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Bring restaurant flavors home with this easy Caesar salad dressing! With plenty of garlic and parmesan cheese, it makes any green salad better.
When I realized I hadn’t yet shared my favorite Caesar salad dressing, I knew I had to make things right!
Creamy and garlicky, Caesar dressing is my go-to. It’s great with chicken for a main dish like my grilled chicken Caesar salad, or as a classic starter salad with romaine.
Plus, like my other homemade dressings, it takes just minutes to prepare. No special equipment required!
What is Caesar salad dressing?
Contrary to popular belief, Caesar salads (and the dressing) are not named after the Roman emperor Julius Caesar.
Caesar salad dressing is said to have originated in the 1920s by Italian immigrant Caesar Cardini, who ran a restaurant in Mexico.
The dressing and salad spread in popularity in Hollywood in the late 1930s, and soon was served across the United States.
Caesar dressing recipes can vary, but usually contain garlic, anchovies, lemon, eggs (often via mayonnaise), and parmesan cheese.
Ingredients for homemade Caesar salad dressing
To make this dressing, you’ll need:
Mayonnaise – While restaurants often make their own Caesar using raw eggs and olive oil tableside, we make things a bit easier with store-bought mayo.
I recommend using a full-fat mayo, not a light version, for the best flavor. My favorite brand is Duke’s, but if you don’t have it where you live, use Hellmann’s.
Dijon mustard – Mustard adds a bit of tang to homemade dressing. You can also use dry mustard powder in place of dijon mustard, reducing the quantity to ¼ teaspoon.
Worcestershire sauce – Worcestershire adds a pop of salty umami flavoring. I use it in addition to the anchovy paste to bump the flavor without making the dressing too “fishy.
Anchovy paste – Anchovy paste can be found at many grocery stores near the tinned seafood. It makes using anchovy in recipes very easy.
If you prefer to not use anchovy, you can swap in minced capers.
Garlic – Use 2-3 cloves of garlic, depending on the size you have. I love lots of garlic in my Caesar dressing!
You’ll want to chop the garlic finely, or push it through a garlic press. You can use jarred minced garlic to save time, though I find it is not quite as pungent, so you might want to add more.
Lemon juice – Lemon brightens the dressing and keeps it from being too rich in taste and texture. Bottled juice works just fine.
Parmesan cheese – Use freshly grated parmesan, not bagged shredded or the kind that comes in a can. A wedge of parmesan will last through many recipes, so go ahead and splurge!
Salt and pepper – Use fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
I like to add more black pepper after mixing and tasting the dressing, and then on top of the salad as well.
How to make this recipe
To make this dressing, grab a big bowl. If I plan to make a salad with the dressing immediately, I like to use a bowl that is big enough to toss the salad in later.
Add the mayonnaise, mustard, Worcestershire, anchovy paste, and garlic to the bowl.
Whisk together until blended and creamy.
Now, whisk in the lemon juice until blended in.
Add the Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper, and whisk again until combined.
Taste the dressing and add more seasoning as desired.
Use the dressing immediately, or transfer to a salad cruet or airtight container to store in the refrigerator.
How long does Caesar dressing last in the refrigerator?
Like all homemade salad dressings, you should use this Caesar dressing within 4 days. Make sure to store it in an airtight container.
What can I use instead of anchovies?
Not everyone likes the flavor of anchovies, or you might want this dressing to be vegetarian.
To swap out the anchovy, use 1 teaspoon minced capers.
Worcestershire sauce also contains anchovy. For a substitute, you can use more capers, or try with soy sauce or tamari.
Why is my Caesar dressing so thick?
Caesar salad dressing is naturally thicker than other dressings you might make. If you want a thinner dressing, you can whisk in a small amount of water or milk.
To make a classic Caesar salad, toss the dressing with crisp romaine lettuce, croutons, and grated Parmesan cheese. Add protein with cooked chicken, crispy bacon, or baked tofu.
Caesar dressing can also be used as a spread for sandwiches and wraps, or used in place of mayonnaise for chicken salad with grapes.
It’s so good, you’ll be coming up with excuses to eat it. You won’t return to store-bought Caesar dressing!
Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star review below!
It means so much when you enjoy my recipes, so let me know how it goes and leave a comment if you have any questions.
Caesar Salad Dressing
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Cracked black pepper, to taste
- In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, garlic, Worcestershire, anchovy paste, and dijon. Whisk until uniformly mixed.
- Whisk in the lemon juice until smooth. Then, whisk in the parmesan, salt, and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
- Use immediately or transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate based on online calculators. Any nutritional information found on Stetted should be used as a general guideline only.
I focus on fresh ingredients and easy methods, with spins that keep meals interesting. Dinnertime shouldn’t be stressful or complicated, and I’m here to help you enjoy the time spent in the kitchen. Read more…