Who doesn’t love a good Caesar salad? There is just something special about the salty, creamy dressing served on crisp, crunchy romaine.
I know that before I went vegan, this was my standard go-to salad that I would order at restaurants or buy in a bottle and serve at home.
Thanks to my husband who has been bugging me to make a healthy, vegan version of a Caesar dressing for longer than I am willing to admit (sorry, honey), I finally started experimenting this weekend to make my own. I turned to the blogosphere for inspiration. I noticed that most vegan versions use cashews as the base, so that is how I started. The cashews lend creaminess, for sure, but I balanced them out with hemp seeds on my second go-around, to take advantage of the omega-3s.
Dijon mustard is also a common ingredient, although I used stone-ground mustard combined with mellow white miso for the distinctive salty flavor that really defines a Caesar dressing (probably due to the anchovies used in the traditional version). As you know, I normally don’t use ingredients that contain a lot of sodium like mustards or miso, but in this case, I think it is necessary. I also used dates to balance the savory and nutritional yeast for an added element.
I just blended all the ingredients together in my high-speed blender and it was ready to serve on fresh romaine. Why, oh why, did I wait so long to make this dressing?
I love this dressing so much that I’m putting it on everything I can find, including my Vegetable Quinoa Salad (see the recipe here):
An oil-free vegan version of Caesar dressing
- 1/3 cup unsalted cashews
- 1/4 cup hemp seeds
- 1 tablespoon stone ground mustard
- 1 teaspoon white miso
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tablespoon no-salt seasoning
- 4 medjool dates, pitted
- 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- Combine cashews, hemp seeds, mustard, miso, nutritional yeast, garlic, no-salt seasoning, dates, soy milk, lemon juice, and white balsamic vinegar in a high-speed blender and process until smooth.
- Serve this dressing over fresh romaine for a vegan version of a Caesar salad.
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