Caesar Salad

$8.50 recipe / $1.42 serving
by Marsha - Budget Bytes
4.20 from 5 votes
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If you’ve never made a homemade Caesar salad, then you might be surprised by just how easy it is to whip up. Our version includes fresh homemade croutons and a rich and tangy homemade Caesar salad dressing. The simplicity of a Caesar salad is unmatched. It’s simple enough to make during the week and pairs well with lots of main dishes. It’s always my go-to whenever I’m eating out at a nice restaurant, but the truth is…this homemade Caesar salad recipe is wayyy better than any restaurant version. Let me show you just how easy it is to make!

Overhead view of a plate of caesar salad with a gold fork on the side.

Ingredients For Caesar Salad

All it takes are a few simple ingredients to make this fresh Caesar Salad recipe:

  • Romaine Lettuce: Fresh, crisp romaine lettuce is the base of this salad.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Since this salad is relatively simple to make with simple ingredients, we spent extra using fresh Parmesan from a Parmesan cheese wedge.
  • Homemade Croutons: Homemade croutons are a must friends! They are so easy to make and taste way better than those store-bought ones. Trust me!
  • Caesar Salad Dressing: A fresh batch of homemade Caesar salad dressing can be made in hardly no time. But if you are really short on time, you can also use store-bought dressing instead.

Caesar Salad Dressing

Our creamy homemade caesar salad dressing is rich, tangy, super flavorful, and really easy to whip up! And our version is simple thanks to the use of mayonnaise instead of making your own egg and oil emulsion. It includes a combination of lemon, garlic, anchovy filets, Dijon mustard, mayonnaise, Parmesan, and freshly cracked black pepper. It has lots of complex flavors and tastes absolutely delicious with this Caesar salad!

Easy Homemade Croutons

The real key to any great Caesar salad, imo, are homemade croutons! Ok, second to the dressing of course :) They’re crispy, crunchy, and oh-so-flavorful! And the best part is…they’re super easy to make! We made a quick batch of our Easy Homemade Croutons recipe with some crusty bread, olive oil, and seasoning. That’s it! Trust me, it will take your salad to the next level, so don’t skip it!

What To SErve with Caesar Salad?

One of the best ways to enjoy this simple caesar salad is by adding some grilled chicken, Pan Seared Chicken, or Air Fryer Chicken on top for a quick and easy chicken caesar salad. Salmon and shrimp also taste great with this salad! Or simply add this salad as a side dish along side your favorite dinner recipes like Homemade Lasagna or Creamy Garlic Chicken.

Overhead view of a serving bowl of caesar salad with a napkin, croutons, caesar dressing, and parmesan cheese on the side.
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Caesar Salad

4.20 from 5 votes
This easy Caesar Salad recipe is made with homemade croutons and a rich & flavorful Caesar salad dressing. It’s simple enough to make any day of the week!
Overhead view of a plate of caesar salad with a gold fork on the side.
Servings 6
Prep 20 minutes
Total 20 minutes

Ingredients

Caesar Salad Dressing

Salad

  • 8 cups chopped romaine lettuce ($3.73)
  • 2 cups croutons ($0.71)
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan ($0.89)
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Instructions 

  • Start by making the Caesar salad dressing. Zest and juice the lemon. You'll need about 3 Tbsp juice and 1 tsp lemon zest. Finely mince the garlic and anchovy filets. Reserve about ½ tsp of the oil from the anchovy container.
  • In a medium bowl add the lemon juice, zest, minced garlic, minced anchovies, anchovy oil, and pepper. Whisk to combine.
  • Add the Dijon mustard, mayonnaise, and grated Parmesan to the bowl and whisk to combine again. Taste the dressing and adjust the ingredients to your liking.
  • Next chop, wash, and dry the Romaine lettuce. Add the lettuce to a large bowl.
  • Top the lettuce with the croutons, shredded Parmesan, and half of the Caesar salad dressing (start with half the dressing and add more as needed). Toss the salad until everything is coated in the dressing. Serve with extra Parmesan cheese and freshly cracked black pepper on top. Enjoy!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.


Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 240kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 7gFat: 19gSodium: 529mgFiber: 2g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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Overhead view of a plate of Caesar salad with a hand holding a fork eating a bite on the side.

How to Make A Caesar Salad – Step by Step Photos

Caesar dressing ingredients in a bowl.

Start by making the Caesar salad dressing. Zest and juice 1 lemon. You’ll need about 3 Tbsp juice and 1 tsp lemon zest. Finely mince 3 cloves of garlic and 3 anchovy filets. Reserve about ½ tsp of the oil from the anchovy container.

In a medium bowl add the lemon juice, zest, minced garlic, minced anchovies, anchovy oil, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Whisk to combine.

Parmesan and mayo added to Caesar dressing in a bowl.

Add 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard, 1/2 cup mayonnaise, and 1/4 cup grated Parmesan and whisk to combine again.

Fully mixed Caesar dressing in a bowl.

Taste the dressing and adjust the ingredients to your liking.

Chopped romaine lettuce on a cutting board.

Next chop, wash, and dry 8 cups of Romaine lettuce. Add the lettuce to a large bowl.

Romaine lettuce, parmesan cheese, croutons, and Caesar dressing added to a serving bowl.

Top the lettuce with 2 cups croutons, 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan, and half of the Caesar salad dressing (start with half the dressing and add more as needed).

Caesar salad being tossed in a serving bowl.

Toss the salad until everything is coated in the dressing.

Overhead view of a serving bowl of caesar salad with a napkin, croutons, caesar dressing, and parmesan cheese on the side.

Serve with extra Parmesan cheese and freshly cracked black pepper on top. Enjoy!

Overhead view of Caesar salad plated with creamy garlic chicken.

*Pictured with our Creamy Garlic Chicken

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Comments

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  1. Hi, I just searched vegetarian on your search bar and then signed up for your vegetarian meal plan. However when Caesar salad dressing came up, I said to my self please don’t tell me that she is using anchovies. I scroll down … And what so you know there it is listed in the ingredients. Anchovies are not vegetarian. It is a being that is a live. If anything this recipe should be listed as pecsataria but NOT vegetarian. Do you have a way to substitute the anchovy for similar flavor such as vegetarian Worcestershire sauce?

    1. Hi Maria! Thank you so much for letting me know that it came up as vegetarian! I got that tag removed. My favorite way to vegetarianize Caesar dressing is with a few minced kalamata olives or capers! Vegan Worcestershire sauce is also an amazing way to give that umami flavor if you can find it easily.

  2. Holy moly dude, the dressing was so good. I’m usually picky about salad, but this? Wow

  3. Marsha, your recipes are very exciting. I like so much ehat you are adding to Budget Bytes. I read your posts, then make them when I pull everything together. I’ll rate this when I make it, but I want you to know how grateful I am.

  4. This salad plus some leftover chicken looked perfect for lunch today–and we loved it. With shrimp at great prices lately, ie $6-8 per lb, I’m thinking about doing this again in very soon with shrimp!

    No one should be tempted to leave out the anchovies–they are absolutely essential, and if you didn’t make the dressing yourself, you would never guess anchovies are in it. I wouldn’t touch an anchovy with a 10 ft pole, until I learned how delicious their presence makes a lot of sauces–they melt right in and leave nothing behind but an indescribable hint of taste. I still won’t eat one by itself!!! Anchovy paste would work, too–I’m thinking about 1 T? This is a terrific recipe–thanks so much, Marsha. I really love your simple home style recipes.

    PS–When I open one of those tiny cans, I put the remaining anchovies and oil in a little bag and drop in the freezer. This may not be a recommended thing to do, but I always use them for something delicious in 3-5 weeks. I do the same thing with chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and they don’t last long, either. Always use a sharpy to date those bags!!! I also always have hearts of romaine. They are inexpensive and last a couple of weeks in the fridge vs bags of chopped greens that seem to turn to slime in 5-6 days. Another tip–you can always cook those aging greens. Throw them into soup or a stir fry if they are too wilted for salad.

    1. Janamus, you always have such helpful comments. Your anchovie info is so accurate. I always think I’m getting a little fish oil from them plus all their flavor enhancement.

      1. Thanks so much for those kind words! I really love this site and all the work Beth and her collaborators do to make cooking both fun and economical. We all get into ruts and this website keeps things fresh and exciting!