I grew up in a vinaigrette Caesar salad family. Creamy was frowned upon and jokingly beneath us. However, turns out I quite love creamy Caesar, and married a man who does as well!
Salad dressings are really one of those items I don't want to buy ready-made. Many of them contain questionable ingredients, but also they are SO expensive. We eat a ton of salad when the kitchen garden is loaded with lettuce, so I can't be buying tiny bottles for a large family. (I realize that large bottles exist, but making salad dressings is a priority for us!)
Why You Need This Recipe
- Dirty just two jars and a blender! Super quick and easy.
- You'll learn to make homemade mayo!
- No excuses not to eat more veggies when you have a delicious dressing such as this.
Egg - Farm fresh. Know where your egg is from as we are eating it raw here.
Lemon juice - We don't usually have great citrus this far north, so I always have a bottle in the fridge.
Anchovy paste - Yup, you need fish here. It's where the classic flavor of Caesar comes from. Don't skip this!! But check out my hack for more affordable easy swap for anchovy paste.
Parmesan cheese - while you don't have to make your own, you DO have to grate your own. The green can never belongs in this recipe.
Oil - I love olive oil for most applications, but not in my mayo. I find it too heavy. Stick with lighter oils like sunflower or avocado. You can definitely use olive for up to half of the required oil, which will make your mayo thicker. Just don't use only olive oil.
How to Make Caesar Salad
Step 1: In your jar/blender, add eggs, lemon juice, mustard, and salt. Blend til combined.
Step 2: With the immersion blender on low, slowly pour in your oil so that it takes about 15-20 seconds to pour it all in. Slowly lift the blender as it emulsifies and you've got mayo!
Step 3: I have a pint and a half jar with measurements on it, so I use it for the oil, and then I use it for the next step- add the garlic, anchovy, lemon, balsamic, Worcestershire, and mustard. Blend with an immersion blender until well combined.
Step 4: Add into the mayo and gently blend.
Step 5: Add Parmesan, salt and pepper, give a shake or a gentle blend, and taste.
Step 6: Tear clean lettuce into a very large bowl with room for tossing.
Step 7: Add dressing and toss to coat, adding more as necessary. Add more cheese and croutons if desired.
Tips and Tricks
- Use a jar with measurement markings so you can just pour everything in without dirtying little measuring cups.
- Got leftovers? Making it in a jar means you have an easy lid handy.
- Yes, you can use store-bought mayo here!
It looks like a lot of overwhelming ingredients but I find most of them are standard. You might need to buy one or two, but they last forever in the fridge which means you’re not far from having a great homemade dressing at any time.
For me, anchovy paste is hard to find and expensive. However, fish sauce is a great alternative and drastically cheaper, so I use that, but you can use either. Maybe my palate is not refined enough, but I don't notice a difference between using one or the other.
I’m not opposed to buying mayo, but since this uses a good bit of it, I’ve found it's worth the extra couple minutes to make my own mayo. Since you use a lot of overlap ingredients and dishes, it's not too much extra effort.
I use a jar with measuring marks or measuring cup to measure the oil for the mayo, and then turn around and use that same one to blend the ingredients for the Caesar dressing.
But yes - I do buy mayo to keep on hand for quick sandwiches, etc. so no shame in using it here!
I am an olive oil loving person but 100% olive oil does not make the best mayo in our opinion. You can use up to half, and for the other half use a lighter oil like avocado oil or sunflower oil. This gives you a thicker end product.
Once you start making it as the base of your Ceasar dressing, you'll find yourself wanting to make mayo more often. We enjoy it as a salad dressing, coleslaw dressing, vegetable dip, sauce for wraps or dipping pizza crusts!
More Dressings and Dips to Enjoy
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- 1 large egg
- 1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon mustard
- Pinch salt
- ¾ cup “light” oil such as sunflower, avocado or canola
- 1 cup mayo from a jar or the entire homemade recipe above
- 2-4 cloves garlic preferably fresh
- 1 teaspoon anchovy paste OR 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
- 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar optional
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Romaine lettuce
- Parmesan cheese
Make the Mayo
- In your jar/blender, add eggs, lemon juice, mustard, and salt.
- Blend til combined.
- If using immersion blender, keep blender down in the egg mix, I kind of use the immersion blender with the jar to hold the jar against me with it still on the counter to hold it steady.
- With the immersion blender on low, slowly pour in your oil so that it takes about 15-20 seconds to pour it all in.
- Slowly lift the blender up the jar as the liquid level rises. You'll notice it changing from liquid to emulsified mayo!! Woohoo!
- Give it a few pumps up and down after you’ve added all the oil and voila, you’ve got mayo!
- If using a blender jar, let it run as you slowly drizzle in the oil.
Make the Dressing
- In a quart jar, add the garlic, anchovy, lemon, balsamic, Worcestershire, and mustard.
- Blend with an immersion blender until well combined.
- Add in mayo and gently blend.
- Add Parmesan, salt and pepper, give a shake or a gentle blend, and taste.
Make the Salad
- Wash and dry the lettuce and tear into bite-sized bits into 1-2 very large bowls.
- Add dressing and toss to coat, adding more as necessary.
- Top with more freshly shredded Parmesan cheese.
- Add croutons if desired and serve.
- Always, always, shred your own cheese!
- Light tasting oil is best here. You can use olive oil for up to half of the amount called for in the mayo, but I never like the taste and texture using only olive.
- This makes about a pint jar of dressing, so you can cover a LOT of lettuce. It's perfect for making for a crowd.