Chickpea Chopped Kale Salad

Chickpea Chopped Kale Salad with Adobo Dressing

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Chickpea Chopped Kale Salad is inspired by a salad we loved ordering at a restaurant that featured roasted chicken, cornbread croutons, and a smoky-sweet dressing.

To keep our version plant-based and gluten-free, we opted for chickpeas instead of chicken and candied pecans in place of cornbread, and we crafted a 5-minute smoky chipotle dressing to cut down on prep time.

The result is an incredibly satisfying salad that strikes the perfect balance between smoky, spicy, savory, and sweet. Just eight ingredients and 30 minutes required. Let’s do this!


Kale, grape tomatoes, candied pecans, chickpeas, and other ingredients for making our Vegan Chopped Kale Salad with Adobo Dressing

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It starts with roasting the chickpeas with avocado oil, tandoori masala seasoning, and sea salt.

You’ll want the chickpeas to be thoroughly coated in the spices — so don’t skimp out here! We do mean 2 ½ – 3 tablespoons!

To make this salad even simpler, you could also opt for store-bought crispy chickpeas.

Parchment-lined baking sheet filled with Tandoori-Spiced Chickpeas

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Then it’s time to prepare the candied pecans (or opt for store-bought in a pinch). These taste dangerously close to candy, friends!

We like making a half batch, using 1 cup of pecans, and omitting the walnuts.

Parchment-lined baking sheet of Candied Pecans for adding to our Chickpea Chopped Kale Salad

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Then it’s time to make the dressing and assemble the salad!

Here are the components:

You’ll have enough dressing to dress the salad, plus have extra generously!

Chickpea Chopped Kale Salad

Credit Image: minimalistbaker

We hope you LOVE this Chickpea Chopped Kale Salad. It’s:

& So delicious!

It’s perfect on its own as a lighter meal. Or for a heartier meal, it would be delicious with our 1-Pan Mexican Shredded Chicken (or tofu), Easy Green Chile Chicken Tamales, or Easy 1-Pot Black Bean Soup.

Plate and platter of Chickpea Chopped Kale Salad with Adobo Dressing

Credit Image: minimalistbaker

  • Prep Time 10 minutes
  • Cook Time 20 minutes
  • Total time 30 minutes
  • Servings 3 (large salads)
  • Course Salad
  • Cuisine Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Vegan
  • Freezer Friendly No
  • Does it keep? 3-4 Days

US CustomaryMetric


  • One 15-ounce chickpeas (rinsed, drained, and thoroughly dried)
  • 1 ½ Tbsp avocado oil
  • 2 ½ – 3 Tbsp tandoori masala spice blend* (see notes for DIY mixing)
  • One healthy pinch sea salt

FOR SERVING optional

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  • Add drained and dried chickpeas to a mixing bowl and toss with oil and seasonings. Then add to a baking sheet.

  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the chickpeas are slightly crispy and slightly browned. Remove from the oven and set aside.

  • Optional: While the chickpeas are baking, prepare candied pecans. If using our recipe, omit the walnuts and just use pecans. We made a half batch, so 1 cup of pecans total (adjust amounts if adjusting serving size).

  • In the meantime, prepare 5-Minute Smoky Chipotle Dressing.

  • To assemble salad, add kale to a serving bowl or platter and massage with a little lime juice and oil for 1 minute to tenderize. Then top with roasted chickpeas, grape tomatoes, and candied pecans (optional) and drizzle with the dressing. Toss to coat.

  • Best when fresh. Store leftovers (pecans and dressing each stored separately) in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Not freezer friendly.


*I bought my Tandoori Masala Spice blend at Whole Foods (it’s the Whole Foods Market brand), but you can also make your own: 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 two tablespoons of dressing per serving and without optional ingredients.

Serving: 1large saladsCalories: 309kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 8.7gFat: 18.4gSaturated Fat: 2.4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3.31gMonounsaturated Fat: 10.93gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 233mgPotassium: 420mgFiber: 10gSugar: 5.8gVitamin A: 3778IUVitamin C: 52.12mgCalcium: 202.21mgIron: 3.81mg

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #howyourhealth1 on Instagram. Cheers friends!


All text and images © minimalistbaker


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