This classic caesar salad is easy to make and vegetarian. Topped with a delicious homemade creamy dressing, it comes together quickly with simple ingredients.
A classic caesar salad is a perfect appetizer or side salad. My version doesn’t include anchovies so it I think is is more approachable. Quick and easy to make and finished with a creamy homemade dressing, this easy salad is a great recipe to have in your repertoire!
Caesar salad is such a classic recipe, and I thought it was about time I put my own spin on it! I love serving this as an appetizer or as a side alongside my Homemade Lasagna, Eggplant Parmesan or Healthy Shrimp Scampi. The dressing is so wonderfully creamy and the crispy croutons add a wonderful texture.
Caesar salad ingredients
- Romain lettuce: Chop roughly into bite sized pieces to form the base of the salad.
- Parmesan cheese: Use a vegetarian parmesan if you follow a no meat diet
- Salt and pepper: Use freshly cracked pepper and flaky salt to taste
For the croutons
- French baguette: Use a day old baguette for the crispiest croutons. Cut them into small chunks or into thin wide pieces
- Olive oil, salt and pepper: This is for flavoring the homemade croutons, but you can also add other seasoning like onion powder or garlic powder.
- Olive oil: You can use standard olive oil or extra virgin olive oil for the dressing.
- Avocado mayonnaise: This vegan style mayonnaise contains less fat than regular and also contains omega 3s – it’s what I use whenever a recipe calls for mayo. You can use regular or low fat if that’s what you have.
- Lemon juice: For the best tasting dressing, use fresh lemon juice rather than the bottled juice.
- Dijon mustard and Worcester sauce: Both of these add a great tang to the dressing. You can use different kinds of mustard like yellow or brown if you’d like, and you can substitute the Worcester sauce with soy sauce if you’d like and to make it vegetarian.
- Capers: Capers replace the traditional anchovies in the dressing to make this vegetarian friendly.
- Garlic: The garlic brings extra zing to this homemade caesar dressing and I recommend fresh garlic!
How do you make homemade caesar salad
Make the dressing
Instead of using anchovies, which is common in a caesar salad dressing, I use capers. They give it the salty taste iconic of caesar salad dressing. No need to deal with fishy smells of anchovies or anchovy paste. However, keep in mind that most Worcester sauces do contain anchovy paste in them just in case you wanted to keep it vegetarian
Blend all of the ingredients in a small blender until smooth.
Make the croutons
Cut the French baguette into pieces and drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper. Toss with your hands to combine and bake in the oven or toaster oven until golden brown.
Assemble the caesar salad
Now it’s just about putting everything together! Place the cut romaine into a serving bowl and top with the parmesan cheese and croutons. Drizzle with the dressing, toss it all together and serve.
Tips for making caesar salad
- Use one or two day old bread to make the croutons. Fresh bread contains moisture that can cause it to steam when baked and result in less crispy croutons.
- Use a salad spinner to dry the lettuce. If you don’t have a spinner, after you have washed it, pat it gently with kitchen paper to remove excess water. This helps to avoid any excess water pooling in the bottom of the salad bowl or watering down that yummy dressing.
- Dress the salad just before serving. If you dress it too early the lettuce leaves can wilt.
Frequently asked questions
Can you make it ahead of time?
You can make the dressing 3 to 4 days ahead of time and keep it in an air tight jar in the fridge. The croutons can be made up to a week ahead of time and stored in a cupboard.
Can you make it vegan?
This vegetarian Caesar salad can easily be made vegan if you stick to the avocado mayonnaise that I use, which is vegan and substitute the parmesan cheese for a vegan kind. You can also leave out the cheese and sprinkle some nutritional yeast on top to give it the cheesy flavor.
Can you make it a full meal?
It’s really easy to turn this simple Caesar salad into a fuller meal by adding some protein like grilled chicken or grilled shrimp. It’s a great meal prep recipe for easy lunches or light summer meals.
More salad recipes
This easy homemade Caesar salad comes together so quickly and easily. The dressing is so delicious that I usually make a double batch to use throughout the week on my lunchtime salads!
If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feel good Caesar Salad recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!
- 1 large head romaine lettuce cut into large pieces
- ¼ cup shaved parmesan cheese
- Kosher salt and back pepper to taste
- ½ French baguette cubed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup avocado mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon Worcester sauce
- To make croutons, preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the bread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Drizzle the oil on top and season with salt and pepper. Toss with your hands to combine. Bake until golden brown and crispy, about 10 minutes; set aside to cool.
- To make the dressing, place all the ingredients in a small blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Taste and add salt or lemon juice, if needed.
- Place the romaine lettuce in a large serving bowl, top with the shaved parmesan cheese and croutons. Drizzle with the Caesar dressing and toss gently to combine and coat the lettuce with the dressing.
- Serve cold or at room temperature
- Instead of Worcester sauce, you can use soy sauce or liquid aminos.
- Instead of vegan mayo, you can use regular mayo or more dijon mustard.