Have you ever been catfished by a salad before? I have, and it was a dang Caesar salad.
I still remember the day. I think I was about 14 years old and a friend and I went out for lunch at a restaurant, which was a thing we had just barely become old enough to do on our own. We ordered (deep-fried) zucchini sticks and a Caesar salad to share, and then went home and told our parents about our virtuous plant-based meal only to have our little teenaged dreams crushed right then and there.
A Caesar salad was also the culprit the first time I got proper food poisoning. Not only is the dressing hideously unhealthy, but you’ve also got raw eggs carrying a risk of salmonella. Blech. No thanks.
But, folks? I’ve got good news for you. I have an amazing Vegetarian Caesar Dressing Recipe to share with you all today. This right here is:
Light Caesar dressing
Healthy Caesar dressing
Caesar dressing without anchovies
And we’ve got an option for Vegan Caesar Dressing
Plus it tastes AMAZING!! What more could you want?!
WHAT’S IN THIS VEGETARIAN CAESAR DRESSING?
If you want to make a killer Caesar dressing without anchovies, you’re going to need to gather a small but mighty ingredients list:
- A whole bulb of roasted garlic –> I’m going to direct you to my homegirl Sarah who will show you how to roast garlic. She uses her Instant Pot, but I am old school and do mine in the oven.
- Greek yogurt –> I must insist you use full-fat yogurt here.
- Olive oil –> Use some good stuff if you have it.
- Parmesan cheese –> Or a similar hard cheese.
- Capers –> Plus a l’il bit of caper brine.
- Dijon mustard –> We’re going with the smooth stuff.
- Lemon juice –> Fresh squeezed if you please.
- Garlic –> Moooooooore garlic. Just one clove.
- Salt n Pepa –> Whatta man whatta mighty good man.
HOW DO YOU MAKE CAESAR DRESSING WITHOUT ANCHOVIES?
Simple! You just need to replace the salty, briny flavor (or so I’m told; I’ve never tried them) of the anchovies with something that packs a similar punch. In this case, we’re using a big spoonful of capers AND the brine from the capers jar. If you don’t have/don’t like capers, I’ve also made this dressing with a couple of teaspoons of miso paste standing in for the anchovies, and it does the job just fine.
All you need to do is add all of the ingredients to a blender (I use my fancy pants Vitamix, but if you have a smaller blender or a hand-held blender they will do the job just fine.
Blend till smooth, and you’re dressing is good to go.
IS PARMESAN CHEESE VEGETARIAN?
Technically, authentic Parmesan cheese is not vegetarian because it uses rennet. There are other Parmesan-Esque cheeses out there that don’t use rennet (they use a microbial enzyme instead) so if you’re not comfortable with rennet, you’ve got options.
CAN I MAKE THIS A VEGAN CAESAR DRESSING?
You certainly can! To make vegan Caesar dressing you’ll need to replace the yogurt with either a bit of runny tahini paste or more olive oil and replace the Parmesan with nutritional yeast.
HOW LONG WILL CAESAR DRESSING LAST IN THE FRIDGE?
Because this vegetarian caesar dressing is made without eggs it can be kept in the fridge for *slightly* longer than a regular homemade caesar dressing. HOWEVER, food safety recommendations for dressings that contain raw garlic stipulate that they should be used within four days due to the risk of botulism.
They do say that if kept below 4°C / 40°F that it’s fine to keep for 10 days, and I’ve definitely kept and consumed mine for that long, but be sure you’re aware of the risks.
IS CAESAR DRESSING HEALTHY?
This one is! We’ve eliminated raw eggs and replaced much of the fat with yogurt, yielding a much healthier vegetarian caesar dressing than usual. I hope you like it!
Vegetarian Caesar Dressing
If you’re looking for a Caesar dressing without anchovies, you’re in luck! Instead we’re using capers and roasted garlic to make a creamy indulgent tasting Vegetarian Caesar Dressing that’s lightened up with the help of Greek yogurt.
- 1 bulb roasted garlic
- 1 large lemon juiced
- 1 Tbsp capers
- 1 Tbsp caper brine
- 2 tsp smooth Dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic smashed
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
US Customary – Metric
- Combine all of the ingredients in a blender.
- Blend until smooth.