Classic Caesar Salad is one of those salads that is the perfect light lunch and also works fantastically as a side dish with your entrées. Making your own homemade dressing and croutons is what takes this classic salad over the edge! Is there anything better?
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Classic Caesar Salad
The full ingredients list and instructions are found in the printable recipe card at the end of this post. I highly recommend reading the blog post all the way through so that you don’t miss any tips or substitution suggestions; to ensure that you have all the ingredients and equipment required, and to understand the steps and timings involved.
I had my first Caesar Salad on a trip to the USA and I’ve been hooked ever since! It’s my go-to salad whenever we are on vacation there, and I make it at home often too.
It is a really easy salad to put together – using chopped lettuce, croutons, shaved parmesan and of course the Caesar dressing. All which can be bought at the grocery store and can be assembled in mere moments.
BUT, making your own dressing and croutons from scratch takes a regular Caesar to the next level. And you have the ability to flavor the dressing to your preferences, making the salad just perfect for your taste buds!
And just in case you don’t know what a Caesar Salad is, here is a little info for you (and it’s nothing to do with the Roman Emperor!)
A Caesar salad is a green salad of romaine lettuce and croutons dressed with lemon juice, olive oil, egg, Worcestershire sauce, anchovies, garlic, Dijon mustard, Parmesan cheese, and black pepper.Wikipedia
The salad’s creation is generally attributed to restaurateur Caesar Cardini, an Italian immigrant who operated restaurants in Mexico and the United States. 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.”
Ingredients & Equipment Used In This Recipe
While most ingredients can be bought in grocery stores, for your convenience, any specialized or notable ingredients (and equipment) needed for this recipe have been listed below and linked to Amazon or other stores if available online.
It doesn’t include staple ingredients such as oil, salt, and pepper, as you’re likely to have those in your kitchen already. The complete list of ingredients with measurements is found in the recipe card.
- Dairy – Greek Yogurt, Parmesan, Unsalted Butter.
- Fresh Produce – Lemon, Garlic, Romaine Lettuce.
- Dijon Mustard
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Anchovy Paste
- Garlic Powder
- Bread – for croutons, such as French (baguette) or Italian (ciabatta).
Recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog use both cup measurements and/or weighted measurements. American cups and kitchen food scales are handy pieces of equipment to have in your kitchen as it means you’ll be able to make all of the different recipes on my blog. I try to give American, imperial, and metric measurements in my recipes. You can mix cup measurements with weighted measurements, but never mix imperial (pounds, ounces, pints, etc.,) with metric (kilograms, grams, litres, etc.,).
More Recipes Using Parmesan
One of the hero ingredients in this dish is parmesan, so here are some more recipes using the same:
- Garlic Parmesan Shrimp with Roasted Garlic Dip
- Parmesan Haddock with Tomatoes & Basil Salad
- Easy Parmesan Breakfast Potatoes in a Cast-Iron Skillet
More Salad Recipes
Looking for more salads to make? Check these recipes out next:
- Mexican Chopped Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing
- Iceberg Lettuce Wedge Salad with Bacon & Blue Cheese Dressing
- Roasted Artichoke Mozzarella Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
- The anchovy paste used in this recipe is naturally briny, so add additional salt sparingly.
- For best results, prepare the dressing in advance to give flavors a chance to combine before serving
- Allow the bread to sit out uncovered overnight so that it becomes a bit stale (a weird thing to do, but it really helps!).
- When making the croutons use a small amount of butter while toasting the bread to avoid overly greasy results.
How Do I Make Classic Caesar Salad?
Check out the printable recipe card below with full ingredients and instructions. Any demonstration photos do not print out to save your ink.
For the Dressing
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup Greek yogurt
- ½ Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1-2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp anchovy paste
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- ¼ cup light olive oil
For the Croutons
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 4 slices French or Italian bread, cubed
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
For the Salad
- 1 large head Romaine lettuce, cleaned, chopped, and dried completely
- ½ cup shaved Parmesan cheese
- Prepare the dressing by combining the mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and anchovy paste in a medium-sized bowl. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and whisk to combine.
- Add grated Parmesan cheese and stir to combine. Slowly drizzle the olive oil into the dressing and whisk until thoroughly incorporated into the mixture. Taste and season with additional salt and black pepper, if desired. Cover and set aside.
- Melt butter in a large skillet or frying pan over medium-low heat. Spread the melted butter with a pastry brush to evenly coat the bottom and sides of the skillet.
- Add the bread cubes to the skillet and lightly season with the garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Toast the bread for 6-8 minutes, stirring frequently, until lightly browned on all sides. Remove from heat and set aside.
- When ready to serve, assemble the salad by adding the chopped Romaine lettuce to a large mixing bowl.
- Add the toasted croutons and shaved Parmesan and drizzle with 1/3 cup of dressing. Gently toss to combine.
- Serve immediately on chilled salad plates with remaining salad dressing on the side. Enjoy!
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Make It A Full Meal!
You’ve made the side salad, but what about the rest of the courses?
Here are additional recipes to make a full meal for a dinner party or special occasion:
- Appetizer: How to Assemble An Italian Charcuterie Board For Parties & Entertaining
- Main Dish: One-Pan Chicken Cacciatore – Italian Hunter’s Stew
- Side Dish: Italian Roasted Vegetables
- Beverage: Watermelon Kiwi Cocktail with White Wine
- Dessert: Tiramisu – With A Twist!
There are 500+ Recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog for you to enjoy – please feel free to check them out too!