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Caesar Salad Recipe with Homemade Dressing

Whenever you need a quick, healthy meal or side, this classic Caesar salad recipe will be your new go-to dish. Invented by an Italian chef in Tijuana, Mexico, this zesty, nutritious salad pairs especially well with many traditional flavors of both countries.

The best Caesar Salad with homemade dressing

I love a Caesar salad because, when done well, they can make any meal better. When you add homemade Caesar salad dressing and freshly baked croutons, those little touches of love make it the comfort food of green salads.

Caesar salad also has an interesting backstory that involved Prohibition and a pair of Italian chef brothers who ran a busy Tijuana, Mexico restaurant. The brothers, Alex and Caesar Cardini, both claimed to have invented the salad in the late 1920s or early 1930s. Another chef at the same restaurant has also been credited, and yet no one disputes where it originated, at least!

Hotel Caesar’s and its restaurant still exist and serve up the original recipe! Originally intended as a finger food, the lettuce leaves remain whole while the Caesar dressing is folded in around them. While the traditional presentation sounds delicious, I have found the best Caesar salad recipe for the style you’re most accustomed to today.

Caesar Salad with Homemade Dressing and Homemade Croutons

What to serve with this Caesar salad

While I know I say this about a lot of things, Caesar salad goes well with just about anything as a side dish. Given its origins, it makes sense it pairs well with Italian dishes like spaghetti with homemade sauce, stuffed Italian chicken roll-ups, chicken Caprese pasta salad, or beef enchiladas with cheese.

Caesar salad can be a meal on its own if you’re keeping it light. Customize the flavor and add substance by topping the salad with a protein, like shrimp, fish or a sliced oven-baked chicken breast.

Finish off the meal with a delicious and light lemon bundt cake.

spaghetti with Caesar Salad

Ingredients needed to make classic Caesar salad

To make this crisp, yummy salad, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Romaine Lettuce: Romaine is best for Caesar because its density and crispy texture holds up so well against the creamy, flavorful dressing.
  • Lemon Juice: Brings a bright tang to the dressing.
  • Dijon Mustard: On the other hand, dijon brings a more subtle spicy tang and adds the dressing’s texture.
  • Anchovy Paste: They may be the most avoided pizza topping, but in a paste, anchovies add a rich depth of flavor to the dressing.
  • Salt: Draws out the other flavors and enhances the overall taste of the salad.
  • Garlic: Complements the other dressing ingredients while adding a savory, aromatic flavor.
  • Worcestershire Sauce: Adds a salty and sweet note to the dressing.
  • Mayonnaise: Use the best quality mayo for this dressing, because it’s the key ingredient for giving it an indulgent, full-bodied creaminess.
  • Black Pepper: A few grinds of fresh black pepper add a subtle heat.
  • Parmesan Cheese: The distinctly nutty flavor and texture of grated parm are crucial to this salad.
  • Croutons: Make your own to make this salad next level. You’ll find details in the notes section of this recipe.
ingredients for caesar salad

Be sure to check out the full ingredient measurements and complete recipe below.

Kitchen equipment needed:

  1. Mixing bowl
  2. Whisk
  3. Serving bowl 
Make the Caesar Salad dressing

Frequently asked questions about Caesar salad

Below are a handful of the most popular questions that come up whenever the conversation turns to Caesar salad. If you have other questions I haven’t answered here, please ask in the comments!

Is Caesar salad healthier than regular salad?

While it truly depends on the portion size and whether you add protein or other ingredients, a classic Caesar salad is typically lower in calorie count and fat than a traditional chef salad. That’s because chef salads typically come with several meats, cheeses, and other toppings that can pile on calories fast.

What is the difference between a garden salad and a Caesar salad?

Garden salads usually have a lot more variety of veggies, mixed greens and a simple dressing so you let the raw produce bring most of the flavor. Conversely, you get most of the flavor from the rich dressing, cheese and croutons with a Caesar salad.

What are the best things to add to a Caesar salad?

As noted above, grilled or baked chicken, shrimp and salmon all make great protein toppers. Pescatarian options included adding roasted chickpeas or sautéed mushrooms. You could also add creamy richness with sliced avocado and extra protein with sliced hard-boiled eggs.

Homemade Caesar Dressing

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How to make Caesar salad

Below you’ll find the steps for making this refreshing salad.

caesar salad with homemade dressing

Caesar Dressing with Homemade Dressing

Whenever you need a quick, healthy meal or side, this classic Caesar salad recipe will be your new go-to dish. Invented by an Italian chef in Tijuana, Mexico, this zesty, nutritious salad pairs especially well with many traditional flavors of both countries.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Lunch, Salad
Cuisine: Italian, Mexican
Keyword: cheese, lunch, salad, side dish, summer
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Laura

Equipment

  • Mixing bowl
  • whisk
  • Serving bowl 

Ingredients

Dressing Ingredients

  • 2 small garlic cloves finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup mayonnaise best quality
  • ½ cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Other Ingredients

  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese
  • croutons see homemade recipe below

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the garlic, anchovy paste, lemon juice, dijon mustard and worcestershire sauce.
  • Then add the mayonnaise, ½ cup of parmesan, salt and pepper and whisk until well combined.
  • Meanwhile, chop lettuce and put in a serving bowl with the croutons and the ⅓ cup of grated parmesan.
  • Pour dressing over top and toss.

Notes

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