Vegan Kale Caesar Salad with Tempeh, Cherry Tomatoes, Shallots and Avocado

I regret to inform myself, my bank account, and all of you, that I have spent $18 on a salad from sweetgreen before. Not only once, but multiple times. Many times. Too many times to count. I am not proud. What is the salad in question, you ask? Well, I’m talking about their kale caesar salad. It’s honestly really delicious on its own, but I prefer it with red onion, avocado (always extra fml) and Parmesan crisps. With the extra add-ons and New York tax, the grand total is shocking.

vegan kale caesar with tempeh, avocado, cherry tomatoes, shallots

That’s why I’m here making this recipe today. We are in the middle of a freaking pandemic. Not only do I not want to spend an insanely absurd amount of $$$ on a frickin SALAD ever again, but I don’t even feel totally safe waiting in line at sweetgreen right now. So, that being said, this is my vegan version of my sweetgreen favorite. I figured, if I’m going to make a salad and post it on here, I must find a way to make it vegan friendly. I work too hard on these recipes to leave out a major salad eating group of people!!! 😆

Now let’s talk about these flavors. My usual caesar salad is paired with chicken (which you can 100% go with here if you aren’t vegetarian or vegan) but I went with a pan-seared tempeh for this recipe because it develops some nice flavor when it’s cooked in the pan, and I prefer the texture more than tofu. But, if you like tofu, be my guest. Use all the tofu! Or, just use some chickpeas….use fish or shellfish…or skip protein all together. As per usual, this recipe is just my version of making something. I want you to read it, learn, and then add any spins that you think that YOU will love!

The key to making this vegan and actually a little healthier than a traditional Caesar salad is by starting this recipe off with my vegan avocado Caesar dressing. I’m putting that recipe below, then you’ll find the recipe for compiling the salad!

Vegan Avocado Caesar Dressing

Vegan Avocado Caesar Dressing

This is a creamy, flavorful and healthier dairy-free alternative to classic Caesar dressing. It tastes almost exactly like the real thing, and I think you need to try it to believe it!!
Total Time 10 mins
Course Sauce
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Healthy, Vegan
Servings 1 cup


  • Blender or food processor


  • 1/4 cup ripe avocado cubed or mashed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tbsp vegan dijon mustard *can sub regular dijon mustard if you're not vegan
  • 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt *can adjust to taste
  • 1/3 tsp freshly cracked pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp nutritional yeast *can skip if you don't have it
  • 1/2 cup cold water


  • Combine all ingredients in a blender and blitz until smooth and creamy. Toss 1 cup of greens in 2 tsp-1 tbsp of dressing. If serving later, cover with cling wrap or put in an air-tight container and keep up to 4 days in the fridge.


If you are vegan, make sure the dijon mustard and white wine vinegar you are using are both certified vegan! 
Keyword avocado, dijon mustard, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, pepper, salt, white wine vinegar
vegan kale caesar with tempeh, avocado, cherry tomatoes, shallots

Vegan Kale Caesar Salad with Tempeh, Cherry Tomatoes, Shallots and Avocado

Fresh kale tossed in my vegan caesar dressing and topped with cherry tomatoes, finely chopped shallots, cubed avocado and seared tempeh. This is a vegan re-make of the sweetgreen classic kale caesar salad!
Course Main Course, Salad
Cuisine American, Gluten-Free, Healthy, Vegan
Servings 2 people


  • 1/4 cup vegan caesar dressing *from the recipe above
  • 4 cups kale washed and torn into bite sized pieces
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes sliced
  • 1-2 ripe avocados cubed (you can use 1 avocado per person or 1/2 avocado per person. It's up to you)
  • 1/2 shallot finely chopped
  • 12 1/2-inch thick slices tempeh *6 per person
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil for pan


  • Lay the tempeh on a paper towel. Dry it off on both sides and season with salt and pepper.
  • Heat a skillet over medium high heat and season it with olive oil.
  • Once the oil is shimmering, add the tempeh to the skillet, making sure not to over crowd the pan. Sear each side for 3-4 minutes, until golden brown and then flip. If working in batches, repeat until all the tempeh is cooked.
  • Remove the cooked tempeh from the heat and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, toss together the kale, tomatoes and shallots. Add the dressing to the bowl and toss until the greens are fully coated in the dressing.
  • Plate the salad and top with avocado and tempeh. Feel free to add another drizzle of dressing on top. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Keyword avocado, cherry tomatoes, kale, shallot, tempeh, vegan caesar dressing

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