Homemade Caesar dressing is easy to make and has a taste that far surpasses any store-bought dressing. Caesar salad is simple and delicious and goes well with so many recipes. Now you can enjoy a homemade Caesar salad dressing without anchovies or raw egg yolks.
Caesar salad is a favorite salad in my house anytime I serve pizza or pasta. Crisp romaine lettuce, croutons and parmesan cheese are anything but basic when you top them with a creamy dressing like this flavorful homemade Caesar dressing.
For a long time, I was taking a shortcut and picking up Caesar salad kits that I found in the produce section of my grocery store. They were certainly convenient but what I gained in time, I lost in flavor. The dressing was mediocre at best and when I looked at labels, I realized storebought Caesar dressing was often full of things like corn vinegar, sugar, salt and even corn syrup.
I have made loads of homemade salad dressing and I knew making homemade caesar dressing couldn't be that difficult. It was simply a matter of finding the balance of creaminess and flavor and eliminating ingredients I didn't want like sugar, raw eggs and anchovies.
What is Caesar salad?
You probably assumed Caesar salad was named after Julius Caesar. After all, it makes sense that a seemingly Italian salad would be named after a Roman general. Well, as is often the case with food, the truth behind the origin of Caesar salad is a bit muddled.
Many stories actually attribute the invention of Caesar salad to Mexico. Yes, you read that correctly. The story claims that Caesar Cardini, an Italian immigrant who operated restaurants in both the United States and Mexico, invented the salad in the 1920s. Cardini's Tiajuana restaurant was exempt from the prohibition restrictions of America and drew a lot of American tourists. During an especially busy time, the kitchen began to run out of ingredients and it is said that Cardini invented the salad using simple ingredients he had on hand, tossed it table-side and served it up to hungry tourists who became enamored with the simple yet showy salad.
Reportedly, Caesar Cardini made his Ceasar salad dressing without anchovies but as the salad moved north and grew in popularity raw eggs and anchovy paste were added. The salad was often served in higher-end restaurants from Hollywood to New York City and it's possible the ingredients were added simply to make a simple green salad appear more sophisticated than it really was.
This delicious salad has become very popular as a main dish also. I love this salad with homemade croutons, some extra fresh Parmesan cheese and topped with grilled chicken or shrimp.
This creamy Caesar salad dressing likely resembles the traditional version more closely than bottled varieties. Raw eggs are eliminated by using a mayonnaise base and anchovy paste is replaced with Worcester sauce.
- Parmesan cheese: use fresh, finely grated parmesan. For a special treat, I use Parmigiano Reggiano.
- Mayonnaise: use your favorite brand, substitute light mayo if desired.
- Sour Cream: this balances the flavor of the mayo.
- Lemon: use freshly squeezed lemon juice for the best flavor.
- Worcestershire Sauce: sometimes called Worcester sauce this adds umami flavor.
- Dijon Mustard: adds a slight spiciness and depth of flavor.
- Fresh Garlic: a freshly minced garlic clove is a staple flavor in Ceasar salad dressing.
- Salt and Black Pepper: to taste.
See recipe card for exact quantities and step instructions.
1. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Whisk or blend until smooth and creamy.
Hint: Many brands of Worcestershire sauce contain anchovies. If you have a fish allergy, are vegetarian or just prefer to eliminate anchovies altogether, carefully check labels and choose a vegan worcestershire sauce without anchovies.
- Mayonnaise - Use light mayo if desired.
- Sour Cream - I like how sour cream mellows out the flavor of the mayo but you can use all mayonnaise if your prefer or try some Greek yogurt.
- Worcestershire Sauce - You can use soy sauce or liquid amino acids as a substitute.
- Vegan - to make this recipe vegan, replace the mayonnaise, sour cream and parmesan cheese with your favorite vegan alternatives. Additionally, look for a vegan Worcester sauce.
- More Flavor - bump up the flavor of this homemade Caeser dressing by adding lemon zest and a tablespoon or two of drained and minced capers.
This homemade caesar salad dressing without anchovies keeps really well for at least a week (or longer) in the fridge as long as it is in an airtight container. For easy storage, I pour the prepared dressing into a mason jar, cover with a lid and just give it a good shake before using.
This homemade dressing is the best of salad dressings, It is so flavorful it will certainly become a favorite for salads, sandwiches and to use as a dip. Double the recipe so you always have some on hand. Whisk by hand or blend with a mixer or in a food processor to make the process even easier.
More Dressing and Sauce Recipes
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Homemade Caesar Dressing without Anchovies
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 ½ cups mayonnaise
- 4 tablespoons sour cream
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 2 teaspoons Worcester sauce
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- Add all the ingredients to a medium size mixing bowl.
- Whisk by hand or using a food processor or blender.
- Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
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