Farro & kale caesar salad is a healthier twist on the classic. Tossed with crunchy romaine lettuce, homemade croutons, and shaved Parmesan it's the best kale salad recipe to accompany any dish. Or add shrimp or chicken for a main dish!
I love a good caesar salad.
Butttt, it most definitely has to be the kind of caesar salad that has perfect crunchy pieces of romaine, good quality Parmesan cheese, and the croutons have to be on point (as well as the dressing).
I also love a good kale & farro salad. Hearty, healthy, and an easy weeknight dinner.
Why not combine the two for the perfect kale farro caesar salad recipe?
This vegetarian kale caesar salad is tossed with romaine, tomatoes, shaved Parmesan, homemade croutons, and farro.
Use your favorite store-bought caesar dressing or make your own, either way this kale salad is so easy to throw together and makes the perfect healthy side dish.
Or you can top it with some grilled chicken, steak or shrimp for a whole meal.
Heck, you can even get crazy and throw some cucumbers on that bad boy too ;).
Farro & Kale Caesar Salad Ingredients:
- chopped kale
- chopped romaine
- cherry or grape tomatoes (optional)
- homemade croutons (stale or crusty bread, butter, garlic, Italian seasoning, olive oil)
- fresh cracked pepper
- caesar dressing (store-bought) or homemade
I chose to use both kale and romaine in my salad recipe. I love the traditional caesar salad with romaine but I also wanted that extra healthiness from the kale.
Plus, the kale really holds up in a salad, especially once you add the dressing. No wilting or sogginess.
Normally, in my kale salads, I like to massage the kale to soften the leaves, but in this recipe, massaging isn't necessary because you want the kale to withhold it's sturdiness once the dressing is added.
Farro is a whole grain with lots of fiber and protein. I like it in my kale salad for a little crunch and texture.
How to make homemade croutons:
I will be the first to admit to using store-bought or pre-made ingredients to save time/effort.
HOWEVER, with this kale caesar salad, I must insist that you make homemade croutons to go on top.
Croutons are the most important part to the Caesar salad (if you ask me), and homemade croutons will really give it that extra oomf. I promise you won't regret making them, and I promise they're easy ;).
- Preheat oven to 400F. Start with cutting your bread into 1" chunks (you can tear them too for a more rustic feel). Add them to a large bowl.
- Melt butter over medium heat, continue cooking until it foams and starts to brown. You should smell a nutty aroma and see brown specks. Add minced garlic and remove from heat.
- Pour browned butter over bread along with olive oil, Italian seasoning, black pepper and salt. Toss to combine.
- Spread bread out onto a baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes (stirring halfway) or until golden browned on all sides. Remove and set aside to cool.
Make your Farro & Kale Caesar Salad:
- Cook farro according to package directions. Set aside.
- In a large bowl add chopped kale and romaine lettuce. Add tomatoes, shaved Parmesan and anything else you want to add (cucumbers, red onion, etc).
- Once farro is cooled, add to salad along with caesar dressing. Toss to combine. Top with homemade croutons and serve!
This kale salad is great on it's own but if you want to add a protein like grilled chicken, shrimp or steak you totally can.
Kale farro caesar salad can be made up to two hours ahead of time (with dressing) or you can leave the dressing out until ready to serve.
For more healthy salad recipes try:
- Warm Farro and Kale Salad
- Roasted carrot, beet & arugula salad
- Shredded Brussels Sprout Salad with Cranberries
- Summer Panzanella Salad with Peaches
- 4 cups stale/crusty bread, cut into 1" cubes (ciabatta or Italian bread works well)
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
Kale Caesar Salad
- 1 cup farro, rinsed
- 4 cups kale, stems removed and chopped
- 4 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved (optional)
- 1 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
- ¾-1 cup caesar dressing (homemade or store-bought)
- fresh cracked black pepper, for serving
- lemon wedges, for serving (optional)
- For the croutons: preheat oven to 400 F. Add bread cubes to a large mixing bowl.
- Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Continue melting until foamy and brown specks form. It should have a nutty aroma.
- Add garlic and remove from heat. Pour over bread along with olive oil, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Toss to evenly combine.
- Spread out onto baking sheet and bake 10-15 minutes, stirring halfway, until bread is evenly golden browned. Remove and set aside to cool.
- For the kale caesar salad: cook farro according the recipe instructions, drain and set aside to cool.
- In large serving bowl combine kale, romaine, tomatoes (if using) and Parmesan cheese. Add cooled farro and caesar dressing. Toss to combine.
- Serve with cracked black pepper and lemon wedge if desired.
*Kale & farro caesar salad can be made up to 2 hours in advance (with dressing on it) or you can prepare the salad without the dressing up to 1 day in advance and dress it when ready to serve.
*Homemade croutons can be made and stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks (let cool first).
*Chicken, shrimp or steak can be added for a complete meal
*Vegan version: omit Parmesan cheese and substitute a vegan caesar dressing.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 444Total Fat: 33gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 770mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 6g