Caesar is the gateway salad. Even the staunchest of veggie skeptics cannot deny the appeal of buttery croutons, crisp romaine, salty Parmesan cheese, and that oh-so-addictive creamy Caesar Dressing. This homemade Caesar dressing recipe has all the richness and flavor you’ve come to expect, but it’s healthy and easy to make too!
Although I adore traditional Caesar dressing’s garlicky flavor and decadent texture, I often shy away from ordering Caesar salads when I’m out or purchasing Caesar dressing at the grocery store. Most are so overloaded with heavy, processed ingredients, they virtually negate the positive effects of ordering a salad in the first place.
Because I’m sold on the idea that I can enjoy Caesar salad AND earn my healthy salad bonus points, I decided to create this homemade dressing recipe.
If you’re frequently craving Caesar salad too, you may be wondering, “what is the best Caesar salad dressing?” Well, I believe it’s this one! It’s healthier than classic homemade Caesar dressing, has full-on Caesar flavor, and it’s easy to make too.
Whenever I have a jar of this dressing in my fridge, I find myself reaching for lettuce at the store more often, simply because I want to enjoy this dressing. Once you get a taste of it, I know you’ll love it too!
What is Caesar Salad Dressing Made of?
Classic Caesar dressing is made of olive oil, anchovy, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and egg yolk.
Its thick, creamy texture is a result of a process known as “emulsifying” (a.k.a. thickening). To be successful, the egg yolk needs to be blended with the other ingredients in a particular, carefully-timed way. It can be tricky and tedious.
Umm….no thanks! We are already making dressing from scratch, so I see no need to make things more complicated than necessary. I use lightened-up, wholesome ingredients to achieve the same decadent effect. This recipe is fast and foolproof.
Is Caesar Dressing Good for You?
It all depends upon the dressing. Traditional Caesar dressing (even homemade versions) are made with heavy ingredients that suggest it be enjoyed in moderation.
Store bought Caesar salad dressings are loaded with processed ingredients and even added sugars, which aren’t doing you any favors. The same is true of short cut dressings that call for mayo.
This homemade dressing, however, is made with nutrient-packed ingredients. I find I can enjoy it more often (and in bigger quantities!) without needing to worry about moderation as much.
Here are a few of the benefits from the dressing ingredients:
- This homemade dressing includes Greek yogurt, which offers calcium, vitamins, protein, and probiotics.
- It also contains olive oil, garlic, and anchovy paste. These three ingredients bring omega-3 fatty acids, anti-inflammatory properties, protein, antioxidants, and numerous vitamins and minerals.
- Greek Yogurt. My secret ingredient that makes this recipe creamy. I used non-fat plain Greek yogurt to keep this dressing light and make it a Caesar dressing without mayo.
- Parmesan Cheese. Freshly grated Parmesan cheese is a key component for the most perfectly salty and nutty Caesar dressing.
- Olive Oil. A salad dressing MVP. Plus, olive oil is packed with monounsaturated oleic acid, antioxidants, and nutrients that help fight inflammation.
- Lemon Juice. For a little acidity and brightness.
- Anchovy Paste. Before you ask: yes, you must include the anchovies. Anchovy is essential to Caesar dressing’s flavor, and I promise this dressing does not taste like seafood. Anchovy fillets (or anchovy paste—either will work) give the dressing its captivating, savory quality and provide essential saltiness.
- If you need to make this Caesar dressing without anchovies, I have yet to find an acceptable substitute. Worcestershire or even olives will likely taste fine, but only anchovies can capture Caesar dressing’s somethin’ somethin’. I encourage you to give them a try. As your reward, you’ll have a rich, creamy, healthy dressing that you are going to want to pour on EVERYTHING.
- Dijon Mustard. Adds delicious zip to the dressing.
- Garlic. Fresh garlic completes our tasty dressing.
- Place all ingredients in a blender, and puree until smooth. ENJOY!
Yes, it really is that easy!
How to Store No Mayo Homemade Caesar Dressing
- How Long is Caesar Salad Dressing Good For? If stored properly, this recipe should last in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- To Store. Store in an airtight jar or container in the refrigerator. Shake or mix gently before serving.
How to Serve Creamy Caesar Dressing
- As Salad Dressing. Serve this dressing on a bed of romaine lettuce and croutons, or use it on Caesar Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Crispy Chickpea Croutons or Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad.
- On a Sandwich. Use it to flavor this Chicken Caesar Sandwich with Bacon.
- As a Dip. Dip it with veggies (or fries) like these Crispy Baked Fries, Parmesan Parsnip Fries, or Zucchini Fries. You can also use it as a dip for this Baked Fried Chicken. YUM!
- As a Marinade. Let chicken marinade in this homemade dressing, so it becomes incredibly tender and moist. You could also add some over the top of this Baked Salmon in Foil, then bake as directed.
Recommended Tools to Make Homemade Caesar Dressing
- Blender. One way to combine the ingredients for this recipe.
- Food Processor. Another easy way to prepare this homemade dressing.
- Mason Jars. This smaller size and larger size are perfect for leftover dressing. And, this option is great for stocking up.
- 3/4 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste - or 2 anchovy fillets
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 large garlic clove
- Place all ingredients (Greek yogurt, Parmesan, olive oil, lemon juice, anchovy, mustard, and garlic) in a blender or food processor.
- Puree until smooth and emulsified.
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