Vegan Caesar Salad

My mom makes a killer Caesar salad and it was one my favorite dishes growing up. She left the anchovies out of it for me when I went vegetarian, but when I went vegan a couple years later, it was “bye bye Caesar salad” for me. Years later, I started playing with a few ingredients to perfect my vegan version. I think this comes pretty close in flavor to my mom’s original recipe – and my omnivoire fiancé even prefers it to the regular stuff.

Vegan Caesar Salad - Easy and also Gluten-Free!

Vegan Caesar Salad - Easy and also Gluten-Free!

Notes

  • Instead of soy mayonnaise, feel free to use some silken tofu and a bit more lemon juice.
  • Most crouton recipes call for stale bread, but I use fresh bread as I prefer softer croutons in my salads. This way they don’t irritate the roof of my mouth.
  • I just use my hands to tear lettuce, but if you use a knife, be sure to use a porcelain or plastic one as metal blades will make the cut edges of the lettuce “rust” prematurely.
  • For a super-duper healthy Ceasar salad, feel free to add/substitute spinach and/or kale. Yum!
  • Sometimes, I’ll sauté some tempeh or tofu strips in a little bit of tamari sauce and add it to the salad to sort-of mimic a chicken Caesar salad.
Vegan Caesar Salad - Easy and also Gluten-Free! Vegan Caesar Salad - Easy and also Gluten-Free!

Vegan Caesar Salad - Easy and also Gluten-Free!

4.3 from 3 reviews

Vegan Caesar Salad
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This Caesar salad is so good, no one will know it’s not the “real thing”! Vegan / Gluten-Free Option
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 head romaine lettuce (called “cos” lettuce in Australia)
Dressing
  • ¼ cup blanched almonds
  • ¼ cup soy mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt & pepper, to taste
Garlic Croutons
  • 1 French baguette (or other thick bread such as sourdough or Focaccia – use gluten free if that’s an issue for you)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
Instructions
To make the croutons
  1. Preheat oven to 350F/175C.
  2. Cut the bread into small cubes, about 3 cm thick.
  3. Toss bread cubes with the olive oil and garlic, and place on a baking sheet.
  4. Bake in oven for about 10 minutes, stirring them around about halfway and watching that they don’t burn. Set aside to cool.
To make the salad
  1. Wash and dry lettuce, and tear it into bite-sized pieces. Place into a large salad bowl.
  2. Blend all other ingredients in a blender until smooth. Add 2-3 tablespoons of water, as needed, to achieve desired consistency.
  3. Add dressing and croutons to salad bowl and mix to distribute dressing evenly.

Vegan Caesar Salad - Easy and also Gluten-Free!

37 Comments

  1. Allysia says:

    Mmm, I’ve never tried using capers in a caesar dressing before! I think I’ll have to give that a go next time, something to give it a rich and full flavor without the fish!

    You know, I hated caesar salad until I made it myself as a vegan. Funny how that works!

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Hi Allysia – Thanks for your comment. Capers really add a lot of flavor to this – let me know what you think if you try it. That’s great that you only like Caesar now – it’s much healthier this way! :)

      Reply
  2. I love Caesar salad, and love to make a vegan one without telling people – they NEVER know! :) your version looks great – now I want a Caesar today!

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Thanks for your comment Kristina. Just realized I mis-spelled Caesar… all fixed now, haha! You’re right – I don’t think most people would know that it’s vegan!

      Reply
  3. Angela says:

    It looks great! I had no idea there were plastic lettuce knives until I started hanging out at Williams Sonoma! Now I use one all of the time!

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Thanks Angela :) I love kitchen stores and totally nerd-out there!

      Reply
  4. Dan says:

    Delicious with your creamy tomato spaghetti! Is the spaghetti recipe on your site? I remember it from FB.

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Bonjour Dan! No, I haven’t posted that one yet but now that you mention it, I’ll post it next week or so. Thanks for the reminder and hope you are well! x

      Reply
  5. Jodi says:

    Now that you mention spinach in a Caesar salad, I think that will be my dinner! I like your idea of using the capers. Do you think if I used non-blanched almonds the dressing would be gritty? I have a major raw almond overload and this would be a good excuse to use some! Thanks!!

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Hi Jodi – Thanks for your comment. Non-blanched almonds might make the dressing a bit gritty and the color a bit darker, but it’s not like this is a really “delicate” salad anyway so I don’t think it will be a big problem. Let me know how it works for you, I’m curious :)

      Reply
      • Jodi says:

        Hi Angela, I tried this tonight for dinner and you were right! The dressing is a little gritty (and you can see the specs of brown in it), but I really don’t mind it. I have no bread to make it a true Caesar salad, so I instead I used spinach and added avocado and it is very very good! I would go for the blanched almonds in the traditional salad. In a pinch these work just as well though!

        Reply
        • vegangela says:

          Hi Jodi – Thanks for the update, glad to hear that it works in a pinch. Any salad with avocado in it is good in my books! :)

          Reply
  6. Rebecca says:

    This is great – I made mine with cashews as I was out of almonds and I added horseradish as I was out of capers and I didn’t have soy mayo, but the mixture was super creamy and delicious without it. I also had ciabatta sliced and toasted with some earth balance and cut into small chunks which was tasty in place of focaccia and also added some grilled slices of firm savory tofu (also in chunks).
    Thanks so much for sharing all your recipes and pictures – it totally gives this kitchen-challenged vegan some really great and easy ideas which are fun to make and even more fun to eat :0) Merci beaucoup!

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Hi Rebecca – Thanks for the kind words and taking the time to comment. I like the idea of using cashews – much more raw & healthy that way. Horseradish is a great idea too! All the best and keep in touch! :)

      Reply
  7. Helllllooooooo Vegan Caesar!! I am in love with creamy vegan dressings!! What a keeper this one is!

    I totally will make Gluten Free Croutons and be the happiest girl in the world!

    xxoo

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Hi Kris – Thanks for your comment. Let me know how it turns out for you! :)

      Reply
  8. Tara says:

    Praise fat-free mayonnaise is vegan, would be a great addition to this salad :)

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Hi Tara – Thanks for the tip! :)

      Reply
  9. Debbie Casipe says:

    I finally got around to making this tonight (w/ sunflower seeds b/c I didn’t have almonds, no capers either…) It was still delicious! Will make again w/ capers. Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Hi Debbie – I’m glad you liked it. Thanks for taking the time to leave feedback. The capers add a sharp taste that makes it really taste like “real” Caesar… let me know what you think next time. All the best!

      Reply
  10. Krystle says:

    This was great!

    I omitted the capers (because I’m not a fan) and I found the dressing was just a bit too acidic, so I added about a teaspoon of agave syrup and it added just the right balance!

    Putting this in my vegan recipe “vault”.

    thanks so much!

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Awesome! Good tip about the agave – I’ll try that next time if I find it too tart…

      Reply
  11. Chantelle Tsironis says:

    Hey I just tried this recipe and it was absolutely delicious i must say caesar salads is one thing that i definitely used to miss but this was a really good substitute even better! I didn’t have the yeast and i ended up adding a drizzle of olive oil and a little bit more lemon at the end. Next time I’m going to try using silken tofu, or making my own fresh mayo and using that. I’m going through a few more of your recipes tonight..keep it up!

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Awesome, glad to hear it!! :)

      Reply
  12. Pamther says:

    I just wanted to drop in and introduce myself. I am not vegan, but am dipping my toe in the water. I’ve never known anyone else who was vegan or raw so people like you are very helpful to those of us who are out of their element. I had to try this, and like some others had to sub a couple of items, but still was pretty good. I made it with kale, because that’s what I had on hand. If you wouldn’t mind, please drop me an e-mail and let me know how you made this successful in your life. Thanks!

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Well thanks, and you’re welcome! :)

      Reply
  13. melanie says:

    Man, I’m beggining to like you al lot!!! I though I was the only one that had problems with croutons irritating the roof of my mouth! lol

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Ha ha! Total pet-peeve :)

      Reply
  14. Christi says:

    How long will this dressing keep?

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      It should be fine refrigerated for a week in a tightly sealed container…

      Reply
      • michelle LaFayette James says:

        I made this it was just awesome. I wanted to thin it out for a dipping sauce I blitzed up 1/2 cup of white kidney beans and it was perfect!!! Thanks for your recipies you make it very easy.

        Reply
        • vegangela says:

          That’s a great idea, I’ll have to remember that! Thanks for the kind words about my blog… that’s so sweet!

          Reply
  15. Cay says:

    Hi Angela,

    I’m an American expat living in Melbourne. Can you recommend a vegan mayo?
    Thanks so much for your blog – I love it!

    Cay

    Reply
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