Garlicky Kale Salad with Crispy Chickpeas

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Big serving of our recipe for Garlicky Kale Salad with Tandoori Spiced Chickpeas

Sometimes a girl just needs a hearty kale salad.

There’s no explaining why; she just does.

So move out of the way and give her that kale salad.

She deserves it. That and the chocolate. Give her all of the chocolate.

Cloves of garlic ready to be roasted

Since my first few experiences with kale, wherein I couldn’t figure out how to mask its bitterness or sturdy texture, I’ve grown to love this shrubby green.

When prepared right, it makes the perfect addition to smoothies, salads, breakfast scrambles, and dips. I’ve recently been loving it in salads because it’s heartier than other greens – such as spinach – and leaves me feeling full and satisfied.

Not to mention, nutrients. So, many, nutrients.

Whisking together our Maple Tahini Dressing recipe

The dressing comes together quick and packs tons of garlicky flavor, thanks to quick roasted garlic! If you’ve ever roasted a head of garlic, you know the struggle of waiting the grueling hour of cooking until its completion. Longest hour of my life.

But you guys know I’m impatient (30 minutes or less ring a bell?). So I crafted a way to quick-roast garlic by separating the cloves.

Then you only have to wait 20 minutes. Guys, think of all the things you can do with that 40 minutes you get back in your life. Cartwheels, dancing, hugging, snacking. You can do whatever you want with it. You’re welcome.

Mixing bowl with spices and chickpeas for adding protein to our vegan salad

The other star of this recipe? The tandoori-roasted chickpeas. I made a Masala Tofu Scramble a while back and fell in love with this smoky spice combination.

The good news is, if you’re a speciality spice newb like me, Whole Foods has a Tandoori Spice Mix that’s to die for. I recommend looking for that next time you’re there! Otherwise, I have notes for how to make your own with just a few ingredients.

Baking sheet full of Crispy Roasted Chickpeas
Pouring dressing onto our Garlicky Kale Salad recipe
Mixing kale with dressing in a large mixing bowl

Once your (quick) roasted garlic-tahini dressing comes together, all that’s left to do is pour, toss, and top it with chickpeas! Then go to flavor town. My treat.

Big serving of our Garlicky Kale Salad with Tandoori Spiced Chickpeas for a simple gluten-free vegan meal
Dinner plate filled with our quick vegan Garlicky Kale Salad with Tandoori Spiced Chickpeas

This salad is my absolute new favorite. It’s:

Hearty
Savory
Garlicky
Subtly spiced
Super healthy
Filling
& Simple

Even if you’re not a big spicy food lover, you’ll love this salad. Think more smokiness and depth of flavor rather than heat. Not to mention, the subtle sweetness of the dressing brings balance so it’s not overwhelming.

This salad would be an excellent entree for a weeknight meal, or for hosting vegan or gluten free friends and family. It’s so hearty it stands on its own as a main dish! But hummus and pita or naan would make excellent additions.

If you make this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment and rate it! It’s so helpful for us and other readers. And don’t forget to take a picture and tag it #minimalistbaker on Instagram so we can see! We’d love to see what you come up with. Cheers!

Big plate of our 30-minute Garlicky Kale Salad with Crispy Tandoori Roasted Chickpeas
AMAZING 30 minute Garlicky Kale Salad with Crispy Chickpeas! #vegan #glutenfree #plantbased

Garlicky Kale Salad with Crispy Chickpeas

SUPER flavorful, 30-minute Kale Salad with a creamy roasted garlic tahini dressing and crispy tandoori roasted chickpeas!
Author Minimalist Baker
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Big plate of Garlicky Kale Salad with Tandoori Spiced Chickpeas
4.73 from 153 votes
Prep Time 7 minutes
Cook Time 23 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 3
Course Entree
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 2-3 Days

Ingredients

  • 1 large bundle kale (loosely chopped or torn // ~6-8 cups or 10 ounces as original recipe is written)

CHICKPEAS

  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas (rinsed, drained and thoroughly dried)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp olive, avocado or grape seed, oil
  • 1 healthy pinch sea salt
  • 2 1/2 – 3 Tbsp tandoori masala spice blend* (see notes for DIY blend)

DRESSING

  • 1 head garlic (large/even-sized cloves work best)
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil + more for roasting garlic and massaging kale
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (plus more for massaging kale // ~2 small lemons)
  • 1-2 Tbsp maple syrup (or honey if not vegan)
  • 1 healthy pinch each salt + pepper
  • Hot water (to thin)

Instructions

  • Peel apart garlic cloves but leave the skin on. Avoid using any tiny garlic cloves from the center of the head. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C).
  • Add drained chickpeas to a mixing bowl and toss with oil, salt, and seasonings.
  • Add garlic cloves and seasoned chickpeas to a baking sheet. Drizzle garlic with a bit of olive or grape seed oil. Bake for 15-20 minutes (depending on the size of the garlic cloves), or until garlic is fragrant and slightly browned. Carefully remove garlic and set aside. Continue baking chickpeas for 10-15 minutes more or until slightly crispy and golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside (the chickpeas will get more crispy as they cool).
  • Squeeze garlic out of skins / peel away skins and add to a mixing bowl. Add all remaining dressing ingredients and whisk vigorously to combine, smashing the garlic with the whisk. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired, adding more lemon for brightness, tahini for richness, and maple syrup for sweetness. Set aside.
  • Add kale to a large mixing bowl. Before adding dressing, add 1 Tbsp each lemon juice and olive oil (amount as original recipe is written // alter if adjusting batch size) to the kale and massage with hands to soften the texture and lessen bitterness. Then add as much dressing as desired (some may be leftover) and mix with a spoon or salad tongs.
  • Top with chickpeas and serve. Best when fresh, though leftovers keep in the fridge for up to a few days.

Video

Notes

*I bought my Tandoori Masala Spice blend at Whole Foods (it’s the Whole Foods Market brand), but you can easily make your own (see next note).
*DIY Tandoori Masala Blend: 3 Tbsp cumin, 2 Tbsp garlic powder, 2 Tbsp paprika, 3 tsp ginger, 2 tsp coriander, 2 tsp cardamom. Multiply as needed. This Shawarma Spice Blend is also delicious and quite similar.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with olive oil, the lesser amount of maple syrup, and all of the dressing.

Nutrition (1 of 3 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 562 Carbohydrates: 37.3 g Protein: 15 g Fat: 40.8 g Saturated Fat: 5.7 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 11.48 g Monounsaturated Fat: 21.04 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 277 mg Potassium: 441 mg Fiber: 14 g Sugar: 8.7 g Vitamin A: 3316 IU Vitamin C: 53.32 mg Calcium: 242.9 mg Iron: 5.75 mg

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  1. Patricia says

    I use online recipes almost daily & I never leave reviews. But this salad. So good. Dressing was perfection. You must try it.

  2. Lauren says

    I never leave reviews, but we use this recipe all the time. A very hearty salad. The dressing is perfection and can be used on so many things. I bring this salad to potlucks and the like and people rave.

  3. Claire says

    This is amazing and the best kale salad I’ve ever had! Fairly easy and other than the tandoori easy to find ingredients! I’ll be making this again.

  4. Camilla Raines says

    I couldn’t get the chickpeas crispy! I dried them well, mixed them in the spice blend and then into 375 degree oven. After 35 minutes they still weren’t crispy. What happened?? Love the tahani dressing 🙃

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Camilla, so sorry they didn’t get crispy! Did you use the same amount of oil as written? Also, oven temperatures can vary, if you suspect your oven isn’t getting hot enough you can use an oven thermometer to check the temperature! Another tip is to make sure that the chickpeas are spread evenly on your baking sheet to ensure they crisp up! Hope this helps. So glad you enjoyed the dressing!

  5. Dorothy says

    Oh my, I was completely craving this today! Recipe is fantastic.

    I didn’t have the indian spice blend so did a random mix of 1/2 tsp of cumin, garlic powder, garam masala and turmeric.

    Other than that, didn’t change a thing. The dressing is soooo wonderful!

  6. a says

    Great recipe! I think next time I’ll add less lemon (too acidic for my taste) and more chickpeas (because they were yummy!). I added vegan bacon to mine and it really took the salad to the next level. I think next time I’ll add more garlic to the sauce! I didn’t put in as much as the recipe called for (didn’t have enough garlic on hand), and the garlic flavor didn’t really come out. My main critique is that I didn’t really feel like the salad was fully satisfying – I still felt pretty hungry after finishing. I think adding more chickpeas will help!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thank you for sharing! More chickpeas will definitely help. You could also pair this salad with something similar to these without seasoning for a more filling meal!

  7. Amanda says

    I have a super cheater version of this recipe that involves no roasting whatsoever! Use an equal amount of roasted garlic hummus instead of the tahini in the dressing, and use purchased crispy chickpeas. The Bombay Spice crunchy chickpeas by Saffron Road are on point. The cheater version isn’t quite as phenomenal as the original, but it is worth the time saved when making a weekday lunch. I am obsessed with this salad!

  8. Hanna says

    So yummy!! The flavors are delicious and I appreciate the tip to massage the kale with lemon juice and oil. It gave the kale a perfect texture. I added some plant based “parmesan” and it took it over the top!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Hanna! Thank you for the lovely review and for sharing your modification! xo

  9. Kim says

    My partner made this last night at my request and we loved the roasted chickpeas but both felt the salad dressing was cloying. The tahini overpowered all the other flavours, even after he tried adjusting the flavor with lemon juice and maple syrup. I feel like it has great potential if we can find a more balanced dressing.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Kim! Thanks for your honest review, and sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy this dressing! We find that the brand and consistency of tahini greatly impacts the results.. If you’re willing to give it another try, we recommend the Whole Foods 365 tahini, the Trader Joe’s tahini, or Baron’s Tahini. Hope this helps!

  10. Jeff says

    I should also say I used black beans instead of chickpeas. Also I didn’t have tahini so I just used sesame seeds and put the whole dressing mixture in a blender and it turned out fantastic. Thanks for giving me another way to use kale I was getting so tired of sauteed kale.

  11. Chris says

    Love the salad and dressing. Wondering if the dressing can be made in a larger batch to have on hand…will it keep? (it is also delicious drizzled over roasted cauliflower).

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yes! It will keep for several days in the refrigerator. It will thicken, but you can add water and whisk to thin it out when ready to serve. Hope that helps!

      • Doina says

        I love this salad, I’ve been making it weekly for almost two years and it turns out amazing every time. Comes together fast enough for a weekday dinner and is satisfying enough by itself. I find that the texture of black kale complements the flavours especially well. Great recipe!

  12. Avital says

    Loved this recipe!!! I made this for lunch with sliced chicken breast on top (I marinated it in olive oil, lemon, and zaatar). It was wonderful. I had to keep my chickpeas in the oven for a bit longer to get them super crispy. Can’t wait to make again!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yum! Sounds delish! Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Avital!

  13. Sam says

    This recipe is soooo delicious!!
    Thanks for including alternative spices if we didn’t have the exact one (which I didn’t).

    I actually added about a cup of nutritional yeast to the sauce mixture along with more water to thin it, and man it was so good! Added a buttery flavor.

    This is one of my new favorites for sure!!

  14. Ryan Hatton says

    Made this tonight to go with a steak for a change. Added a bit of red onion, tomato and feta but absolutely loved it. Definitely the best kale recipe I’ve tried yet :)

  15. J Williams says

    Ok. My husband ate it and said he liked it, I’m so so on it. I followed the dressing recipe to a T and it seemed like waaaay too much tahini was involved in this and for my taste, the sweetness just stuck out in a really odd way. I doubled the lemon, kept adding water, added all the oil from the garlic, and it was still a big oversweet glob that would not incorporate well. I’m not sure if I overcooked the chickpeas, but I did not enjoy the texture after roasting, kind of dry and stringy. Wondering if I should try slow cooking in my cast iron frying pan. Also just greens would make this extremely one note, I added red onion and cucumber and still felt it was out of balance, seemed like it needed sliced apple or chopped tomato or something ( beets?). Could have been the huge amount of tahini. I appreciate the ideas behind it, and may try tweaking it to suit my tastes better. Something smoky tasting would have been good, but I wasn’t getting that from the chickpeas like someone else mentioned.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing your experience, J! You can certainly tweak the recipe however you like, we so appreciate your feedback!

  16. cabriogale says

    Winner in my household! Made almost exactly as suggested. Just added sea salt and a little more lemon juice to the kale. Also added a few more tablespoons of maple syrup to the dressing. Chickpeas were perfect. Had to stop myself from eating the roasted garlic as I pressed it out of the skins! Great recipe. Thanks! Definitely adding to the food rotation!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Penny, we’re so sorry you didn’t enjoy this one! Would you mind sharing what you disliked about it? We’d love to be able to troubleshoot, if possible!

  17. Penelope says

    We make this regularly over the years. Only change is i use less garlic as I’m sensitive to it.
    Even my 8 year old eats it (mind you a picky eater would starve in our household).
    Live this & many recipes on this blog and we arent vegan or vegetarians but eat that way half of the time.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you and your family enjoy it, Penelope! Thanks so much for sharing! xo

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Rose. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  18. Laura B says

    This recipe made a superb dinner tonight! I made the DIY masala blend and it complemented the chickpeas well, I used 3 TBSP and it was probably a little too much. I added some tomatoes and Persian cucumbers to the kale to give it some additional textures. Will definitely be adding this to my list of favorite MB recipes!

  19. Priya says

    Do the chickpeas need to be fresh? Planning to make dressing and chickpeas in advance so I can put together the day of an event. Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Making the dressing ahead will work- just add a little water if it thickens overnight. The chickpeas are best when fresh as they lose some of their crunchiness. Hope that helps!

  20. JJ says

    My favorite [savory] MB recipe.

    I’m a full-time student and mother to a toddler. This is the salad I deserve. The dish has a wonderful flavor profile. I love the contrast of the smokiness of the tandoori chickpeas and the sweetness of the dressing. I found that this is one of those recipes where you can “eyeball” the ingredients and it’ll still turn out well. No substitutions. One serving kept me full for a long time and that’s all I can ask for.

    Thank you for this! This is our new Thursday-night-and-Friday-lunch meal!

  21. Olivia says

    This is probably my favorite recipe. Like ever. Seriously. I have this once a week. Lol I’ll even have the leftovers for breakfast, but usually there aren’t leftovers. I love garlic so sometimes I add extra. I prefer the dressing without honey or maple syrup, but my boyfriend likes it with.

  22. Rhonda says

    I just made this and it is delicious! The dressing is so good. I used 1 tablespoon maple syrup rather than honey. It’s my new favorite tahini dressing. I try not to use the oven during the summer, but this recipe was well worth it. Perfect salad with lots of great flavor!

  23. Nicola says

    I just made the dressing, and sautéed the kale instead of rubbed because I like kale a little softer. Super delicious dressing, 10/10 would make again 😊

  24. Elle says

    Best. Kale. Salad. Ever. I’ve been making this for at least 2 years now and it’s still my favorite salad. I can have the whole bowl to myself and be a happy camper. But I usually share and my fiance, who hates salad typically, things it’s also really good. Sometimes I make the salad per the recipe, sometimes I’ll leave out the garlic and the chickpeas if it’s summer time and I can’t be bothered to turn the oven on, and other times I’ll half it and make a quick salad for myself. It never disappoints! Thank you!

  25. Samantha says

    I’ve made this salad twice now. Second time around I kept the garlic whole and sliced the top off and cooked it that way, much easier to work with. I found that baby kale was also a great swap. ☺️

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      xo! Thanks for sharing, Samantha. Next time would you mind adding a rating to your review? It’s super helpful to us and other readers! xo

  26. Tom says

    Just wondered if anything could be subbed for the garlic. Would love to make this for work but worried I’d have garlic breath! D:

    Big fan by the way :) Thanks!

    • GFMcP says

      Love this salad and so did my family, Yay! 🙌
      How long is the dressing good for? I had leftover and forgot about it for about two weeks snd wondering if it should be ok still.

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

        As long as it tastes and smells OK it’s fine! I’d say it should last at least 1 week, if not 2.

  27. Stella says

    Hello! I’ve made these chickpeas many times but they never come out crispy as described in your recipes. They hold their shape great but they’re soft when I bite into them. Any suggestions for making them crispy?

  28. Jennifer Neumann says

    I made this dish last night but it was extremely bitter. I massaged the kale for some good 5 min beforehand with lemon juice and oil. The bitterness overpowered even the Tahini dressing which is usually giving some nice flavour to it. Unfortunately, this will not be a keeper recipe (many others from your website are though :-)).

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Here’s what I’m thinking: It may have been your greens. Are you certain it was kale and not collards or chard? When you massage kale with lemon and olive oil, it shouldn’t get bitter really. It actually shouldn’t taste too bitter to begin with, which makes me think you just got a SUPER bitter batch of kale. Sound likely?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      You can just omit! The oil is not necessary for the dressing or roasting the garlic. And the chickpeas can be roasted without (though they likely won’t be as crispy). Let us know how it goes!

  29. Dominique says

    This looks delicious! I’m wondering if I can use something to substitute the tahini as I don’t have any on hand. I’m not vegan so any suggestions are welcome!

  30. Evie says

    I ended up having to cook my chickpeas longer than the recommended time, and they weren’t as crispy as I kind of wanted. My room mate has an air fryer, and the second time I made them I used it, and that did make them super crispy. That being said, I like that this recipe uses an oven since not everyone has an air fryer. Its super yummy either way, the texture is just a little more crunchy from an air fryer.

    • Dominique says

      Thanks for the suggestion! I tried using greek yogurt and I wouldn’t recommend it- next time I’ll try to find a nut butter for sure as the yogurt made it too tangy. The chickpeas are absolutely delicious tho!

  31. Akriti Sharan says

    This was finger licking good. I didn’t have tahini so used natural peanut butter instead, and skipped the olive oil in the dressing.

  32. Emma says

    One of my favorite “go-to’s” when it comes to a hearty and SO delicious kale dressing! I like to add roasted sweet potatoes on the side and use the extra dip for the veggies and some crusty bread ? thank you for sharing this!

  33. Jamie says

    THIS WAS SO GOOD! I love the dressing – I didn’t add any water and it was perfect. The roasted garlic is delightful.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Jamie. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  34. Nicki says

    I’ve also been making this salad for years- I love it so much. I often go to the Chickpea Shawarma Sandwich recipe and use that blend for the chickpeas, or sometimes I use the Thai Baked Sweet Potato chickpea recipe. Anyway, we’re huge fans of your recipes Dana- you are so talented. Thank you for everything!
    PS, I made the Muesli Bread recipe today and we’re having that with the salad tonight. Turned out great! Thanks!!
    https://minimalistbaker.com/7-ingredient-muesli-bread/

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, thanks so much for your sweet note and lovely review, Nicki! We are so glad you enjoy our recipes!

  35. Amanda says

    I just want to say that I have been making this salad for years, YEARS! I love it. It is such the perfect after-holidays-feel-so-gross–antidote salad. Today I made two really delightful additions I thought you might like as well: I halved and roasted brussel sprouts seasoned with the leftover tandoori spice and olive oil that was in the bowl, and then added a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds before devouring. So good! Thanks for this recipe!

  36. Brittany says

    Made this for my husband and me for lunch today and it was excellent! My husband practically licked his plate. I followed the recipe to a T including making the spice mix except I only used a half a head of roasted garlic in the dressing. I was worried it would be too garlicky. MISTAKE! I barely tasted the garlic with half a head. Next time (and there will definitely be a next time), I will use the whole head. I also added a grilled chicken breast for more substance.

  37. Linda says

    I literally make this salad ALL THE TIME. I eat it for lunch, dinner, for Thanksgiving and Christmas and even my DH eats it, too! I do use real Parmesan and always roast two cans of chickpeas, while I’m at it, so we have leftovers to snack on…I use 1 TBSP of the maple syrup and 6 to 8 cloves raw garlic in the dressing. I make the dressing in the minichop. I used to use Ken’s Steakhouse lite creamy Caesar dressing on my kale and I don’t think I could ever go back!!! Thx for this Recipe!!!

  38. cherrywine_5 says

    I love a diversity of textures in salads and felt this one needed something a little extra – so I roasted some sweet potato cubes and added them in with some green beans. It was heavenly and SO filling. If you’re looking to make this receipe a bit more hearty I recommend trying this out! This lunch salad gets me all the way to dinner with no cravings.

  39. Suzannah Kolbeck says

    Very delicious. I definitely had to make more dressing for the amount of kale I used, and I used two cans of chickpeas.

    Nice balance of flavors – not too sweet or tart or astringent from garlic. A great dinner salad, especially the Monday before Thanksgiving!!

  40. michaluna says

    Wow, this was SOOO good and so SUPER easy! Thank you for another dinner winner! I found I was short on ingredients (only had 1/3 head of garlic in the cupboard) so I left the garlic raw. I also only had one lemon so I didn’t know how it would turn out, but I kept on truckin’… I didn’t measure anything (too lazy today) and I just threw the ingredients in the mini chop and turned it on for a few minutes, which is how I always make dressing…. For the chick peas, I eyeballed the seasonings and sprinkled them directly on my nonstick sheet pan. I was super thrilled with the results on all!!! I will definitely make this again and try it on the family next time.

  41. Maxime says

    I love your recipes and I’m curious if I can completely omit the maple syrup. I’m trying to stay away from added sugar.