Vegan Caesar Salad, a dish that boasts the flavors of traditional Caesar dressing while offering up additional nutrients and plant-based protein. Filling, delicious and dairy free. A fresh compliment to many meals!
I have always loved Italian food, and one of my favorite dishes is Caesar salad. As a matter of fact, I don’t think I’ve ever been to an Italian restaurant which didn’t offer it on the menu. I, like most people, think of it as food hailing from Italy. Years ago while dining in an Italian restaurant, our server set the record straight. We had mentioned something about Caesar salad and Italy to which he responded, “It’s Mexican.” My husband and I looked at each other like, huh? Turns out the server was correct. Caesar salad was created by an Italian restaurateur named Caesar Cardini. Caesar had immigrated to America and was living in San Diego, but lore has it that he created the Caesar recipe at a restaurant he’d opened in Tijuana, Mexico. Either way, thanks, Mr. Cardini!
I have recreated several Italian dishes to be gluten-free and plant-based: Eggplant Caponata, Creamy Vegan Alfredo, Vegan Italian Meatballs, Corn and Chickpea Polenta, and of course we can’t forget Vegan Parmesan Cheese! If you’ve got the Vegan Parmesan cheese then you must have the Vegan Caesar Salad to put it in! I truly could not begin to quantify the number and variety of places where I’ve ordered a Caesar. It’s seems each establishment puts their own spin on this popular dish. Some were so delicious I found myself craving them again only 3 hours after I had finished downing them — don’t judge!! Others . . . well, let’s just say they didn’t taste like Caesar salad! Although this dish has some room for individual interpretation in the composition of the dressing, there are some distinct flavors that one immediately recognizes. There is a recognizable taste that comes from combining garlic and lemon with the tang of vinegar, and mixing in a creamy base that makes most people say, “Oh, that’s Caesar Dressing.” I think you will find my Vegan Caesar Salad to be no different. Caesar salad (the non plant-based version) is the salad of choice for many of my family members, and all of them across the board agree this Vegan Caesar Salad tastes just like the traditional rendition! To make an authentic plant-based version I wanted to include Parmesan cheese in the recipe, and as fortune would have it I just created a recipe for that so it’s ready for you here.
A great addition to any picnic! One of the many advantages to all plant-based ingredients is that they tolerate the heat much better than their dairy based counterparts. Enjoy!!
Some notes for you —
Croutons: I use roasted chickpeas for croutons. You can follow my recipe for Roasted Chipotle Chickpeas and simply omit the chipotle chili pepper.
Vegan Parmesan Cheese: My Vegan Parmesan Cheese recipe yields 1 cup. For this recipe you will want to increase the quantity, as you need 1 and 1/4 cup for the Caesar dressing and topping the salad. Make a double batch! The leftover cheese will store nicely in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks. We like having it around to sprinkle on other salads or pizza.