Photo of Kale Caesar Salad with Parmesan Popcorn Croutons by WW

Kale Caesar Salad with Parmesan Popcorn Croutons

Points® value
Total Time
30 min
15 min
15 min
We love popcorn as a crunchy, salty, satisfying whole-grain snack—but it turns out that it’s also great on a salad. It may not work so well in a salad, but on a salad, as a stand-in for bread-based croutons, it’s a natural. We up the crunch factor by briefly baking the popcorn with some grated Parmesan for savory goodness and crispy edges, and then sprinkle it atop a Caesar-style kale salad. We kept things vegetarian here, so there’s no anchovy in the dressing—but if you’d like, you could stir in a little anchovy paste.


Cooking spray

4 spray(s)

Parmesan cheese

1½ oz, divided

Plain air popped popcorn (prepared without oil)

2 cup(s)

Kosher salt

tsp(s), divided

Black pepper

tsp(s), divided


8 cup(s), Tuscan variety, fresh, stemmed and chopped (about 1 large bunch)

Olive oil

2 tsp(s)

Light mayonnaise

2 tbsp(s)

Plain fat free Greek yogurt

1 tbsp(s)

Fresh lemon juice

1 tbsp(s)


1 clove(s), large, grated


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grate 1 oz of Parmesan to yield ¼ cup; shave remaining ½ oz of Parmesan and set aside. In a medium bowl, coat popcorn with cooking spray. Sprinkle popcorn with 2 tbsp grated cheese, ⅛ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper; toss to coat. Arrange popcorn mixture on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350°F until lightly browned, about 15 minutes, stirring after 8 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine kale and oil; massage with hands until kale starts to wilt. In a small bowl, whisk mayonnaise, yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, remaining 2 tbsp grated cheese, and remaining ¼ tsp salt and ⅛ tsp pepper. Combine dressing with kale, tossing well to coat. Arrange kale in a large bowl; top with shaved cheese and popcorn. Serve immediately.
  3. Serving size: 1 ¾ cups