Kale Taco Salad with Crispy Roasted Chickpeas

This vegetarian Kale Taco Salad is loaded with veggie goodness and topped with super flavorful taco-seasoned crispy roasted chickpeas and crispy tortilla strips for delightful texture and crunch!

Kale Taco Salad with Crispy Roasted Chickpeas

Kale Taco Salad with Crispy Roasted Chickpeas

For these kale taco salads, I started with a base of tender massaged kale. Chopping the kale and veggies up super small helps pack a little bit of everything into each forkful and to helps evenly dress all the goodies.

For my salad, I added a mix of fresh cilantro, tender black beans, sweet corn, sliced jalapeños, diced bell pepper, shredded carrots, crispy tortilla strips, and juicy ripe tomatoes. YES!

Once all the veggie goodness is in place, I topped it all off with the star of the show, taco seasoned roasted chickpeas.

This crispy chickpea topped kale salad comes with TWO delish dressing options: Cilantro Lime Dressing and Honey Chipotle Dressing.

It’s absolutely amazing both ways so choose your favorite!

Kale Taco Salad Ingredients

Homemade Crispy Tortilla Strips

I used to always buy little bags of tortilla strips for topping taco salads until I realized how easy they are to make at home!

If you’d like to follow suit, here’s my basic recipe/method:

  • 5 soft yellow corn tortillas
  • avocado oil for frying, as needed
  • sea salt, for seasoning

Cut tortillas in half horizontally, then into thin vertical strips. Heat the oil in a small but sturdy stainless steel pan over medium-high heat. I usually try to add about 1.5-2 inches of oil to my small, sauce-sized pot.

Working in 4-5 small batches, add tortilla strips and fry in the hot oil for a few minutes until golden and crispy. Remove with tongs and drain on paper towels. While still hot, season strips with salt, to taste. Repeat for remaining batches of tortilla strips.

When time permits I love adding these to my taco salads. When I need a salad fast, I’ll simply grab my favorite tortilla chips and crush them to sprinkle over salads. Both are totally tasty options.

Kale Taco Salad with Crispy Roasted Chickpeas and Crispy Tortilla Strips

KALE YEAH! Let’s Taco our Salads!

The recipe below yields approx. 6 side-salad sized servings, 4 medium salads, or about 2-3 large meal-sized salads depending on how hungry you are!

Of course the glory of taco salads is that you can make as many (or as few) as you need to adjust the recipe as needed. Easy peasy!

Kale Taco Salad with Crispy Roasted Chickpeas
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Kale Taco Salad with Crispy Roasted Chickpeas

This vegetarian Kale Taco Salad is loaded with veggie goodness and topped with super flavorful taco-seasoned crispy roasted chickpeas and crispy tortilla strips for delightful texture and crunch!

Course Salad
Cuisine American, Tex-Mex, Vegetarian
Keyword Kale Taco Salad
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 269 kcal
Author Jenn Laughlin – Peas and Crayons

Ingredients

  • 5 cups chopped curly kale
  • 1/2-1 tsp olive oil
  • pinch salt
  • 1 cup black beans (drain/rinse if canned)
  • 1 cup frozen corn (thawed or steamed)
  • 1 bell pepper (any color)
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
  • 1/2-1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4-1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup crushed tortilla chips or 1/2 cup crispy tortilla strips
  • fresh chopped cilantro to taste

CRISPY SEASONED CHICKPEAS

  • 15 oz cooked/canned chickpeas
  • 1 TBSP avocado oil
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

CILANTRO LIME DRESSING

  • 3 TBSP fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil or light olive oil
  • 1 TBSP white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 2 TBSP fresh chopped cilantro

HONEY CHIPOTLE DRESSING

  • 3 TBSP red wine vinegar
  • 1.5 TBSP honey
  • 1/3 cup avocado oil plus a little extra to taste if desired
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • 1 small/medium clove garlic peeled

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 400°F.

  2. First, let's crisp those chickpeas! Drain, rinse, and blot dry with a few paper towels. Toss the chickpeas with 1 TBSP oil and sprinkle with salt. Arrange in an even layer on a baking sheet. Roast on the center rack for 25 minutes until crispy on the outside and tender in the middle. While they're still hot from the oven, sprinkle cumin, paprika, chili powder, and cayenne and mix well to coat.

  3. While the chickpeas roast, assemble salad and dressing of choice. This way once the chickpeas are fresh from the oven, the salad is ready to eat. Woot!

  4. There are two tasty dressing options here. For the cilantro lime vinaigrette, combine all the above ingredients in a small mason jar and shake well. To make the chipotle dressing, combine all ingredients in a blender or small food processor and blend/process until smooth and emulsified.

  5. Wash and dry kale. Remove leaves from stem and finely chop into small pieces. Add to a large bowl and drizzle kale with a teeny bit of olive/avocado oil and a pinch of salt. Massage with your fingers until kale darkens in color and takes on a velvety texture. This little rubdown turns the kale into a tender and delicious salad green!

  6. Dice tomatoes and bell pepper. Thinly slice or dice jalapeño, removing the seeds/stems. Add to kale along with the black beans, corn, and shredded carrots. Feel free to mix and match veggies here. Shake (or whisk) dressing once more and add a few spoonfuls to the salad. Toss to coat.

  7. Add crispy chickpeas, tortilla chips/strips, and some fresh chopped cilantro if you'd like! Serve with additional dressing on the side (simply add to taste) and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

OPTIONAL EXTRAS: chopped green onion, pico de gallo, salsa, guacamole, chopped avocado, black olives, shredded cabbage or slaw, grated or crumbled cheese.

Nutrition Facts below are estimated for the salad and roasted chickpeas using an online recipe nutrition calculator. Adjust values based on choice of dressing and enjoy!

This recipe yields 6 side-salad sized servings. Portions can also be adjusted into 4 medium salads or about 2-3 large meal-sized salads – depending on how hungry you are.

Nutrition Facts
Kale Taco Salad with Crispy Roasted Chickpeas
Amount Per Serving
Calories 269 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 178mg8%
Potassium 770mg22%
Carbohydrates 44g15%
Fiber 10g42%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 13g26%
Vitamin A 7214IU144%
Vitamin C 100mg121%
Calcium 143mg14%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Vegetarian Kale Taco Salad Bowl

If you get a chance to try this kale taco salad recipe, let me know!

Leave some love in the comment form below or tag your photos with @peasandcrayons on Instagram so I can happy dance over your creation. I can’t wait to see what you whip up!

Hungry for More Taco Inspired Recipes?

Kale Taco Salad with Black Beans and Crispy Roasted Chickpeas
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Comments

  • Gina

    5 stars
    This is going to be made over and over again at my house!

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