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Caesar salad is a timeless classic, but sometimes the store-bought dressings can be heavy on dairy and light on flavor. This vegetarian Caesar salad dressing recipe is here to change that! Made with simple ingredients and packed with bold, savory notes, it’s the perfect complement to your next crispy romaine salad.

This recipe goes beyond the basics, exploring the science behind the creamy texture and the secret ingredients that elevate the flavor profile. We’ll also delve into the nutritional breakdown and answer some frequently asked questions.

Vegan Caesar Dressing Recipe - Love and Lemons
Vegan Caesar Dressing Recipe – Love and Lemons

Why Make Your Own Caesar Dressing?

There are several advantages to whipping up your own Caesar dressing at home:

Customization: You can control the ingredients and adjust the flavors to your liking. Want it extra garlicky? No problem! Craving a touch of spice? Throw in a pinch of red pepper flakes!

  • Freshness: Homemade dressing always tastes better than its store-bought counterpart. Fresh ingredients create a brighter, more vibrant flavor profile.
  • Healthier Choices: You can control the amount of sodium, sugar, and unhealthy fats that often lurk in commercially prepared dressings.
  • Cost-Effective: Making your own dressing is surprisingly affordable, especially when you consider the multiple uses you’ll get out of a single batch.

  • The Science Behind the Creamy Texture

    Caesar salad dressing gets its signature creamy texture from a process called emulsification. This fancy term simply refers to combining two liquids that wouldn’t normally mix, like oil and vinegar. In this recipe, the egg yolk acts as an emulsifier, creating a smooth and stable dressing.

    Here’s a breakdown of how it works:

    The egg yolk contains lecithin, a natural emulsifier that helps suspend the oil droplets within the vinegar mixture.

  • As we whisk the ingredients together, the lecithin coats the oil droplets, preventing them from clumping together and separating from the vinegar.
  • The result? A creamy, luxurious dressing with a balanced and delightful texture.

  • Ingredients (for about 1 cup of dressing)

    1 large egg yolk, at room temperature

  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (or white wine vinegar)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 anchovy fillets, drained (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Salt, to taste

  • Step-by-Step Instructions (Directions)

    1. Gather your ingredients. Make sure your egg yolk is at room temperature for optimal emulsification.

    2. Whisk the egg yolk and lemon juice: In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and lemon juice until well combined and slightly thickened. This creates the base of your emulsion.

    3. Incorporate the Parmesan cheese. Add the grated Parmesan cheese to the egg yolk mixture and whisk it in until fully incorporated.

    4. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil. With a slow and steady stream, begin drizzling in the olive oil while continuously whisking. This slow drizzle is crucial for creating a stable emulsion. Keep whisking until the dressing thickens and becomes creamy.

    5. Add the optional anchovies. If you’re using anchovies, mash them into a paste before adding them to the dressing. Whisk them in along with the Dijon mustard, garlic, and Worcestershire sauce.

    6. Season to taste. Add freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste. Be mindful of the saltiness of the anchovies and Parmesan cheese when adjusting the seasoning.

    7. Enjoy! Drizzle your homemade Caesar dressing over your favorite salad ingredients and enjoy!


    For a smoother texture, you can strain the dressing through a fine-mesh sieve after whisking.

  • The dressing will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

  • Nutritional Facts (per serving, approximately 2 tablespoons)

    Calories: 180

  • Fat: 14g (Saturated Fat: 2.5g)
  • Cholesterol: 55mg
  • Sodium: 130mg (depending on the added salt)
  • Carbohydrates: 3g (Sugar: 1g)
  • Protein: 3g

  • Please note: This is an approximate nutritional breakdown and may vary slightly depending on the specific ingredients you use.