Warm Kale Mexi Salad w/ Crispy Chickpeas

Great weekend!…SO much food. It was super cold out, so it didn’t take much for me to indulge. Thank goodness it’s Monday, and I’ll be back to weekday eats for a bit. I thought this mexi inspired WarmKale Salad was a good start! Plenty of fresh tender kale, crispy seasoned chickpeas, organic black beans, bbq corn, red onion, avocado (filled with Nacho Cheese) drenched in a Jalapeño Cilantro Dressing…yummers. Even the coldest of days cannot keep me from enjoying a salad.

I’m a HUGE fan of crispy, and these roasted chickpeas definitely earn a passing grade. I usually munch on them as a snack, but they also make a delicious addition topping salads, soups, and in trail mixes. They store well at room temperature in an airtight container – I would say for about 5-7days (mine don’t usually last that long:)

Warm Kale Mexi Salad w/ Crispy Chickpeas
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr

Welcome winter and ALL its tasty eats! I love salads, especially when they bring a little heat. Even when it’s well below zero, I crave my greens. This mexi inspired warm kale salad is right up there at the top of my list. Tender kale, fresh toppings, and a creamy JalapeñoCilantro Dressing – enough said. You had me at Jalapeño! 

Course: appetizer, side dish, main
Cuisine: *plant based + gluten free
Keyword: warm, salad, kale, crispy, chickpeas
Servings: 3
Author: thecrimsonsink
Crispy Chickpeas
  • 1 398 ml can organic chickpeas – drained, rinsed, & well dried
  • grapeseed oil
  • sea salt + pepper *or choice of seasoning(s)
Jalapeño Cilantro Dressing
  • 1/4 cup unsalted peanuts *lightly roasted
  • 1/3 cup packed fresh cilantro, washed
  • 1 med. fresh jalapeño – seeded & finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/3 cup grapeseed oil
Salad Fixings
  • 1-2 bunches organic kale *see notes
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 can organic black beans, rinsed
  • 2 whole corns *charred on BBQ – kernels sliced off
  • 1-2 avocados, pitted & sliced
  • 1/3 cup red onion, sliced
Crispy Chickpeas
  1. *I used a packaged natural taco seasoning mix for this recipe.

  2. Preheat the oven to 335*F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. For crispness, it’s important to ensure your chickpeas are dry after rinsing.
  4. Toss the dry chickpeas in a little grapeseed oil to coat. Sprinkle with sea salt + pepper.
  5. Pour the chickpeas onto the prepared baking sheet. Space the chickpeas out over the sheet.
  6. Bake for 30mins, rolling the chickpeas around halfway through. After 30mins, remove the chickpeas, pour them into a bowl, and gently toss in your seasoning of choice. *Turn the oven temp. up to 375*F.

  7. Place the coated chickpeas back in the oven for another 10-12mins, rolling halfway through if necessary.
  8. *Turn the oven off, roll the chickpeas around once more, and leave them in the oven to continue drying out while you build your salad. If you feel the chickpeas are more than crisp, then by all means remove them from the oven when you wish.
Jalapeño Cilantro Dressing
  1. Add all ingredients but the oil to a jar or small bowl. Using a handheld blender, blend on high until smooth. Once smooth, slowly pour in the oil – the dressing will thicken.
  2. Pour the salad dressing into an airtight container and place in the fridge until ready to use.

  3. Good for 2-3days, refrigerated.
Recipe Notes

~ If you have an allergy to nuts, I would recommend replacing the peanuts with lightly roasted pepitas, sunflower seeds, or even 1-2tbsp of your favourite tahini.

~ When coating the chickpeas in seasoning, I sometimes add 1tsp or so of organic cornstarch for a little extra crispness (usually depends on the seasoning I’m using). Once coated and back on the baking sheet, I spray the chickpeas with a little additional oil and roll them around. 

~ Clean the kale and remove the stem by cutting around the centre ‘rib’. Roughly chop. Toss in a little grapeseed oil, sea salt + pepper, and lightly sauté/steam in a skillet just until tender (few minutes on med./low heat) – not wilted, as the kale will continue cooking once removed from heat. 

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