This simple-to-make vegan Caesar dressing is creamy, zesty, and garlicky. With a taste so similar to the real thing, you’ll be surprised to learn it’s 100% plant-based! Serve it on salads or as a dip with your favorite foods.
What is caesar dressing?
Caesar dressing is one of the most well-known salad dressings in kitchens around the world. But, what is it exactly? A traditional recipe contains lemon juice, egg yolks, garlic, anchovies, and Worcestershire sauce.
All of these ingredients are mixed together while whisking in olive oil to create a rich, savory, and tangy sauce that pairs well with salad, fries, fresh vegetables, chips, and more!
Is caesar dressing vegan?
Caesar dressing is neither vegetarian nor vegan-friendly, so I decided to create one that is equally delicious and made with wholesome ingredients.
For creaminess, I add soy milk. For the fishy-umami flavor, I use roasted seaweed sheets and wild capers (edible flower buds) that take this recipe to the next level.
It may come as a surprise, but Caesar salad dressing was invented in Tijuana, Mexico over 100 years ago! The man credited for its invention is Caesar Cardini — an Italian immigrant.
Similar to today’s ingredients, he tossed romaine lettuce in a dressing featuring anchovies, olive oil, garlic, lemon, and egg. The salad was then topped with parmesan cheese and croutons, creating the original Caesar salad!
Fun fact: Caesar’s restaurant is still running in Tijuana today, and they make the very same salad!
Ingredients & substitutions
- Avocado oil: I prefer avocado oil in my Caesar salad dressing, but you can definitely use olive oil or another vegetable oil in its place.
- Soy milk: The rich consistency of soy milk makes it the ideal choice for creating an extra creamy vegan Caesar dressing. You can also use cashew milk or oat milk.
- Lemon juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice offers the best flavors, but lemon juice from a bottle will work in a pinch.
- Apple cider vinegar: In addition to lemon, apple cider vinegar provides a sharp, sour acidity that rounds out the rest of the recipe. If you don’t have any, use coconut vinegar.
- Dijon mustard: To impart tangy, slightly spicy flavors. Opt for smooth Dijon mustard, not the grainy variety.
- Seaweed snacks: For savory, umami elements that replace the need for anchovies. If you prefer, you can replace the seaweed snacks for a tablespoon of vegan Worcestershire sauce.
- Nutritional yeast: No nutritional yeast? Try white miso paste instead.
- Maple syrup: To balance out the tang and spice. I prefer maple syrup, but agave or cane sugar will also work.
- Garlic: Fresh, organic garlic is best! Don’t skimp on this as it really is the star of the show.
- Capers: The taste of capers is like a cross between green olives and lemon, making them the perfect addition to this dressing. Since they’re packed in brine, they bring savory, salty elements as well.
- Salt, white pepper: To enhance the other flavors and lend a mild spice. If you can’t find white pepper, replace it with regular black pepper.
- Water: To thin the dressing out.
- Step 1: Add all of the dressing ingredients to a blender (preferrably a high-speed one).
- Step 2: Blend them on high until creamy and smooth, scraping down the sides throughout.
- Step 3: For a thinner consistency, add more water a few tablespoons at a time and blend again.
- Step 4: Use this vegan Caesar dressing immediately, or transfer it to a mason jar and keep it in the fridge.
What to serve Caesar dressing on?
Once your Caesar dressing is smooth and creamy, try serving it alongside dishes like these:
- Caesar salad
- Gourmet vegan pizza
- Roasted vegetables
- Vegan burgers
- Sweet potato fries
For any extra dressing, follow these storage instructions:
- Fridge: Vegan caesar dressing will last in the fridge for up to a week. Airtight glass containers (like mason jars) are the optimal choice when it comes to storage.
- Freezer: Transfer the dressing to a freezer-safe container, and it will keep for up to 6 months.
- Thaw: Thaw this dressing overnight in the fridge before you plan to use it.
- Prep ahead: This recipe makes a great meal-prep option. Make a batch to serve with meals all week long!
Note: The dressing will thicken up when it’s stored in the fridge. If you want to thin it out, simply add a few teaspoons of water and stir it.
- Oil-free: Instead of avocado oil and soy milk, make a cashew nut-based vegan caesar dressing.
- Hummus: For an equally creamy recipe, use hummus as a base.
- Spicy: Add chipotle peppers in adobo for a smoky and slightly spicy version.
- Roasted garlic: For a more mild, nutty, and caramelized flavor, roast your garlic before blending it with the other ingredients.
- Use a high-speed blender. For the smoothest consistency, I recommend using a high-speed blender.
- Taste and adjust. Since this recipe is very customizable, taste as you go. If you want more garlic, sweetness, or a different consistency, make it work for you.
Yes, Caesar dressing (including this recipe) is completely gluten-free.
To make this vegan Caesar dressing oil-free, replace the oil with hummus or soaked cashews.
If you enjoyed this Caesar dressing recipe, be sure to check out some more of my favorite sauces like these:
- Sriracha Aioli: Spicy vegan-friendly aioli.
- Maple Dijon Vinaigrette: A sweet, spicy, and tangy salad dressing.
- Sweet Balsamic Glaze: The perfect addition to vegetables, salads, and more.
- Maple Balsamic vinaigrette: The perfect balance of tang and sweetness.
Vegan Caesar Dressing
- ½ cup avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup soy milk or another protein rich plant-based milk
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar or red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon garlic minced
- 2 teaspoon capers crushed
- 4 sheets seaweed snacks or tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- ¼ cup water add extra if you need a thinner consistency
- Combine all ingredients in a blender.
- Blend until creamy and smooth.
- For thinner consistency: add more water and blend again.
- Use immediately, or store in a refrigerator up to 5-7 days.