I love Caesar salad. I’m also vegetarian. So, I’ve been on the lookout forever for an easy vegetarian or vegan Caesar salad dressing. And I’m so excited that I finally have something to share with all of you! But before we dive into the recipe, some history and why I think my recipe will hit the mark on the flavor profiles of a traditional Caesar salad dressing.
So, what’s in a traditional Caesar salad?
Did you know that the first Caesar Salad originated in Mexico? I didn’t, until I started researching for this post either. Apparently, it was the creation of one, Caesar Cardini, who owned a restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico, and started a restaurant to host people who were annoyed by The Prohibition. He created a salad called the ‘Aviator Salad’ that was so popular, it was renamed in his honor. In fact, in 1953, the International Society of Epicure called it, “the greatest recipe to originate from the Americas in 50 years.” High praise!
The original recipe apparently contained romaine, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, coddled eggs … and Caesar’s brother added anchovies to it. This is the traditional Caesar dressing as we know it. Julia Child noted in her book that she saw the chef break two one-minute coddled eggs over romaine and watching the greens going creamy as the eggs coated them. Noms.
As a vegetarian, I was thinking – coddled eggs, garlic, and parmesan all sound fantastic. It’s the anchovies and the Worcestershire sauce that were a problem. And let’s face it, we know that the Caesar salad is all about the perfect dressing. And after many tests, here we are, with a vegan version.
What do you need for a vegan Caesar salad dressing?
Let’s break down the flavor profiles.
- Garlic, which is just divine, and already vegan, so yay!
- Worcestershire sauce is savory and sweet, with a vinegary finish. The perfect umami condiment. Traditional Worcestershire sauce contains fish or anchovies, which makes it not vegan. So, in my vegan recipe, I replace this a splash of soy sauce.
- Parmesan, which is divine, and salty – but sadly, also not vegan. So, I replace this with tahini for the umami, and bread crumbs for some of the texture. You can also use vegan parmesan cheese, but to the best extent possible, I try to use natural ingredients in my recipes.
- Coddled eggs, which give it the creamy consistency. I use avocados instead! Who doesn’t like a good avocado dressing anyway?
How long will this last?
You can store this in an air-tight container in a fridge for up to 4 days. I typically use a small mason jar. The main reason for this is due to the avocados in the dressing and browning. One more tip for storing is to squeeze a slice of lemon on top before you store to prevent this browning.
Serve it up on some shaved Brussels Sprouts and pistachios for a delicious weeknight dinner that’s ready in 15 minutes!Print
Easy, six ingredient vegan Caesar salad dressing with all the umami and freshness of the traditional recipe. Stores for up to 4 days in the fridge!
- 1 avocado, pitted and mashed
- 2 tbsp of tahini sauce
- 2 cloves of garlic (or 2 tsp of minced garlic)
- 1 tsp of soy sauce (low sodium preferred)
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 tsp of fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup of water
- If you have a food processor, add all the ingredients except water and pulse together a few times until they’ve come together well. If you don’t have a food processor, throw all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mash down with a spatula.
- Now add the water and pulse until it’s smooth. Or use the spatula to mix well until smooth.
- Store in an airtight mason jar or container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- I don’t add salt to my dressing – generally prefer to add it straight to the salad. But if you prefer to salt the dressing, add 1/2 to 1 tsp of salt to your taste!
- If you’re vegetarian, you can add parmesan cheese and eggs that have been boiled for one minute to this dressing. However, I recommend doing this as you prepare the salad vs. making it ahead and storing, to prevent the eggs from spoiling.
- Also, it’s super easy to adjust this recipe to your tastes. You want more umami? Add more tahini. You want less creaminess, add only half an avocado. You want it more chunky? Pulse in beats, instead of a smooth pulse.
- Category: Dressing
- Method: No Cook
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: vegan caesar salad dressing, vegan caesar recipe