Gluten-free, Side Dishes, Special Diets, Vegan/Vegetarian

Roasted Chickpea Caesar Salad [V., G.F.]

Nicoletta January 23, 2017

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Roasted Chickpea Caesar Salad, vegan and gluten-free, yet so close in flavor to the real deal. With a homemade caesar salad dressing and roasted spicy chickpeas, it is a delicious, healthy and nutritious lunch idea.

Roasted Chickpea Caesar Salad

From January to April I am usually back in Rome, working. Not this year, when I asked for an additional leave to stay with my husband and concentrate on the blog. I did not choose the right winter to stay, though, while last year it seemed they had a balmy winter in Canada, this year it is nothing but brutal.



I have to confess, many are the days I miss my city, my family, and my friends. I miss getting dressed, in the morning, with proper clothes to go to work, and not hanging out -day after day- in my yoga pants and top. Since other than working at home, I mostly go out to attend a yoga or jazzercise class, this is my go-to everyday attire. Even when we go out  Loreto and I, (and we do have our movie nights, concerts, restaurants, or Saturday breakfast out), I am always cold therefore I am so bundled up in warm, comfy clothes, plus down jacket, scarf, hat, mittens, and snow boots that you could hardly say it’s me hiding in there, lol. I also miss walking. In Rome, I am used to walking a lot, mainly downtown, when going to work or just for fun. There are days when with my friends we arrange to meet downtown after work, to stroll in the beautiful alleys and squares, endlessly chatting and laughing, then rest for a gelato, even in the winter. It is never too cold, in Rome, to stop you from walking or having a gelato.

When I am back at work, I am a regular salad-for-lunch kind of person. My friend and ex-co-worker Paola one year for my birthday gave me a beautiful portable salad container, with separate compartments for the add-ons and an inbuilt dressing container, that is ideal for my lunch at work. It would be perfect to pack this Roasted Chickpea Caesar Salad: the romaine lettuce in the bowl, the chickpeas and nutritional yeast in the compartments and the caesar salad dressing in the dressing container. But these days I am working from home, from my home in Edmonton, Canada, and it has its advantages, principally I do not have to leave the house at the wee hours of the morning and I can make, photographs, and enjoy this salad in the tranquillity of our home. In a real plate!

Roasted Chickpea Caesar SaladRoasted Chickpea Caesar Salad

Roasted Chickpea Caesar Salad, vegan and gluten-free, packed with flavors and with a high nutritional value. I found the recipe on the “Oh She Glows Every Day” cookbook, and I fell in love with the combination of flavors and textures. It just requires a bit of your time but it will reward you at every bite. I soaked the cashews overnight, then made the dressing in the morning blending in a food processor the cashews with the rest of the dressing ingredients. Pretty easy, and pretty delicious dressing. I made it while I was roasting the chickpeas in the oven, and then it’s only a matter of assembling everything in a big serving dish. I was risking of not having any chickpeas to add to the salad because I was nibbling on them and couldn’t stop. Mine did not turn out crunchy, though, but the flavor was so good, spicy, and salty. If you have a vegan cheese to sprinkle on top of the salad, use it, we did not have any so we thought to use a dusting of nutritional yeast. It just hit the spot, with its cheesy like taste. The dressing, with the capers, mustard, Worcestershire sauce provided that unmistakable Caesar salad flavor.

Roasted Chickpea Caesar Salad

To my friends, whom I miss dearly and that are already counting the days till the summer when they’ll see me again.

Happy lunch time!

Song of the day: “Wherever I go”, One Republic.

Chickpea Ceasar Salad

Roasted Chickpea Caesar Salad [V., G.F.]

  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes


For the dressing:

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp e.v.o.oil
  • 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp mustard
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 1/2 tsp capers
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt

For the Chickpeas:

  • 1 small can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp e.v.o.oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Salad:
  • Romaine lettuce (1 head)
  • 2 tsp nutritional yeast



  1. Place the cashews in a small bowl and add water to cover. Soak from 1 to 2 hours or overnight (I chose overnight).
  2. Drain and rinse the cashews, then place them in a blender and add the remaining dressing ingredients, except the salt.
  3. Blend on high, scraping the sides if necessary and adding a splash water if needed, until smooth.
  4. Taste, add salt and adjust seasoning. Set aside.

Roasted Chickpeas:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F (200° C) and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place the chickpeas in a towel and rub dry, then place them in a bowl. Drizzle the e.v.o. oil, sprinkle the garlic powder, salt and cayenne and coat the chickpeas.
  3. Spread them out on the baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes, then gently roll them around on the baking sheet and roast for additional 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.
  4. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes.


  1. Wash, drain and chop the romaine lettuce and place it in a big serving dish.
  2. Add the dressing and toss until fully coated.
  3. Place the roasted chickpeas on top and sprinkle the nutritional yeast.
  4. Serve immediately.


The total time does not include the soaking overnight of the cashews.


  • Serving Size: 4-5 servings
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Roasted Chickpea Caesar Salad

More healthy and delicious salad ideas:


Grilled Portobellini Feta Salad


Radicchio, Pear and Taleggio Salad


Radicchio and wild greens salad with Asiago, macadamia nuts and cranberries

Shrimp Sweet Pea Salad Boats

Shrimp Sweet Pea Salad Boats



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  • Avatar
    Reply Stephanie@ApplesforCJ January 23, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    This salad looks so Yummy! I love chickpeas and use them often. Look forward to trying out this dressing with the cashews. Sounds so good. Pinning! 🙂

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta January 23, 2017 at 5:29 pm

      Thank you Stephanie, it was so delicious! That dressing is awesome, hope you try it!

  • Avatar
    Reply Maria January 23, 2017 at 5:49 pm

    I agree with you Nicoletta, old man winter has been working overtime this winter. We are supposed to get 25 cm of snow in Montreal… within the next 24 hours :0 Eventually, it will all melt away … in the meanwhile, I will be making this salad and thinking of spring! Thanks for sharing ♥

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta January 23, 2017 at 9:05 pm

      Oh my, Maria, 25 cm of snow! So, east or west, winter is brutal 😉. I will never get used to this! Thanks for your lovely comment!

  • Avatar
    Reply Balvinder January 24, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    I love good salad:) There aren’t even words to describe how delicious this looks with the special dressing you have made! It hits all the notes – the creaminess, crunch and munch:)

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta January 25, 2017 at 9:27 am

      Thank you so much, Balvinder! It is a great, well balanced salad, indeed!

  • Avatar
    Reply karrie @ Tasty Ever After January 24, 2017 at 7:11 pm

    I’ve been to Rome only once and I thought it was such a magical city that I’d love to live there full-time one day. It must be so hard for you to not go home this year, but at least you get to spend your days with Loreto and the blog 😉 Love this recipe and I need to check out that cookbook too. We always had caesar salad around when I was growing up because it’s my Mom’s favorite. She loves anchovies so much and would put two jars of them in one caesar salad for 4 people! I’ll have to try your version and I’m going to try the nutritional yeast on it too 🙂

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta January 25, 2017 at 9:19 am

      I’m in love with my city, so I might not be partial 😉 . It is hard, although I get to spend more time with Loreto and on the blog. This is such a great recipe, and the cookbook is full of gems (we’ve already made many recipes from it). Love your mom’s love for anchovies! 😉 Thank you Karrie, hope to see you in Rome, one day!

  • Avatar
    Reply Adina January 25, 2017 at 5:29 am

    Such a beautiful and healthy salad. I love roasted chickpeas so much! And I hope to see Rome one day too, I know so much about its history but never got there… And it is really not a big journey from Germany, I suppose we keep putting it off because everybody says that Rome is soooo expensive! I have only been to Sicily, years ago, and I loved it although it was to hot to breath in August.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta January 25, 2017 at 9:22 am

      Roasted chickpeas are such a great addition! Rome, from Germany, is so close, you need to go! Maybe in the summer, possibly July, when we’re there? 😉 And yes, Sicily is absolutely beautiful but in August it can be extremely hot and humid. Thank you, Adina, for your lovely comment!

  • Avatar
    Reply Annika January 25, 2017 at 8:54 am

    I can totally understand, now I just want to be in Rome as well. I were iced in yesterday! Lovely post and recipe. We only eat roasted chickpeas as a snack… I never thought to turn it into a salad. This is great cause I air on the side of being a vegetarian so any extra protein helps. Love that you make your own salad dressing as well and this one sounds amazing. For lack of creativity, my go-to is always olive oil and balsamic vinegar! I’ll have to give this one a try, I am sure my family will be grateful!! And as always, love your photos!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta January 25, 2017 at 9:26 am

      Thank you, Annika! Rome is beautiful, I just cannot help it but loving my city! As for the salad, I dressed my salad -for decades- only with e.v.o. oil and salt, not being a vinegar lover. But in this recipe, that vegan caesar salad dressing is just the right complement. And roasted chickpeas are the perfect touch.

  • Avatar
    Reply annie@ciaochowbambina January 27, 2017 at 6:01 am

    Your description of lunchtime and after work in Rome speaks to my heart, imagining the beautiful alleys and squares. How lovely that you can divide your time between Canada and Italy. I love this salad, Nicoletta! The roasted chickpeas are singing to me! Have a lovely weekend, my friend! Stay warm!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta January 27, 2017 at 8:35 am

      Thank you, Annie! I miss Rome when I’m not there, but then, when I’m there I miss my husband. Wish that one day we are both there ;-)! And you can come and visit whenever you want! This salad is so good, those chickpeas are fantastic even as a snack!

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