This easy vegan weeknight dinner recipe is packed with flavor and nutrients. Massaged kale is topped with crispy roasted chickpeas and potatoes and then smothered in smoky chipotle tahini dressing for a flavor bomb of a salad that’s hearty enough to be a full meal.
You know the vegan stereotype that all we eat are boring salads? To be fair, I do eat a lot of salads. But they are far from boring! I love using kale as the base for a satisfying meal-worthy salad and adding roasted veggies, beans, tofu, and other filling ingredients, along with a creamy flavorful dressing.
This smoky roasted potato kale salad is one of my very favorite salads that I make a variation of at least once a week. Sometimes I just drizzle tahini, lemon, and olive oil over the salad as a lazy dressing, but when I’m feeling fancy, I’ll whip up a sauce like this Chipotle Tahini Dressing. I love the subtle spicy smokiness that this dressing adds to the massaged kale. This is a salad you’ll want to make again and again even if you’re a kale skeptic.
What you’ll need
The ingredients for this recipe can be divided into 2 groups: the main ingredients and the flavor components. Keep reading to learn a little more about each ingredient and its function in this salad.
- KALE: A base of massaged kale serves as the leafy green for this salad. Sturdier than lettuce and packed with fiber, calcium, and vitamins A and C, and even a little protein, kale is a great option for a salad like this that has heartier toppings.
- POTATOES: Russet potatoes are cut into wedges, tossed in spices and oil, and baked in the oven until perfectly crisp. These potato wedges bulk up an otherwise very kale-y salad, making it more satisfying to eat. Potatoes are another excellent source of fiber so don’t be scared of the carbs!
- CHICKPEAS: A can of drained and rinsed chickpeas serves as the main protein source for this salad. They’ll roast alongside the potatoes in the oven and add a nice crunch to every bite.
- TAHINI: One of my favorite sources of healthy fats is tahini, also known as sesame seed paste. I love the way its nutty creaminess coats every piece of kale, plus a good amount of fat is one of the things that makes this salad have staying power.
- OLIVE OIL: I used olive oil to roast the potatoes and to add a little extra silkiness to the creamy sauce.
- CHIPOTLES IN ADOBO: One or two of these little guys will go a long way toward that smoky spiciness I wanted to add to this salad’s flavor profile. Adjust to your own tastes!
- NUTRITIONAL YEAST: Nooch goes in basically every sauce I make. The slightly nutty cheesiness is just the best, but skip it if you don’t have any or aren’t a fan.
- CHILI POWDER: Along with garlic and onion powder, I use chili powder to flavor the roasted potatoes and chickpeas and add a little extra smokiness.
- LEMONS: Lemon juice is a must for a tahini dressing- tahini can run a little bitter so the lemon really helps elevate and brighten the flavors.
How to make this massaged kale salad
First, you’ll want to cut your potatoes into wedges and toss them in olive oil, chili powder, garlic powder, and onion powder, along with a little salt and pepper.
Spread the potato wedges out on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes before flipping the potatoes, adding the chickpeas, and cooking for another 15-20 minutes until the potatoes and chickpeas are golden and crispy.
Meanwhile, de-stem, chop, and wash your kale leaves. When they’re mostly dry, add them to a large bowl along with a pinch of salt. Use your hands to massage the kale leaves until they start to break down. Rub the leaves between your fingers firmly and the kale will reduce in size and become easier to chew and digest. Set aside.
To make the chipotle tahini dressing, add the tahini, water, olive oil, chipotles, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper to a blender and blend until smooth. Alternatively, use an immersion blender in a tall jar. If you don’t have a blender at all, you could just use a bit of the adobo sauce in the can of chipotles instead and whisk everything together in a bowl.
Divide the kale between each individual salad bowl. When the potatoes and chickpeas are done roasting, add them to each salad along with a generous drizzle of the dressing. That’s it!Print
Crispy Potato and Chickpea Kale Salad with Chipotle Tahini Dressing
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 3–4 servings 1x
for the roasted potatoes and chickpeas:
- 4 medium russet potatoes, or 2 large potatoes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 1/2 cups of cooked chickpeas (equivalent of one drained can)
for the chipotle tahini dressing:
- 1/2 c tahini
- 1/4–1/2 c water, as needed
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder or 1 garlic clove
- 1–2 chipotles from a can of chipotles in adobo
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
for the salad:
- 1 bunch of kale
- pinch of salt
- the roasted potatoes and chickpeas
- the chipotle tahini dressing
- First, preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Cut your potatoes into wedges. For smaller russets, I cut them in half and cut each half in four, but you may want to make more cuts than that if your potatoes are larger. In a large bowl, toss the potatoes in the oil, garlic, onion, chili, salt, and pepper to coat well in the spices. Use your hands to place each wedge on a baking sheet (don’t dump them because there will be extra oil and spices left to toss the chickpeas in later).
- Place the baking sheet in the oven and roast for 15 minutes.
- Add the drained chickpeas to the bowl with the leftover spices and oil and let them marinate while the potatoes cook.
- Meanwhile, remove the stems from your kale leaves, then chop the leaves into bite size pieces. Wash in a salad spinner or a colander and set aside.
- After the potato wedges have roasted for 15 minutes, flip them so they’ll cook evenly on the other side. Then dump the chickpeas onto the same pan and carefully spread them out so they’re making as much contact with the pan as possible. Return the pan to the oven and cook for another 15-20 minutes, until the potatoes and chickpeas are evenly browned and crispy.
- Meanwhile, make the dressing. Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth, adding enough water to create your desired consistency. Use an immersion blender if you prefer, or if you don’t have a blender, you can sub the chipotle peppers for a few spoonfuls of the adobo sauce from the can of chipotles, then whisk together the dressing ingredients in a bowl.
- Massage the kale in a large bowl with a pinch of salt. Rub the kale leaves between your fingers until they start to break down and the kale is about halfway reduced in volume.
- Divide the kale among your individual salad bowls and top with the roasted chickpeas and potatoes. Generously drizzle the dressing over each salad and enjoy!