The Best Vegan Caesar Salad
Yield: 4 servings (see notes); dressing yield is roughly 1¼ cups
Give yourself time to soak the sunflower seeds, as they form the foundation of this healthy dressing. The end result is an incredibly satisfying salad with flavor worthy of a 5-star restaurant!

For the salad:

  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed, and leaves sliced into ¼-½” ribbons
  • 1 bunch romaine lettuce, sliced into ¼-½” ribbons
  • 2 cups Spiced Crispy Chickpeas (separate recipe card follows; may substitute or add another protein of choice)

For the Caesar dressing:

  • ½ cup (70g) raw sunflower seeds, soaked for at least 6 hours or overnight, and then rinsed and drained well
  • 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons (18g) nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
  • 4 teaspoons (20ml) Worcestershire sauce (check label for vegan if needed)
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) low sodium tamari or soy sauce (ensure GF as needed)
  • 2 teaspoons (10g) Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup (2oz) water
  • 2 tablespoons (28ml) extra virgin olive oil


  1. Place the sliced kale in a large salad bowl. Keep the romaine separate for now.
  2. Make the dressing: place the sunflower seeds, garlic, nutritional yeast, capers, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, tamari or soy sauce, mustard, and pepper in a blender or food processor and add ¼ cup water.
  3. Blend until creamy (a little texture is also fine), scraping down the sides as needed, and then slowly pour in the oil while the blender or processor is running, blending to incorporate.
  4. Using your clean hands, massage the kale to tenderize the leaves. (After a minute or so, you will notice the leaves turn a darker shade of green.) Add the romaine and drizzle with enough dressing to lightly coat the greens. Go easy at first, as you can always add more. Top with crispy chickpeas (see following recipe) or protein of choice, and enjoy!

Notes & Tips:

We enjoy Lacinato kale when available, although curly kale may be used. The weight of “1 bunch” of kale or lettuce varies greatly, but I figure on roughly 4 ounces per adult when serving as the main entrée, and 2-3 ounces when serving alongside something else. (One cup of lightly packed chopped greens equals about 1 ounce.) Keep in mind that with kale, you will remove a good bit of the initial weight when you strip away the tough stems.
As I mentioned in the writeup preceding the recipe, I like to lightly dress the amount of greens I want for a given meal and then save any remaining dressing for salad another night.
Don’t be tempted to cut the dressing recipe in half. Depending on your blender or processor, there may not be sufficient bulk to adequately catch in the blending mechanism.
When serving four or fewer people, I make a half recipe of the chickpeas, as they are best served hot from the oven.
Don’t doubt the pepper. The first time I made this, I thought 1 teaspoon would be plenty but kept adding and felt the full 2 teaspoons balanced the other ingredients quite well.
I’ve also used a mini food processor to prepare the dressing.

More recipes at