Before I went vegan, caesar salad was one of my all-time favorite foods. I was never a huge fan of salads, but there’s something about caesar salad that makes it so much heartier than the rest. When I decided to go vegan, caesar salad was one of those things I was nervous to miss, which is why it was necessary to come up with my own vegan caesar salad recipe.
Now, I’ve had a lot of caesar salads in my day, but this one might actually be the best. It has the perfect balance of garlicy creaminess, with just the right amount of lemon tang. I kick this recipe up a notch by pairing it with my perfectly roasted crispy chickpeas, which act as a high protein and fiber replacement for croutons (but hey, use croutons too if you’d like!).
This vegan caesar salad recipe relies on sunflower seeds to be the base of the dressing. So many vegan recipes rely on cashews for the creaminess, but I actually prefer to use sunflower seeds. This is because sunflower seeds are higher in protein, have almost triple the fiber, and have more calcium than cashews. Not to mention they’re cheaper- like way cheaper.
I love to eat this salad on its own for a hearty side to a meal or to eat it in a wrap for a complete meal! I also love to roast up some sweet or regular potatoes on the same pan as the chickpeas to add into the salad if I’m looking for something that’ll hold me over for a little longer than just a salad.
Keep in mind that this dressing is based on my perfect balance of flavors for a caesar salad (but to be honest, I’ve never had any complaints). Remember to taste the dressing before serving to see if it needs more nutritional yeast for cheesiness, lemon juice for tang, dijon for spiciness, or salt or pepper for flavor.
Let me know by leaving a review below if you’ve tried this recipe, and don’t forget to tag me in your photo on Instagram! I hope you love this recipe as much as I do!
Vegan Caesar Salad Recipe with Crispy Chickpeas
This vegan caesar salad recipe with crispy chickpeas will satisfy all your caesar salad needs while relying on plant-based ingredients!
Caesar Salad Dressing
- 3/4 cup hulled sunflower seeds raw
- 3/4 cup water plus more as needed
- 3.5 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 lemon juiced
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 large heads romaine or 3 small heads, chopped
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast optional
- 1/2 lemon juiced optional
Preheat oven to 450 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
Toss chickpeas in olive oil, salt, smoked paprika, oregano, and garlic powder. Spread evenly on baking sheet, and roast at 450 F for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Meanwhile, add all dressing ingredients to a blender and blend on high until smooth. Add more water as needed, 1 tbsp at a time until you've reached desired consistency.
Once chickpeas are done, add all ingredients to a large bowl. Toss to combine, and serve with an extra sprinkle of nutritional yeast and drizzle of lemon juice (if desired). Serve and enjoy!
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Hi, super excited to try your recipes- I will def yah you. 🌞
Lauren McNeill says
Thank you so much!
Hi there! Can the nutritional yeast be omitted or replaced with something else?
Can’t wait to make this!!
Thank you 🙂
Lauren McNeill says
You can omit it, but it will likely change the taste a bit! There aren’t any great substitutions unfortunately.