Creamy Caesar dressing comes together in the blender in just a few minutes and makes a fabulous classic or chicken Caesar salad.
Why we love this recipe
Caesar salad is sheer umami and doesn't really require an introduction. If you know, you know. Once in a while, it's fun to make it the traditional way, emulsifying the dressing by hand in the bottom of a large wooden salad bowl and then tossing it all together right in the bowl. But for a creamy dressing without additional ingredients, the blender works some serious magic. Our creamy Caesar dressing is:
- Bold yet smooth
- A little extra lemony (but you can adjust that if you prefer)
- Also fab as a dip or sandwich spread
What you'll need
Here's a glance the ingredients you'll need to make both creamy Caesar dressing and, if you like, a classic or chicken Caesar salad.
For the dressing
Here's what you'll need for the dressing.
- Use a good-quality olive oil, though it doesn't need to be top-shelf. I like to use my favorite everyday extra-virgin olive oil. If you're sensitive to the taste of bitter compounds, choose a lighter tasting oil, since blending can bring out the bitterness.
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice is a must. This recipe is fairly lemony, because that's how we like it. You can reduce the amount if you prefer.
- Buy eggs from a source you trust. If you're concerned with raw egg yolks, see below to learn how to pasteurize eggs at home.
- The anchovy fillets will blend completely into the dressing. If you're using a regular blender (and not a high-speed one), chop them and the garlic before you add them. If you love Caesar salad but not anchovies, leave them out and substitute a teaspoon of white miso paste.
For the salad
Here's what you'll need to turn that fabulous dressing into a classic or chicken Caesar salad.
- Romaine lettuce (sometimes called cos lettuce) is the perfect fit for this salad. I prefer to buy romaine hearts, which are the inner leaves without the outer, softer, darker green ones. You can use whichever you prefer.
- If you like, slice or dice some cooked chicken breast. I love to use sous vide boneless, skinless chicken breast in this recipe.
- Toss in some croutons or make some quick and easy garlic bread to serve on the side (my preference to bulk up the meal a bit). Omit them or use a gluten-free version for a GF meal.
How to make it
Here's what you'll do to make the dressing and salad. You can see the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.
- Into a blender (high-speed if you've got one), pour the olive oil, lemon juice, egg yolks, anchovies, garlic, dijon, Worcestershire sauce, parmesan, salt, and pepper. If you're using a regular blender, chop the anchovies and garlic before adding.
- Blend until perfectly smooth and creamy.
- In a salad bowl, place the lettuce and chicken if using. Pour in some dressing and toss well.
- Add some additional parmesan and pepper, as well as croutons if using, and toss again. That's it!
How to pasteurize eggs sous vide
Caesar dressing contains raw egg yolk and should be used within 24 hours of preparation. (Store in an airtight container in the fridge if not using right away.) Always buy eggs from a source you trust.
If you need to avoid raw eggs for health reasons or would simply like to extend the shelf life of your dressing for a few days, you can use a sous-vide cooker to pasteurize eggs at home. Here's how.
- Fill a pot or food storage container halfway with water. Clip your sous-vide cooker to the side and preheat it to 135°F. Set the timer for 75 minutes. It won't start until the water preheats.
- When preheated, carefully place eggs directly into the water (not in a bag).
- When timer sounds, transfer eggs to a large bowl of ice water to cool completely.
- Eggs are now pasteurized and ready to use in any recipe that calls for raw eggs. If you'll be storing them in the fridge to use later, keep them separate from other eggs or mark their shells.
Expert tips and FAQs
If you're not a fan of anchovies, you can make this dressing without them. Substitute one teaspoon of white miso paste. To make the dressing vegetarian, use the miso substitution and a vegetarian brand of Worcestershire sauce.
Since the dressing is made with raw egg yolk, it should be used within 24 hours of preparation. If not using right away, store in an airtight container in the fridge. If you'd like to extend the shelf life, pasteurize the egg yolks according to the instructions above and keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.
If you have leftover salad, store it in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Romaine lettuce will retain its crispness quite well during that time.
More favorite salad dressings
More classic salads
Here are a few more of our very favorite salad recipes that make a whole meal.
For the dressing
- ½ cup (118 ml) olive oil
- ¼ cup (59 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
- 6 anchovy fillets
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ cup (1 ounce) (30 grams) grated parmesan cheese
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the salad
- 12 ounces (340 grams) romaine lettuce
- 1 pound (454 grams) cooked chicken breast
- 2 tablespoons (½ ounce)(15 grams) grated parmesan cheese
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Garlic croutons or garlic bread, optional
- To make the dressing, place the olive oil, lemon juice, anchovies, egg yolks, garlic, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, parmesan, salt, and pepper into a blender and blend until perfectly smooth and creamy.
- To make the salad, tear the lettuce into bite-sized pieces, or cut it crosswise into ribbons (my preference). Place in a large salad bowl. Dice the cooked chicken, if using, and add to the bowl. Pour in about ¼ cup of the dressing and toss well. Sprinkle in the parmesan and some croutons if using, and toss again. Serve right away.
- If using a high-speed blender, you can put the garlic and anchovy filets in whole. If using a standard blender, chop them before adding.
- I sometimes substitute pecorino for the parmesan.
- If you're not a fan of anchovies, you can make this dressing without them. Substitute one teaspoon of white miso paste. To make the dressing vegetarian, use the miso substitution and a vegetarian brand of Worcestershire sauce.
- I prefer to use romaine hearts for this salad. The hearts are the center leaves without the outer ones, so they're crunchy and light from start to finish. If you find them too bougie, you can definitely use a regular head of romaine.
- My favorite way to prepare chicken for this recipe is to cook boneless, skinless chicken breasts sous vide. Or poach them if you don't have a sous vide cooker.
- If you like (for health reasons or to increase storage longevity), you can pasteurize the egg yolks with a sous vide cooker. Refer to the section in the post above for instructions.
- If made with raw egg yolk, dressing should be used within 24 hours of preparation. If not using right away, store in an airtight container in the fridge. If made with pasteurized yolks, dressing will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.
- If you have leftover salad, store it in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Romaine lettuce will retain its crispness quite well during that time.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 31Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 220mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 2g
Nutrition information is for dressing.