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.
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.
I hope you all love this dressing! It’s:
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!
5-Minute Vegan Caesar Dressing
- 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)
- 3 Tbsp fresh minced garlic (4-5 cloves yield ~3 Tbsp 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)
- 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.
*Recipe makes ~1/2 cup dressing.