There is no doubt that this is the absolute best vegan, healthy caesar salad dressing made without anchovies. It doesn't require soaking cashews and is ready within 5 minutes. You'll never want to use store-bought caesar dressing after you tried this recipe! Try this vegan caesar salad or these roasted Brussels sprouts with caesar dressing.
Is caesar dressing vegan?
A traditional caesar dressing usually contains dairy (e.g., cheese), egg yolks and is not vegan. A simple way to make a dairy free and vegan caesar vinaigrette is to use nut butter as a base. Check out the full ingredients list below.
Since this caesar salad dressing is completely vegan, it does not contain anchovies or anchoy paste. It is therefore also perfect for anyone that doesn't like the anchovies. Although many recipe developers and chefs would argue that anchovy paste is crucial to obtain that "caesar" flavor, I would argue that capers are totally sufficient to get that salty and briney taste!
Is caesar dressing healthy?
Homade caesar dressings are commonly oil-based, made with cheese and egg yolks and are thereby very high in calories. Altough there's nothing wrong with enjoying a traditional caesar salad from time (go for it if you're craving it!), caesar dressings cannot be considered healthy. A vegan alternative using cashew butter as a base and free from oil and cheese is healthier if consumed regularly.
Store-bought caesar dressings are usually rich in sugar, salt and additives (e.g., emulsifiers, binding agents, gums, preservatives). Most of them also use mayonnaise as a base. Making your own caesar dressing allows you to avoid excessive amounts of salt and sugar and chose healthier ingredients.
Ingredients you'll need
This healthy caesar salad dressing only requires 6 main ingredients that you most probably already have in your pantry:
- Cashew butter: it's the easiest way to make a vegan dressing without having to soak cashews for hours!
- Small capers: the small capers have a lemony, salty and olive-like flavor that give the vinaigrette its "caesar" flavor. Did you know that these are actually the flower buds of the caper plant?!
- Mustard: helps making the dressing homogenous and intensifyies 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.
- Lemon juice: gives the dressing a freshness kick.
- A garlic clove: you can also replace it with ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder.
- Maple syrup: helps balancing the acidity of the caper brine and lemon juice.
- Nut free: you can use sunflower seed butter or white tahini instead of cashew butter. Note that both have more intense (and less neutral) flavor than cashew butter.
- No mustard: if you don't like or are allergic to mustard, you can leave it out.
Step by step with pictures
Add all the ingredients to a small blender or food processor and blend until perfectly smooth.
Once you transferred the caesar dressing to a clean, air-tight container, you can store it in the refrigerator for 1 week. Write the date on the lid to avoid using it after a longer period of time.
More ways to caesar dressing
- Salad dressing: use this caesar vinagrette to make a caesar salad. I recommend this vegan caesar salad recipe with garlic bread or this Brussels sprouts caesar salad!
- Pasta or potato salad: caesar dressing tastes incredibly good on a cold pasta salad or potato salad.
- Veggie dip: serve this cashew caesar dressing as a vegetable dip (e.g., with carrots sticks, cauliflower heads, cucumber sticks, radishes) next time you are hosting at your house.
More dressing recipes
- Basic olive oil balsamic dressing that pairs well with ANY salad!
- Vegan garlic dressing to die for.
- Peanut butter dressing that tastes amazing on Thaï inspired salads or with spring rolls.
Healthy Caesar Salad Dressing (No Anchovies, Vegan)
- 100 g cashew butter or white tahini or sunflower seed butter if nut free
- 2 teaspoon capers from the jar + 4 teaspoon of the brine (juice) more to taste
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup or agave syrup
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 clove of garlic or ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1 pinch of salt
- 50 ml water
- Add the cashew butter, capers, caper brine, mustard, maple syrup, lemon juice, garlic clove, a pinch of salt and water to a blender or food processor.
- Blend until perfectly smooth. Adjust the amount of lemon juice and caper brine to taste. Add more water to make the dressing thinner, if desired.
- Transfer the dressing to an air-tight container and store it in the fridge for up to 1 week.
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