This Easy Caesar Dressing From Scratch is so easy it'll make you'll never use a store-bought salad dressing again and wonder why you didn't make it sooner!
There are salads, but then there are SALADS. You know, salads that are so tasty that they make you forget that you're eating mostly lettuce. And let me tell you, this Easy Caesar Dressing From Scratch will make anything, even just a big bowl of romaine lettuce a Salad with a capital S.
There are two key elements to a true Caesar dressing:
#1 is that the dressing is emulsified (this is what will give it the consistency and texture to evenly coat the romaine).
#2 Anchovies. And I know that many people have strong feelings about them, but trust me, they are absolutely key, otherwise dressing just won't taste the same. It'll be flat and taste more like a parm flavored mayo than a homemade Caesar dressing. Trust me on this one. You won't regret it.
This is why (unfortunately) a true, TRUE Caesar dressing is not vegan or vegetarian.
- Oil - Vegetable oil is what we usually use, but you can also use another neutral oil like high-quality extra virgin olive oil. This is what will emulsify the dressing and give it that nice and thick, creamy texture.
- Egg - Just the yolk, which is also key to emulsification. Then you can make some Meringue Kisses or our Copycat Kashi Go Lean Crunch Cereal!
- Dijon Mustard - This adds the right amount of kick, especially if you make your own!
- Lemon Juice - To add acidity
- Garlic - Fresh of course is our preferred, but you could use a powder, too, if that's all you have.
- Anchovies - Again, absolutely key to the best, most authentic homemade Caesar dressing.
- Parmesan Cheese - Another key ingredient for an authentic Caesar dressing.
- Salt - Of course.
Pretty and simple ingredients, but again, Anchovies are absolutely key!
Ready in Minutes
Step 1: With a mortar and pestle, grind up the anchovies, garlic (if fresh), and salt.
No Mortar and Pestle? No problem! You could also:
- Use a cutting board and knife: Just lie it all out together on a cutting board and use a knife to chop it all up finely together.
- Use a mini food processor/grinder: I have a really old one of these from my mom's kitchen which comes in handy for things like this, or even for making a small amount of pesto.
- Use a Rolling Pin: Layer it all on a cutting board, cover in plastic wrap, and then roll it all out to grind up the anchovies and garlic.
Step 3: Gently and slowly add the oil while the processor is running, to create an emulsification. Just like you're making a mayonnaise.
No Food Processor? No Problem!
You can make this homemade Caesar dressing by just using a whisk and a bowl, too. It'll take a little more elbow grease, but just mimic what the food processor is doing, with the whisk.
The important piece is that you slowly add the oil so that it emulsifies into a creamy dressing.
When you're done, you'll have this creamy, dreamy, Easy Caesar Dressing From Scratch!
Then it's ready to add to a big bowl of some fresh, crisp romaine lettuce, slices of Parmesan cheese, and some homemade croutons for a classic Caesar Salad!
We've made a lot of delicious salads and dressings but this Caesar dressing is a classic that has to be on your From Scratch condiments list. Excuse me while I dip my Tater Tots, Onion Rings, Fries, and even some Baked Chicken Wings in!
Mixed and done! The perfect side salad to any meal, or lunch or dinner on it's own. Toss some grilled chicken on there too and yummm. A Classic Caesar Salad with a super Easy Caesar Dressing From Scratch!
Easy Caesar Dressing From Scratch
- Romaine Lettuce
- Shaved Parmesan Cheese
- In a mortar and pestle, add anchovies, garlic, and salt. Ground to a paste. See recipe notes for other ways to grind into a paste.
- Add paste to a food processor and add egg yolks, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and mustard. Turn on processor and add oil very very slowly, just one drip at a time, then slowly add teh rest of the oil in a very slow and steady stream, emulsifying dressing like a mayo until it is creamy in texture.
- Season with black pepper to taste (if desired).
- Store in a air tight container in fridge until ready to use, up to 3 days. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.
- Assemble a Caesar Salad by adding crisp romaine lettuce pieces, homemade croutons, and fresh shavings of Parmesan cheese!
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