Make a flavorful Lemon Kale Caesar Salad for the perfect side salad. Massage kale in a simple homemade lemon caesar dressing and top with lemon zest and parmesan cheese.
Extra lemon juice makes this kale caesar salad bright and refreshing
Caesar salads have always been a favorite of mine. Caesar dressing can be a bit heavy so its nice to pair it with a heartier green like some kale.
I added extra lemon juice to a homemade caesar dressing to make it lighter and brighter. That homemade dressing gets massaged into the finely chopped kale.
Then, the whole thing is tossed with homemade sourdough croutons, lemon zest and lots of fresh parmesan cheese. This kale caesar salad is equal parts hearty and refreshing.
- Sharp knife and cutting board
- Measuring spoons and measuring cups
- Liquid measuring cups
- Mixing bowls
- Frying pans
- Microplane for zesting
This lemon kale caesar salad is delicious as a a side salad or even as an entree. I like to serve it as a side salad along some of my favorite Italian recipes like these crockpot meatballs and sauce or baked gnocchi recipe.
- Curly kale
- Sourdough bread
- Lemon zest
- Parmesan cheese
- Lemon juice
- Fresh garlic cloves
- Dijon mustard
- Olive oil
I like to use finely chopped curly kale for this kale caesar salad, but you can use any kind you like. Tuscan kale or even baby kale will both work well.
I like to use sourdough bread for the homemade croutons because it is hearty. You can use any kind of bread you like. I recommend using sourdough, Italian or multigrain bread.
To make the dressing, I use mayo to simplify the emulsification. If you do not like mayonnaise, use a plain greek yogurt as a substitute.
How to make a lemon kale caesar salad
Step 1: Prepare homemade croutons
Then, heat a frying pan over medium-low heat. Toast cubed bread until golden brown.
Remove the croutons from the pan and allow to cool. Use a sharp knife to chop into even smaller pieces.
Step 2: Chop kale and Make homemade lemon caesar dressing
Next, chop kale pieces until it is finely shredded. Place kale in a large mixing bowl.
In a separate bowl, prepare lemon caesar dressing. Whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice, parmesan cheese, garlic, dijon, and pepper until fully combined.
While moving the whisk briskly, pour the olive oil into the bowl in a steady stream. Mix until a smooth even dressing remains.
Step 3: toss it all together
Then, pour dressing over the kale and use your hands to really massage the dressing into the kale. Finally, toss the croutons, lemon zest and fresh parmesan cheese into the salad and serve.
Kale is a very hearty green. You can toss this salad in the dressing and still store the leftovers for later.
Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge. Refresh the salad before serving with a bit of fresh lemon juice and extra parmesan cheese.
Check out these other side salad recipes
You can find the full recipe below. If you make this recipe, please rate and review it in the comments, or share it with me on Instagram!
- 2 large slices sourdough bread
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 bunch curly kale (about 8oz)
- 2 tbsp lemon zest
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
lemon Caesar Dressing Ingredients
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 garlic clove – grated or minced
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- Cut sourdough bread into a small cubes and toss in olive oil. Season with a pinch of salt. Heat a frying pan over medium-low heat. Toast cubed bread until golden brown.
- Remove the croutons from the pan and allow to cool. Use a sharp knife to chop into even smaller pieces.
- Chop kale pieces until it is finely shredded. Place kale in a large mixing bowl.
- In a separate bowl, prepare lemon caesar dressing. Whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice, parmesan cheese, garlic, dijon, and pepper until fully combined. While moving the whisk briskly, pour the olive oil into the bowl in a steady stream.
- Pour dressing over the kale and use your hands to really massage the dressing into the kale. Toss the croutons, lemon zest and fresh parmesan cheese into the salad and serve.
- Use any kind of kale you like – curly kale, tuscan kale or baby kale
- You can use pre-grated parmesan cheese but I prefer the flavor of freshly grated parm
- You can use any kind of bread to make the croutons but my favorite are sourdough, Italian, multigrain bread