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How to make a Classic Caesar Salad from scratch with a rich and tangy homemade Caesar dressing, parmesan cheese and hand-torn croutons.

Caesar Salad Recipe

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  • Author: Tonia | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x
  • Category: salad
  • Method: tossed
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian


How to make a classic Caesar Salad with homemade Caesar dressing, parmesan cheese and hand-torn croutons.


Units Scale
  • 2 medium-sized heads of romaine lettuce, chopped, washed and dried (see notes)
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated, plus some shaved for the top.

Homemade Croutons

  • 3 cups torn or cubed bread, day old works best
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper taste
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced or use a garlic press

Caesar Salad Dressing

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 anchovies (or 3 teaspoons anchovy paste) see notes
  • 2 egg yolks (or sub 1/4 cup mayo)
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (optional but elevates lemony tang)
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (optional, gives more depth) or sub-fish sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup mild olive oil (see notes)


Make the croutons

  1. Hand tear or cut bread.  Toss in a bowl with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Bake in a preheated oven at 350, for 20 minutes or until crisp and golden.  (see notes)

Caesar Salad Dressing

  1. Smash together garlic and salt until broken down and juicy.
  2. Add anchovies, mashing together with the garlic until a paste forms.
  3. Whisk in egg yolks, lemon juice and zest, dijon, Worcestershire, and black pepper.  Combine thoroughly.
  4. Dribble olive oil into the mixture whisking all the while, little by little until the dressing is smooth and emulsified.

Make the Caesar Salad

  1. Place chopped dry romaine lettuce in a bowl.
  2. Add the Caesar salad dressing, a little at a time (you may not need all of it), grated parmesan, parsley and a couple of handfuls of croutons.
  3. Toss together, adding more dressing as needed. Adjust salt, pepper and lemon to your taste.
  4. Garnish with more croutons, parmesan shavings, and lemon slices.  

Leftover dressing can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or freeze. 


Tip: Spin lettuce in a salad spinner to dry.  This can be done hours before! After spinning you can just put the whole spinner in the fridge.  The lettuce gets extra crisp this way.  Alternatively, without a spinner, wash whole leaves before cutting, lay on a clean towel and blot dry.  Store in a plastic bag or container with a towel to absorb any moisture.

Baking time for croutons will vary depending on the bread you use, a tighter crumb will take longer.

Anchovy paste has other ingredients added.  For pure anchovy flavor use the filets, but either will work.

Substitute 1/4 cup mayo for egg yolks.

Extra virgin olive oil can sometimes give a bitter tang.  If you do not prefer this, use regular olive oil.  Or half extra virgin and half a neutral oil (such as avocado).


  • Serving Size: 2 cups
  • Calories: 430
  • Sugar: 3.4 g
  • Sodium: 1763.9 mg
  • Fat: 24.8 g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 37 g
  • Fiber: 3.6 g
  • Protein: 16.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 76.1 mg