This delicious Kale Caesar Salad is rich and delicious with a shortcut dressing so good, you’ll almost want to drink it!

Everyone loves a great caesar salad topped with bacon and croutons and we love a fresh kale salad too. Combining the two makes for the most perfect meal or side dish!

close up of Kale Caesar Salad in a bowl


Panera Power Kale Caesar Salad and the Sweetgreen Kale Caesar are menu favorites but they can’t compare to this fantastic homemade version!

A Hearty Salad

Kale is a superfood packed full of flavor and nutrition, it only makes sense that it would be a good stand-in for the more traditional romaine lettuce.

One thing I love about using kale in salads in place of lettuce is that leftover salad (even with dressing) will last a couple of days in the fridge! Just leave the croutons aside if you’re making this ahead of time.

TIP: Leave out the croutons for a low carb version!

ingredients to make dressing for Kale Caesar Salad

What’s in a Kale Caesar Salad?

VEGGIES Kale, of course, but feel free to add in some romaine or spinach as well.

TOPPING/FILLING Bacon, croutons, and Parmesan are favorite topping ingredients for this crisp and crunchy salad.

DRESSING The real star here is the creamy Caesar dressing! While my traditional caesar salad recipe has a from scratch dressing, this one starts with mayonnaise as a base. The result is a creamy and delicious dressing in no time at all!

Make it a Meal: Grilled chicken or shrimp are the perfect toppers to convert this from side to a full meal. Serve it with garlic bread.

adding dressing to kale to make Kale Caesar Salad

While chicken can be added to make a chicken caesar salad, the addition of pasta makes for a great caesar pasta salad too!

Tips & Tricks

  • After rinsing and patting dry the kale leaves, gently “massage” each piece between your hands until the leaves are somewhat softened and a darker green.
  • Be sure to cut the spine out of each leaf before tearing it into bite-sized pieces. Tender kale is the result, but it still has all the healthy benefits!
  • Kale Caesar dressing will keep in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days.

Our Fave Salads

Did you love this Kale Caesar Salad? Be sure to leave a comment and a rating below! 

Kale Caesar Salad with croutons and lemons on a plate
4.94 from 15 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Kale Caesar Salad

Creamy Caesar dressing with crisp kale, croutons, bacon, and parmesan!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
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  • 1 bunch kale washed, dried, and torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup croutons store-bought or homemade
  • 4 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
  • cup parmesan cheese shredded


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup parmesan shredded
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste* see note
  • fresh black pepper


  • Combine all dressing ingredients until smooth.
  • Wash kale and dry well. Gently "massage" the kale with your hands until the leaves are somewhat softened and a darker green. While this is optional, it makes for a more tender leaf.
  • In a large salad bowl, combine kale and croutons. Top with dressing as desired and toss to combine.
  • Sprinkle with ⅓ cup parmesan cheese and bacon bits.


You may not need all of the dressing in this recipe, leftovers will last about 3 days in the fridge in an airtight container.
Be sure to cut the spine out of each leaf before tearing it into bite-sized pieces.
Anchovy adds a salty and briny flavor to the dressing and adding a small amount really boosts the flavor of this dressing. If you literally can’t tolerate anchovy, skip them and add finely minced or chopped capers instead.
4.94 from 15 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 583 | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 55g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 863mg | Potassium: 281mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 3410IU | Vitamin C: 41mg | Calcium: 240mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Appetizer, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
close up of Kale Caesar Salad on a plate with lemons and writing
adding dressing to kale to make Kale Caesar Salad with writing
close up of Kale Caesar Salad with a title
adding dressing to Kale Caesar Salad with finished dish and a title


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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


  1. Great recipe, but I learned that I’m not into mayonnaise-based dressing. It weirds me out for some reason. The flavor is great, albeit salty and strong. I just don’t like the goopy texture of mayo. I’ll have to find a from-scratch dressing.4 stars

  2. Very good, presents nicely. Served with roasted acorn squash and kale Caesar salad. And a glass of white wine, of course! Nice dinner for guests.5 stars

  3. This was very good. I massaged the kale 3 times and made recipe exactly as stated. Take the time to mix the dressing in well. The bacon is essential. Very good!5 stars