Rich and creamy Caesar dressing made from scratch – no artificial ingredients! Perfect for topping homegrown romaine lettuce and homemade crunchy croutons!
You can find a Caesar salad on just about every restaurant menu – and for good reason. Crunchy romaine lettuce, crispy croutons, and a creamy dressing make for one delicious salad! I like to top mine with tender grilled chicken to make a meal out of it; it’s a great salad for hot summer nights.
You won’t believe just how easy it is to make your own Caesar salad dressing at home – no need to buy the store bought stuff. Bottled salad dressings always have a lot of added sugars and “stuff” that doesn’t belong in there. No artificial ingredients here, you know exactly what’s going in your dressing!
Classic Caesar salads usually consist of only lettuce, croutons, Parmesan cheese and the flavorful dressing. The “traditional” recipes for Caesar dressing use raw egg yolks, which is what creates the creamy, rich texture. However, I found that using a couple tablespoons of mayonnaise accomplishes that. That way, you don’t have to worry about the risks of raw eggs.
Another classic ingredient in Caesar dressing is the anchovy. Yep, those little filets that seems to gross everyone out. Honestly, they are not that bad! If you’ve ever eaten Caesar dressing or Worcestershire sauce, then you have consumed anchovies. The flavor from the anchovies are what make the dressing, but if you really are squeamish about it you can omit them – it just won’t be a classic Caesar dressing. If it’s the whole filets that freak you out you can buy anchovy paste that you just squeeze out of a tube. Or, you could use a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce – it won’t be quite the same, but it will still be good!
Since the Caesar salad has so few ingredients, I like to make sure everything I use is of highest quality. Homegrown romaine lettuce, homemade croutons, perfectly seasoned grilled chicken, freshly shaved Parmesan, and of course the dressing! Homemade croutons are SO easy – cube up some crusty bread (a little stale works best), toss with olive oil and a bunch of spices and bake until golden and crisp.
I love croutons so much – in this salad, but also just as snack dipped in the dressing! So good.
If you love Caesar salads I highly recommend giving this dressing a try; it’s easy and much better than bottle you can buy. Below you’ll find the recipes for the dressing, croutons, and the basic salad assembly. I almost always eat my Caesar salads as a meal, so I top it with grilled chicken. However, you could omit the chicken and use shrimp instead, or omit the meat all together.
Grab your blender and raid your pantry (I always have all of the ingredients on hand – even the anchovies) and get ready to enter salad bliss. Yes, salads can be blissful!
Caesar Salad Dressing
Creamy caesar salad dressing is a classic that is so easy to make at home. One taste and you’ll never buy the store-bought kind again. It’s perfect drizzled over crisp romaine lettuce, crunchy croutons, and tender grilled chicken.
| Yield: 1 Cup | Prep Time: 10 Min |
5 Garlic Cloves, peeled
3 Anchovy Filets, optional*
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 Tablespoon Champagne Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Mayonnaise
Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
½ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese
Combine the garlic cloves, anchovy filets, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, vinegar, mayonnaise, salt, and pepper in a blender. Blend until ingredients are finely minced and mixed well. While the blender is running on low speed, slowly add the olive oil through the hole in the lid; you’ll end up with a creamy, emulsified dressing. Pour the dressing into a jar with a tight fitting lid and stir in the cheese. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
*Achovy filets are traditional in Caesar dressing. I highly recommend that you use them, but if you really don’t want to you can omit them. You can also use 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce, which contains anchovies but you don’t have to handle the filets.
Chicken Caesar Salad
| Serves: 4 |
1 Head Romaine Lettuce, chopped
2 Cups Homemade Croutons, recipe follows
4 Chicken Cutlets, grilled
Shaved Parmesan Cheese, for garnish
In a large salad bowl combine the lettuce and croutons with just enough Caesar dressing to coat. Divide salad among 4 salad plates and top each with a grilled chicken cutlet and shaved Parmesan cheese. Serve with more dressing, if desired.
| Yield: 6 Cups | Prep Time: 5 Min | Cook Time: 20 Min |
1 Loaf Slightly Stale Bread, Such as French baguette or ciabatta, or bread of your choice, cubed
Olive Oil, for drizzling
½ Teaspoon Kosher Salt
½ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
½ Teaspoon Dried Oregano
½ Teaspoon Garlic Powder
¼ Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper, optional
Preheat the oven to 350º.
Place the cubed bread on a large baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil to lightly coat. Sprinkle the spices over the bread and toss to distribute evenly. Bake at 350º for about 15-20 minutes, turning occasionally. The croutons will be golden brown and crisp, let them cool and then store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.