Caesar dressing and I have a history. Back in my days of not liking salads (I know, I know), I thought I didn’t like strongly flavored dressings like caesar when really, I had just never given them a chance.
Fast forward a few years. I was served a caesar salad at a meeting at a nice restaurant, and since I didn’t want to seem rude, I ate it … and loved it! I’ve been semi-obsessed ever since.
When I switched to real food almost a decade ago, I wanted to find a version free of refined vegetable oils (read this post to find out why these are a problem) and artificial additives, so I started experimenting with homemade versions. This was definitely one of my tougher salad dressing recipes to figure out how to make at home and took a lot of experimentation. I wanted to be able to make it dairy free if needed, but still really creamy.
Not to boast, but in the end I came up with a caesar dressing that rivals any I’ve tried, even in the best gourmet restaurant! This recipe is such a favorite I included it in the Wellness Mama cookbook.
And flavor isn’t all it has going for it!
Caesar Dressing Made Healthy
Store-bought caesar dressing can contain a lot of undesirable ingredients like soybean oil, monosodium glutamate, wheat, dairy, and preservatives. It only takes a whisk or small blender and a few extra minutes to make it at home.
This healthy caesar dressing is a great way to get more olive oil into your diet, with all of its anti-inflammatory and heart-healthy properties. Pastured eggs, apple cider vinegar, and fresh lemon juice add even more flavor and health benefits.
For a dairy-free version, simply omit the parmesan.
Caesar Salad “Dressed” Up
Just because traditional caesar salad consists pretty much of lettuce, dressing, and croutons (and usually lots of cheese!) doesn’t mean you can’t be creative and add other healthy veggies.
Try mixing things up and adding some color with additions like olives, mild peppers, fresh chopped herbs, thinly sliced red cabbage, shredded carrots, or sunflower seeds. Serve with a fresh lemon wedge on the side for those who want a little extra tanginess.
For a complete meal, top with grilled chicken or shrimp. (If like me you like to work caesar salad into the menu any chance you get, get more meal planning ideas here.)
If you are a caesar dressing fan, be sure to give this one a try!
How to Make Caesar Dressing From Scratch
Homemade Caesar Dressing Recipe
Yield 1 /2 cup
- One egg yolk, at room temperature (very important it is not cold!)
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp mustard (or mustard powder)
- 1 TBSP fresh lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves, finely crushed
- 1/2 tsp anchovy paste (optional but recommended)
- 2 tsp Worcestershire
- 2 TBSP parmesan cheese (omit for dairy free)
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Whisk egg yolk with whisk or blender on low speed.
- Add apple cider vinegar and the next 6 ingredients and blend until creamy.
- Slowly add olive oil, stirring or blending on low speed constantly until incorporated.
- Season to taste.
- Note: If it doesn’t incorporate well, your egg might still have been too cold! If needed, let sit at room temperature another 10 minutes, and whisk or blend again.
This recipe is definitely best right after it is made, but may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Do you make your own caesar dressing, or have you found a healthy store bought brand?What are your favorite caesar salad mix-ins? Please share in the comments below!