5-Minute Vegan Caesar Dressing

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Bowl of our easy vegan caesar dressing recipe on a wood board

Ah, the Caesar salad. It’s something to behold.

I don’t know how many times I’ve gazed longingly upon other diner’s salads, while my sad, oily balsamic vinaigrette drips down lettuce that deserved something better. Something creamier. Something zesty. Something garlicky.

I think you get where this is going. I’m tired of not being able to enjoy Caesar salad because the dressing isn’t dairy-free. So I decided to make my own!

The best part is, it only takes 5 minutes. No cashew soaking, grinding, or blending involved. You can do this – and you totally should.

Wood board with capers, garlic, hummus, lemon juice, and spices for making simple vegan Caesar dressing

Origins of Caesar Salad

It’s thought that the Caesar salad originated in Mexico in the 1920s (source). Who knew?!

Caesar Cardini, an Italian immigrant, is believed to have created the recipe (by accident) at his restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico. However, Caesar’s brother, Alex, claims that they invented the dish together prior to its success at Caesar’s Restaurant Bar.

The restaurant more commonly credited with its origination still exists today. And the salad is still made with the same original ingredients: romaine, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, lemon, parmesan, Worcestershire sauce, egg, and a crouton.

Caesar salad has now spread across the globe and has taken on many modifications. This is our inspired, plant-based take on a similarly garlicky, zingy dressing!

How to Make Vegan Caesar Dressing

The base for this simple, 6-ingredient, 5-minute dressing is hummus. It creates a creamy, savory base that’s easy to come by since there’s almost always hummus in the fridge. Or at least in my fridge.

Next comes copious amounts of minced garlic, capers for that salty ocean taste, lemon juice + zest for brightness, and a little spicy mustard for zing. Add salt and pepper to taste and you’re good to go.

Whisking together ingredients for simple homemade vegan caesar dressing

I hope you all love this dressing! It’s:

Creamy
Bold
Savory
Briney
Garlicky
Slightly spicy
Undetectably dairy-free
100% delicious

This dressing would be perfect on hearty salads, especially kale that’s been massaged with a little lemon and olive oil. Throw on some vegan parmesan cheese and it’ll taste just like the real thing – promise.

If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a picture #minimalistbaker on Instagram. We’d love to see. Cheers, friends!

Bowl of our delicious and simple vegan caesar salad dressing recipe

5-Minute Vegan Caesar Dressing

A creamy, hummus-based vegan Caesar Dressing in just 5 minutes with simple ingredients! The perfect plant-based dressing for salads.
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Bowl of simple homemade Vegan Caesar Dressing on a cutting board
4.89 from 214 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 8 (1-Tbsp servings)
Course Sauce, Side
Cuisine Dressing, Gluten-Free, Italian-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 5-7 Days

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup plain hummus (store-bought or DIY)
  • 1 tsp spicy mustard
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 2-3 Tbsp lemon juice, to taste
  • 2 tsp capers (finely minced/smashed, plus 3 tsp brining juice as original recipe is written- adjust amount if altering batch size)
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 healthy pinch each sea salt + pepper (more to taste)
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil (optional // for added creaminess)
  • 1-2 tsp maple syrup (optional)

Instructions

  • To a small mixing bowl, add hummus, spicy mustard, lemon zest + juice, minced capers + brining juice, and minced garlic, and whisk thoroughly to combine. Olive oil is optional, but will add a bit more creaminess.
  • Add a little hot water to thin until pourable and whisk until creamy and smooth (see photo). Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more salt and pepper, lemon juice, or minced garlic if desired! Maple syrup will help offset how salty and briney this dressing is, if you find you need it (I did not).
  • Use immediately, or store in the refrigerator up to 5-7 days.
  • This dressing is delicious on kale, romaine, and arugula. It would also be great on roasted vegetables, especially Brussels sprouts and potatoes. Top with a little vegan parmesan cheese for the ultimate Caesar salad experience.

Video

Notes

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.
*Recipe makes ~1/2 cup dressing.

Nutrition (1 of 8 servings)

Serving: 1 one-Tbsp serving Calories: 19 Carbohydrates: 2.8 g Protein: 0.8 g Fat: 0.7 g Saturated Fat: 0.1 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.28 g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.22 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 69 mg Potassium: 29 mg Fiber: 0.54 g Sugar: 0.4 g Vitamin A: 3.77 IU Vitamin C: 2.6 mg Calcium: 13.15 mg Iron: 0.22 mg
Bowl of gluten-free vegan caesar dressing on a wood cutting board

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  1. Elaine Lemmer says

    One of the things that was hardest for me to give up to have a healthy vegan diet was caesar salad because it is one of my favorite foods. Then I found your recipe. I LOVE it and have made it a bajillion times. Thank you soooo much.

    • Armandine Gaulin says

      I made some again; and it was even better than in my memory! Such a brilliant recipe thank you! Xxx

  2. Melissa says

    Just thinking of making this with what I have on hand, I know it wouldn’t be the same but maybe close-ish? what do you think about using straight tahini vs hummus? and if I have salted capers (without brine), how about making up that difference with lemon juice? Thoughts?

  3. Anete says

    Just made this and it was great! I just added less garlic – just 2 cloves and it still was infused with garlic.

  4. Elaine Lemmer says

    I have recently gone from full out carnivore to vegan after reading the China Study. I think I will be fine without meat and most dairy, but Caesar Salad was one of my favorite foods in the world. I looked at your recipe and thought I would try it. OMG, even having to use lime and regular mustard because I cannot get them in the country I am living in now, it is delicious. It is not quite as good as the real thing made by my chef husband but it is better than most restaurants. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Gave it 5 stars only because I couldn’t give it 1000! Looking forward to trying some of your other recipes.

  5. Hiuby says

    So good! Put this on a salad of romaine, tomatoes, avocados, and baked tofu croutons and it tasted like a classic Cesar salad. The dressing is thick so everything was coated and flavorful. Thanks for the recipe!

  6. Brianna says

    Even though I didn’t have a lemon on hand, this recipe was still da-bomb! It went perfectly on my vegan caesar salad, I just added a little extra caper juice to compensate for my lack of lemons :)
    Thanks for the great recipe!

  7. Denise says

    Is 3 TBSP the correct measurement for the garlic? Our jar of minced garlic says that 1/2 tsp = 1 clove, and this recipe calls fro 4-5 cloves, so wouldn’t that be more like 2-3 tsp? Just checking because 3 Tbsp seemed like a lot :) I put in 1 TBSP and it was great :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      3 tbsp is correct but if you aren’t feeling it, cut it back a bit and adjust to your preferred taste!

  8. Brianna says

    I was skeptical of a vegan dressing truly tasting like a caesar dressing, but your recipes never disappoint!! Every single one I’ve tried has been delicious and this one is no exception. It was SO much easier than other vegan caesar dressings I looked at and it was so tasty! Thanks Dana!

  9. Delisha says

    Thank you for this recipe, which was amazing (better than the real thing with egg/anchovies). I have one comment: 3 Tbs minced garlic seems like an overkill. I am a great garlic lover, and usually multiply garlic quantities by 2 in any given recipe. In this one, however, I will used “only” 1 Tbs, and next time I’ll try 2 tsp.)

  10. Rachel says

    I have needed this dressing in my life FOR YEARS!!
    I’m in love. I’m having so much fun using your recipes or using them as a base for concoctions of my own. Thank you Thank you.

  11. Maxine Wilson says

    This looks so yummy, and so easy to make! I’ve been trying to eat healthier, even though I’m always so busy. It’s nice that there are only six ingredients. There’s still lots of flavor in there, which is always good for a salad dressings!

  12. Shanasy says

    This looks delicious! I am sharing this with my FB group “Super Quick Plant-Based Recipes” – we LOVE ideas that take only 5 minutes! Thank you for coming up with this!

  13. Andrea says

    Thanks for the recipe! I have been searching for a dairy free substitute for caesar salad and this works just perfect! :)

  14. Neha says

    Hello! I would like to make a chipotle version. Do i just add chipotle peppers and keep the rest of the recipe the same?

  15. Kelley says

    Holy mother of everything, this dressing was absolutely delicious. I listened to another reviewer and made a double batch and I am happily eating it for lunch today. Thank you for another amazing recipe-everything I make on your blog comes out fabulous! Asked for your cookbook for Christmas :)

  16. Khadija says

    I have been searching for a vegan Caesar dressing for years and this was worth the wait. ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!! thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!!

  17. Kristen says

    This dressing was amazing!! it is the best I have ever made and the flavor and texture were on point, it could easily fool any carnivore that this isn’t a traditional Caesar dressing. I can not say enough good things about this. The second time I made this, I used garlic hummus ( it was what I had on hand) didn’t add the extra garlic and blended it. WOW!

  18. Stephanie says

    It’s so good! I didn’t have any capers, but because you mentioned that capers would give it that oceanic flavor, I decided to add roasted seaweed instead and it worked! It didn’t taste like sushi at all, but Caesar. Thank you so much!

  19. KR says

    My wife and I just made this and it was DELICIOUS!!!

    there’s so much flavor in it! from the lemon to the garlic to the capers- awesome!

  20. Jenn says

    I can’t even begin to describe how AMAZING this was. I paired it with homemade croutons and your Parmesan “cheese” and it was out of this world!!! Every recipe I’ve tried from your site has been phenomenal.

  21. RaeLikesFroot says

    Oooo looks lush!! I’m going to try this tonight for dinner! I shall be making my first vegan Caesar salad

    <3 Thanks for the recipe <3

  22. Maggie Watkins says

    Minimalist baker saves the day AGAIN! I just had to have some Caesar salad tonight with my dinner, so I tried this recipe. Can you say winner!!!? It is delicious with some romaine lettuce. One suggestion would be adding about 1-1.5 tbsp of tahini for a little more bite to the dressing. Love it!!!

  23. Donna says

    I am in love with this dressing! Just wondering if there is anything you could substitute the brine juice with. I’ve made this recipe so many times since discovering it last month — my consumption of brine juice is far outpacing my consumption of capers. I hate to keep buying new bottles when there are loads of capers left. Maybe pickle or olive brine?

  24. Jessica says

    Hi There, I have made so many of your recipe’s and just love your blog. You make it possible to go vegan with so many wonderful recipes!! My son can’t have citrus so can I sub with ACV or something else…

  25. Kayco says

    I made this today to take to a cottage for the long weekend. It is really delicious and easy.
    I may try it on grilled romaine lettuce, or just other grilled veggies. I like that it tastes really rich, like regular ceasar dressing, but it is much less fat.

  26. Cheryl says

    Omg I literally cannot stop eating this!! I’ve had it almost every day since I’ve discovered the recipe. Perfect summertime meal. #Love

  27. Nell says

    There’s a restaurant in my town that makes a very thin, light milky tarragon dressing for a farmer’s market salad (romaine, corn, dates, polenta croutons, almonds, cherry tomato, avocado…yum!) would love to figure out a vegan version of the dressing….have you ever made such a dressing? Love your recipes!

  28. Heather says

    This is fantastic! My sister has celiac and a dairy/anything cow allergy and I was so excited to find this recipe. I just finished making it and it tastes delicious!!

  29. Cheryl says

    Omg I just made this it’s so so so good!! Now I’m going to sit down & devour a whole bunch of romaine leaves. Thanks?

  30. Mags says

    Looks fantastic! I make a similar dressing with hummus as a base. The addition of capers sounds good.

    PS Looking forward to buying your new cookbook!

  31. Renée says

    Just made this with my own hummus recipe and it was truly delicious! All the flavour, but without the anchovies and cheese! This will definitely become a staple in our house.

  32. Laura E says

    And yet another one of your recipes becomes a staple in our home. What would we do without you!?

  33. Martha says

    This is an outstanding and flavorful recipe. The only small things I changed: in the interest of completely eliminating oils from my diet, I Vitamixed some raw cashews and a little water to make it richer/creamer. Also only used one teaspoon of the brine to cut back on the sodium content. (I found some capers packed in white balsamic vinegar brine. They are very tasty.) And I definitely added the optional maple syrup. Next time, I will double or triple this recipe. Thanks!

  34. Raven says

    This dressing is so amazing that I can’t even! The only problem with it is that the recipe doesn’t make enough. ;) Thank you for this, definitely going to be a staple at our house!

  35. Libby says

    This dressing was fantastic! I made a double batch. I LOVE capers so I knew I had to make this. I threw everything into the food processor and pulsed it together. I wanted pieces of caper through the whole dressing. I was also feeling lazy to chop up the garlic. ;) I didn’t have spicy mustard so I used coarse mustard instead. This recipe is most definitely a keeper. Thanks!!!

  36. Erin says

    This dressing was so good! It tastes a lot like my mom’s famous (and very non-vegan) caesar that we have for special occasions. Really pleased to now have a dairy-free version!

    I ended up doubling the recipe (except for the garlic, which I left at 4-5 cloves) and it was still garlicky enough to have me marathoning gum at my desk. (This might be best for dinner, when you’re home with access to a toothbrush ha.)

    Thanks for this recipe – will no doubt become a staple!

  37. Alyson says

    Made this dressing tonight and tossed it in a kale salad with sunflower seeds and it was a big hit! Will definitely make again. Thank you!

  38. Melanie says

    Another delicious and easy recipe from Dana!!!!
    Just made it and put over Romaine Lettuce and made my own croutons from Pita Bread.
    So delicious and now about to have 2nd’ s.
    Look out garlic police……Lol

  39. maria says

    I love vegan caesar dressen.. There in one called cashew caesar dressen. Also very good unfortunately NOT vegan.

    Gonna try this one!!

  40. Ana @ Ana's Rocket Ship says

    Oh my oh my oh my. I LOVED caesar dressing – but whenever I tried to make it it just didn’t work that well (I tried adapting a vegan mayo but the lemon made it separate and… yuck). This is SO amazing. I want to make it right now. For breakfast.

  41. Simone says

    Made this today and it is THE BEST! Absolutely love it (and hubby did too).
    This is definitely not going to last five days in our home ? Love your recipes Dana!
    Hugs from the Netherlands!

  42. Sarah says

    This dressing is freaking awesome – also love that you have links so basically everything can be homemade (if you wish). As someone who has been just putting olive oil, salt & pepper on their kale for nearly 2 years, I was badly in need of new way to enjoy my favorite green. A big win, I love it!

  43. Pavitra says

    Hi Dana, Thanks for a great dressing recipe. It is my favorite dressing now. I have made it a couple of times. The last time I made it, I used Meyer lemons, and zest. It was spectacular! I added some freshly chopped parsley to it. I have even used it as a spread for a yummy cucumber sandwich. Love, love, love!

  44. Erin says

    This recipe was so easy to make (I just threw everything in a blender) and tasted amazing!! It’s a keeper, thank you!

  45. Linda says

    This was delicious! I love the idea that it doesn’t have tahini, bc I don’t usually have that at home! My husband says go a little lighter on the lemon zest,…I used a little extra! I also added some nutritional yeast flakes! Total yummy-ness! I did not add any evoo or maple syrup! Just a little hot water. I did put it into my Magic Bullet to blend. Oh, and I added a bit more capers, bc it was the end of the jar! Yum!!
    5 stars!!!!

  46. Kate says

    I love garlicky! And this looks so amazing! I will definitely try it! I’m already thinking what I should pair it with.. and I hear my stomach grumble. You made me so hungry now! :)

  47. vivian says

    This is delicious! Maybe a little thinner than I thought it would be, but that is probably a function of the type of hummus used. Thanks!

  48. Francing says

    Gently nudging my mom to a plant based diet and she’s a huge Caesar salad lover. She approves! It was delicious. Thank You!!

  49. Dani States says

    Love it!
    Super easy! Because my homemade hummus is already pretty garlicky, I used roasted garlic in the dressing to keep the flavors balanced. Yummy!

  50. Itzi says

    My new favourite Caesar Dressing! And it is SO easy and fast! (Added white miso to make it a little thicker because I added too much water at first and run out of hummus.)

  51. Chely says

    Made this using homemade hummus, and roasted garlic in addition to regular garlic. I was in allium heaven. Thanks for the recipe!

  52. Shelby says

    I made this a few days ago for a family birthday party and it was SO GOOD. It was a huge hit! I made it again for lunches this week and threw everything in the blender. I added the capers last so the dressing kept some texture. Thanks Dana!

  53. Felicia says

    Never would have guessed to use hummus but it definitely got the job done. Another great recipe to add to the collection.

  54. Emily says

    Tried this dressing tonight! It hit the spot and so easy. Vinaigrette salads do get boring after awhile. Was very garlicky and briny but I enjoyed it, could also easily be modified with less of the brining juice/garlic to tone that down a bit.

  55. ndgsusan says

    Just tried the Vegan Caesar dressing and it is out of sight! Love the creaminess. (Used my own roasted garlic hummus, 1 tsp. maple syrup and 1 TBSP olive oil.
    Thank you!

  56. Stacey says

    Separately these ingredients scare me! I’m not a mustard or caper fan. But together – pure magic, this dressing is awesome. Very reminiscent of Caesar dressing! Thank you!

  57. Shelley says

    Dana! You never cease to amaze me! I always use a cashew base for my caesar dressing but using hummus is brilliant as I also ALWAYS have it on hand. I think I’ll add a dash of vegan worcestershire and dig in! Thank you for making cruelty free eating so easy and delicious! :)

  58. Kelley says

    Now I’m filled with regret that I didn’t see this before lunch! My kale salad could have been so garlicky delicious.

  59. Lucy says

    Niiiiiiice! Never would have put these ingredients together for a vegan version of caesar dressing, I was a bit concerned it would contain something funky like tofu in but YAY, it’s all ingredients I love and will happily have in my kitchen anyway!

  60. Mo says

    This is awesome! I was just looking for a recipe *just like this* a couple days ago, probably at the same time you were writing this post. I didn’t find one I liked so I made a mustard vinaigrette. But I’m going to make this one today! Thank you!

  61. Maecy says

    Just made this cos I had all the ingredients on hand and it is so tasty! I can’t wait to use later for dinner! :)

  62. Mel @ The Refreshanista says

    Yummy! I’ve made a cashew-based vegan Caesar dressing before and it was delicious. What a great idea to use hummus! Can’t wait to try :)

  63. Blair says

    Classic Caesar dressing actually is dairy-free. It gets its creaminess from emulsifying the lemon and olive oil together. Egg yolk helps the process of binding together the acid and oil. The salad itself has no dairy aside from the cheese.
    That being said, I’m still going to try this hummus version. Yum!

    • Laurie says

      Just what I was thinking! As long as the parmesean cheese hasn’t been added to the dressing I can eat Caesar dressing. But the raw egg does scare some away. I love this vegan alternative!! And I love hummus so, hey…any excuse. :)

    • Pam says

      But doesn’t Classic Caesar also have anchovies in it? (Where I’m from, it does.) And Worcestershire sauce? So while the Classic Caesar recipe might be dairy-free, it is not vegan. In fact, the Classic Caesar recipe has: dairy (in the cheese), egg, anchovy fillets, and Worcestershire sauce. Pretty far from vegan.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yep! Thanks for clearing that up. It’s just that there are anchovies and parmesan cheese on caesar salads, so I always miss out!

  64. wiredweirdly says

    um yeah. I WILL be making this! Question – I like the flavor of capers, but dislike biting into them – can you see any reason that this couldn’t be thrown into a blender for a quick whirl?

  65. Hailey says

    I swear you are in my head sometimes girl! I used to order a kale caesar salad from a restaurant called Steamworks back when I lived in Durango, CO. and I’ve been craving it this week. (I live in Portland now.) I don’t like store-bought dressings and have felt lazy about trying to make a caesar dressing the real way while also wanting to avoid the dairy AND satisfy my craving. You have come to my rescue!

    I’ve never commented before but I should add that I have started following your blog over the last 6 months and make your recipes all the time. In fact, we liked the plantain tacos so much last time that they’re on the meal plan again for this week. Thanks for the great content!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Ah, yay! Thanks for the kind words, Hailey. So glad you found us and are enjoying the recipes! xoxo

  66. Emma {Emma's Little Kitchen} says

    Ahh we make something very similar with tahini! I will have to give this hummus version a try. Aren’t capers little flavour-power-nuggets? Love them.

  67. mary-clay | the open oven says

    I’m obsessed with this hummus salad dressing idea!! I love putting tahini in my dressings; using hummus instead is an incredible idea. Thanks for sharing!

  68. Celeste @The Whole Serving says

    Never thought about using hummus as a base,but it sound tasty and garlicky is right down my alley.
    Thanks, I have a new dressing to add to my vegan dressing list.

    • Tom ~ Raise Your Garden says

      Yup yup here, totally agree. The more garlic, the better. And it keeps your less favorite co-workers at bay. Just kidding ~ I love you all….really. You’re awesome. Dana, you just make being vegan seem to easy. Making a dressing in 5 minutes, that’s my kind of style. I’m just not the guy who’s gonna actually make anything that’s too hard. And it look super tasty. Like the idea of spicy mustard too.