Vegan Kale Ranch Salad with Bacon Chickpeas

This healthy hearty vegan kale salad recipe works well for lunch or dinner. If you’re going to pack it for lunch, keep the dressing and the chickpeas separate from the rest of the salad. When you are ready to eat it, toss everything together.

As a variation, change up the vegetables in the salad.  It’s a salad, so the line up for the vegetables does not need to be static–maybe some avocado? Spinach? You decide.  Or for another variation, make the vegan bacon flavored chickpeas, make the ranch dressing with vegan mayo, and throw them both on a wrap with some tomato, lettuce, avocado and raw sunflower seeds.  

Vegan Salad Ideas with Chickpeas
The best vegan salad with chickpeas

Bacony Chickpea Salad with Ranch Dressing

Bacony Chickpeas:

15 ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

3 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp smoked paprika

½ Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce (OR gluten free tamari)

1 tsp hot sauce

½ tsp garlic powder

Squeeze of lemon juice

Ranch Dressing:

1 cup vegan mayonnaise (I used Follow Your Heart Vegenaise)

¼ cup fresh dill, packed

¼ cup flat leaf parsley, packed

1 ½ tsp lemon juice

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp onion powder

1 scallion, white part only

Salt and black pepper

Salad:

2 cups red leaf lettuce

1/2 cup massaged kale

1/4 cup Shredded red cabbage

1/2 cup julienned carrots

2 celery stalks, sliced

1/2 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half

1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds

1 cup English cucumber, chopped

Bacon Chickpeas Vegan

1. In a large skillet over low heat, add olive oil and finely chopped garlic.  Let the garlic simmer in the oil, but not brown or burn for 3 minutes.  This will help infuse the olive oil with a garlic flavor.  

2. Add the chickpeas and smoked paprika, and stir it around the skillet for another 2 minutes over medium heat.  Add the soy sauce, hot sauce, and garlic powder, and stir around for another minute until well incorporated.  

3.  Add the lemon juice, and remove from heat.  Taste, and add more salt, if needed.  Spoon the chickpeas into a mixing bowl, and allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes or during the time it takes to prepare the rest of the salad.

Vegan Ranch Dressing with Mayo

4. Put everything listed under “Ranch Dressing” in a food processor or blender.  Blend until mostly smooth.  Taste, and adjust seasonings, if needed (more salt? lemon juice?). Set aside.

Vegan Chickpea Kale Salad Recipe

5. In a large bowl, add the vegetables listed under “Salad”. Then, add the bacony chickpeas and the ranch dressing to the salad in the large bowl. Toss to combine and serve immediately.

Vegan Chickpea Salad with Dill
Smoked paprika and chickpeas–nothing could be more delicious on a vegan salad with ranch

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