Vegan Kale Caesar Salad with Polenta Croutons

Vegan-ized Caesar dressing!

This is big! I mean, Breaking News big – at least in my house. Since I became vegan about 10 years ago, Caesar Salad has probably been my single most-lamented, yearned-for recipe.

But Caesar Salad is back on our menu now…and it’s better than ever!

Traditional romaine gets a colorful makeover here, with the addition of tender baby kale and crunchy red cabbage shreds. Then, my salad is topped with a rich, creamy, and totally crave-worthy dressing, and finished with crushed pistachios, pecans, and crispy polenta croutons! We cannot get enough.

Hope you love this as much as we do! xo


Vegan Kale Caesar Salad

6 cups baby kale, chopped
6 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
1 cup shredded red cabbage

Vegan Caesar Dressing

1/2 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons brown mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder


Raw pistachios and/or pecans, crushed
Polenta Croutons (see below)


Place salad greens in a large bowl, and set aside.

Prepare polenta croutons* (see below) and set aside.

While croutons are baking, prepare the dressing. Add cashews, water, lemon juice, brown mustard, cayenne, onion powder, salt, and garlic powder into a high-powered blender (like a Vitamix), and process until smooth.

Toss the salad with desired amount of dressing, and refrigerate the remainder.

Garnish salad with crushed pistachios and/or pecans, top with polenta croutons, and serve immediately.


1 pound of prepared polenta, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
sprinkle of kosher salt
sprinkle of black pepper
sprinkle of Creole seasoning

Into a large bowl, toss polenta cubes carefully with salt, pepper, and Creole seasoning until evenly coated. Bake either in an Air Fryer or traditional oven. (I use a Philips Air Fryer Avance Digital TurboStar, and love it.)

Air Fryer Method…

Place polenta cubes in the basket of an Air Fryer in a single layer. Set temperature to 400 degrees and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until nice and crispy. Remove from Air Fryer and set aside. (With my Air Fryer, it takes 2 batches to bake all of the polenta.)

Traditional Oven Method…

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Toss cubes onto prepared baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until polenta cubes are nice and crispy. Remove from oven, and set aside.

Copyright © Vicki Brett-Gach | Ann Arbor Vegan Kitchen

3 thoughts on “Vegan Kale Caesar Salad with Polenta Croutons

  1. Swati

    I make a double batch of this recipe’s Caesar dressing routinely – yes, it is really that good! It has such incredible flavors! It is also a great dressing for pasta salad.
    Vicki’s recipes are easy to follow and so versatile, which is why her blog is my first choice for healthy and delicious recipes!

  2. Pingback: Vegan Kale Caesar Salad and Polenta Croutons

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