This Caesar Salad recipe has rich and creamy parmesan garlic dressing over crisp romaine with garlic’d croutons (and of course fresh lemon). Perfection.

This salad is a great side next to steaks or lasagna or even topped with grilled chicken as a complete meal. Crisp lettuce leaves, crunchy croutons, and freshly grated parmesan cheese in the best ever Caesar salad dressing.

a bowl of caesar salad with lemons

A Classic Caesar Salad Recipe

Did you know that Caesar salad originated in Tijuana, Mexico? It was created by Caesar Cardini in the 1920’s, an Italian immigrant. One of his restaurants was low on supplies and he created this salad with what he had and served it tableside! This version is my favorite variation.

  • A homemade from scratch dressing jam-packed with vibrant flavor.
  • The dressing can be made up to 48 hours ahead of time making it perfect for guests.
  • Fresh and delicious, this salad pairs with almost any meal, it will become your go-to recipe.
  • Top it with sliced steak or grilled chicken or shrimp to make it a full meal. (Serve with garlic bread).

ingredients to make Caesar Salad

Caesar Salad Ingredients

A classic caesar salad recipe has a few basic components to it.

The Best Ever Dressing

Caesar salad dressing is creamy, rich, and tangy. This recipe is hands down my favorite dressing (double it up to save for drizzling over veggies).

  • Lemon adds a bright tangy flavor, I highly recommend using juice from a fresh lemon. It’s so much better than bottled juice which can be bitter.
  • Garlic is a signature flavor in this dressing, one small clove will do.
  • Egg this dressing uses raw egg (much like homemade mayonnaise), I include the egg yolk and white.
  • Anchovy is often added to Caesar salad and if you’ve never tried it, I highly recommend it in this recipe. It is blended so there are no visible pieces but if you’d prefer, use 1 teaspoon of anchovy paste.
  • Oil is added in a very slow stream to thicken the dressing. Use a light flavored oil like canola or a light olive oil, extra-virgin olive oil is great but can bit a bit bitter and overpowering in this dressing.

Do you HAVE to use anchovies?

I truly think this dressing needs anchovy. It’s salty and briny and with the right amount, the salad doesn’t taste fishy. They add so much umami.

That being said, if you literally can’t tolerate anchovy, skip the anchovy and add extra capers for a similar briny salty flavor.

The Salad

  • A head of romaine lettuce is flavorful and crisp. Wash it, spin it dry in a salad spinner and refrigerate if time allows, this makes it extra crunchy. Substitute kale to create a Kale Caesar Salad!
  • Homemade croutons are made by baking or quick frying your bread pieces in oil or butter on high for a short amount of time. They add an amazing crunch to Caesar salad.
  • Garnish the salad with parmesan cheese and fresh lemon wedges or even bacon bits or fried capers.

caesar salad dressing ingredients in a blender

If you have leftover anchovies, place them in a small sandwich bag and freeze. They can be used directly from the freezer next time you make the dressing!

How to Make Caesar Salad

Caesar salad is as simple as tossing everything together in a large salad bowl when the rest of your dinner is almost ready!

    1. Combine all dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor (per the recipe below).
    2. Slowly drizzle the oil until the dressing is thickened. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
    3. Tear lettuce into bite-size pieces and place in a medium bowl with croutons, dressing, and parmesan cheese. Toss well.
    4. Garnish with additional parmesan cheese and fresh lemon wedges.

Make it a meal: Make it into a chicken caesar salad by topping with grilled chicken breasts or add in shrimp or salmon!

caesar salad dressing in a blender

Quick Homemade Croutons

Toss 2 cups of diced bread or leftover buns with the following butter mixture. Bake on a rimmed baking sheet in a 350°F oven for 10-12 minutes or until crisp.

  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • sprinkle of seasoned salt

caesar salad with lemon and parmesan

Tips for a Great Salad

Caesar salad is an easy summer staple, but you can create the perfect salad every time with these tips.

    • Ingredients (including the egg) should be at room temperature before making the dressing.
    • Drizzle the oil SLOWLY. The slower you drizzle, the thicker the dressing will be.
    • If you don’t have a blender, you can whisk the ingredients while slowly drizzling in the oil.
    • Use fresh lemon juice and fresh garlic for best results.
    • To save time, prep the dressing in advance and keep it in the fridge.
    • Keep creamy dressings in the fridge for up to 2-3 days.
    • For the crispiest lettuce, wash and shake or spin dry and then store in the fridge wrapped in paper towel.
    • To make in advance, keep the toppings and dressing separately and combine before serving!

More Fresh Salad Recipes

Did you enjoy this Caesar Salad? Be sure to leave a comment and a rating below!

a bowl of caesar salad with lemons
5 from 41 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Caesar Salad

A rich, creamy garlic-lemon dressing is the perfect addition to this Caesar salad recipe!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients  

  • 8 cups romaine lettuce washed and torn into bite sized pieces
  • 1 cup croutons
  • cup parmesan cheese fresh shredded

Dressing

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 10 small capers
  • 1 egg room temperature
  • 2 anchovy fillets or 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • fresh black pepper to taste
  • ½ cup light olive oil or canola oil
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese grated

Instructions 

  • Combine garlic, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, dijon mustard, capers, egg, anchovy fillets, and pepper in a blender.
  • Blend until smooth. With blender on low speed, drizzle in olive oil in a thin slow stream (this should take a few minutes).
  • Add parmesan cheese and pulse to combine. Refrigerate until using.
  • In a large salad bowl, combine lettuce, croutons and parmesan cheese. Add dressing as desired and toss to combine.
  • Garnish with additional parmesan cheese and fresh lemon wedges for serving.

Notes

*Keep dressing in the fridge for up to 2-3 days. 
  • Ingredients (including the egg) should be at room temperature before making the dressing.
  • Drizzle the oil SLOWLY. The slower you drizzle, the thicker the dressing will be.
  • If you don't have a blender, you can whisk the ingredients while slowly drizzling in the oil.
  • Use fresh lemon juice and fresh garlic for best results.
  • To save time, prep the dressing in advance and keep it in the fridge. Homemade caesar dressing will last up to 3 days in your fridge in an airtight container!
  • For the crispiest lettuce, wash and shake or spin dry and then store in the fridge wrapped in paper towel. 
  • To make in advance, keep the toppings and dressing separately and combine before serving!
5 from 41 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 245 | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 282mg | Potassium: 215mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 5579IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 151mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Dressing, Lunch, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Comments

  1. Your Caesar Salad Dressing recipe is our absolute favorite, I’ve made it countless times. Delicious! I do have changes based on our family’s likes and dislikes. No anchovies, no capers, add a bit more Worcestershire, egg yolk, not entire egg. I put all ingredients into a bullet and mix it up. Comes out perfect and delicious every time. 5 stars

  2. My lemon gave me 4 tablespoons of juice, so rather than waste the rest or lose it in the fridge, I decided to quadruple the recipe, but used 2 eggs. Basically, I made (I think!) aioli or mayonnaise. It’s very tasty and very thick. I still used it for a Caesar salad, tasted great. Did I pour the olive oil in too slowly?5 stars

    1. Pouring the oil too slow could have contributed to it being thick, but it was probably because there weren’t enough eggs used for a quadruple recipe! Regardless it’s great to hear you still enjoyed it!

  3. I use the same ingredients on my caesar salad dressing except I only add the egg yolk and 6 anchovy filets using a hand mixer instead of the blender. Everyone loves this salad. They usually get seconds.

    1. I always use anchoy paste as it keeps so much better than canned anchovies, so you can make numerous salads from the same tube of paste…keeps in fridge awesome!! Canned anchovies, no so much, they get tasting very fishy if you try to keep them.5 stars

  4. I’m with you on Caesar salad being one of my favourites, you’ve just helped me make up my mind on dinner tonight.5 stars

  5. I love a classic Caesar salad and this one sounds perfect! Great tip about freezing leftover anchovies too :)5 stars

  6. Classic salads are always delicious. Great idea to freeze your anchovies too for the next time.5 stars

  7. That is such a great tip about freezing the anchovies! I always use just a few and then feel bad throwing away the rest of the tin (only to buy a new one, of course, the next time I want to make dressing). So happy to have a better way!

      1. I always used to use anchovy paste because I thought the filets would be too fishy. I was so wrong! I used canned anchovies this time and the dressing had a much richer flavor with no fishy flavor at all! I urge you to try it!!5 stars