Many moons ago I shared a photo on Instagram of my caesar salad. I had a feeling I’d get some requests to share a recipe for it, but I was really surprised by how many people were interested. Today is the day! It took me longer than I would have liked to get this ready, my apologies, but here you go. I dare say the best, classic caesar dressing. Which is accidentally nut-free, oil-free and made with only 10-ingredients.
I could go on and on about why I love this dressing and how I worked tirelessly to create a replica inspired by the version I grew up eating most – but I’ll spare you the details. I believe this is truly the best caesar dressing out there. If it can pass the standards of my family, that speaks volumes. It’s super tangy and very bold in flavor. It also pairs beautifully with that sunflower seed parmesan I’m always talking about. Truly, I make a batch of it every other week because it’s awesome on everything.
Instead of cashews, like the bulk of vegan caesar dressing recipes start with, I opted for sunflower seeds. They’re nutrient dense, very neutral in flavor and extremely budget-friendly. I’m not interested in making or sharing a dressing that costs $10+ in ingredients. I wholeheartedly believe you can achieve an even better flavor using cheaper ingredients, which was the whole point in sharing my version. I’ve made this caesar dressing a few different ways but believe this is the best of the best. You might want to replace some things to fit your tastes better but I urge you to make it as instructed before altering. I did include more information in the notes section that may help.
We love to make this salad as classic as possible, while still managing to keep it wholesome too. You can bake your own croutons using your favorite bread of choice, I use a gluten-free option. This works best with stale bread but fresh will work too. You just cut into chunks, season as desired and bake at 315 degrees F for about 10-15 minutes, depending on the size. You can use oil or a little vegetable stock to make the seasoning adhere better. We really love to use everything seasoning!
Have fun and get creative with combinations. My husband in particular is a fan of adding roasted tomatoes to his caesar salads. I prefer to keep mine super classic and pile on the sunflower seed parm. I also only use romaine hearts and slice them super thin. For the phots I made my slices a bit thicker but if you haven’t made a salad with finely sliced romaine hearts I strongly urge you to give it a try! I love the texture. Alternatively you can absolutely use whatever green you prefer. This is fantastic on massaged kale too.
You can check out more salad recipes here. If you happen to give this caesar dressing a try be sure to also snap a photo and tag me @PlantPhilosophy on Instagram using #PlantPhilosophy so I don’t miss seeing your post. I love to leave a comment and reshare my favorite recreations. Thank you very much for taking the time to follow along with my content and make my recipes!
Classic Vegan Caesar Salads
Yield 2 cups
The BEST vegan caesar dressing, made nut-free & oil-free!
- ½ cup Raw Sunflower Seeds
- ¼ cup Raw Hemp Seeds
- 1 tbsp Vegan Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 tbsp Capers in brine
- 2 tsp White Miso Paste*
- 2 tbsp Lemon Juice*
- 1 large clove of Garlic
- 2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar*
- 1 tsp Mustard Powder
- 1 cup Water, to blend
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
- Romaine Lettuce Hearts, thinly sliced
- Sunflower Seed Parmesan, to taste
- Caesar Dressing, as desired
- Croutons, optional
Measure and blend together dressing ingredients until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
Wash romaine lettuce hearts and pat dry. Thinly slice into small strips.
Pour over dressing and toss to evenly distribute. I like to use tongs to make this easier.
Top with sunflower seed parmesan and croutons. Lightly toss again.
Serve with extra dressing and toppings if desired and fresh black pepper on top, enjoy.
Dressing will keep for up to 7 days in an airtight container.
If you don’t want to measure the lemon juice, it’s about the amount of juice from one medium sized lemon. Also, if you don’t have mustard powder you can replace the vinegar and mustard powder for 2 tsp of dijon mustard. If you're unable to get ahold of miso paste you can substitute with nutritional yeast.
Courses Side, Appetizer