Classic Vegan Caesar Salad

This vegan Caesar salad is made with crisp romaine lettuce, garlicky baked croutons and to-die-for rich and creamy cashew-based dressing. Rich, indulgent, and full of flavor!

Vegan Caesar Salad in Serving Bowl with Wooden Serving Spoons

Say hello to the classic Caesar salad…in vegan form! I’ve had requests, so I figured it was about time. Also, I just shared a recipe for vegan Parmesan cheese, which is the perfect topper for a dairy-free Caesar salad.

I’m always tempted to put crazy spins on things, but sometimes the classics are just that because they’re great, and I think that may be the case with Caesar salads — you know, except for the whole dairy, eggs, and anchovy part. Maybe slightly modified classics are the best.

Elements of a Perfect Vegan Caesar Salad

Large Bowl Filled with Vegan Caesar Salad with Croutons, Dressing and Vegan Parmesan Cheese on the Side

Cheese: I already mentioned that we’ll be using some vegan Parm.

Greens: Crispy romaine lettuce is the traditional Caesar salad green, so that’s what we’re using here.

Croutons: This recipe includes some garlicky homemade croutons. It’s so worth it. Make a double batch because you will snack on most of them.

Dressing: Traditional Caesar dressing is made with Mayonnaise and anchovies, among other things. My vegan version uses creamy blended raw cashews instead of mayo, lots of garlic, seasonings, and miso paste to supply that umami flavor you’d normally get from anchovies.

Make the Croutons

Do this first, so you can whip up the dressing while they bake. 

Tear up some loaves of bread (the crustier the better, and day-old bread works great), and whisk together some garlic and olive oil. Drizzle your bread with the olive oil mixture, and toss everything to distribute.

Collage Showing Steps for Making Garlic Croutons: Mix Garlic and Olive Oil, Drizzle Over Bread Cubes, and Toss

Arrange your bread cubes on a baking sheet, give them a sprinkle of salt, and bake until crispy and golden.

Garlic Croutons on a Baking Sheet

Make the Dressing

The dressing is super easy!

You’ll need to soak your cashews in some water ahead of time to soften them up. Don’t worry if you forget though — boiling them for 15 minutes works in a pinch.

Add them to a food processor bowl with your seasonings: Dijon mustard, lemon juice, miso paste, vegan Worcestershire sauce and garlic. Add a splash of water and blend.

Food Processor Bowl Filled with Ingredients for Making Vegan Caesar Dressing

Once you’ve blended your mixture to a smooth paste you can thin it out with some more water and season it with salt.

Vegan Caesar Dressing in a Food Processor Bowl

Assemble the Salad

Tear your lettuce into bite-sized pieces and stick them into a salad bowl. Add your croutons, drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with Parm. Give everything a toss, and you’re ready to serve!

Hand Pouring Vegan Caesar Dressing Over Greens

FAQ & Tips for Making an Awesome Vegan Caesar Salad

  • Don’t forget to soak your cashews! But if you forget, don’t worry! Boiling them for 15 minutes works in a pinch.
  • The dressing will keep in the refrigerator for about 4 days, or in the freezer for 2-3 months.
  • You can easily turn this salad into a meal by adding some protein: try chickpeas, baked tofu, or (my favorite) the blackened tempeh from this recipe.
  • Can this salad be made gluten-free? Yes! Just use your favorite gluten-free bread to make the croutons!
  • Where can I find vegan Worcestershire sauce? Annie’s and Edward & Sons brands are both vegan. Look for them at natural food stores, or online!

Vegan Caesar Salad in a Wooden Bowl with Striped Napkin

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Vegan Caesar Salad in Serving Bowl with Wooden Serving Spoons

Classic Vegan Caesar Salad

This vegan Caesar salad is made with crisp romaine lettuce, garlicky baked croutons and to-die-for rich and creamy cashew-based dressing. Rich, indulgent, and full of flavor!

Prep Time 20 minutes

Cook Time 15 minutes

Soak time (cashews) 4 hours

Total Time 4 hours 35 minutes

Servings 6

Calories 351 kcal

Author Alissa

Ingredients

For the Croutons

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • About half of a baguette, torn into bite-sized pieces (4 cups)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Vegan Caesar Salad Dressing

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water 4-8 hours, rinsed, and drained
  • 2 garlic cloves, or even more if you like
  • 2 tablespoons white miso paste
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 to 1 cup water, divided
  • Salt to taste

For the Vegan Caesar Salad

  • 2 medium heads romaine lettuce, cleaned and torn into bite-sized pieces
  • Finely chopped fresh parsley, optional
  • Vegan Parmesan cheese

Instructions

Make the Croutons

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. 

  2. Stir the olive oil and garlic together in a small bowl. 

  3. Place the bread pieces into a large bowl and add the olive oil mixture. Toss to coat.

  4. Arrange the bread pieces on a baking sheet and sprinkle them with salt and pepper to taste. 

  5. Bake until the bread pieces begin to brown and crisp-up, 12-14 minutes. 

  6. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack to cool.

Make the Vegan Caesar Salad Dressing

  1. While croutons bake, place the cashews, garlic, miso, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, and 1/4 cup of water into the bowl of a food processor fitted with an s-blade.

  2. Blend the mixture to a smooth paste, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed.

  3. Thin with 1/2 to 3/4 cup of additional water, to desired thickness.

  4. Season the dressing with salt to taste and adjust any other seasonings to your liking.

Make the Vegan Caesar Salad

  1. Place the lettuce and croutons into a large bowl. Drizzle in the dressing (as much as you like), a bit at a time. Sprinkle with parsley and vegan Parmesan cheese. Toss.

  2. Sprinkle with parsley and vegan Parmesan cheese.

  3. Divide onto plates and serve.

Recipe Notes

The nutrition information assumes a serving includes one sixth of the greens and croutons, 2 tablespoons of dressing, and 1 tablespoon of vegan Parmesan cheese.

This recipe makes a large batch of dressing — probably more than you will need! I don’t recommend scaling down the batch size unless you have a very small blending device. Save the leftovers for future salads, use as a dip, or stick it in an airtight container and freeze.

Nutrition Facts

Classic Vegan Caesar Salad

Amount Per Serving

Calories 351 Calories from Fat 165

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 18.3g 28%

Saturated Fat 3g 15%

Sodium 784mg 33%

Potassium 811mg 23%

Total Carbohydrates 37.8g 13%

Dietary Fiber 3.5g 14%

Sugars 4.1g

Protein 14.1g 28%

Calcium 1%

Iron 13%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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