Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing

Creamy and bursting with savory flavors, this homemade caesar salad dressing is SO much better than any store-bought variety!

Behold, my favorite salad of all time!  The crisp romaine lettuce, sharp and nutty Parmesan cheese, crunchy croutons, and plenty of that savory pepper-specked dressing… yes please!!  Usually I would just buy a bottle of dressing to have caesar salad at home, but no more… and once you try this recipe, you’ll be ditching that bottle too!

Perfect restaurant-style Caesar salad with homemade dressing and homemade garlic croutons.  Amazing as a side salad, or add some grilled chicken and make it a meal! #salad #dressing #saladdressing #caesar #homemade #croutons #fromscratch

Whenever we go out to a restaurant, I always order a caesar salad with my meal.  No other side salad comes close for me!  Now that I’ve perfected the homemade dressing and croutons, it’s a staple around here as well.

MY LATEST RECIPES

To me, no salad is complete without croutons… and garlic croutons, well, that just makes everything better!

Homemade garlic croutons for caesar salad

Crunchy, buttery, perfection!

MAKING HOMEMADE CROUTONS

Making your own croutons is so easy, and it’s a great way to use up some old bread that you would otherwise forget about and end up throwing away.  I’m all about not wasting food, since that’s essentially wasting money, plus, I think homemade tastes better anyway.

  • Cube up (or tear) some day old bakery bread.  French, Italian, Ciabatta, etc are all great for this.  Make sure the bread cubes are bite-sized.
  • Lay them out on a foil lined baking sheet and bake @ 375 F degrees for 5 minutes.  While they’re baking, mix up your garlic oil mixture.  
  • Whisk together olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.
  • Drizzle the oil mixture over the bread cubes, toss to combine, then bake another 5 minutes.  Stir the croutons, then bake a final 5-6 minutes.  Viola… croutons!

Homemade caesar salad with croutons

This homemade caesar salad dressing is just as simple, you don’t need a blender or food processor, just a bowl and a whisk.  I usually make mine a few hours ahead of time, but it will still be plenty flavorful if you make it right before serving.

WHAT GOES INTO CAESAR SALAD DRESSING?

Traditionally, caesar salad dressing is made with olive oil, egg yolk, Worcestershire sauce, lemon, mustard, garlic and pepper.  To keep this dressing as easy to make as possible (as well as eliminating any risk that goes with raw eggs), I chose to make mine with mayonnaise and sour cream.  This gives the dressing a beautiful creamy texture, that’s a bit lighter than an all mayo-based dressing, yet still velvety smooth.

ANCHOVIES, OR NO ANCHOVIES?

I know, I know… anchovies can be a bit… off-putting.  Normally I shy away from using them in most of my cooking, but for this dressing, it really adds a great depth of flavor.  Without the anchovies, the dressing can taste really flat and one dimensional… sort of like if you forget to salt your food while cooking it.

Instead of using anchovy filets, I use anchovy paste!  You can usually find it in major grocery stores, and it’s shelf-stable (until opened, then you’ll need to refrigerate it).

Caesar salad dressing in bottle

WHO, OR WHAT, IS CAESAR SALAD NAMED AFTER?

This one may surprise you!  As a kid, I thought caesar salad was named after Julius Caesar, the infamous Roman Emperor.  But in fact, it’s named after a chef, Caesar Cardini.  He’s the man we all owe a big thank you to!

Pouring homemade caesar salad dressing

ADDING PROTEIN TO A CAESAR SALAD

After one bite of this salad, you may want to turn this into your main meal, and I can’t blame you!  There are 3 main sources of protein that we add to this salad:

  • Chicken
    • Slice chicken breasts in half horizontally, to make 2 thin cutlets.  Season well with salt, pepper, dried minced onion, garlic powder, and a pinch of paprika.  Saute over MED-HIGH heat with a drizzle of olive oil for 4 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through.
  • Salmon
    • Rub salmon filets with a drizzle of olive oil, then season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Saute over MED – MED-HIGH for several minutes per side until cooked to your liking.
  • Shrimp
    • Season shrimp with salt, pepper, garlic powder and a pinch of paprika.  Saute over MED-HIGH heat with a drizzle of olive oil for 2-3 minutes per side, until golden and cooked through.  Squeeze some lemon juice over the shrimp when finished cooking.

Homemade caesar salad in bowl

WHAT TO SERVE WITH CAESAR SALAD

This salad makes a fabulous side dish to a LOT of recipes, but here are a few of my favorites:

Perfect restaurant-style Caesar salad with homemade dressing and homemade garlic croutons.  Amazing as a side salad, or add some grilled chicken and make it a meal! #salad #dressing #saladdressing #caesar #homemade #croutons #fromscratch
Print
5 from 17 votes
Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing
4 servings
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 
Forget about bottled salad dressing, this simple homemade caesar salad dressing is about 1000x better!
Calories: 454 kcal
Author: The Chunky Chef
Ingredients
DRESSING:
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp anchovy paste
  • 3 cloves garlic , pressed with a garlic press, grated, or finely minced
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 - 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 - 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper , depending on your tastes
  • 1/4 cup finely shredded fresh parmesan cheese
  • Salt to taste
CROUTONS:
  • 1/2 loaf artisan bread , 1-2 days old
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic , pressed with a garlic press, grated, or finely minced
  • 1/4 each salt and black pepper
SALAD:
  • 1 large head Romaine lettuce , chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded or shaved Parmesan cheese
Instructions
DRESSING
  1. To a mixing bowl, add mayonnaise, anchovy paste, olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, salt, and garlic and stir. Whisk in sour cream. Place in airtight container in the refrigerator until serving.
CROUTONS
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice bread into slices 3/4-inch thick then cut each slice into cubes. Spread out bread cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake 5 minutes. While they are baking, in a mixing bowl, whisk together olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.
  2. Remove baking sheet from the oven and drizzle with garlic oil mixture, toss to combine, then bake 5 minutes.
  3. Remove sheet from the oven and toss, then bake 5 - 6 minutes longer, until golden brown and crisp. Remove from oven and set aside.
ASSEMBLE SALAD
  1. In a large salad bowl toss together lettuce, croutons and Parmesan cheese. Drizzle with dressing and toss. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan and black pepper if desired.

Recipe Notes

For best results, use a good-quality mayonnaise and real, fresh Parmesan cheese.  The kind in a bottle in the pasta aisle won't taste nearly as good as fresh Parm!

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Perfect restaurant-style Caesar salad with homemade dressing and homemade garlic croutons.  Amazing as a side salad, or add some grilled chicken and make it a meal! #salad #dressing #saladdressing #caesar #homemade #croutons #fromscratch

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71 comments on “Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing”

  1. My go-to recipe for Caesar dressing!

  2. This dressing is absolutely awesome. I just made it and I don’t think is going to last a week in this home. Thank you for sharing.

  3. We’ve made your dressing 3 times in the last 7 days, since finding it online. It’s nice to watch my daughter eat green leaves with gusto. We’ve tried the dressing on spinach and arugula too, both with delicious results.

  4. I just mixed this up and had a taste. Very good. Looking forward to pasta and Casear salad for dinner!

  5. Is there a way to omit the anchovy paste? There is just something about it that grosses me out.

  6. This looks heavenly! Love this healthy option!

  7. I am always in for a good salad! This one is calling my name!

  8. Homemade dressing makes my life SO MUCH BETTER!

  9. I love a good caesar salad! The dressing looks delicious and I love that you made your own croutons too!

  10. Yummy! This made me drool. Cannot wait to try this. This recipe looks incredible! Thank you.

  11. I love the flavors in this!

  12. I think I can handle anchovy paste! Totally worth it for a delicious salad!

  13. Can I freeze any extra dressing?

  14. how long will dressing last in frig

  15. I used plain Greek Yogurt instead of sour cream. I added real bacon bits. Added lots of Shaved Parmesan Cheese and whisked everything but the bacon & cheese together. Had it for lunch yesterday with the girls for lunch and  had it tonight with the hubby for our dinner 🙂

  16. This is very similar to my recipe …. simple the best! .  I highly recommend this recipe .

  17. This recipe is so easy and and delicious! My family loves Caesar salad. 

  18. My all time favorite dressing! I have made this many times. I always double it and I add extra lemon and garlic! Big hit! 

  19. Just made this for a party I’m catering tomorrow. It is excellent! Love everything about it, followed this recipe exactly as stated and am SO thrilled with the results. Seriously you must try this and really don’t try changing it up, it’s perfectly balanced with the flavors, you taste the lemon, garlic punches through and just leaves you wanting more. I haven’t even gotten to the Salad part just trying the dressing was enough for me. Could drink this stuff, that good! Thank you SO much for sharing! Look no further guys, this ones a keeper 🤗

  20. Hi!
    Can somebody tell me how can I replace de anchovy paste? Im allergic. Cant use anchovy

  21. Excellence salad ….my kid loves it….?

  22. Hi,
    sorry didn’t read through all posts. I’m wondering if you omit the anchovy paste will it still taste good?
    I don’t usually have a cesar salad with anchovies.
    Thanks!
    Lil

  23. Hi Meghann!

    Made this for a party of about 40 people. It was a big hit! Thank you for posting it. It was also easy to do.
    I’m making it again tonight.

  24. I absolutely love Caesar salad and could it all the time… I was wondering, how much does this recipe yield for just the dressing? My hubby and I are dressing fanatics and I wasn’t sure how much this made. Also, how long after I made the dressing can I keep any left overs in the fridge? I’ve never made my own dressing and can’t wait to try your recipe. Just finished buying everything for it today!!! Thanks for posting!

    • Hi Meghann! Oh goodness, let me think… I believe it makes about 1.5-2 cups of dressing? We usually keep the leftovers covered in the refrigerator for about a week 🙂 Hope you guys love the dressing!

  25. Oh my! I am obsessed with Caesar Salad, it’s pretty much my go to so this sounds amazing!

  26. This is an all-time favorite! Thanks for linking up with What’s Cookin’ Wednesday!

  27. Love homemade caesar salad dressing! I always make my father in laws version, but I’ll definitely try yours too. I will eat in on any salad…it doesn’t have to be the traditional caesar!

  28. I love caesar salad dressing but have never tried to make it homemade! Thanks for sharing your recipe with Foodie Friends Friday! Hope to see you again next week!

  29. Caesar salad is my favourite salad too, so simple but sooooooo good! I wish I had some now – definitely need to get in the stuff to make my own dressing though! Your recipe looks awesome!

  30. I love ceasar salad!! Pinning the recipe for future use! Now I can have Ceasar Salad at home… Can’t wait! 🙂

  31. I LOVE caesar salad! It looks so crisp and delicious. Another great dinner dish!

  32. This looks delicious! Great shots!

  33. I just love a good Caesar Salad and this recipe looks very good, great photos! Hope you have a very special Mothers Day weekend and thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday this week.
    Miz Helen

  34. Ceasar salad normally isn’t even my favorite but these pictures have just given me the strongest craving for it.

    So that’s a good sign yore doing this right lol

    Thanks for sharing this with us at the Fiesta!

  35. Homemade croutons and dressing are the BEST! Love these recipes 🙂

  36. Yum, I love recipes that don’t require me washing up my food processor but just a whisk instead 🙂 This salad looks so perfect!

  37. Caesar dressing is one of my favorites, too. I’m not sure why I’ve never tried making my own before, but you make it seem doable. I think I’ll have to give it a shot.

  38. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog 🙂 Caesar salad is my favorite and I never realized how easy it is to make your own dressing! Pinning this and will try out soon. Thanks for the great recipe. Oh, and your pictures are gorgeous!!
    Jessica @ togetherasfamily.com

  39. I can eat caesar salad until I get ill. I didn’t know the dressing was so easy to make.

  40. great looking salad. I love Caeser with all the Parma I can throw on it. this dressing sounds great. will try it soon, but probably without anchovy paste.

  41. Hi Amanda, I do hope you’ll come over to Food on Friday: Salads to bring this to the party! Cheers from Carole’s Chatter

  42. Dahhhhhhhhhh!!!!! Caesar salad is my FAVORITE thing in the world. #1 favorite. And thanks to this picture I’m pretty sure i’m going to have to go out and lunch and buy one!! I can’t wait to try this dressing ASAP!!! I’ve never been able to find one as good as when you get it in a restaurant, so I’ll just have to make it myself! Thanks for this one, LOVE it.

  43. This looks delicious! I can’t wait to try it:)

  44. Caesar salad is one of my favorites, too, but I usually just go with the old standby – Ranch.

    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. I’m pinning it so I can make it very soon. It sounds delish and your pictures are just gorgeous.

    Thanks, again!

    • Ranch is definitely a standby here too… my husband and kids would eat it straight from the bottle if I let them lol 🙂 Thank you so much Heather! Oh I hope you love this dressing when you make it 😀

  45. Nicely done lady! Well played 🙂