Make THE BEST Vegan Caesar Salad with a super creamy tahini caesar dressing, crisp chickpeas and vegan parmesan cheese. It's easy to make in 25 minutes and delicious as a side dish or entree!
Traditional caesar salad is loaded with non-vegan ingredients, like eggs, cheese and anchovies. But if you're vegan, vegetarian or dairy-free, don't worry, you can still have the delicious flavor of caesar salad without all of those ingredients!
Umami seasoning, nutritional yeast, and spices combine to give you the delicious flavor of a caesar salad in a totally vegan recipe!
It only takes 25 minutes to make the recipe start-to-finish, including the preparation of the ultra-creamy vegan caesar salad dressing! You can also roast the chickpeas and prepare the salad dressing ahead of time to make these salads an easy lunch or dinner in just 5 minutes!
- For the salad:
- Romaine lettuce - this crisp lettuce is the classic choice but you could also use kale for a boost in nutrition.
- Vegan caesar dressing - click the link to the left to make this easy, creamy dressing in just 5 minutes in your blender!
- For the crispy chickpeas:
- Canned chickpeas - chickpeas from a can that have been drained and rinsed are used to keep this recipe quick and easy. If you choose to use dried chickpeas, you will need to soak them for at least 8 hours, or cook them before roasting.
- Extra virgin olive oil - has a nice neutral flavor, but you can use any oil you have on hand. Other mild tasting oils such as avocado oil or vegetable oil are good substitutes for olive oil.
- Umami seasoning - you can use the link to the left to make this seasoning mix at home, or purchase it in the spice aisle of most major grocery stores. You can also replace the umami seasoning with 1 teaspoon garlic powder + ½ teaspoon onion powder + ½ teaspoon sea salt.
- For the vegan parmesan:
- Raw cashews - make sure to purchase unsalted, raw cashews for this recipe.
- Nutritional yeast - you can usually find this ingredient in the gluten free, health food, or spice aisle of your grocery store. It helps to create that salty, cheesy flavor. If you can't find it at your local store, you can always order it on Amazon.
- Umami seasoning - see the notes above.
- Prepare the chickpeas. Drain and rinse the chickpeas, then toss them with olive oil and the umami seasoning. Place them on a baking sheet in an even layer and bake for 20 minutes at 400°F.
- Prepare the vegan parmesan. Add raw cashews, nutritional yeast and umami seasoning to a food processor. Pulse until it forms a fine meal.
- Note: The recipe provided will make more than is needed for the salad, but you can store the vegan parmesan leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks to top other salads or pasta dishes.
- Assemble the salad. After preparing the vegan parmesan, prepare the vegan caesar dressing. Chop the romaine lettuce, place it in a large bowl and toss it with the dressing. Divide the dressed greens between 4 bowls. Top with the roasted chickpeas and vegan parmesan cheese.
Dress up your salad with any of these tasty toppings:
- Croutons - get the classic crunch with croutons! Use your favorite store bought kind or make gluten free croutons at home.
- Avocado - top the salad with fresh slices of avocado for a rich and creamy addition.
- Veggies - cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, carrots, or peppers would all be great tossed in to this salad.
- Seeds - try sunflower, chia, flax, or hemp seeds for extra flavor, texture, and nutrition.
- Lemons - serve a lemon wedge on the side and squeeze on some fresh lemon juice just before eating for a fresh flavor addition.
- Capers - a sprinkle of capers on top will add to the classic Caesar tang.
- Artichoke hearts - chop up some canned or jarred artichoke hearts and mix them in to the salad.
- Black pepper - grind some fresh black pepper kernels over the top at the table, for a restaurant style caesar salad!
Add a protein
- For plant based protein:
- Add 4 ounces of cooked tempeh, which will add 15 grams of protein to this salad. Crumble or cube the tempeh, then toss it in the oil and seasonings that the chickpeas use. Pan fry the tempeh or roast it in the oven until warmed through.
- You can also add 8 ounces of tofu, which will add 10 grams of protein to the salad. Press and dice extra-firm tofu, then season and roast the cubes with the chickpea seasonings.
- For meat based protein:
Meal prep it
- For storage:
- Prepare the roasted chickpeas, make the dressing, and prepare the vegan Parmesan cheese. Wait to dress the greens.
- Load four large individual airtight storage containers with the romaine, chickpeas, and cheese. Keep the chickpeas in their own small container if you plan on reheating them.
- Divide the dressing between four small containers.
- Place the dressing in the large containers with the salad base.
- Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- To reheat and eat:
- Remove the chickpeas from the salad container and microwave for 60-90 seconds.
- Add the warmed chickpeas to the salad, toss with the dressing and enjoy!
- Or, simply toss with the dressing and enjoy cold.
What to serve it with
If serving this vegan caesar salad as a side dish, try it with these delicious bowls and entrees!
- Keto Pizza Bowls
- Italian Bowl with Roasted Vegetables
- Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup
- Italian Bowls with Vegan Meatballs
- Pasta with Marinara Sauce, Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce, or Sage Pesto - each of these homemade sauce recipes is vegan and gluten free!
- Italian Roasted Butternut Squash Bowls
- Pasta Fagioli Soup
- Vegetarian Lasagna
More vegan salads
Try these other delicious vegan salad recipes!
- Vegan Cobb Salad
- Roasted Chickpea Salad
- Buffalo Tempeh Salad
- Kale Sweet Potato Salad
- Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Salad
Vegan Caesar Salad
- 14 ounce can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons umami seasoning see note below for other options
Vegan Parmesan Cheese
- ¾ cup raw, unsalted cashews
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 teaspoons umami seasoning see note below for other options
- 16 ounce romaine hearts chopped
- ½ cup vegan caesar dressing click link for recipe
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Toss the drained can of chickpeas with the olive oil and umami seasoning.
- Spread into an even layer on a baking sheet and into the oven for 20 minutes.
- While the chickpeas are roasting, prepare the vegan parmesan cheese.
- Add the raw cashews, nutritional yeast and umami seasoning to a food processor.
- Blend until it forms a fine meal.
- Prepare the vegan caesar dressing in a blender, using the link provided.
- Add the chopped romaine lettuce to a large bowl.
- Add the vegan caesar dressing and toss to coat the lettuce in the dressing.
- Divide the dressed lettuce into 4 smaller bowls.
- Top each bowl with roasted chickpeas and 1 tablespoon vegan parmesan cheese.
- The umami seasoning can be replaced with 1 teaspoon garlic powder + ½ teaspoon onion powder + ½ teaspoon sea salt.
- The recipe provided will make more vegan parmesan cheese than is needed for the salad, but you can store the vegan parmesan leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks to top other salads or pasta dishes.
- The caesar dressing can be made up to 5 days in advance.