Traditional recipes

Simple Caesar Salad

Simple Caesar Salad

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  • Prep 15min
  • Total15min
  • Servings6

A restaurant fave -- this is a simple and elegant salad that you can make at home!MORE+LESS-

ByTBSP Susan

Updated June 9, 2015



cup extra virgin olive oil


cup white wine vinegar


clove garlic, minced (more if desired)


tablespoons fresh lemon juice (more to taste, if desired)


anchovies (optional), crushed finely with fork or processor

Freshly ground salt and pepper to taste (less salt if anchovies are used)

(Homemade croutons or purchased)


Hide Images

  • 1

    Wash lettuce leaves and pat dry with paper towels. Tear into bite-size pieces and place in a bowl.

  • 2

    In a small bowl, add remaining ingredients except olive oil, anchovies and croutons. Mix well. Whisk while adding the olive oil so dressing does not separate. Then whisk in the anchovies. Set dressing aside.

  • 3

    Assemble salad just before serving: Add croutons to top of lettuce pieces, then gently drizzle half of the dressing over the top of the salad. Place remaining dressing in a small pitcher for diners to add more as desired. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Serving
Calories from Fat
% Daily Value
Total Fat
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Total Carbohydrate
Dietary Fiber
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
Vitamin C

0 Starch; 0 Fruit; 0 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 1 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 0 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 7 Fat;

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Easy Caesar Salad Recipe

Enjoy this light and delicious Easy Caesar Salad Recipe at home for a delicious meal. You can eat it plain or add chicken to make it a full meal. It is so flavorful and really simple.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 ounces French bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 3 1/2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 3 canned anchovy fillets, patted dry and finely chopped
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 (10-ounce) package chopped romaine lettuce
  • ¼ cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in garlic. Remove pan from heat let stand 5 minutes. Remove garlic from oil with a slotted spoon discard garlic.

Place bread on a baking sheet. Drizzle bread with 1 1/2 teaspoons oil toss to coat. Arrange bread in an even layer. Broil 6 inches from heat for 2 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring after 1 minute. Turn oven off. Place pan on middle oven rack close oven door.

Add juice and next 6 ingredients (through egg yolk) to remaining oil in pan. Cook over medium heat 30 seconds or until mixture thickens and begins to bubble around edges, stirring constantly. Pour mixture into a small bowl cool to room temperature.

Place lettuce in a large bowl. Add egg mixture, cheese, and pepper toss gently to coat. Add bread toss gently to combine. Serve immediately.

Caesar salad

The salad's creation is generally attributed to restaurateur Caesar Cardini, an Italian immigrant who operated restaurants in Mexico and the United States. [2] His daughter Rosa recounted that her father invented the salad at his restaurant Caesar's (at the Hotel Caesar in Tijuana, Mexico) when a Fourth of July rush in 1924 depleted the kitchen's supplies. Cardini made do with what he had, adding the dramatic flair of the table-side tossing "by the chef." [3] [ incomplete short citation ] Cardini was living in San Diego but he was also working in Tijuana where he avoided the restrictions of Prohibition. [4] A number of Cardini's staff have said that they invented the dish. [5] [ incomplete short citation ] [6]

Julia Child said that she had eaten a Caesar salad at Cardini's restaurant when she was a child in the 1920s. [7] In 1946, newspaper columnist Dorothy Kilgallen wrote of a Caesar containing anchovies, differing from Cardini's version:

The big food rage in Hollywood—the Caesar salad—will be introduced to New Yorkers by Gilmore's Steak House. It's an intricate concoction that takes ages to prepare and contains (zowie!) lots of garlic, raw or slightly coddled eggs, croutons, romaine, anchovies, parmeasan [sic] cheese, olive oil, vinegar and plenty of black pepper. [8]

According to Rosa Cardini, the original Caesar salad (unlike his brother Alex's Aviator's salad, which was later renamed to Caesar salad) [5] did not contain pieces of anchovy the slight anchovy flavor comes from the Worcestershire sauce. Cardini was opposed to using anchovies in his salad. [9] [ incomplete short citation ]

In the 1970s, Cardini's daughter said that the original recipe included whole lettuce leaves, which were meant to be lifted by the stem and eaten with the fingers coddled eggs and Italian olive oil. [7]

Although the original recipe does not contain anchovies, modern recipes typically include anchovies as a key ingredient, which frequently is emulsified in bottled versions. [10] Bottled Caesar dressings are now produced and marketed by many companies.

The trademark brands "Cardini's", "Caesar Cardini's" and "The Original Caesar Dressing" are all claimed to date to February 1950, although they were only registered decades later, [11] and more than a dozen varieties of bottled Cardini's dressing are available today, with various ingredients.

Caesar Salad Dressing Ingredients

To make this Caesar dressing, we’ll simply stir together the following:


Some Caesar dressing recipes call for oil and egg yolk, which turn into mayonnaise during the process of making the recipe. We’re taking the easy route and starting with store-bought mayonnaise. You’ll find an array of mayonnaise options at well-stocked grocery stores these days—I prefer organic options made with olive or avocado oil.


Just one clove of garlic will do the trick. Use a garlic press or mince it finely by hand.

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is one of several tangy ingredients in this dressing, so we only need a couple of teaspoons (one lemon will be more than plenty).

Dijon Mustard

Dijon mustard lends some key flavoring to Caesar dressing. You probably won’t discern it in the final product, but it makes a big difference.

Worcestershire Sauce

Just a small amount of Worcestershire sauce makes this Caesar dressing taste complete! Worcestershire sauce offers loads of rich umami flavor that makes this dressing taste complex and irresistible. In the absence of anchovies, Worcestershire sauce is absolutely key.

Anchovy/dietary note: If you are vegetarian or allergic to shellfish, choose your Worcestershire sauce carefully. Traditional Worcestershire sauce contains anchovies, but several brands make anchovy-free Worcestershires (Wizard’s, Annie’s and Whole Foods 365 come to mind). Also note that these sauces typically introduce soy, if that is relevant to you.

Parmesan Cheese

Parmesan ups the ante with additional salty, umami flavor and a rich, cheesy texture. Finely grated Parmesan is best here. Vegetarians, try Whole Foods 365 or BelGioioso brands of Parmesan, which are truly vegetarian (most Parmesans contain animal rennet).

Salt, Pepper & Water

Since several of the ingredients in this recipe are already salty, we won’t add much additional salt. We will, however, load up this dressing with black pepper, to taste! Lastly, we’ll thin the dressing with a tablespoon of water so it reaches a drizzly consistency.

Looking for a dairy free/vegan variation of this dressing? You will love the Tahini Kale Caesar Salad with Whole-Grain Croutons in my cookbook, Love Real Food (page 72). The tahini-based dressing is vegan as written and remarkably Caesar-like! You’ll find a nutritional yeast substitute for the Parmesan garnish in the recipe notes.

Recipe Summary

  • 6 slices bacon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • 3 cups chopped, cooked chicken meat
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • ¾ cup blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1 avocado - peeled, pitted and diced
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 (8 ounce) bottle Ranch-style salad dressing

Place eggs in a saucepan and cover completely with cold water. Bring water to a boil. Cover, remove from heat, and let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from hot water, cool, peel and chop.

Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.

Divide shredded lettuce among individual plates.

Evenly divide and arrange chicken, eggs, tomatoes, blue cheese, bacon, avocado and green onions in a row on top of the lettuce.

What Goes With Caesar Salad?

Healthy Caesar Salad is perfect for serving as a side dish with pretty much everything. Try to have it with chicken recipes like this One Pot Chicken Puttanesca or Easy Baked Chicken Drumsticks, or pair with these Pork Tenderloin Medallions.

This salad also makes a perfect lunch and is great as a small appetizer.

More Healthy Side Recipes You’ll Enjoy

Serving: Prep time: Cook Time: Total Time:
for 4 people 5 min 5 min 10 min

Quick and Easy Caesar Salad Pizza Recipe

Here’s a quick and easy pizza recipe with an herbed crust, cheese and topped with fresh Caesar salad. Jump to the Quick and Easy Caesar Salad Pizza Recipe or read on to see our tips for making it.

– This Recipe is Sponsored by Pillsbury –

When we’re in the mood for pizza we usually like to freshen things up with a salad on the side. With this easy pizza, you don’t need to worry about that. The salad is on top!

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Learn how to make egg-free caesar salad dressing for the best salad at home. Jump to the Homemade Caesar Salad Recipe.

This pizza recipe is perfect for the weeknight. It’s family-friendly and requires little from you. Plus, you can make this in 30 minutes (maybe less).

The pizza dough we used is from Pillsbury. We’re sure you’ve noticed their products in your grocery store – we used their Classic Pizza Crust for this. If you can’t find Pillsbury’s pizza crust, feel free to use any store-bought pizza dough or homemade.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Here’s a quick and easy pizza recipe with tomatoes, basil and an olive oil sea salt crust. Jump to the Quick Tomato Basil Pizza Recipe with Sea Salt.

Recipe updated, originally posted November 2012. Since posting this in 2012, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear. – Adam and Joanne

We know a lot of people are squeamish over raw eggs, so we developed this recipe without them to give you all one less thing to worry about.

Anchovies are a classic ingredient in caesar salad dressing, and are completely necessary. If you don’t want to deal with those teeny filets, go ahead and substitute with 2 tablespoons of anchovy paste.

Add optional Caesar salad toppings and serve

If you dare, wash and then toss fresh raspberries or, (to go crazy even with) cherry tomatoes into your Caesar salad. We asked Epstein why she chose this particular fruit and veggie for topping the salad.

"I actually added them for the color," she told Mashed, adding, "I thought it was festive!" But there is another reason she combined bright red accompaniments with this meal, beyond just the aesthetic appeal. As the healthy-eating advocate shared with us, "This salty salad is paired nicely with a bit of sweetness from the raspberries or tomatoes."

Go ahead — try it. You can always omit the raspberries and tomatoes next time if this combo isn't for you. Or, might we say congratulations, as you have just discovered — with Epstein's help, of course — a fun, new flavor pairing to enjoy every time you have a hankering for something salty and sweet.


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