Vegan Caesar Salad

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This Vegan Caesar Salad tastes ridiculously authentic! All you need is a few simple ingredients to whip up the vegan Caesar Dressing, then toss it with crisp romaine lettuce, and a few homemade croutons for the complete salad experience.

vegan caesar salad

Fun Fact: Did you know that Caesar salads originate from Mexico? Its creator, Caesar Cardini, was of Italian decent (hence, why it’s probably so popular in Italian restaurants), but it was first served at his restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Are Caesar salads vegan? No, traditional Caesar salads are not vegan, since the dressing is usually made with eggs, anchovies, and Parmesan cheese. This vegan version calls for simple plant-based ingredients, without sacrificing the flavor you love!

For the dressing you’ll need:

  • Cashews
  • Garlic
  • Lemon juice
  • White miso (for a Parmesan cheese flavor)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper

The white miso is optional, if you don’t have it, but it definitely adds the “wow” factor to this dressing. Without it, you’ll miss that extra Parmesan cheese flavor that I love in traditional Caesar salads.

vegan caesar dressing ingredients in glass bowls on marble

How to Make It

How do you make a vegan Caesar salad? First, prepare the dressing.

Add all of the ingredients into a blender, and blend until smooth and creamy.

vegan caesar dressing ingredients in blender

Once the dressing is smooth, set it aside while you get everything else ready to assemble. You can make this up to 4 or 5 days in advance, if you need to. It will thicken in the fridge slightly.

Chop up the romaine lettuce (use as much as you want– you may have leftover dressing) and grab some homemade croutons, or crispy roasted chickpeas, if you want a crunchy topping.

vegan caesar dressing poured on bowl of lettuce

When you’re ready to serve, pour the dressing over the chopped lettuce and toss well. I usually like to sprinkle on some extra black pepper, and then add the croutons. You don’t want to assemble this too far in advance, or the croutons will lose their crunch.

Serve right away, with any other toppings you love, too. A sprinkling of vegan Parmesan cheese might be nice, too!

Substitution Ideas

Need to make a swap? Here are some suggestions.

  • Cashews. Try replacing the cashews with hemp hearts, for a nut-free version. I use hemp hearts as a swap in my Vegan Ranch Dressing often, and it’s delicious either way!
  • Miso. You can leave the miso out if you must, but the dressing will taste less salty and less “cheesy” this way. You can compensate by adding a little nutritional yeast, or a little extra salt.
  • Olive oil. The oil is added to help emulsify the dressing, to make it ultra-rich and creamy. However, you can leave it out for an oil-free Caesar dressing. Add extra water to compensate, only if needed, while blending.

dressing poured into glass jar and served on salad

vegan caesar salad
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5 from 3 votes

Vegan Caesar Salad

This Vegan Caesar Salad has the classic flavor you love, without using anchovies or cheese. The dressing comes together fast, and you won't believe how authentic it tastes!
Course Salad
Cuisine vegan
Keyword vegan caesar salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 154kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

Vegan Caesar Dressing

  • 3/4 cup cashews (107 grams; not roasted)
  • 3 garlic cloves (9 grams)
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice (44 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon white miso (21 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (25 grams)
  • 3/4 cup water (6 oz)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt (5 grams)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Caesar Salad Assembly

  • 2 to 3 Romaine heads (about 10 cups chopped)
  • Homemade croutons (optional)
  • Roasted chickpeas (optional)

Instructions

  • In a high-speed blender, combine the Caesar dressing ingredients and blend until very smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning, as needed. (I usually add 1/4 teaspoon more salt; it will be diluted over all of the lettuce!)
    vegan caesar dressing ingredients in blender
  • Transfer the chopped romaine lettuce to a large serving bowl, and pour some of the dressing over the top. Toss well, and add more dressing, until it's sufficiently coated to your liking. You might not use all of the dressing; it will keep well in the fridge for up to 5 days in the fridge and makes an amazing dip for veggies or pizza. Top with crunchy croutons or roasted chickpeas, then serve right away. It's best if you can store the lettuce and dressing separately if you think you're going to have leftovers; the dressed lettuce will be soggy the next day.
    dressing poured into glass jar and served on salad

Video

Notes

Nutrition information is for 1/6 of this recipe, and includes the lettuce and dressing only. This assumes you'll use roughly 1/4 cup of dressing per serving, and is just an estimate, not a guarantee.
This recipe is naturally gluten-free if you use roasted chickpeas as the topping, or gluten-free croutons.

Nutrition

Calories: 154kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 406mg | Potassium: 322mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 6827IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 2mg

If you try this Vegan Caesar Salad, please leave a comment below and let me know what you think! If you make any modifications, I’d love to hear about those, too.

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Comments

Maggie

You are seriously a genius! The dressing is so good, and I’m going to use your roasted chickpeas on top from the Kale Caesar salad recipe.

Christine smith

This was really tasty and the dressing definitely had a zing to it. The dressing was thick and coated the romaine leaves well. I served it with bread croutons and chicken tenders on the side.

erin

This is already my go-to recipe for summer. I’m obsessed with this dressing!

Amanda

We used to eat a lot of chicken Caesar wraps in the summertime. When I started focusing on Whole Foods and cleaner eating I stopped buying dressing at the supermarket. We hadn’t had our favorite wraps since… until tonight!

I subbed in this dressing and it worked out well. I especially liked that the lemon flavor came through and was nicely balanced by the other flavors. I found I needed to use more dressing to get the same flavor impact as the bottled stuff, but at least it’s more of something healthy. Also, the recipe made a pretty large batch, so I didn’t need to mix more.

I didn’t have white miso, so I substituted brown miso. Since it is saltier than what it replaced I cut back on the added salt. These changes may explain why I needed to use more dressing, too.

Thanks for helping me to bring back a family favorite, Megan!

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