Chickpea Caesar salad recipe

chickpea Caesar salad plantbased recipe vegan retreat

We introduced our chickpea Caesar salad last year and it has proved a big hit with our guests. By popular request we are sharing this recipe so that you can enjoy it at home!

In this recipe, we use cooked chickpeas, so, if you are using dried chickpeas, remember to factor in soaking and cooking time. To give added crunch and texture to the recipe, we first bake the chickpeas in the oven, with some herbs and spices – our preferred are oregano, black pepper and sweet paprika, but you could choose others (or add cayenne if you want some heat).

The Caesar dressing uses nuts to make a lovely creamy sauce. By soaking the cashew nuts first, they become softer and make a creamier dressing. If you prefer a raw sauce, then soak overnight in cold water – using boiling water is the quick method! Nutritional yeast helps to give the dressing a slightly “cheese” flavour, replacing the traditional parmesan. The Caesar dressing can be made in advance and left in the fridge. You can also make more to keep as a separate salad dressing, simply store in an airtight container in the fridge. (You can add more water or a little olive oil for a runnier consistency more suitable for pouring over salad items if you prefer).

Select some crunchy romaine lettuce for the base and then add some kale. We like to remove the stems from the kale (as they can be quite hard sometimes) and give the kale leaves a massage, as this helps to soften it a little. Once you add the dressing to the leaves, enjoy it as soon as possible, so the leaves stay crunchy and fresh.

Chickpea Caesar salad recipe

Serves: 8


Crunchy chickpeas:
2 cups cooked chickpeas
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp sweet paprika

Caesar dressing
1 cup cashew nuts, soak in boiling water (1 hour) or ovenight
1 tsp mustard powder
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp rice syrup (or other liquid sweetener)
1 tbsp tamari (or soya) sauce
½ cup hot water

Romaine lettuce, finely shredded
Kale, stems removed, massaged and finely shredded
Large handful fresh parsley, shredded


First, bake the chickpeas. 

Preheat oven to 180 C / 375°F / gas mark 4.

Rinse and drain the chickpeas, shaking off as much water as possible. Place them on a towel and pat gently to dry. Place another towel on top, then use your hands to rub the chickpeas and remove as many of the chickpea skins as possible.

In a medium bowl, stir together chickpeas with the rest of the ingredients.

Put the chickpeas onto baking tray. Bake for about 45 to 60 minutes until crispy and dry, shaking the pan every 15 minutes.

Remove when the chickpeas are browned but before they become very dark and hard. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before storing; the chickpeas will crisp up even more as they cool.

Whilst the chickpeas are cooking, make the Caesar dressing

Drain the cashew nuts and add into the blender. Add the rest of the dressing ingredients EXCEPT the water – add the water slowly as the blender is running. Blend for 3-4 minutes until you have a rich smooth dressing. Add more water as needed.

Add the romaine, kale and parsley into a bowl. (Massage the kale so it starts to soften a little). Pour over the chickpeas and the dressing. Toss well and serve immediately.

Plant-based food at La Crisalida health retreats 

Here at La Crisalida our seasonal menus are created by our talented chefs to serve freshly prepared home-cooked plant-based food, packed with wholegrains, seeds, nuts, vegetables, fruit as well as pulses and legumes. Our focus is delivering great taste with maximum nutrition. Explore more about the plant-based food served at La Crisalida Retreats here: plant-based food at La Crisalida Retreats. 

We hope you love this recipe as much as all our guests.

About the author

Lisa is one of the founders of La Crisalida Retreats. She is an Epidemiologist, therapeutic hatha and yin yoga teacher and also teaches mindfulness meditation. Lisa has studied NLP and hypnosis, as well as nutrition (she designs the menus).