Caesar salads are one of those classic side dishes on the menu that’s hard to go wrong with. It’s got crisp romaine lettuce, crunchy croutons, and cheese. There are also added protein options, such as grilled chicken breasts, cajun shrimp, salami, and bacon.
The thing that makes a Caesar salad spectacular, I believe, is the dressing that ties it all together. It is rich with flavors from anchovies, garlic mayonnaise, cheese, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce, all blended together.
I decided to take a stab at making homemade Caesar salad dressing, and can you believe it only takes 10 minutes to whip up? 10 points for that!
Add another 10 points for the fact that all you need is just a whisk to make this recipe. You can use a food processor if you’d like. The thought of intricately washing the blades makes me lean towards grabbing my trusty whisk for the job.
To put it to the test, hubs and I did a taste test against the bottled kind on the shelves. The verdict? We’re never going back to bottled caesar salad dressing again – homemade is where it’s at! It really complimented the freshness of our greens and the crispiness of the croutons.
Though, I’m convinced that it won’t be used just for Caesar salad. This dressing is so delicious that you’ll wanna put it over anything and everything.
Here’s what you’ll need to make this easy caesar salad dressing recipe:
- Garlic cloves – This recipe calls for 12 cloves of minced garlic. Can you already tell that I love garlicky food?
- Lemon – Squeeze fresh lemon juice into the dressing for a bit of sharpness and to liquefy the creaminess of the mayonnaise and mustard.
- Anchovy paste – Anchovy is commonly used in Korean cooking as a stock or broth because of its depth and umami flavor. It is a crucial ingredient in this recipe. Yes, it does give off a fishy odor, but trust me: your dressing won’t taste the same without anchovy paste.
- Worcestershire sauce – Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce (my go-to purchase) complements the anchovies beautifully.
- Dijon mustard – Mustard is a surprising ingredient here because it can hardly be tasted in Caesar salads. It lends a tangy flavor and helps balance out the other sauces.
- Mayonnaise – Since mayonnaise is the main base of the creamy dressing, you should opt for a really good bottle. Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise is my favorite mayo to use for any recipe.
- Parmigiano-Reggiano – This cheese is authentic Parmesan cheese. Its price point is slightly higher, but for a good reason: Parmagiano-Reggiano has been aged longer and is made originally in Italy. Look for a cheese that’s clearly labeled “Parmagiano-Reggiano” and it will make your Caesar salad dressing taste so much better.
- Seasoning – Salt and pepper to taste.
How To Prepare The Dressing
Step One: Mince 12 garlic cloves and squeeze lemon juice from 1 ½ lemons. Grate the Parmigiano-Reggiano using a box grater.
Step Two: Prepare the liquid ingredients according to the measurements listed on the recipe card.
Step Three: In a medium bowl, combine the garlic cloves, lemon juice, 1 ½ tablespoons of anchovy paste, 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard, and 3 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce. Whisk until the sauce reaches a smooth consistency with bits of minced garlic scattered throughout.
Step Four: Almost there! Add the 1 ½ cups of mayonnaise and 1 ½ cups of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste and whisk until well combined.
All done! Wasn’t that Caesar salad dressing super easy to make?
As for serving, I’ve poured mine into a cute, tiny jar to pour over the salad. If you are not slathering your dressing directly onto your salad, you can serve it from any glass jar (like a mason jar) or a squeeze bottle. Whichever you choose, people are going to ask for more helpings.
This freshly made Caesar salad dressing will keep well in the fridge for up to 5 days, tightly covered.
When it comes to storing fresh Caesar dressing, the main concern would be salmonella bacteria present in eggs. The Canadian Partnership for Food Safety Education limits the shelf life of fresh Caesar salad dressing to 3 days if raw egg yolks were used in the recipe.
However, this recipe is completely safe. The only eggs that are in this recipe are contained in the Hellmann’s mayonnaise, and even that uses pasteurized eggs. Since this recipe does not contain any raw eggs, there’s no need to worry about salmonella, and you can keep it for up to five days (or seven days if you really want to stretch it).
If you liked this caesar salad dressing recipe, why not expand your repertoire of dressings and condiments with these quick and easy recipes?
Caesar Salad Dressing Recipe
- 12 garlic cloves minced
- 1 ½ tablespoons anchovy paste
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 ½ medium lemon freshly squeezed
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard (I prefer Maille brand)
- 1 ½ cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1 ½ cups mayonnaise best quality such as Hellmann's Real
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
- In a medium bowl whisk together the garlic, anchovy paste, lemon juice, Dijon mustard and Worcestershire sauce until smooth.
- Add the mayonnaise, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, salt and pepper and whisk until well combined. Taste and adjust to your liking.