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Massaged kale salad with crispy chickpeas on an oval platter next to pomegranate seeds.

Tahini Kale Salad with Crispy Chickpeas

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  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 12 mins
  • Total Time: 32 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


This tahini kale salad with crispy chickpeas and pomegranate seeds can be a side dish or a meal on its own. (Inspired by Deliciously Ella)



For the Salad

  • One 15-ounce can chickpeas (or 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds, toasted (see note below)
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate arils (a.k.a. seeds)
  • 1 small bunch curly kale, stemmed and torn into bite-size bits
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

For the Tahini Dressing

  • 1/2 cup well-stirred tahini
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from about 1 lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt


  1. Start by cooking the chickpeas. Drain the chickpeas in a colander and rinse thoroughly under running water. Transfer to a clean kitchen towel or a few layers of paper towels, and pat as dry as possible (it’s OK if some chickpeas get squished in the process).
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add the chickpeas with 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, red pepper (if using), 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Toss to coat evenly. Toast until the chickpeas are crispy and golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes, tossing occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile, make the dressing. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup tahini, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 crushed garlic clove, and 1/4 teaspoon salt with 3 tablespoons water. Whisk until smooth. Then add 3 more tablespoons of water and whisk until the dressing is smooth and pourable (should be slightly thinner than ranch dressing). 
  4. Place about half of the kale in a very large bowl. Drizzle on about half of the dressing and massage the kale for 1 to 2 minutes by squeezing it with your hands until it is soft, juicy, and bright in color. Gradually massage in the remaining kale and dressing, until all of the kale is wilted and saucy. Toss in 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar. At this point, taste the greens and season with salt and pepper, if needed. Add about two-thirds of the chickpeas, almonds, and pomegranate, and toss to combine.
  5. To serve, transfer the salad to a platter and garnish with the remaining chickpeas, almonds, and pomegranate. Serve immediately.


  • To toast raw slivered/sliced almonds or any seeds: cook them in a dry skillet over medium-low heat until golden and fragrant, tossing frequently, 2 to 4 minutes.


  • Serving Size: 1/4 of the recipe
  • Calories: 425

Keywords: massaged, kale, salad, vegan, tahini, chickpeas

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