This Caesar Salad is a classic side dish fit for any meal or occasion. It’s made with fresh romaine lettuce tossed in a rich, tangy dressing, topped with parmesan cheese, and finished with crunchy homemade croutons.
Easy Caesar Salad Recipe
Caesar salad can be found on almost any restaurant menu. From that fancy steakhouse in town to seafood shacks, fine Italian cuisine, or even the local pizza parlor, a classic caesar salad complements any meal.
With this homemade caesar salad recipe, you can make the best version you’ve ever had right at home. Make some extra dressing, and you'll have enough leftover to last you all week!
This recipe includes crisp, fresh romaine tossed in your own homemade creamy, tangy, and flavorful dressing.
Add in some freshly shaved parmesan and you’ve achieved a restaurant-quality side dish right at home.
What’s a Ceasar Salad Made Of?
- Croutons: I love to make homemade croutons using a baguette cut into bite-sized pieces, olive oil, and a little bit of garlic. Feel free to use store-bought croutons if preferred.
- Caesar Dressing: We’re whipping up a classic caesar dressing using mayonnaise, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, anchovy paste, salt, black pepper, and parmesan cheese.
- Lettuce: Fresh, chopped romaine lettuce is the perfect lettuce for homemade caesar salad.
How to Make Homemade Caesar Salad
You’ll find the exact measurements and full instructions in the recipe card near the bottom of the page.
This simple caesar salad recipe features homemade croutons and still comes together in under 30 minutes! Here’s a quick breakdown of the recipe:
- Break or cut the bread into chunks, then add the bread chunks to a bowl with the olive oil and garlic. Toss to combine, then spread out onto a baking pan and bake at 400ºF until well toasted.
- In a bowl, combine the mayo, lemon juice, mustard, anchovy paste, salt, and pepper. Stir in the parmesan cheese.
- Add the romaine lettuce to the dressing, then toss well to coat. Serve topped with croutons and more cheese.
Tips and Notes
- Use freshly minced garlic for the best flavor. It just can’t be beat. If you don’t have fresh garlic, you can use garlic powder in a pinch.
- Don’t skip the anchovy paste! It really is what gives the dressing its iconic taste.
- If you really can’t use anchovy paste, you can achieve a similar flavor using capers, kalamata olives or olive tapenade, soy sauce, or seaweed. It won’t be quite the same though.
- Shorter on time? Skip the homemade croutons and use store-bought instead.
- Make it a meal. Caesar salad is a classic side dish, but feel free to turn it into a light lunch or dinner by adding slices of grilled or baked chicken, steak bites, or shrimp scampi.
- Spice it up. Want to give your salad a little bit of heat? Try adding a drizzle of Sriracha, red pepper flakes, or cayenne pepper.
Once the salad is fully assembled, I don’t recommend storing it. The croutons will become soggy and the lettuce will wilt.
If you do want to get ahead on prep, you have a couple of options:
- Dressing: Mix up the dressing and store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
- Croutons: Bake the croutons and store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.
Are Caesar Salads Tossed?
Yes! Traditional Caesar salads do fall into the “tossed salads” category. The romaine is tossed in a creamy dressing before serving!
Does Caesar Salad Have Meat?
Nope! A classic Caesar salad is served as a side dish and does not contain any meat.
You can, however, turn your salad into more of a meal and add some sliced chicken, bites of steak, or even cooked shrimp.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for a meatless option, try adding some chickpeas!
Is a Caesar Salad Actually Healthy?
A Caesar salad may not be the healthiest salad you can get your hands on…but it is still a salad!
The romaine lettuce base is packed full of good-for-you vitamins and minerals. The creamy parmesan dressing and croutons just make it taste extra yummy!
Recipe Card with Ingredient Amounts and Instructions
- 10 ounce baguette, broken or cut into bite size pieces
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 3 tablespoon(s) mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon(s) lemon juice
- 1 ½ tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp. anchovy paste
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- ½ tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
- ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
- Preheat the oven to 400°F, and line a large baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Add the bread pieces to a large bowl then toss in the olive oil followed by the garlic.10 ounce baguette¼ cup olive oil2 garlic cloves
- Spread the bread out onto the prepared baking pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes, tossing them half way through, or until the bread is nice and toasted.
- While the croutons are baking, in a large bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, anchovy paste, salt and pepper together.3 tablespoon(s) mayonnaise1 tablespoon(s) lemon juice1 ½ tsp. Dijon mustard1 tsp. anchovy paste½ tsp. kosher salt½ tsp. ground black pepper
- Stir in the parmesan cheese then gently toss in the Romaine lettuce.½ cup parmesan cheese1 head romaine lettuce
- Serve with the croutons and additional parmesan cheese. See post for storage options.