Tahini Kale Salad with Roasted Chickpeas is hearty enough for a meal on its own, but it also makes a great side dish. Serve it for lunch or a light dinner. Drenched in a creamy tahini dressing, this delicious dish will make a kale lover out of the biggest skeptics! This super easy massaged kale salad recipe is vegan and gluten-free.
Tahini Kale Salad
I hate the cliche that vegans eat nothing but salad. Vegans probably eat a wider variety of foods than omnivores. In addition to burgers, tacos, pizza, and pasta, I eat curries, Asian-inspired noodles, stir-fries, burrito bowls, and all kinds of veggie dishes.
But that said, I do eat a lot of salad. Especially in the hot summer months when I don't want a hot and heavy meal. One of my favorite salads is made with kale and a generous helping of tahini dressing. And it's topped, of course, with chickpea croutons. I always add avocado, because avocado makes everything just a little bit tastier.
Health Benefits of Kale
Kale is one of those love it or hate it foods. I’m definitely in the “love it” category. I’m a big fan of kale salads. Some other favorite ways to make it are creamed kale, kale chips, and even just stir-fried and drizzled with a tasty sauce.
It's one of the most nutritious foods on the planet, so it’s worth adding into your diet. Taste buds can change, and after eating something several times—even if you don’t like it to begin with—you might find yourself enjoy it.
- A cup of kale has almost 3 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber, which can help you feel full.
- The fiber found in kale can also help promote a healthy digestive tract.
- Kale is a good source of folate, which is important for brain development.
- It also contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which are essential for eye health.
- This leafy green is also chock-full of vitamins A, C, and K as well as iron, potassium, calcium, and zinc.
What You Need
You only need a few ingredients to make this recipe!
- Aqufaba (the water from a can of chickpeas)
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Sea salt
- Lemon juice
- Black pepper
- Red pepper
- Red cabbage
See recipe card for exact amounts.
What Is Tahini?
Tahini is a paste that’s made from ground sesame seeds. It can be bitter straight of out the jar, but when mixed with other ingredients, it magically transforms into a lush and creamy paste. I use it regularly to make salad dressing, but it can be used in many different ways.
In most grocery stores, tahini can be found near the peanut butter. Some grocery stores also keep it in the ethnic food area. I love Seed and Mill's tahini.
How to Massage Kale
I think one of the reasons that people don’t like kale is that it can be a little tough to eat in its raw state. The key to a good kale salad is to massage it well with salt or an acid, such as lemon juice. Massage your kale until it just beings to wilt. There's nothing worse than overly relaxed kale, so don't massage it too much.
How To Make Tahini Kale Salad with Roasted Chickpeas
This recipe is super easy to make!
- First you roast the chickpeas. You do this by tossing the chickpeas in olive oil and spices and then roasting them for about 35 minutes, stirring them at about the halfway point.
- While the chickpeas are roasting, you mix together the ingredients for the tahini dressing.
- Next you massage the kale with the dressing.
- Finally, you toss all of the ingredients together.
This recipe makes 2 meal-sized portions or 4 side salads.
This Tahini Kale Salad is highly versatile. You can adjust the add-ins to your liking. I enjoy it with diced tomato and avocado, but if you prefer marinated artichoke hearts and olives, go for it! It would also be tasty with roasted red peppers, baked tofu, and fresh cucumber slices. You can also use pre-made roasted chickpeas if you want to save time.
Tahini Kale Salad with Garlicky Chickpeas
For the Chickpeas
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas drained
- 1 teaspoon aquafaba (the liquid from a can of chickpeas)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
For the Dressing
- ¼ cup tahini
- ¼ cup water
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
For the Salad
- 1 bunch kale destemmed and chopped into bite-size pieces (about 6 cups)
- 2 cups red cabbage shredded (about ¼ of a head of cabbage)
- 2 carrots julienned
- 1 avocado diced
- 1 large tomato diced
Make the Chickpeas
- Preheat your oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the chickpeas in a bowl and drizzle on the aquafaba. Add the garlic powder, onion powder, and salt, and mix to coat.
- Bake for 20 minutes, and then carefully roll the chickpeas around on the baking sheet. Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, keeping an eye on them so they don’t burn. Let the chickpeas cool for 5 to 10 minutes before using on your salad.
- If you'd prefer to air fryer your chickpeas, air fry them for 15 to 20 minutes at 400°F. Be sure the shake the basket after about 10 minutes.
Make the Dressing
- While the chickpeas are baking, whisk all of the dressing ingredients together in small bowl. If you don’t use the dressing right away, it will thicken, and you may need to add another tablespoon or two of water.
Make the Salad
- Place the kale in a large bowl and add the tahini dressing. With clean hands, gently massage the dressing into the kale until the leaves are completely coated and have softened slightly.
- Add the cabbage, carrots, avocado, and tomato. Toss to mix. Serve topped with the roasted chickpeas.
Other Kale Salads you might enjoy include:
- Holiday Kale Salad
- Tahini and Tofu Kale Salad
- Strawberry Kale Salad
- Kale and Edamame Salad with Lemon Herb Dressing
- Kale Caesar
Other tahini recipes you might enjoy include:
- Tahini Truffles
- Mocha Tahini Shake
- Garlicky Roasted Vegetables with Lemon Tahini Drizzle
- Grilled Eggplant Wraps with Spicy Tahini Slaw
- Tahini Chickpea Salad