Hearty leafy kale greens add a beautiful texture to a classic Caesar salad. Topped with croutons, parmesan cheese and an irresistible homemade creamy Caesar dressing, this salad will leave you wanting to add kale to all of your salads.
Aren’t salads just the best? You can add them to just about any meal (or even have them as your main entree) and they go with just about everything! Check out my favorite antipasto salad, this strawberry salad or this delicious wedge salad!
What is Kale Caesar Salad?
Kale Caesar salad is a healthier twist on the classic Caesar salad. Leafy kale is considered a superfood packed with vitamins and minerals that are lacking in romaine lettuce. When you add in some homemade croutons, homemade Caesar dressing, and freshly grated parmesan cheese, this salad is taken to the next level!
The hearty and healthy benefits of this kale Caesar salad are amazing and make it that much better to pair as a side with any meal! I love that kale is so versatile because then I can put it in all sorts of recipes! I love it in this amazing potato dish, and adding kale to smoothies is definitely must! Even air-fried kale chips are a favorite around my house!
What Ingredients Make Kale Caesar Salad?
Classic Caesar salad always uses fresh romaine lettuce. The difference between a classic Caesar salad and a kale Caesar salad is the addition of kale! I love to combine the two greens together in this salad. Check out the recipe card at the bottom of the post for exact measurements.
- Kale: Wash the kale and then you will want to chop it into bite-sized pieces. You ill love how complimentary kale is to the Caesar dressing.
- Romaine Lettuce: Chopped romaine lettuce adds another delicious layer to this salad. I love the combination of romaine and kale.
- Parmesan: Freshly shredded parmesan adds a nutty and salty addition to the salad. No Caesar salad is complete without parmesan cheese!
- Homemade Croutons: I always like to use homemade croutons whenever I can but store-bought works as well for this kale caesar salad.
- Red Wine Vinegar: Vinegar is key to making a good Caesar dressing.
- Lemon Juice: In my opinion, fresh squeezed is always best!
- Mayonnaise: This adds a creamy texture to the dressing.
- Parmesan Cheese: Grated parmesan gives a delicious taste!
- Dijon Mustard: If you use just a little bit of dijon mustard, it will give it a creamy savory texture.
- Garlic: You can use fresh garlic, minced garlic or even pressed garlic for this recipe. Whatever you prefer will work for this kale caesar salad. The garlic taste is a MUST!
- Kosher Salt: This enhances the flavors in the dressing.
- Cracked Black Pepper: Pepper helps balance out all the salty and savory flavors.
- Olive Oil: Oil is the base of this dressing and brings all the ingredients together in a smooth and creamy result.
How to Make Kale Caesar Salad
Kale Caesar salad comes together so easily and it can all be prepared ahead of time. Once all of the ingredients are prepped and ready to go, you can toss it all together and enjoy it in no time at all.
- Chop: Remove the rib and stem from the kale leaves and chop into bite-sized pieces.
- Wash: Rinse the kale with warm water and strain through a colander or salad spinner.
- Combine: Place the chopped kale and romaine into a large bowl.
- Add Cheese: Add the shredded parmesan then the croutons, on top of the greens.
- Whisk: For the dressing, whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, mayonnaise, grated parmesan, dijon mustard, and garlic.
- Add Olive Oil: Slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream and then whisk until thickened.
- Season: Season with salt and pepper.
- Dress Salad: Pour the dressing over the kale caesar salad when you are ready to serve it then toss to coat the ingredients. You may not need all the dressing. Just add it on to your liking. Enjoy!
Tips For Preparing Kale
Kale can be intimidating if you’ve never used it before. Here are some tips to get the best results for your fresh kale caesar salad. These tips will help you get the best flavor and texture from your kale.
- Types of Kale: There are about 7 different types of kale. The most common type found at any grocery store is called curly kale. Another common type you can find is called lacinato kale (also known as dinosaur kale or Tuscan kale). Any of these types work in this recipe.
- Remove Rib and Stem: The rib and stem of kale are very bitter and fibrous. Always remove them before using kale in any recipe. To separate the kale leaves from their stalks, cut along the edge of the stalk with the tip of the knife, or tear the leaves away with your hands.
- Chop Smaller Pieces: When chopping kale leaves to cook or put into a salad then you always want to cut it up into smaller pieces. Kale leaves are sturdy and are much easier to work with and are more tender to eat when they are chopped smaller.
- Massage The Kale: This is the trick to getting your kale to taste delicious! When using raw kale in a salad, massaging the kale will alleviate both its bitterness and toughness. Massaging the leaves will break down the fibers. In a large bowl, toss your kale leaves with a small amount of olive oil and vinegar (any flavor). Massage using clean hands for 1-2 minutes. This massaging process will make your kale caesar salad taste much better.
Storing Leftover Salad
Storing leftover salad is easy, you just have to store the dressing and the salad ingredients separately if you want to enjoy it later!
In the Refrigerator: You will want to store your kale, dressing, and cheese in separate containers in your fridge! The kale last about 3 days and the dressing will last up to 2 weeks! Make sure that everything is stored in an airtight container. Toss all of t e ingredients together in a bowl when you are ready to serve!
Kale Caesar Salad
- 3 cups Kale, chopped
- 2 cups Romaine Lettuce, chopped
- 1/3 cup Parmesan, shredded
- 1 cup Homemade Croutons (or store-bought)
- 3 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
- 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1/3 cup Mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
- 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
- 2 tsp Garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1/2 tsp Cracked Black Pepper
- 1/3 cup Olive Oil (light tasting)
Remove the rib and stem from the kale leaves and chop into bite-sized pieces.
Rinse the kale with warm water and strain through a colander or salad spinner.
Place the chopped kale and romaine into a large bowl.
Add the shredded parmesan, croutons, on top of the greens.
For the dressing, whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, mayonnaise, grated parmesan, dijon mustard, and garlic.
Slowly add in the olive oil in a steady stream and whisk until thickened.
Season with salt and pepper.
Pour the dressing over the salad when ready to serve and toss to coat the ingredients. You may not need all the dressing. Just dress it to your liking. Enjoy!
The Recipe Critic