Vegan Caesar Salad is just as comforting and delicious as the traditional version, only it’s made without cheese, eggs, or anchovies. You won’t believe how easy it is!
Why You’ll Love It
It tastes amazing. This vegan Caesar salad dressing has all the flavor you love, and it’s made with simple ingredients, like cashews and lemon juice.
It’s easy to prepare. Just toss the dressing ingredients into a blender, and blend until smooth. The dressing is ready to use in minutes, and then you can toss it with chopped romaine lettuce, croutons, or any other salad toppings you love.
It’s comforting. There’s something about a Caesar salad that just hits the spot. It’s creamy, savory, and you can add your favorite protein on top to make it a main dish. This dressing will make you crave more salads!
It’s great for special diets. If you need a dairy-free, gluten-free, or vegan recipe, this one is an easy option! For a nut-free alternative, try using hemp hearts to replace the cashews.
The leftover dressing makes a great dip. Serve it with sliced cucumbers or carrots for a healthy snack. The dressing will thicken up when it chills.
Ingredients You’ll Need
White miso is the “secret ingredient” that makes this dressing taste like traditional Caesar dressing. If you’re not familiar with the flavor, it tastes like concentrated Parmesan cheese. Don’t use other varieties of miso in this recipe, as they will not provide the same flavor.
Looking for a soy-free alternative? You can add a tablespoon of capers for a briny flavor, instead, or add a little nutritional yeast for a “cheesy” flavor.
How to Make The Best Vegan Caesar Salad
1. Prepare the salad toppings.
They will need to bake in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, while you prepare the rest of the salad.
2. Make the vegan Caesar dressing.
Add the cashews, water, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, miso, salt, and black pepper to a high-speed blender, and blend until smooth. Stop and scrape down the sides of the machine, if needed, to help the cashews totally break down.
The dressing will have a runny texture at first, but it will thicken up as it rests, so pour it into an airtight container with a lid, and place it in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
3. Assemble the salad.
Add chopped romaine to a large bowl, and drizzle the dressing over the greens. Sprinkle on the croutons or chickpeas (or both!) and add any extra salad toppings you love, like vegan parmesan cheese, or sliced avocado.
Toss well, then serve the salad right away. It tastes remarkably like the real thing!
Leftover dressing can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. It will thicken when chilled, so you may want to add an extra tablespoon of water to the dressing to help thin it out again later.
Frequently Asked Questions
Traditional Caesar dressing is often made with Worcestershire sauce, which usually includes anchovies, dijon mustard (which is not always vegan) and can sometimes include eggs or Parmesan cheese, too.
Raw cashews give this vegan Caesar dressing a mild flavor, but you can replace them with hemp hearts for a similar creamy texture.
Yes, you can omit the olive oil in this recipe if you prefer! It adds a rich texture that helps the dressing stick to the greens better, but it also works with just water, instead.
The white miso gives this recipe a “cheesy” flavor, but don’t use another variety of miso, as they don’t all taste the same. If you need to leave it out, you can add a little nutritional yeast (which adds a cheesy flavor to Vegan Mac n’ Cheese) or try adding some of the brine from a jar of capers, for an extra umami flavor.
Vegan Caesar Salad
Vegan Caesar Dressing
- ¾ cup raw cashews
- 3 garlic cloves
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon white miso
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¾ cup water
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- In a high-speed blender, combine all of the Caesar dressing ingredients and blend until very smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning, as needed. (I sometimes add 1/4 teaspoon more salt, since the flavor will be diluted when you pour it over the lettuce.)
- Transfer the chopped romaine lettuce to a large serving bowl, and pour some of the dressing over the top. Toss well, and add more dressing, until it's sufficiently coated to your liking. You might not use all of the dressing; it will keep well in the fridge for up to 5 days in the fridge and makes an amazing dip for veggies or pizza. Top with crunchy croutons or roasted chickpeas, then serve right away. It's best if you can store the lettuce and dressing separately if you think you're going to have leftovers, since the dressed lettuce will be soggy the next day.
If you try this Vegan Caesar salad recipe, please leave a comment and star rating below letting me know how you like it.