Caesar Salad

This Caesar salad recipe is guaranteed to impress dinner party guests! It's topped with homemade croutons, crisp veggies, and a rich, tangy dressing.

Caesar salad

If there’s any recipe that’ll convince someone that they love salad, it’s this Caesar salad recipe. Its base is chopped romaine lettuce and crisp veggies, but shaved cheese, homemade croutons, and a bold, creamy dressing fill it with so much flavor and texture that it hardly feels like you’re eating a plate full of vegetables!

This Caesar salad recipe would be a fantastic side dish for a holiday dinner party, but, lately, we’ve even been loving it as a meal on its own. It’s the perfect fresh, yet still satisfying, break from the holiday rotation of appetizers and sweets. Pretty, nourishing, and so, so delicious, this is a recipe you don’t want to miss!

Caesar salad recipe ingredients

Caesar Salad Recipe Ingredients

My Caesar salad recipe starts with 4 basic components:

  • Romaine lettuce – Chop it into bite-sized pieces that’ll mingle with the other ingredients! You don’t want any big chunks of romaine here. Butterhead lettuce would be delicious in this recipe as well.
  • Cheese – I like to scatter shaved pecorino cheese over my Caesar salad, but a generous sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese would add the same nutty, savory flavor.
  • Homemade croutons For crunch! These are so yummy and easy to make – just toss bread cubes with olive oil and salt, spread them on a baking sheet, and toast them in a 350-degree oven until they’re golden brown.
  • Caesar dressing – Traditional Caesar salad dressing is made with raw egg yolks, Worcestershire sauce, and anchovies, but my version is much simpler and just as good. In a small bowl, whisk together Greek yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, a minced garlic clove and capers, Dijon mustard, and black pepper. You’ll end up with a creamy, rich mixture that tastes every bit as tangy and savory as the classic version.

To make this recipe extra fresh, I add a few unconventional components to the classic Caesar salad template. First, I pile on a generous amount of roasted chickpeas. They add protein to this recipe, along with lots of extra crunch. Finally, shaved red radishes, pine nuts, and a sprinkle of chives take the whole thing over the top.

Caesar salad dressing

Caesar Salad Serving Suggestions

With its rich dressing and hearty toppings, this Caesar salad recipe could easily make a meal on its own. However, it’s also a lovely dinner side dish. Pair it with your favorite protein, or serve it with any of these vegetarian main courses:

Whether you’re passing it at a potluck or packing it for lunch, this Caesar salad recipe is a great one to make ahead of time. Toast the croutons, stir together the dressing, and prep the veggies in advance. Then, store the components separately until you’re ready to eat. If you’re making this salad ahead, roast the chickpeas at the last minute, or omit them and toast a few extra croutons in their place. The chickpeas are best eaten right out of the oven!

Caesar salad

More Favorite Salad Recipes

If you love this Caesar salad recipe, try one of these fresh salads next:

Caesar Salad

rate this recipe:
4.89 from 45 votes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
Serves 4 to 6
This easy Caesar salad is a stunning dinner side dish, but it's also hearty enough to be a meal on its own.

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Make the croutons. Place the bread cubes on the baking sheet, toss with olive oil and salt, and bake 10 minutes, until toasted.
  • Assemble the romaine on a platter. Drizzle with half the dressing, sprinkle with the radishes, croutons, and chickpeas, and drizzle with the remaining dressing. Top with the pecorino, chives, and pine nuts. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Notes

*To make this recipe vegan, omit the cheese, and replace my Homemade Caesar Dressing with this vegan dressing recipe:
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons capers, drained
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Freshly ground black pepper
 
In a high-speed blender, place the cashews, garlic, lemon juice, mustard, capers, water, and a few grinds of black pepper. Blend until creamy.

 

67 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Jessica Erwin
    04.22.2021

    I added tomato and skipped the croutons. It was a perfect light lunch! The dressing was spot on!

  2. Shira Isenberg
    04.20.2021

    5 stars
    This was a yummy and easy salad. Thanks for including a vegan option for the dressing. And the crispy chickpeas were a great addition!

  3. Holly
    04.20.2021

    5 stars
    Made this with the vegan Caeasar dressing and was blown away by how simple and delicous it was. Really had that Caesar flavor. Used Zaa’tar for the roasted chickpeas and crispy pita for the croutons, since we were out of bread, and gave this salad a slight Mediterranean lean. Will definitely make this again. Nothing like a delicious big salad for dinner on warm nights!

  4. Tova Teitelbaum
    04.20.2021

    5 stars
    This was soo good! I used homemade sourdough bread for the croutons. Love how healthy it is and that it comes together quickly.

  5. Megan Rodgers
    04.19.2021

    5 stars
    My fiancé and I have been craving Caesar salad lately and this one is delicious! Love the idea of adding chickpeas and radishes, and I was lucky that the chives in my garden were ready to use. Will definitely make this again!

  6. Katie Lebow
    04.19.2021

    5 stars
    This salad was delicious and paired very well with the pizza I made for dinner. It was very satisfying after a day of spring gardening out in the sunshine.

  7. Sara Redman
    04.19.2021

    5 stars
    My husband loves Caesar salad, and thought this was as good as any he’s had. So great to have a healthier option!

  8. Samantha Barnett
    04.19.2021

    5 stars
    This was delicious! Thank you for the recipe!

  9. Sarah Rae
    04.18.2021

    5 stars
    This made a great lunch! I loved the dressing and it felt a lot lighter than a classic caesar dressing. I didn’t have pine nuts so used sunflower seeds instead, it worked but I suspect pine nuts would be even better.

  10. Shelley Engelhardt
    04.17.2021

    4 stars
    The dressing is wonderful! We used croutons this time, but I think we’ll try the roasted chickpeas next time! So yummy!

  11. Jessica Zelenak
    04.17.2021

    I loved this salad! So fresh, tasty, healthy and YUMMY! Making it wa s really easy and my toddler loved helping make the roasted chickpeas.

  12. Tracee Cole
    04.17.2021

    5 stars
    This Caesar Salad is amazing. I love the dressing using Greek Yogurt. And I’ve never thought of adding radishes to the salad, such a great add in.

  13. Anna Brannin
    04.15.2021

    Delicious! I was out of cashews and couldn’t make the vegan Caesar dressing, so I just used the regular Caesar recipe and subbed in vegan yogurt. It was yum, but next time I need to add more mustard or pepper (or remember to buy cashews!). Do not skip toasting the chickpeas or pine nuts – the pine nuts especially added a fantastic flavor to the whole salad. For fun, we also added watermelon radish and garlic plantain croutons. This is great for spring and summer, and will definitely be a repeat for us!

  14. Brooke West
    04.14.2021

    5 stars
    We just made huge portions of this for dinner, and it was DELICIOUS. Best vegetarian caesar salad recipe I’ve tried so far! We probably had too many croutons on our salad, but we balanced it with a ton of protein from lots of roasted chickpeas, so our bellies are full and very happy. Thank you!

  15. Eve-Marie Williams
    04.14.2021

    I made this with the vegan dressing. I cooked the chickpeas and croutons in my air fryer. It was delicious!

  16. Elizabeth Warren
    04.13.2021

    5 stars
    I loved the idea of adding chickapeas, radish, chives, etc.. Caesar salad has never been my favorite since it often seems too plain for my taste, but this recipe changed my mind! The dressing was so easy to make and contains ingredients that I always have on hand. This salad paired well with Baked Ziti!

  17. Cari Lynch
    04.13.2021

    5 stars
    Yum! Such a good riff on caesar dressing and I had everything I needed on hand… love when that happens! Substituted beautiful baby heirlooms for the radish b/c we’re not fans. A bright and tasty salad that stole the show from the main course (which was just tortellini!). Thanks for the inspiration!

  18. Caitlin Brown
    04.12.2021

    This was so fresh and easy to make! I loved the addition of radishes!

  19. Kaitlin Jamieson
    04.12.2021

    5 stars
    I loved this salad, I will definitely be making it again! It is great for the spring/summer months ahead. I especially loved the vegetarian dressing 🙂

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Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.