, but if you are sensitive to spice, feel free to omit it.

Chickpeas: Roasted chickpeas, aka garbanzo beans, add a crunchy element, not much unlike croutons, to this kale chickpea salad recipe.

Maple syrup: A little bit of maple syrup adds a nice flavor balance to this roasted chickpea kale salad. You can swap it out for any other sweetener your prefer. Honey, coconut sugar and agave syrup make nice alternatives.

Bell pepper: A simple bell pepper adds a nice refreshing crunch. If you are not a fan of bell pepper, simply replace it with another crisp vegetable like cucumber or broccoli.

Carrot: Shredded carrots add a slight sweet taste, plus additional color, flavor and nutrition.

Onion: Red onion, white onion, yellow onion — it all works!

Garlic: Grated or minced garlic adds a nice pop of garlic to the dressing that works very well with both the kale and the chickpeas. If you do not have fresh garlic, use 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder instead.

A white bowl of kale salad rests on a tan table next to a silver fork and a large wooden salad bowl.

🥣 How to Make Kale Chickpea Salad

A baking sheet filled with chickpeas on the top rack of the oven.
A large wood bowl filled with raw kale leaves.
Chopped kale in a large wooden bowl.
A large wood bowl filled with kale and other chopped veggies.
Freshly roasted chickpeas on a dark grey cookie sheet.
A large wooden bowl filled with kale salad with chickpeas.
A large silver mixing bowl filled with homemade salad dressing and a purple whisk.
A large wood bowl filled with kale salad drizzled with a white dressing.
Green tongs reach into a large wood bowl of kale salad.
  1. You will start by roasting the chickpeas on a baking sheet in the oven until they are golden and crispy.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, massage the raw kale leaves with oil and salt until tender.
  3. Add the remaining salad ingredients to the chopped kale and set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk the tahini salad dressing ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
  5. Add the crunchy chickpeas and the dressing to the salad.
  6. Toss this tasty salad to combine, serve and enjoy.
A small white bowl of kale salad rests on a tan table next to a large wood salad bowl.

💭 Top Tips

  • You can massage the kale as little or as long as you would like to achieve the texture you prefer. Different types of kale take longer than others to tenderize, so you will need to adjust the massage time based on the kind of kale you are using.
  • You can make this even more filling and nutritious by adding other ingredients like roasted butternut squash, air fryer sweet potato cubes, brown rice, pumpkin seeds, or pomegranate seeds.
  • If you are not vegan, a handful of shredded vegetarian parmesan cheese works well in this salad.
Close shot of a silver fork lifting kale salad out of a white ceramic bowl.

❓ Frequently Asked Questions

How do you make kale less bitter for salad?

The longer you massage kale, the less bitter it becomes.

How early can you dress kale?

Kale can handle being dressed for a good stretch of time before becoming soggy, compared to most leafy greens. In fact, dressing at least 1 hour prior to serving, ensures more tender leaves.

How long is kale salad good in the fridge?

Kale salad will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Top view of a kale chickpea salad in a white bowl with large silver fork.

🥗 More Delicious Salad Recipes

Beetroot Feta Salad

Halloumi Salad

Mango Salad

Southwestern Salad

Korean Cucumber Salad

Chickpea Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing

A nourishing and refreshing chickpea kale salad with a creamy tahini dressing. Naturally vegan and gluten-free.
5 from 102 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Mediterranean
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Author: Kristen Wood


Crispy Chickpeas

  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas rinsed, drained, patted dry
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Kale Salad

  • 2 heads kale stems removed, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 bell pepper chopped
  • ½ onion any kind, chopped
  • 1 carrot shredded or grated

Tahini Dressing

  • ¼ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves minced or grated
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard or Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup water


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Drain and rinse the canned chickpeas, then pat dry.
  • Place the chickpeas on the parchment-lined baking sheet, then add the olive oil and salt. Toss to combine and spread in a single layer.
  • Roast the chickpeas for 20 minutes, or until crispy and golden.
  • Meanwhile, place the chopped kale, and salt in a large bowl.
  • Massage the salt into the kale, using your hands, until the kale softens, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the bell pepper, onion and carrot to the kale. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, maple syrup, mustard, salt and red chili flakes. Whisk until smooth.
  • Slowly add the water to the dressing ingredients, whisking as you go, until a smooth dressing forms.
  • Add the roasted chickpeas to the kale salad, then top with the dressing.
  • Toss all to combine.
  • Serve and enjoy!


You can massage the kale as little or as long as you would like to achieve the texture you prefer. Different types of kale take longer than others to tenderize, so you will need to adjust the massage time based on the kind of kale you are using.
You can store this kale salad in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
For the crispiest chickpeas, pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel before adding the salt and oil prior to roasting.
Please see the full post above this recipe card for more valuable information.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 166kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Sodium: 246mg | Potassium: 232mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 5011IU | Vitamin C: 54mg | Calcium: 104mg | Iron: 1mg

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5 from 102 votes (90 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating



  1. 5 stars
    AMAZING FLAVORS and textures! Realized I forgot to buy the pepper as I was driving home from the supermarket, then immediately remembered the jar of roasted red peppers I had just opened. Subbed and it was delicious! Second time around…so this is going into my repertoire! Find myself having to add more kale tonight as “2 heads” is difficult to judge, especially when using chopped kale. Any chance you could list the amount you use in weight…or cups? That’d be super helpful. Thanks for this awesome recipe!!!

  2. 5 stars
    I am a big, big fan of kale salads, and the addition of the chickpeas for protein here really made it taste amazing!

  3. 5 stars
    What a great salad! I’m trying to eat less meat and this salad was hearty and delish!

  4. 5 stars
    This is the perfect work lunch! The tahini dressing is amazingly good, and I just love the garlic. I’ll be making this a lot!

  5. 5 stars
    I loooove crunchy chick peas and the tahini gave the dressing so much flavor! Terrific salad!

  6. 5 stars
    Kale and chickpeas taste surprisingly good together. So healthy too. I loved the dressing here as well especially the zing from mustard. Delicious salad.

  7. 5 stars
    Your chickpea kale salad recipe is so delicious! I will be making this salad recipe again and again!!

  8. 5 stars
    I made this salad yesterday and was so impressed with it. I love the combination of kale and chickpeas. They are a great taste and texture compliment to each other. Unbelievably easy ti make.

  9. 5 stars
    Healthy, super filling and delicious! Loved it and the dressing added such great depth to the salad. Yum.

  10. 5 stars
    Finally, a recipe that lets me serve chickpeas and kale in a cold dish instead of a cooked. Great recipe!