Vegan Caesar Salad Dressing Recipe 🌱 Get ready for the best vegan version of a classic Caesar salad! Crisp romaine lettuce tossed with a creamy, cheesy, & tangy plant-based dressing, topped with vegan parmesan and toasty croutons.
What is it about a Caesar salad that we all love so much? After all, the main ingredients are just a basic lettuce salad with croutons. The real star of the show is the dressing, the secret sauce that turns a simple salad into a taste sensation. Problem is, the original classic Caesar salad dressing is not vegan, as it usually includes ingredients like anchovies, Worcestershire sauce, eggs, and Parmesan cheese.
My daughter Madi knows how much I love a good salad, so for my birthday this year, she decided to create the perfect vegan classic Caesar salad dressing. Hail Caesar, she nailed it! If you've ever tried any of her amazing plant-based spins on traditional non-vegan dishes, like her fabulous vegan cheese fondue or her delicious spinach mushroom quiche, you know what I'm talking about.
What makes this recipe so good?
This vegan Caesar salad & dressing recipe is everything you want in flavor and texture to a traditional classic Caesar salad, but without causing harm to animals. How delicious is that?
This recipe is made with fresh, crisp romaine lettuce leaves tossed with a tangy, salty, cheesy, rich and creamy dressing made with lemon juice, capers, garlic, Dijon mustard, olive oil, vegan mayonnaise, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper. The salad is then topped with grated vegan parmesan and toasty croutons. OMG, it's so good!
🌱 INGREDIENT NOTES
🥕 See the printable recipe card below for quantities & details
Lemon juice - I prefer fresh, but you can also use bottled.
Vegan mayonnaise - use your favorite brand.
Capers - bottled caper berries packed in brine.
Garlic - fresh
Nutritional yeast - everyone has their favorite, I really like this brand a lot.
Mustard - we use Dijon mustard in this recipe, but dry mustard will work as well.
Salt - we like sea salt in this recipe.
Black pepper - freshly ground is great, but pre-ground works too.
Romaine lettuce - hearts of romaine (with the outside leaves removed) are perfect in this salad. Choose the freshest lettuce you can get, because you'll want it nice and crisp, not limp.
Croutons (vegan) - store bought or homemade (see instructions below on making your own croutons from stale bread).
- Place all the dressing ingredients into a small food processor or blender.
2. Blend or pulse until smooth and creamy. Transfer the dressing to a jar or small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.
3. Rinse and dry the lettuce. Tear or chop into bite-size pieces. Put into a salad bowl.
4. Lightly drizzle dressing over the lettuce and toss to coat lettuce with dressing (or leave as is).
5. Top with croutons and a generous sprinkle of vegan Parmesan. Enjoy!
🥕 It's so easy to make your own homemade croutons! All you need is a loaf of (preferably stale) bread, garlic powder, salt, a small amount of olive oil or vegan butter, and a skillet.
Cut bread into cubes. Spread them out on a baking sheet and place in a low <200℉ oven until the cubes are dried out. Turn the cubes over occasionally while drying.
Once the bread cubes are dry, place them in a large skillet with a small amount of vegan butter or olive oil over medium heat. Sprinkle with garlic powder and salt. Turn frequently with a spatula until croutons are nicely browned.
🌱 SERVING TIPS
This vegan classic Caesar salad & dressing recipe is delicious served as a starter or side with my favorite vegan spinach and cheese stuffed shells, vegan zucchini ravioli, pasta with Bolognese, a bowl of my 1-pot minestrone soup, or this homemade vegan lasagna.
Include extra protein in your salad with thin slices of vegan chicken fillets.
Want to dress up your salad? Here's some tasty ideas for add-ins:
Vegan chicken strips - packaged or homemade. Adds protein, texture, and flavor.
Chickpeas - straight from the can or roasted with a bit of salt for added crunch.
Avocado - ripe, cut into cubes
Kale - chopped, tossed in with the romaine
Olives - black, green, or Kalamata olives, sliced or whole
Tomato - diced
Cucumber - peeled and diced
Caesar Salad FAQ's
Where did the first classic Caesar salad and dressing originate?
The original Caesar salad and dressing recipe was created in 1924 by a restaurant owner named Caesar Cardini, an Italian immigrant (living in my hometown of San Diego) who owned a restaurant just south of the U.S. border in nearby Tijuana. He catered to Hollywood celebrities who enjoyed traveling to Mexico during Prohibition. His namesake salad and dressing soon became a huge hit among his guests and Caesar salad became a regular item on restaurant menus and in homes throughout the U.S.
Is Caesar salad and dressing vegan?
Made with ingredients which often include anchovies, Worcestershire sauce, eggs, and Parmesan cheese, the traditional version of Caesar salad is not vegan.
How do you achieve the Caesar dressing's umami flavor without anchovies?
We use briny capers and nutritional yeast to replicate the umami depth traditionally provided by anchovies. It creates a robust flavor that stands up to the classic Caesar.
Can I make this vegan Caesar salad & dressing recipe gluten-free?
Absolutely! Our salad dressing recipe is gluten-free. Make sure to use gluten-free croutons, and always double-check specific product labels to ensure all ingredients meet your dietary preferences.
How long will vegan Caesar salad dressing stay fresh?
For optimal freshness, store the dressing in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It should last for about 5 days, but use your judgment based on smell and taste.
If you love this recipe ★★★★★ please be sure to rate it below! Sharing your experience lets me know that you enjoyed it and will help other readers decide if they should give the recipe a try too. Thanks a bunch!🥕
Vegan Classic Caesar Salad Dressing Recipe
- ½ Cup Vegan Mayonnaise
- 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
- 2 whole Garlic Cloves Minced
- 2 Teaspoons Capers Minced
- 2 Teaspoons Caper Brine
- 1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
- ¼ Teaspoon Salt ⅛ Teaspoon Pepper
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 2 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast or our parm
- 1 head romaine lettuce large head
- 1 cup croutons
- ¼ cup vegan Parmesan cheese grated
- Place all the dressing ingredients into a small food processor or blender.
- Blend or pulse until smooth and creamy. Transfer the dressing to a jar or small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Rinse and dry the lettuce. Tear or chop into bite-size pieces. Put into a salad bowl.
- Lightly drizzle dressing over the lettuce and lightly toss to coat lettuce with dressing (or leave as is).
- Top with croutons and a generous sprinkle of vegan Parmesan. Enjoy!
Add-insThis recipe for a vegan classic Caesar salad and dressing is a great starting point for building your own magnificent salad. Want to dress up your salad? Here's some tasty ideas for add-ins: Vegan chicken strips - packaged or homemade. Adds protein, texture, and flavor. Chickpeas - straight from the can or roasted with a bit of salt for added crunch. Avocado - ripe, cut into cubes Kale - chopped, tossed in with the romaine Olives - black, green, or Kalamata olives, sliced or whole Tomato - diced Cucumber - peeled and diced
These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you're using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Don’t leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended