A nourishing and refreshing chickpea kale salad with a creamy tahini dressing. Naturally vegan and gluten-free.
❤️ 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.
🥬 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.
🥣 How to Make Kale Chickpea Salad
- You will start by roasting the chickpeas on a baking sheet in the oven until they are golden and crispy.
- Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, massage the raw kale leaves with oil and salt until tender.
- Add the remaining salad ingredients to the chopped kale and set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk the tahini salad dressing ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
- Add the crunchy chickpeas and the dressing to the salad.
- Toss this tasty salad to combine, serve and enjoy.
💭 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.
❓ Frequently Asked Questions
The longer you massage kale, the less bitter it becomes.
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.
Kale salad will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
🥗 More Delicious Salad Recipes
Chickpea Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas rinsed, drained, patted dry
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 heads kale stems removed, chopped
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 bell pepper chopped
- ½ onion any kind, chopped
- 1 carrot shredded or grated
- 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!