The star of this Caesar Salad recipe is the homemade dressing.

A delicious parmesan-garlic dressing is tossed with crisp lettuce, garlicky croutons, and a squeeze of fresh lemon.

You’ll love that this salad pairs with anything from steak to lasagna, or can be topped with grilled chicken for an easy meal.

plated Caesar Salad Recipe

A Classic Caesar Salad Recipe

Caesar Salad was created in Tijuana, Mexico by Caesar Cardini, an Italian immigrant, in the 1920s. He created this salad using ingredients he had on hand and served it tableside. This version is my favorite variation.

  • This salad is all about the dressing, and this homemade Caesar salad dressing is literally the best.
  • The dressing can be made up to 48 hours ahead of time making it perfect for guests.
  • Serve as a side or main dish. Pair this salad next to a steak or top it with 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 Caesar Salad Dressing

This dressing is what makes this the best Caesar salad recipe. Caesar salad dressing is creamy, rich, and hands down my favorite dressing.

  • Lemon juice, Garlic & Parmesan – Lemon juice adds bright, fresh flavor (use freshly squeezed from one lemon). Garlic and parmesan add savory flavor.
  • Anchovy – Adds umami and a touch of brininess. The flavor is subtle but delicious. Replace whole anchovies with 1 teaspoon of anchovy paste or see the note below to make the Caesar salad dressing without anchovy.
  • Egg – Raw egg and oil are is used in this dressing (much like homemade mayonnaise), I include both the raw egg yolk and white. If you don’t want to use raw egg, I would suggest making my Quick Caesar Salad Dressing.
  • Oil is added in a very slow stream to thicken the dressing. Use a light-flavored oil like canola or light olive oil; extra-virgin olive oil can be a bit strong for this dressing.

Substitution

Adding anchovy to this dressing is highly recommended for the best flavor. It’s salty, and briny, and if you add just the right amount, the salad isn’t fishy tasting. If you’ve never tried it before, I can’t recommend it enough – it’s truly delicious!

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!

If anchovies aren’t your thing, no problem. Replace the anchovy with a tablespoon or so of extra capers for a similar briny, salty flavor.

caesar salad dressing ingredients in a blender

Caesar Salad Ingredients

  • Lettuce: To make romaine lettuce extra crunchy, 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!
  • Croutons: 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: Garnish the salad with parmesan cheese and fresh lemon wedges or even bacon bits or fried capers.
caesar salad dressing in a blender

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) up to 48 hours ahead of time.
  2. Tear lettuce into bite-size pieces and place in a large salad bowl with croutons, dressing, and parmesan cheese and toss.
  3. Garnish with additional parmesan cheese and fresh lemon wedges.

Make It a Meal

Turn this salad into a meal by topping it with grilled chicken breasts, shrimp, or salmon. Eat it in a bowl or wrap it in a tortilla or pita for a chicken caesar wrap.

caesar salad with lemon and parmesan

Tips for a Great Caesar Salad

  • 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 for up to 3 days.
  • For crisp lettuce, wash and shake or spin dry and then store in the fridge wrapped in paper towel. Tear the lettuce leaves instead of cutting with a knife.
  • To make in advance, keep the toppings and dressing separately and combine before serving!

More Favorite Salads

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

plated Caesar Salad Recipe
5 from 86 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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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. Taste and season with salt and additional pepper if desired. 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 up to 3 days in advance and keep it in the fridge. Store lettuce, garnish, and dressing separately and combine before serving.
5 from 86 votes

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
close up of Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad with lemon slices and writing
Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad on a plate and close up with writing
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Caesar Salad Recipe with parmesan garlic dressing and writing

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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. Winner! I had to substitute the Worcestershire sauce with soy as I was out and can only imagine how good it would have been with it. Thank you.5 stars

    1. The egg is needed for consistency in this dressing. If you don’t want to use raw egg, you can use this caesar salad dressing which uses mayonnaise (although mayonnaise does still contain egg). I hope that helps.

  2. I reaaaally love this dressing. I didn’t have capers and instead used some dill and grape leaf that were in a batch of pickles from Costco. It worked! So delicious. Thank you so much and for not using mayo – I’d much rather make a dressing from scratch!5 stars

    1. Since this recipe uses fresh garlic cloves there is a risk of it spoiling if stored for longer than 2-3 days.