Roasted Chickpea Kale Salad
This roasted chickpea kale salad with roasted sweet potato is full of flavour but easy to make with simple ingredients.
This salad is on the simple side but still so satisfying and delicious. It features crunchy roasted chickpeas with roasted sweet potato, kale, sunflower seeds and a creamy tahini dressing.
Enjoy this salad for a light main dish or healthy side salad to something like a veggie burger or other main.
- Dietary Features: Vegan and gluten-free.
- Great for meal prep or the make the sweet potato and chickpeas in advance for quick assembly during the week.
- High in protein and fiber.
- Easy to make with simple, nutritious ingredients.
Complete list of ingredients with amounts and full instructions is located in the recipe card below. This section covers ingredient and substitution considerations.
- Sweet Potato: A medium to large-sized sweet potato works, you want about 1 cup of cubes per serving.
- Raw sunflower seeds: Look for plain, raw sunflower seeds without added oil or salt, however, if you want some extra flavor, feel free to use roasted sunflower seeds. These can be swapped for walnuts, hemp seeds, slivered almonds or pumpkin seeds.
- Avocado: You’ll need 1 ripe avocado to make 4 salads, adjust as needed if you want more or less.
- Kale: You’ll need 1 large bunch of kale or enough for 1 big handful per salad. The kale can be swapped for any other leafy green you enjoy.
Step by Step Instructions
Step 1. Make the roasted chickpeas.
If you’re using canned chickpeas, drain and rinse them, then dry them with a dish cloth or paper towel the best you can. Dry chickpeas work best for a crunch result.
Place the chickpeas on a baking tray and add 1/2 tsp olive oil per 2 cups of chickpeas. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and pop them in the oven for about 30 minutes, shaking the pan half way through baking.
Step 2. Make the roasted sweet potato.
Cut the sweet potato into chunks, cubes or rounds, toss with a little oil then bake until browned and tender.
You can get the sweet potato in the oven at the same time as the chickpeas.
Step 3. Prepare the dressing.
The dressing is easy to make in any bowl or container, just mix up the tahini, lemon and sea salt then slowly add water until you have a thick and creamy but pourable dressing.
Step 4. Prepare the kale.
To prepare the kale for the salads, tear the leaves away from the thick stems and finely chop them. You can discard the stems or use them in smoothies.
Add 1/4 tsp olive or avocado oil and a bit of lemon juice and use your hands to massage and squeeze until softened. A couple of minutes should do the trick.
Step 5: Assemble the salads.
Add a big handful of kale to 4 bowls or storage containers and top each with equal portions of sunflower seeds, avocado, roasted sweet potato and the lemon tahini sauce.
- Alternative dressing: Try balsamic vinaigrette, miso tahini or caesar salad dressing.
- Swap the greens: Try spinach, arugula or mixed salad greens instead of kale.
- Swap the sweet potato: Try roasted butternut or acorn squash instead of sweet potato.
- Oil-free option: Omit the oil from the chickpeas and sweet potato. They won’t crisp up quite as well but they’ll roast just fine. Instead of massaging the kale with oil, use a bit of lemon juice or lightly steam it for 1-2 minutes.
- Serve your salad with a spritz of fresh lemon juice and lots of fresh-cracked black pepper.
- For some heat, you can serve with a drizzle of your favourite hot sauce and/or a spinkle of chili flakes.
Any of these make healthy and nutritious additions to this salad:
- spinkle of hemp seeds
- homemade whole grain croutons
- chopped grape tomatoes
- diced bell pepper or roasted red peppers
- quick pickled red onion
Making Ahead & Storing
- If storing the assembled salad, it will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days if you store the dressing separately until serving. If you add the dressing, it’s best within a day or two.
- The chickpeas can be made up to 1 week in advance. Let them cool completely and store at room temperature.
- The sweet potato can be roasted up to 3 days in advance and stored in the fridge.
- The kale can be prepped a few days in advance.
- This recipe is not suitable for freezing.
- Roasted Chickpea Avocado Salad: Similar but with kale, chickpeas, avocado and hemp seeds.
- Quinoa Kale Salad with Roasted Vegetables: A hearty, roasted vegetable salad.
- Kale Peanut Brown Rice Salad: A meal-sized salad with chickpeas, brown rice and peanut sauce.
- Sweet Potato and Chickpea Skillet: A quick and easy, one-pan skillet with dijon sauce.
- Vegan Roasted Beet Salad: A roasted beet salad with corn, chickpeas and pumpkin seeds.
- Sweet Potato Kale Salad: A hearty kale salad with crispy roasted lentils.
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For the Roasted Chickpeas
- 1 19 oz can chickpeas, rinsed, drained and dried
- 1/2 tsp olive or avocado oil
- a sprinkle of salt and pepper
For the Roasted Sweet Potato
- 1 medium to large sweet potato
- 1 tsp olive or avocado oil
For the Lemon Tahini Sauce
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 4–8 tbsp water to reach desired consistency
- 1/2 tsp sea salt, or to taste
For the Kale Salad
- 4 large handfuls of de-stemmed and finely chopped kale
- 8 tbsp sunflower seeds (2 tbsp per salad)
- 1 ripe avocado (1/4 per salad, use more if desired)
- hot sauce, lemon, sea salt and black pepper for topping, optional
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Drain and rinse canned chickpeas then use a dishcloth or paper towel to dry them as best as you can. Some of the skins will come off, that’s fine, there is no need to pick them out but you can if you prefer.
- Place the dried chickpeas on a baking tray and add the oil, salt and pepper. Roll them around to coat.
- Roast for 30-40 minutes, shaking the pan after 20 minutes, until crisped and lightly browned.
- Cut the sweet potato into small cubes, rounds or chunks. Toss with the oil then place on a baking tray and roast in the oven (they can go in at the same time as the chickpeas) for 25-35 minutes until tender and browned.
- Prepare the lemon tahini sauce by whisking the lemon, tahini and 3 tbsp of water together until smooth. Slowly start adding more water until you reach a thick and creamy but pourable consistency. Season with salt, to taste.
- After washing the kale, tear the leaves away from the thick stems. Finely chop the leaves then drizzle with 1/4 tsp olive or avocado oil. Use your hands to massage and squeeze the kale until it starts to soften. This should take 1-2 minutes.
- Divide the kale between 4 bowls or containers and top each with equal amounts of the roasted chickpeas, roasted sweet potato, sunflower seeds, and avocado. Drizzle with tahini sauce and enjoy right away, topped with hot sauce, lemon and more salt and pepper, if desired. If storing, keep the sauce separate until ready to eat.
- Assembled salads can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days if the avocado and dressing are left off until serving.
For lightly sweetened maple tahini dressing, add 1-2 tbsp maple syrup.
If you’d like to make this recipe in advance, make the chickpeas, sweet potato, and tahini dressing and store until ready to assemble the salads. You can also wash and chop the kale ahead of time and store it in the fridge. Stored separately, everything will keep for up to 5 days.
If storing an assembled salad, it will keep 1-2 days in the fridge, or 2-3 days if you store the dressing separately.
To make this recipe oil-free, omit the oil from the chickpeas and sweet potato. The chickpeas won’t crisp up quite as well but they’ll roast just fine. Instead of massaging the kale with oil, either use a bit of lemon juice or lightly steam the kale for 1-2 minutes stovetop to soften.
Keywords: roasted chickpea salad, roasted chickpea kale salad
This recipe was originally published on August 13, 2017.