Effortless vegan caesar salad with garlic bread that makes a quick salad for lunch or dinner! It's a healthy 20-minute meal that is actually filling thanks to the (gluten-free) garlic bread. Don't skip the cashew-based dressing (no anchovies!) that turns this salad into a real highlight! You may also like these vegan roasted Brussels sprouts with caesar dressing.
The difference with a regular caesar salad
The main difference between a classic caesar salad and this vegan version is the absence of chicken. While it's often replaced with chickpeas, tofu or tempeh, this recipe calls for crunchy garlic bread. You can use any gluten free toast bread. Occasionally, I buy some whole-grain gluten free toast bread at the supermarket and I love to use it to make this vegan caesar salad with garlic bread. My favorite option, however, remains to toast some homemade seed bread (no-knead, 10 minutes prep time).
Is caesar salad healthy?
Regular caesar salads usually contain lots of cheese and high-caloric, mayonnaise-based dressings that cannot be considered healthy. This vegan caesar salad is definitely on the healthier side. One could however argue that it is low in protein and nutrients. If you want to boost the nutrient content of this salad:
- Use a mix of romaine lettuce and kale or spinach (instead of using only romaine salad).
- Choose whole-grain or seed bread for the garlic bread. They are rich in fiber and will keep you full for a longer period of time without spiking your blood sugar levels.
- Add the protein source of your choice. Cooked lentils, chickpeas or pan-fried tofu work well in this recipe.
Vegan caesar salad dressing
This is the absolute best vegan caesar salad dressing without anchovies and without mayonnaise. It is cashew-based but doesn't require soaking cashews, which is incredibly time-saving. You can make it in less than 5 minutes in a food processor by simply blending all the ingredients together.
The secret is to use cashew butter as a base. Make sure to use a cashew butter brand that you love and that has a relatively neutral flavor! I always chose brands that contain 100% cashews to avoid unnecessary additives.
What if I don't like capers? Unfortunately, the jarred capers and their juice are a must in this dressing recipe as they add that typical caesar flavor.
Note that this healthy dressing is the perfect addition to any salad. You can store the vegan caesar dressing in an air-tight container in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.
How do you wash romaine lettuce for a salad?
- Separate the leaves. Cut off the base of the romaine lettuce and let the leaves fall apart.
- Wash the lettuce. Rinse every leaf under cold water to remove the dirt or place them in a water bath in the sink. Rub the leaves until clean.
- Dry the lettuce. Let the leaves sit in a strainer while you prepare the dressing and the other ingredients, use a salad spinner or rub them dry in a towel.
Step by step with pictures
Roast the sunflower seeds. Add the sunflower seeds to a pan without oil and sauté over high heat while stirring constantly until golden.
Make the garlic bread. Slice some bread and rub each side with a peeled garlic clove. Toast the bread in a pan with some olive oil (use the same pan as for the sunflower seeds) or in a pre-heated oven (200°C).
Toast the garlic bread until golden brown. Slice it into triangles or cubes.
Make the caesar dressing. Add all the ingredients to a small blender or food processor and blend on high until smooth.
Prepare the salad. Add the romaine lettuce, garlic bread and roasted sunflower seeds to a large salad bowl a top with the dressing. Optionally add some extra capers and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
More salad recipes
- Quinoa peach salad with raspberry dressing
- Gluten free couscous salad with mango
- Pasta salad with zucchini and avocado
- Tomato and artichoke pasta salad
Vegan Caesar Salad With Garlic Bread
For the salad
- 6-8 slices of whole-grain gluten free bread*
- Olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 heads of romaine lettuce
For the dressing
- 100 g pure cashew butter** 100% cashews
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 teaspoon capers from the jar + 4 teaspoon of juice more to taste
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 50 ml water
- 1 pinch of salt and pepper
- Dry-roast the sunflower seeds in a hot pan (without oil) until golden brown. Stir constantly to prevent burning. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Peel the garlic clove and gently rub it over the toast bread (on both sides). Toast it in the same pan you used to dry-roast the sunflower seeds with some olive oil or in the pre-heated oven (200°C/400°F).
- Slice it into triangles or crouton-like cubes.
- Wash and chop the romain lettuce (see step-by-step pictures in post above).
- Add the cashew butter, lemon juice, garlic, capers, mustard, maple syrup, water, salt and pepper to a food processor. Blend until smooth.
- Add everything to a salad bowl and toss.
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