You'll never want to use store-bought Caesar dressing once you've tried this recipe! It's naturally vegan by leaving out the anchovies and incredibly creamy thanks to the nut butter. You can use it on salads or roasted vegetables, such as these roasted Brussels sprouts.
Between us, this is honestly the best vegan Caesar dressing I've ever tried. It's creamy, tangy, garlicky, and incredibly rich. Pour it over a simple salad and add a few homemade croutons for a mind-blowing side dish. Add some crispy chickpeas if you want to make it a complete meal.
If you're like me and you prefer a homemade dressing versus bottled stuff, make sure to check out my salad dressing recipes. This green dressing and this roasted garlic dressing are my personal favorites.
Is Caesar dressing vegan?
A classic Caesar dressing usually contains dairy (e.g., parmesan cheese), raw egg yolks, and anchovies (or anchovy paste), and is therefore not vegan.
However, you can easily make a vegan version of it that is creamy and tastes like the real thing. Capers are the crucial ingredient that will give the dressing its distinct flavor. All you'll need to provide this vegan Caesar dressing with an extremely creamy texture is nut butter (e.g., cashew butter or white almond butter). I find that it's a healthier alternative to vegan mayonnaise.
Dressing ingredients and substitutions
- Cashew butter: It's the main ingredient and makes an incredibly creamy dressing. It's high in protein and healthy fats and is a great alternative to olive oil. You can substitute it with white tahini or white almond butter. Alternatively, use raw cashews that you boiled for 30 minutes until soft.
- Small capers: They have a lemony, salty, and olive-like taste and give the dressing its briny flavor.
- Dijon mustard: Makes the dressing homogenous and intensifies the flavors. But no worry, if you don't like mustard you shouldn't be able to taste it in the final dressing, or you can simply leave it out.
- Fresh lemon juice: Gives the dressing a fresh kick.
- A splash of water: To bring it to a pourable consistency.
- A garlic clove: For some punch. You can also replace it with ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder for a milder garlic flavor.
- Maple syrup: Helps balance the acidity of the caper brine and lemon juice.
- Salt and black pepper: To enhance the overall flavor of the dressing.
- Nutritional yeast (optional): If you really want that cheesy flavor, you can add 2-4 tablespoons of nutritional yeast to the dressing. I personally don't find that necessary.
Step by step with pictures
STEP 1: Squeeze the lemon and retrieve the juice. You will need a whole lemon if it's pretty small or half a lemon if it's relatively big.
STEP 2: Add the cashew butter, lemon juice, garlic, and capers to a blender jar or small food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients and season with salt, and pepper.
You can store the sealed container with the dressing it in the refrigerator for 1 week. Write the date on the lid to avoid using it after a longer period of time. Give it a good stir before using.
- Make a vegan Caesar salad with romaine lettuce or baby kale.
- Pour it over roasted vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts or roasted carrots.
- This vegan Caesar salad dressing also tastes incredibly good on a cold pasta salad or potato salad.
- Leftover dressing also makes a great dip for grilled potato wedges or veggie sticks.
Frequently asked questions
It definitely depends. Classic Caesar dressing is usually oil-based, with cheese and egg yolks, and is therefore pretty high in calories. Store-bought vegan alternatives often use ow quality oils, sugar, thickeners, and stabilizers, which I would not consider healthy. However, making your own Caesar dressing allows you to avoid excessive amounts of salt and sugar and chose healthier ingredients.
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Vegan Caesar Salad Dressing (Without Anchovies)
- ⅓ cup (100 g) cashew butter sub white tahini or white almond butter
- ⅓ cup (80 ml) water
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons caper buds from the jar more to taste
- 4 teaspoons caper brine
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup or agave syrup
- 1 clove of garlic or ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 pinch of salt and pepper
- Juice the lemon.
- Blend. Add the cashew butter, water, lemon juice, capers, caper brine, mustard, maple syrup, garlic clove, and a pinch of salt to a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Alternatively, add everything to a bowl and blend with an immersion blender.
- Adjust the amount of lemon juice and caper brine to taste to taste. Add more water to make the dressing thinner if needed
- Transfer the dressing to an air-tight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- You can also use raw cashews instead of cashew butter. Use the same amount in grams. Soak them in water for 2 hours or boil them for 30 minutes while roasting the garlic, then follow the same instructions. Add more water if needed.
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