Sort of a Kale Caesar

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Kale Caesar is all the rage and has been for a while. If you love Kale as much as I do, it’s difficult not to imagine it coated in a creamy Caesar dressing. You know the leaves are going to hold up beautifully and the salty, creamy dressing is going to balance out the sometimes bitter and earthy flavor of the raw leaves. The only thing holding me back was the sheer richness that is usually Caesar dressing and fear of just how many Weight Watchers Points Plus each serving would be.

I’ve been thinking about it for way too long and my Food Blogger friends were not helping. First, Emily from Emmy Cooks posted a great one, then Kalyn from Kalyns Kitchen posted a hybrid Kale and Romaine Caesar.

There was also a Vegan Kale Caesar from For the Love of Food and an inspired Chopped Kale Salad with Creamy Lemon Dressing from John at Kitchen Riffs.

Finally, when Erina from Shut Up & Cook posted a Kale Salad with Caesar Dressing, I knew all hell had broken loose. A prior self-proclaimed, “Kale Hater”, I knew that if a Kale Caesar is what turned her out and made HER a Kale lover, well, then I better get on it.

It was the combination of getting this book (which I have already raved about here) for a holiday gift and the need to plan a special dinner for New Years Eve that finally tipped my hat.

I decided on Dr. Weil’s version for no other reason than I just wanted to keep trying the recipes from his book.

It is delicious and sort of a Kale Caesar (hence the name of this post) but at the same time a hearty, garlicky raw kale salad with just the right amount of crunch and dressing.

Bottom line is that if you even remotely like Kale but love garlicky dressings or Caesar, you will love this and you don’t have to feel as bad about the Points Plus since you know you are essentially eating raw kale. 😉

Adapted From: Dr. Weil’s Kale Salad


  • Click here and scroll to the NOTES section to learn how to quickly stem Kale.
  • I have a recipe here for homemade whole wheat croutons if you can’t find a good brand at the store.
  • If you add the shaved Parmesan on for serving, make sure to account for the Points Plus values. I did not include them in the total. For reference, a 1/2 ounce of shaved Parmesan is 1 Points Plus.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Sort of a Kale Caesar
4 Points Plus Per Serving -- Serves 6
  • 2 large bunches of Lacinato Kale (Dinosaur Kale), cleaned, stems removed and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 to 3 large cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup organic lemon juice (from approximately 2 medium lemons)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 10 turns freshly ground black pepper
  • ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup whole wheat croutons, crushed (OR Gluten Free croutons)
  • shaved Parmesan for serving (optional)
  1. Clean kale be removing the stems, washing the leaves and drying. If you have a salad spinner, this is a great time to use it to dry the leaves. Alternately, pat them with paper towels. Once mostly dry, chop leaves into bite sized pieces and place in a very large bowl.
  2. Smash garlic and finely chop. Combine in a large bowl with lemon juice, salt, red pepper and black pepper.Whisk to combine and continue whisking, slowly pouring in olive oil to emulsify.
  3. Combine dressing with kale leaves, using your hands to gently massage into the leaves. (I used kitchen gloves because I had just painted my nails and Kale has a nasty habit of turning manicures green! Set a timer for 30 minutes and move on to the croutons.
  4. Smash the croutons by placing them in a measuring cup and using the next size smaller measuring cup to crush them by pushing down. Alternately, you could put them in a Ziploc type bag and bang on them but I found that is messier.
  5. Finally, measure grated cheese and shave fresh Parmesan if using for garnish.
  6. When timer is up, toss dressed salad with crushed croutons and grated Parm until well coated.
  7. Leftovers (like there will be any) can be kept refrigerated for and eaten within two days but know that the croutons will get soft. Serve with shaved Parmesan and Enjoy!


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  1. says

    Love this! How simple, nutritious and perfectly easy! Thank you for including the WW points, too. We’re going to feature this on our Facebook page and link here so people can see how you made it, and your lovely photography. If you wish, come LIKE us on Facebook for more recipes and tips on super healthy greens like kale, chard, beet, mustard, turnip, collard and other green leafies.

    –Your friendly Southern California farmers at Cut ‘N Clean Greens

  2. Barb says

    Can you use any type of kale! I didn’t realize there are different wonder hat kind it is in the large bag at the grocery store.

    • EverydayMaven says

      My preference is Dinosaur Kale (also called Lacinato Kale) but Curly Kale is good, Russian Kale, Purple Kale. If you bought a large bag – it is most likely Baby Kale and I haven’t tried this salad with that yet so let me know! Thanks :)

  3. Sandra Evans (@SandraJEvans) says

    This is excellent! I made it last night and it was absolutely delicious. My husband also loved it, I can see this in my weekly menu.

  4. says

    I’ve been in a “can’t get enough Caesar kale salad” kick for a while now. Love using Dino kale but also red Russian, which has a nice sweetness in an odd sort of way. Nice recipes you have here Alyssa. Glad I found you through chef D 😉
    Lynn recently posted..Cinnamon Rolls for the New YearMy Profile

    • EverydayMaven says

      Thank you for stopping by Lynn. I am so addicted to the Dino Kale, I almost never buy the curly but I’ll have to try the salad with it!

    • EverydayMaven says

      Have to have the gloves Jeanette – nothing worse than green (from kale) or red (from beets) ruining your nails 😉

  5. says

    I am probably as fond of kale as you are, so you had me at kale! I do a caesar-ish one too, but will now wait awhile to blog it. Lol! It is certainly amazing how such a humble vegetable that grows in such poor soil has so many of us entranced by its emerald tastiness. Hand on heart I eat it about five times a week. At least. Another one to try. Thanks x
    kellie@foodtoglow recently posted..A Really Useful Asian Broth with Awesome Add-InsMy Profile

    • EverydayMaven says

      I can not get enough of this salad Joanne – it has graced my table a lot this year and we are only 8 days into 2013 lol!

  6. says

    No convincing needed here, Alyssa! I adore kale in any form, and this salad sounds scrumptious. I have some kale in the fridge and can’t wait to make it. Great tip on the green nails, too… I’ve loved the abundance of kale Caesars (I am hooked on the one at Skillet Diner – have you tried it?) and like seeing all the variations you shared.
    Hannah recently posted..Pomegranate PavlovaMy Profile

    • EverydayMaven says

      I haven’t tried the Skillet one – Emily from Emmy cooks said the same thing about it. I must try it!

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