Kale Caesar Salad with Creamy Parmesan Dressing

Easy kale and romaine Caesar salad with a creamy Parmesan dressing without egg. Great for a potluck!
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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Everyone loves a good caesar salad. It’s all about the garlic, the parmesan, the crisp romaine lettuce, and crunchy garlicky croutons, right?

Well, try adding some fresh kale leaves to your caesar next time! You don’t have to replace all the romaine with kale. In fact, an equal amount of each is just right in our opinion. You get the green goodness that is kale along with the cool crispness of the romaine, the best of both worlds.

You wouldn’t think to bring an already dressed green salad to a cookout or picnic, but you can with this kale caesar. Romaine hearts hold up fairly well, and kale? It’s as if it’s daring you to let it sit dressed for hours. Kale doesn’t care. It’s so happily sturdy it appreciates the tenderizing influence of a dressing.

Speaking of which, the dressing for this recipe comes from my friend chef Kathi Riley. There’s no egg and no anchovies, but it is still wonderfully creamy.

Kale Caesar Salad

 

Kale Caesar Salad with Creamy Parmesan Dressing Recipe

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  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6 to 8

Note the kale is rather sturdy so you can make this a couple hours in advance.

Pro tip: because ciabatta bread has big holes it makes great croutons! Light and airy.

Ingredients

Croutons:

  • 6 cups of 1-inch diced rustic bread (ciabatta or Italian loaf)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Vinaigrette:

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar (can sub apple cider vinegar)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan (use vegetarian Parmesan for vegetarian option)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Salad:

  • 8 cups kale leaves (lightly packed), ribs removed and leaves torn into bite-size pieces
  • 2 large head romaine lettuce hearts, cut in half lengthwise, and then cut in half again lengthwise, then cut crosswise on a diagonal, to 1-inch wide strips
  • 4 Tbsp grated Parmesan

Method

1 Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Spread bread cubes out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Place in oven and bake until golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Toss while still warm in a bowl with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.

2 Place the vinaigrette ingredients into a blender or food processor. Purée until smooth.

3 Place the chopped kale and romaine leaves into a large bowl. Add the dressing and massage with your (clean) hands until the salad is well dressed. (Massaging the kale with your hands helps soften the leaves.) Add the croutons and the Parmesan cheese.

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Links:

Grilled Romaine Lettuce here on Simply Recipes

Caesar Salad here on Simply Recipes

Kale Caesar Salad

Showing 4 of 17 Comments

  • Jenny S.

    We made this last night as a side to our homemade pizza. I ate it with my omelette this morning, again, and at lunch, again! I had a similar salad on a fabulous trip to Dry Creek Valley, CA and have craved it since. This satisfied my craving, and it was EASY! I shared your recipe already, and will make this again and again. Thank you!

  • Emily

    My family and I cannot get enough of this salad! Admittedly we eat some version of this once a week at a minimum. Many thanks!

  • M. M.

    Does parmesan cheese get blended in with the vinaigrette ingredients or is it only sprinkled on at the end?

  • Dawn

    I saved this recipe when you first posted it. I finally just made it today. The dressing is AMAZING!! Thank you for such a great recipe with a nice, light dressing. A staple recipe in my files now. :)

  • Leeann

    I’ve made this twice already, and I just have to tell any doubters: this is a WINNER. I really can’t believe the dressing doesn’t contain egg (the consistency is just right), and somehow it still has the umami delivered by the (missing) anchovy! I’m extremely gluten-sensitive, so I used Udi’s gluten free bread for the croutons (followed the same directions as given for the with-gluten bread), and I was surprised at how awesome the croutons were, too. A wonderful addition to my repertoire – thank you, Elise!

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