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In this kale Cesar salad, the dressing is light and lemony and the kale itself is extremely soft and tender. It's also vegan, the dressing made with vegannaise and vegan Worcestershire. The combination of curly kale, massaged till tender, quick-pickled onions, and toasted pumpkin seeds, which add so much texture and flavor, is so good. I think this is one you have to taste to believe. //

Honest Weight’s Vegan Kale Caesar Salad

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5 from 4 reviews


Inspired by a favorite salad at the Honest Weight Food Coop in Albany.

I’ve made this several ways now. First, as closely to the original as possible making a dressing that I hope can be easily veganized for anyone looking to keep this salad vegan. I did not use vegannaise or vegan Worcestershire when I tested this, but I have faith that the vegan versions of these two ingredients will sub in here nicely. With real mayo and Worcestershire, the dressing is delicious, too, so if you don’t care about keeping this vegan, make the dressing with real mayo/Worcestershire.

I’ve also used my favorite caesar dressing, which can be found on this post: Kale Caesar Salad. This is probably my favorite way to prepare it — I just love this dressing.

I’ve also added the pulled meat from a poached chicken breast to make it a little more substantial (see last photo above.) I’ve also used sunflower seeds in place of the pumpkin seeds, and they worked fine, but they are not as good. I’ve also used Tuscan kale, but I prefer curly with this recipe.


For the salad:

  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • red wine vinegar or other
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 lb. curly kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
  • sea salt to taste
  • Fresh pepper to taste

For the vegan dressing:

  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon white wine or white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup vegannaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Place the onion in a small bowl. Cover with vinegar or nearly cover with vinegar.
  2. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, toast the pumpkin seeds until fragrant and just turning to color, 5 to 7 minutes. Check often and stir frequently. Transfer seeds to a plate to cool.
  3. Wash the kale, if necessary, by submerging it with cold water in a large bowl. Let it sit for 10 minutes to allow the dirt to settle. Dry using a salad spinner, then transfer to large salad bowl. Dry with additional towels or paper towels if necessary. Tear the kale into small pieces.
  4. Make the dressing: In the bowl of a food processor, purée the garlic, mustard, Worcestershire, lemon juice, vinegar, mayonnaise, salt and pepper until smooth. With the motor running, pour the oil down the food pusher insert so it enters the processor through the teensy pinhole. Purée until smooth. Dressing should be emulsified and pourable. If it’s too thick, thin with water, lemon or vinegar to taste. Adjust seasoning as necessary. Transfer dressing to a storage vessel. Don’t clean the mixer. Purée the pumpkin seeds until fine.
  5. Top the kale with the onions, leaving the excess vinegar behind. (Save for another use.) Top with puréed pumpkin seeds. Top with 1/3 cup of the salad dressing. Toss to coat, using your hands to massage the kale with the dressing — be aggressive. Taste salad. If you like the ratio of dressing-to-leaf, add a pinch of sea salt, toss, taste, and adjust again. If the leaves need more dressing, add more to taste. Season with pepper to taste.