Kale Chickpea Salad: The One Guide You Need

Tired of boring lunches and uninspiring dinners? Discover the vibrant and satisfying kale chickpea salad – a powerhouse of flavor and nutrition that’s as easy to make as it is delicious. This versatile dish is my secret weapon for busy weeknights, delivering lasting energy with its perfect blend of hearty greens and fiber-packed chickpeas. The mix of textures and zesty flavors will keep you coming back for more, whether you’re craving a quick, refreshing lunch or a light and fulfilling supper.


Kale Chickpea Salad

I hope you enjoy putting your own spin on this refreshing salad as much as my family and I do! Let’s get started!

Why You’ll Love this Kale Salad Recipe

This Kale Chickpea Salad recipe is not only delicious but also makes for the perfect quick, easy and budget-friendly meal prep. Full of nutrients from both kale and chickpeas, it provides sustained energy to power you through even the busiest of workdays. With minimum ingredients that are all whole foods and mostly pantry staples, this favourite salad comes together in no time at all.

The key to this salad’s balanced and satisfying flavours is roasting the chickpeas. Bringing out their natural crunch and richness, roasted chickpeas provide excellent texture contrast to the soft, leafy greens. For convenience and to help the salad last longer, I like to prepare and assemble it in advance. Stored properly, it remains delicious in the fridge for up to 4 days. On busy mornings, all that’s needed is a toss to save time.

With a hearty 14.5 grams of protein and 12.5 grams of dietary fibre per serving, this vegan salad is the perfect protein alternative as either a light meal or satisfying side. Its accessible and focused ingredients make it ideal for those adhering to various specialized diets, budgets or just seeking more whole foods in their routines. Best of all, roasting the chickpeas provides irresistible crunch in every salad without time spent roasting fresh each meal prep.

How to Cut and Prep Kale

Properly prepping kale is essential for an optimal kale salad eating experience. Start by washing the kale leaves thoroughly under cool water. Let the leaves soak for a few minutes to allow any grit or dirt to release, then drain and dry either in a salad spinner or by carefully patting dry with a paper towel or clean dish cloth. The goal is to get the kale as dry as possible so it’s perfectly crisp once mixed into the salad. Speeding up the drying process in this manner helps the kale stay crunchier for longer.

To chop the kale, first remove the stems by holding the leaf at the base and running your other hand firmly down the stem to release it from the leaf. Stack a few leaves and tear or chop them into bite-sized pieces straight into a large bowl. For this chickpea salad recipe, I prefer smaller pieces that are deliciously tender after massaging. To massage the kale, simply drizzle the leaves with a bit of olive oil and a generous pinch of salt. Using your hands, gently rub and knead the kale for about 3 minutes, or until it is darkened in colour and has reduced significantly in volume – now it’s ready to be tossed with the other ingredients!

Massage Your Kale – Why ?

Many people skip the massaging step when prepping kale, but it’s actually one of the most important parts of the process. Massaging serves to thoroughly tenderize the thick, tough leaves. Certain varieties like Tuscan kale found at farmers markets can be even bitter and fibrous if not addressed. The act of rubbing and kneading the leaves with a bit of oil and salt breaks down the cell walls and softens the texture. This is why massaged kale becomes deliciously tender and actually resembles other greens more closely. Leaving it out means the kale can detract from other flavors it’s paired with like the Roasted Red Pepper and Garlic Tapenade in this salad. Taking just a few minutes to tenderize through massaging makes a world of difference in enjoying kale.

Nutritional Information

Serving Size1 cup
Total Fat25-35g
Saturated Fat3-5g
Total Carbohydrates40-50g
Dietary Fiber10-15g

Kale Chickpea Salad Recipe

Recipe by Whisk and NibbleCourse: AppetizersCuisine: Mediterranean


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Vibrant and nutritious, this Kale Chickpea Salad is a powerhouse of flavor and texture perfect for busy days.


  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed, leaves chopped or torn into bite-sized pieces

  • 15 ounces cooked chickpeas (about 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas)

  • For the roasted chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon plant-based oil

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

  • For the dressing
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/3 cup tahini

  • 3 tablespoons plant-based oil

  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey

  • 1/4 cup water

  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Prep the garlic: Peel cloves and remove the hard tips.
  • Preheat oven: Set the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Season chickpeas: Drain and rinse chickpeas. Pat dry, then toss with oil, salt, and spices.
  • Roast chickpeas: Spread chickpeas on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with a bit more oil. Roast for 15-20 minutes, stirring halfway, until golden brown.
  • Finish roasting: Remove from oven and let cool completely on the baking sheet for extra crispiness.
  • Make dressing: Squeeze roasted garlic into a bowl. Add remaining dressing ingredients and whisk until smooth.
  • Massage kale: Tear kale into bite-sized pieces. Drizzle with lemon juice and oil, then massage for 3 minutes to soften.
  • Assemble salad: Combine kale and chickpeas in a bowl. Add dressing and toss to coat. Top with extra chickpeas for crunch.
  • Store leftovers: Refrigerate for up to 4 days. Toss again before serving.


  • For extra crunch and nutrition, you can roast another recipe’s worth of chickpeas to keep in an airtight container as a quick route to grab when hunger strikes. Roasted nuts or seeds sprinkled on preserve energy until dinnertime.
  • Each generous serving provides over 7g of filling protein to fuel your whole day. You can also easily double the dressing recipe to have plenty on hand to drizzle over the whole batch or mix with other ingredients .
  • The flavours of the kale really deepen and soften and become even tastier if you allow the salad to marinate overnight. It also makes a great make-ahead prep for busy workdays.
  • For extra creaminess, mash an avocado or two and gently fold in just before serving. A variety of cooked or raw veggies like green beans, zucchini, mushrooms, or cucumbers can also be lightly tossed in.

Recipe Inspiration and Variations

Here we will discuss 6 recipe variations. Let’s read.

1- Kale Chickpea Salad Half Baked Harvest

This nourishing kale salad makes for the perfect weekday meal prep. Its hearty blend of greens, beans, and vegetables provides balanced nutrition to fuel your day. Inspired by similar recipes found on popular recipe blogs like “Half Baked Harvest”, this version adds roasted chickpeas for extra protein and texture. Tossing the warm chickpeas with a drizzle of olive oil, sea salt and red pepper flakes before baking yields crunchy, flavorful croutons to sprinkle over the salad. Their subtle spicy notes pair beautifully with the lemony tahini dressing.

For easy meal prep, you can assemble the entire salad ahead of time and store in separate containers. Then when lunch rolls around, simply transfer the greens and dressing to a to-go container and top with the roasted chickpeas. The contrasting flavors and textures come together for a truly satisfying salad that tastes as great on day four as it did on day one.

2- Kale Salad with Chickpeas and Feta

This recipe can easily be tweaked to suit different tastes. Feta cheese is a classic addition that takes this salad to another level. The creamy, salty feta pairs perfectly with the herby kale and brings a nice texture contrast. For a “kale salad with chickpeas and feta” variation, simply crumble 4 ounces of feta over the top of the finished salad. The briny cheese accentuates the other flavors. Walnuts or pumpkin seeds also make for tasty protein-dense toppers. Herb lovers may want to finish with a scattering of fresh parsley, dill or basil. Feel free to substitute your favorite beans for the chickpeas too – cannellini, black beans and edamame all work well. Get creative and let your taste buds guide you to the perfect personalized version!

RELATED: Roasted Red Pepper and Garlic Tapenade

RELATED: Oven Roasted Spiced Vegetables Recipe

3- Roasted Chickpea Kale Salad

Roasting the chickpeas before adding them to the salad takes it to another level. The high heat caramelizes their natural sugars, making them crispy on the outside and creamy inside. To make a “roasted chickpea kale salad”, start by tossing a 15-ounce can of drained and dried chickpeas with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and paprika. Roast at 400 °F (200 °C) for 20 minutes, stirring halfway, until browned. Once cooled, add the roasted chickpeas directly to the kale along with the basic tahini dressing. Their hearty crunch and deeper savory flavor profile complements the greens. For those who want an even heartier meal, this roasted chickpea variation is sure to satisfy.

4- Kale Chickpea Salad Lemon

Citrus lovers may want to highlight the bright, tart flavors of lemon in their “kale chickpea salad lemon” version. Simply increase the amount of lemon juice in the tahini dressing to 1/3 cup or more to allow its zing to really shine through. For an even more intense lemon pop, try substituting 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in the dressing with freshly squeezed lemon juice. Garnish each serving with strips of lemon zest for an extra burst of flavor. A few drops of lemon essential oil stirred into the dressing also works to subtly amplify the experience. This tangy take on the classic salad makes an extra refreshing meal, especially on hot summer days.

5- Kale Chickpea Salad Tahini

This fresh Kale Chickpea Salad relies on a creamy tahini-based dressing to bring all the ingredients together into a satisfying whole. Tahini, made from ground sesame seeds, adds richness and balances the bright flavors of lemon and herbs. When whisked with olive oil, garlic, and seasonings, it creates a dressing that perfectly complements the hearty kale and protein-rich chickpeas. The nutty notes from the tahini pair especially well with these key ingredients in this salad. The flavors continue to develop and deepen after the kale chickpea salad sits for a while allowing the tahini dressing to soak into the leaves and beans. Allowing an hour or more of resting time in the refrigerator prior to serving allows the unique flavors from the “kale chickpea salad tahini” dressing to fully shine through. Enjoy this salad as a light meal or healthy snack anytime throughout the week.

6- Lower-Fat Variation

For a lighter take on this salad, you can easily reduce the amount of oil used. Start by cutting the oil for the roasted chickpeas in half. In the dressing, try substituting a portion of the tahini with plain Greek yogurt, which adds creaminess without as much fat. You can also replace some of the olive oil in the dressing with freshly squeezed lemon juice for extra brightness. With just a few adjustments, you can enjoy all the flavor and nutritional benefits of this kale chickpea salad with less fat.


  • Focus on Flavor: Enhance other flavors like spices, herbs, vinegars, or citrus to compensate for reduced oil.
  • Air-Fry Chickpeas: Consider using an air-fryer for the chickpeas for a virtually oil-free crunch.

Wrapping It Up

In summary, this versatile salad is not only delicious but also a nutrition powerhouse. It’s packed with vitamins, minerals, and protein, making it the perfect grab-and-go meal or light dinner. Fiber from both kale and chickpeas aids digestion and keeps you feeling full, while the plant-based protein helps build and maintain muscle. Kale delivers a boost of vitamins A, C, and K, along with calcium and iron, and chickpeas add extra iron, folate, and other essential nutrients. With tasty variations to suit any taste, the kale chickpea salad proves that healthy food can be both satisfying and enjoyable.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is kale salad?

A kale salad is a leafy salad made with kale and other vegetables. It typically includes shredded kale leaves along with ingredients like carrots, cabbage, beans and a salad dressing. The kale and other leafy greens provide a nutritious base for the salad.

Is kale salad good for you?

Yes, kale salad is very good for you as kale is a nutrient-dense, low-calorie food. Pound for pound it has more iron and calcium than beef and more vitamin C than oranges. A kale salad can be highly beneficial when made with healthy ingredients like chickpeas, nuts and citrus dressings. These ingredients add flavor without a lot of calories or fat.

How to eat kale salad?

Kale salad can be enjoyed in different ways. You can use your hands to massage the kale leaves, which helps break them down and makes them more tender. The kale leaves can also be ripped or cut into bite-sized pieces and tossed with the desired ingredients. Then the salad can be eaten with a fork by taking bites of the kale leaves along with the other components.

How to make kale salad soft?

To make kale salad more tender and soft, massage the ripped kale leaves with the salad dressing of your choice for 3-5 minutes. This helps break down the leaves. You can also mix the dressed kale evenly and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. The longer marinating time will soften the kale into more delicious bites.

Can you eat kale as a salad?

Yes, kale is absolutely one of the most nutritious ingredients to use in a salad. As a superfood, kale is packed with nutrients and very low in calories. It provides vitamins, minerals and cancer-fighting compounds. Kale can be enjoyed raw in salads or blended into smoothies. It’s also commonly steamed, sautéed, boiled or baked when eating the leaves as a cooked side dish or meal component.

What is the best time to eat chickpea salad?

Chickpea salad can be enjoyed at any time but it may be especially beneficial to eat later in the day or at night. As a good source of protein and fiber, chickpeas help you feel full and satisfied after eating. Their antioxidants also provide protection against disease. Their fiber and nutrient profile makes chickpea salad a smart dinner or snack choice to aid weight control.

How many calories are in chickpea kale salad?

The calorie and nutrient content can vary depending on specific recipe ingredients and amounts. However, a standard 1 cup serving of chickpea kale salad may contain around 150 calories, 4g fat, 5g protein, 12g carbs and 3g fiber. Sodium would depend on what’s added but is generally modest.

NutrientAmount per 1 cup serving
SodiumAmount depends on additions but is generally modest.

Why is chickpea salad good for you?

Chickpeas are nutrient-dense and packed with important nutrients. They contain protein, dietary fiber, folate, iron, phosphorus, thiamin, magnesium, zinc and other vitamins and minerals. When combined with ingredients like tomatoes, cucumber, peppers and salad greens, chickpea salad becomes a great source of vitamins A, K, C and other antioxidants. This makes it a very nutritious and healthy meal or snack choice.

Whisk and Nibble

Whisk & Nibble is a blog devoted to all things related to food - from sharing recipes for meals and drinks to highlighting the latest dessert trends and culinary lifestyle content. Visitors can find ideas and inspiration for all eating occasions while enjoying engaging writing about food culture. Whisk & Nibble aims to bring readers together over the shared joy of cooking and dining.

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