Vegan Kale & Brussels Sprout Caesar Salad
This vegan kale and brussels sprout caesar salad recipe is made with apples, pomegranates, sourdough croutons, and a cashew-based caesar salad dressing. It’s easy, healthy, and absolutely delicious!
This kale and brussels sprout caesar salad takes a heartier spin on the classic. Traditionally, caesar salads are made with chopped romaine lettuce, croutons, parmesan, and a traditional caesar dressing (made from eggs and anchovies).
There’s no doubt that classic caesar salads are delicious, but sometimes it’s fun to change things up a little!
This caesar salad swaps romaine lettuce with chopped kale and shredded brussels sprouts. Traditional caesar dressing is replaced with a cashew-based dressing that is 100% plant-based (vegan).
For even more flavour, we’re adding in some crunchy and juicy honeycrisp apples and pomegranates! They give a perfect contrast to the more savoury flavours in this dish.
This vegan caesar salad recipe is made with healthy, whole food ingredients. It’s easy to make and super filling! Enjoy it as a side salad or serve in a larger portion for a full meal.
While this hearty salad can of course be enjoyed all year long, it truly celebrates some of the best of fall and winter produce! I hope you love it as much as I do.
Want more delicious, hearty salad recipe inspiration? Check out my roundup of 15+ fall and winter salad recipes for more ideas!
Recipe Ingredients Needed
For the salad:
- kale (I used lacinato or dinosaur kale)
- brussels sprouts
- sourdough (or other bread, gluten-free if needed)
- apple (I used honeycrisp)
For the vegan caesar dressing:
- raw cashews
- olive oil
- lemon juice
- dijon mustard
- miso paste
- nutritional yeast
- maple syrup
Full ingredient measurements and detailed instructions are located in the recipe card at the bottom of this post!
How To Chop Kale
My favourite way to chop kale may not be the most traditional, but it works like a charm!
- Start by removing the kale leaves from the hard stems. Simply hold the stem in one hand, and slide your other hand down the stem. The leaves will come right off!
- Next, place about 5 or so leaves on top of one another, and roll them up.
- Using a sharp chef’s knife, start to make small slices from one end of the rolled up kale to the other (similar to how you would chiffonade basil).
- Then you can roughly add a few chops in the opposite direction to make smaller pieces.
- Repeat until all the kale is chopped.
*Be sure to check out the recipe video at the end of this post to see a demonstration for how to do this!
How To Shred Brussels Sprouts
There are 3 ways that you can shred brusssels sprouts into thin pieces:
- Using a food processor (quickest method). Use the slicing attachment of your food processor to shred a large batch of brussels sprouts in seconds! I used this Cuisinart food processor to do the job.
- Using a mandolin slicer. Hold the sprout on the root end and slide it back and forth over the blade of the mandolin.
- Using a sharp chef’s knife. Halve each sprout lengthwise, then place the sprout on the cut side down. Slice thinly with your chef’s knife and separate shreds with your hands.
How To Make Vegan Caesar Dressing
Classic caesar salad dressing is traditionally made with anchovies and eggs. While both these ingredients are healthy (I enjoy both!), they aren’t suitable for someone on a vegan diet.
That’s why I wanted to make an option for everyone to enjoy 🙂
All you need to do is mix the dressing ingredients (listed in the recipe card below) into a high-speed blender (I use this Vitamix). Blend everything together until it’s smooth and creamy!
- if you prefer a thinner dressing, add small amounts of water (e.g. a tablespoon or two) and blend until it meets your desired consistency
- adjust the seasonings to taste – I know some of us like things super garlicky or super salty! Feel free to play around here.
*NOTE: you need to soak the cashews for at least 4 hours or overnight. I find it easiest to just throw them into a jar, cover with water, and place in the fridge the night before I plan on making a recipe (otherwise, I’m likely to forget to do this).
Recipe Modifications & Variations
If you need a gluten-free version of this recipe, simply swap sourdough with your favourite gluten-free bread. If you’d prefer to omit the bread, add some extra crunch with some pumpkin seeds or nuts!
I love honeycrisp apples because of their crunchy sweetness, but feel free to swap them with your favourite variety. You could also try this with dried cranberries instead of pomegranates.
If you don’t feel like making homemade caesar dressing, feel free to use a store-bought version.
Here are some of my favourite store-bought caesar dressings:
- Fody Foods (this one is vegan; discount code is walderfall15)
- Chosen Foods
- Primal Kitchen
- Mother Raw (this one is also vegan)
This kale and brussels sprout caesar salad is best enjoyed immediately.
That said, leftovers will keep for 1-2 days in an airtight container in the fridge, but do note that the croutons will become soggy. My boyfriend really liked the soggy croutons though – so if that’s your thing, awesome!
If you’d like to make this salad in advance, I recommend:
- shredding the kale and brussels sprouts,
- de-seeding the pomegranate,
- making the caesar dressing,
- making the sourdough croutons,
and keep all ingredients SEPARATE until you plan on serving it. Add the sliced apples at the end, so that they don’t go brown.
Kale Nutrition Benefits
Just one cup of kale provides over 100% of your daily vitamin A (206%), vitamin K (684%), and vitamin C (134%) needs.
Kale is also a good source of other micronutrients like manganese, magnesium, potassium, calcium, copper, and vitamin B6.
That same cup provides 2 grams of dietary fibre, helping to keep your gut and heart happy.
In addition to micronutrients, kale is also loaded with antioxidants, which prevent cellular damage and provide a multitude of health benefits. Kale is truly a superfood!
Brussels Sprouts Nutrition Benefits
These little cruciferous veggies pack a nutritious punch. One cup of Brussels sprouts provides:
- almost 4 grams of dietary fibre (15%DV), which is known to promote digestive function, heart health, glycemic control, and weight management
- over 100% of your daily needs of vitamin K and vitamin C
- a good source of other micronutrients, like vitamin A, B6, folate, iron, and manganese
- antioxidants, like vitamin C and kaempferol
More Healthy Fall Salad Recipes
- Vegan Broccoli Kale Salad With Tahini Dressing
- Warm Mushroom Salad With Miso Dressing
- Kale Butternut Squash Salad With Farro & Goat Cheese
- Roasted Broccoli Salad With Cranberry, Farro & Feta
- Grilled Kale Salad With Avocado, Lemon & Parmesan
- Massaged Kale Salad With Sweet Potato & Pomegranate
Did you give this Vegan Kale & Brussels Sprouts Caesar Salad Recipe a try? Let me know by leaving a comment and recipe rating below!
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Get the Recipe: Vegan Kale & Brussels Sprout Caesar Salad
- 5 cups lacinato kale, chopped then (about 1 large or 2 small bunches – how to massage kale for salad)
- 5 cups brussels sprouts, shredded (roughly 15 sprouts, depending on size)
- 2 slices sourdough bread
- 2 tsp olive oil (for sourdough)
- 1 pomegranate, arils only
- 1/2 a large honeycrisp apple, sliced thin
- Salt + pepper, to taste
- *NOTE: you'll need to soak the cashews for at least 4 hours or overnight. I find it easiest to just throw them into a jar, cover with water, and place in the fridge the night before I plan on making a recipe.
- Preheat your oven to 350F. Slice sourdough bread into roughly 1/2- to 1-inch chunks. Toss in olive oil and spread on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 10-15 mins, until lightly browned and toasted. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Meanwhile, make the caesar dressing by placing all dressing ingredients into a high-speed blender. Blend on high until smooth and creamy. Adjust seasonings to taste. If you like a thinner dressing, simply add a tablespoon or 2 more water and blend until it reaches your desired consistency.
- In a large salad bowl, add chopped kale, shredded brussels sprouts, apple slices, pomegranates, and sourdough croutons. Drizzle caesar dressing on top, and toss to combine. Serve immediately!
- If you need a gluten-free version of this recipe, simply swap sourdough with your favourite gluten-free bread. If you’d prefer to omit the bread, add some extra crunch with some pumpkin seeds or nuts!
- I love honeycrisp apples because of their crunchy sweetness, but feel free to swap them with your favourite variety. You could also try this with dried cranberries instead of pomegranates.
- If you don’t feel like making homemade caesar dressing, feel free to use a store-bought version. I’ve listed my favourite brands in the blog post.