This is not just any old Caesar salad! This kale Caesar salad features thin kale ribbons with healthy homemade creamy Caesar dressing and toasted breadcrumb croutons. You'll never look back after trying it!
Caesar salads are classic for a reason - they're delicious! But bad ones are obviously not delicious and honestly kind of annoying because now you have less room in your stomach for the other food. This is a take on Caesar salad that we love in our house - made with kale and a healthy, homemade Caesar dressing. The tiny bread crumb croutons still warm from the skillet and generous parmesan sprinkling will have you wondering why all salads aren't this good.
Why You'll Love This Caesar Salad
With a solid (and healthier!) homemade Caesar dressing to start with, all you need now are other high quality, but simple, ingredients. The keys to making this kale Caesar memorable (and I'd even dare to say craveable) are prepping the kale correctly, and those irresistible toasty bread crumb-esque croutons. And of course, no Caesar salad is complete without a shaving of the best quality parmesan cheese you can find. Altogether, these simple elements create a salad that you'll actually want to keep eating!
- Kale - I like dinosaur (lacinato) kale best.
- Onion - Slice it very very thin. If the taste of raw onion is too strong for you, leave it off.
- Parmesan - Use the best quality you can find and shave it super fine with a microplane zester.
- Bread - I like to use sourdough. This recipe is a great use for day old bread!
- Olive Oil - For toasting the bread crumbs and messaging the kale.
- Homemade Caesar Dressing - If you don't have time to make it, you can fake it with a store bought oily Caesar dressing mixed with plain Greek yogurt.
How To Make It
- Make the dressing by whisking or blending all of the ingredients together.
- Make the bread crumbs. Roughly tear the bread and pulse it in a food processor or blender until you have crumbs. They don't have to be super small. Add ½ teaspoon of oil and pulse to coat the bread.
- Heat a small skillet over medium heat and add the bread crumbs. Toast, stirring occasionally, until they're golden.
- Finely chop the kale into thin ribbons. Place in a large bowl and drizzle with the other ½ teaspoon of oil. Use your hands to message the kale until it's softened up a little (a couple of minutes).
- Add the onion, parmesan, and bread crumbs. Drizzle with dressing.
- Toss everything together (add more dressing if needed) and finish with a final sprinkle of parm and bread crumbs, if you'd like.
Essential Tips For Kale Salads That Don't Suck
- Not all kale is created equal, in my opinion. I like to use either baby kale or dinosaur kale (also called lacinato kale) the best because they tend to be sweeter and more tender. Curly kale is honestly not very good in salads so I only buy it if that's the only thing available.
- Make sure you wash it thoroughly to remove any dirt that might be stuck on those leaves. Crunchy grains of sand do not make for a tasty salad.
- Finely chop the kale into tiny ribbons. It's much easier to eat this way.
- Massaging your kale is a MUST if you want tender kale that's easier to chew and digest. Massaging kale with a bit of olive oil or dressing with your hands helps to break down a little bit of the toughness for a much better kale experience. Simply drizzle olive oil over chopped kale in a bowl and gently rub with your hands until it starts to soften. Then continue with the recipe!
More Ways To Use That Homemade Caesar Dressing
- Easy Grilled Caesar Shrimp Burgers
- Grilled Caesar Salad With Shrimp
- Southwest Grilled Chicken Green Chile Caesar Salad
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Healthy Kale Caesar Salad with Homemade Dressing and Bread Crumbs
is not just any old Caesar salad! This kale Caesar salad features thin kale ribbons with healthy homemade creamy Caesar dressing and toasted breadcrumb croutons. You'll never look back after trying it!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 3-4 servings 1x
- Category: salad
- Method: chopped
- Cuisine: Greek
- 2 slices sourdough bread
- 1 tsp olive oil, divided
- ½ bunch kale (I like dinosaur kale)
- ⅛ small onion, very thinly sliced
- ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup Homemade Greek Yogurt Caesar Dressing
- Make the dressing: whisk all ingredients together or blend in a blender. Pour into a jar and store covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Make the bread crumb croutons. In a food processor or blender, pulse bread slices until small crumbs form. Add ½ teaspoon olive oil and pulse to coat the bread.
- Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the bread crumbs and toast until golden, stirring occasionally.
- Wash kale well. Slice into very thin ribbons and place in a large bowl. Add remaining ½ teaspoon olive oil and use your hands to message the kale until slightly more tender.
- Add sliced onion, parmesan, and bread crumbs to the kale.
- Pour in desired amount of dressing (start with about ¼ cup) and toss to coat everything evenly.
- Optional: sprinkle with more bread crumbs and parmesan before serving.
- This salad holds up well in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Add another drizzle of dressing (and sprinkle of warm bread crumbs, if you like!) before eating.
- The keys to good kale salads are: 1. Wash the kale well, 2. Slice it VERY thinly, and 3. Don't skip the messaging.
- If you don't have time to make the dressing from scratch, use store bought. I also like to use store-bought oily Caesar mixed with Greek yogurt in a pinch.
Keywords: the best kale caesar salad, kale salad with homemade caesar dressing
This post was originally publish October 2016 and has been updated.