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.
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:
- 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Vegan Caesar Salad
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)
- 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!)
- 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.
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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