One of my favorite salad dressings has always been Caesar salad dressing, but I’ve honestly been too scared to make it because of the eggs and anchovies!
I started making my own salad dressings several years ago, back when I found out that most of them contained harmful hydrogenated oils.
Thankfully, I’ve overcome my fear and after some testing, I’ve found the perfect, no-fail recipe for homemade Caesar salad dressing!
This Caesar salad dressing recipe is inspired from a Caesar dressing my step-mom made for 8 years. Making Caesar dressing was her specialty and she was so good at it that not only did the kids literally cheer when she served it at family dinners, but she intentionally made extras for us to take home too.
Although I know our methods for making the dressing are different, mine has her same signature tang and it’s one of the easiest dressings I’ve ever made. Plus the kids are still cheering when I say we’re having Caesar salad for dinner!
Many Caesar salad dressing recipes call for adding oil to a food processor or blender. Oil and water don’t mix, but when you add oil slowly, it actually blends with the other ingredients and creates a very thick mixture.
But I don’t own a food processor and I can’t quite bring myself to take the lid off my blender WHILE IT’S TURNED ON, so “slowly streaming olive oil” into anything isn’t something I do. Which means you don’t have to either.
Instead, we’re pulling out a kitchen trick and using no-fail homemade mayonnaise – an ingredient where the oil has already been incorporated.
Many Caesar salad dressing recipes also call for adding Parmesan cheese. Parmesan IS a required element in Caesar salad, but I don’t think it’s necessary for the dressing.
As I was developing this recipe, I experimented with several versions of recipes using Parmesan and wasn’t pleased with any of them. As soon as I made my recipe without it, it was a winner!
As a bonus, skipping the Parmesan in the Caesar dressing helps keep our costs down on the dressing, since quality Parmesan cheese is not cheap.
Speaking of ingredients, you can make tons of swaps in this recipe to customize it to your liking, and to use what you have on hand:
- use Greek yogurt for a thicker dressing, plain yogurt for thinner
- Dijon mustard or even yellow mustard can be used instead of spicy brown mustard
- if you don’t have fresh garlic, use 1/8 tsp garlic powder for each garlic clove
- anchovy paste can be used if you don’t have anchovy filets too – start with 2 tsp
- if you want more lemon, consider adding some lemon zest
As always, adjust the ingredients to your own liking. I love the dressing as written, but if you like it saltier, add more anchovies. If you want to make it with more mayo and less yogurt (whether for taste or because of pantry limitations), go for it!
One of the best parts of making your own homemade Caesar salad dressing is having 100%, full control over the ingredients. There won’t be any trans fats, artificial sweeteners or MSG’s – all of which are ingredients that should be avoided whenever possible.
But if you aren’t ready to make your own mayo, don’t let that deter you from making Caesar dressing. Find the best mayo you can afford and follow the recipe. I promise you’ll end up with a homemade Caesar salad dressing that your family will love!
- Combine all ingredients in a blender. Puree on low until smooth, about 30-45 seconds.
Caesar Salad Dressing Cost Breakdown
- homemade mayo: $1.10
- yogurt: $0.38
- mustard: $0.02
- garlic: $0.20
- Worcestershire sauce: $0.02
- pepper: $0.02
- anchovies: $1.17
- lemon: $0.25
Total cost for Caesar Salad Dressing is $3.16. You’ll pay similar to this for low-end Caesar salad dressings from the store, and much more for an all-natural or organic version!
What’s your favorite salad dressing?
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