bowl of caesar salad dressing with a spoon lifting out of it, caesar salad in the background

CAESAR SAUCE (DRESSING RECIPE)

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Just when you thought caesar salads couldn’t get any better… they can! With homemade Caesar dressing, of course! This Caesar Sauce Dressing Recipe is so quick to make, takes all of 5 minutes, and comes out better than anything you’ll ever buy on a grocery store shelf. Just sayin’.

Ok, ok. So you already know my deep down love for ranch dressing. And how, if it were solely up to me, I’d put that sh*t on everything (allllright, you caught me! Maybe I already do!). I love its creamy texture, tangy taste, and ability to pair extremely well with just about anything I want to use it for. And turns out that like this Caesar dressing from scratch, that it too, is super quick and easy to make yourself at home. You’re welcome.

hand holding a bowl of caesar dressing with a spoon in it, lemon and caesar salad in the background

So it really shouldn’t come as any surprise that I love Caesar dressing and Caesar salads jusssst as much. Although the flavour profiles between ranch dressing and caesar dressing are fairly different, I’m always a sucker for sauces that are thick and creamy.

And, in classic Andrea fashion, I’m equally a sucker for trying my hand at making whatever I can from scratch myself at home. Lucky for both of us, making your own Caesar salad dressing really could not be any easier!

I find it so funny to think about a homemade Caesar salad dressing versus one you’d get in a plastic bottle at the grocery store. Now, while I’m all about saving time and convenience, some things are just not worth the exchange.

If you take one glance at the ingredient list or nutritional information on the back of your typical Caesar salad dressing bottle (like this one, for example) and compare it to the ones you’ll see in this post, you’ll certainly agree (I hope) that making your own Caesar salad dressing from scratch is worth the minimal effort and the 5 minutes of your time it takes to make it.

Besides, I’m willing to argue that because this Caesar sauce dressing recipe is so simple and quick to make, it’s just as convenient (if not more so!) than having to get out of your pajamas and go to the store to get a bottle. I don’t know about you, but I’ll choose staying in my PJs any chance I get!

INGREDIENTS FOR CAESAR DRESSING

ingredients for caesar sauce dressing recipe - olive oil, parmesan, salt, pepper, egg yolks, anchovies, dijon mustard, lemon juice, garlic, worcestershire sauce
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.

If these ingredients (or a variation of) are not the only ones written on the label of your favourite Caesar dressing, then I hope you’ll take a shot at making your own! Once you do, you won’t ever want to buy those bottles again! Let’s discuss the ingredients for Caesar dressing in a little bit more detail down below:

  • Egg Yolks: Serve as an emulsifier, helping to blend the oil and other liquid ingredients into a smooth, creamy dressing. They add richness and a luxurious texture to the dressing.

    RECIPE NOTE: Since this Caesar sauce dressing recipe uses raw egg yolks, ensure they are fresh and stored properly. Feel free to use pasteurized eggs to reduce the risk of foodborne illness if using raw eggs is a concern for you.

  • Dijon Mustard: Adds a sharp, tangy flavour and also helps with emulsification, stabilizing the dressing and preventing it from separating. Use high-quality Dijon mustard for the best flavour. If you don’t have any on hand, you can use whole grain mustard, yellow mustard, or even honey mustard instead.

  • Lemon Juice: Provides acidity, balancing the richness of the egg yolks and oil. It adds a bright, fresh flavour to the dressing. Freshly squeezed lemon juice is preferable to bottled juice for a more vibrant taste.

  • Garlic: Adds a pungent, savoury depth to the dressing. It’s a key flavour component that gives the dressing its distinctive taste. Fresh garlic is best in this Caesar sauce dressing recipe; ensure it is finely minced to evenly distribute the flavour.

  • Anchovy Fillets: Contribute a savory, umami richness to the dressing. They add depth and a subtle saltiness that is characteristic of Caesar dressing. Finely chop the anchovies to ensure they blend smoothly into the dressing. If you have a hard time finding them, you can use anchovy paste as an alternative.

    RECIPE NOTE: Don’t be afraid of this ingredient! Trust me. This is coming from a girl who claims to hate anchovies. They’re a classic ingredient in caesar salad dressing and with the amount I’ve used in this recipe, you really can’t taste them at all!

  • Worcestershire Sauce: Adds complexity with its blend of tangy, savoury, and slightly sweet flavours. It complements the anchovies and enhances the overall taste. Use a high-quality Worcestershire sauce to achieve the best overall flavour profile.

  • Olive Oil: Forms the base of the dressing, providing a rich, smooth texture. Its fruity, peppery flavour complements the other ingredients nicely. RECIPE NOTE: You’ll want to use a neutral or light tasting olive oil for this recipe. Unless you don’t mind it shining through slightly.

  • Parmesan Cheese: Adds a nutty, salty flavour and creamy texture to this recipe for caesar salad dressing. It enhances the overall richness of the dressing. PRO TIP: Freshly grated Parmesan melts more smoothly into the dressing compared to pre-grated cheese.

  • Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper: Salt enhances all the flavours in the dressing, while freshly ground black pepper adds a subtle heat and complexity. PRO TIP: Adjust the seasoning to taste, keeping in mind that anchovies and Parmesan already contribute saltiness.
caesar dressing being spooned onto a pieces of grilled chicken in a caesar salad

HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE CAESAR DRESSING FOR SALADS (KEY TIPS)

hands holding a bowl of caesar salad with a spoon, above a caesar salad and bowl of croutons

You can find full instructions for how to make this Caesar sauce dressing recipe in the recipe card down below, but here are a few quick tips to keep in mind:

  • Use fresh, high-quality ingredients for best results. That goes for the eggs, anchovy fillets, lemon juice, olive oil, and parmesan cheese. One thing to keep in mind is that using freshly grated Parmesan cheese from a block rather than using pre-grated cheese will give you a better flavour and texture.

    Also, use the freshest eggs possible. If you’re concerned about raw eggs, opt for pasteurized eggs.

  • Use room temperature ingredients. Ensure all of the ingredients, especially the eggs and olive oil, are at room temperature. This helps them emulsify more easily.

  • Use a food processor if you have one but don’t worry if you don’t. This dressing can be made either way with delicious results every time! EXTRA TIP: If using a food processor, scrape down the sides periodically to ensure all ingredients are well incorporated and the dressing is smooth.

  • Chop the anchovy fillets finely to ensure they blend seamlessly into the dressing. Don’t be scared of this ingredient! Trust me. This recipe for Caesar dressing has the perfect amount. You won’t even notice or taste them in the dressing!

  • Use fresh garlic and mince it finely. EXTRA TIP: If you find raw garlic too strong, you can roast it lightly to mellow the flavour.

  • When adding the olive oil, do it very slowly and steadily, especially at the beginning. This is crucial for creating a stable emulsion. If using a food processor, drizzle the oil in a thin stream through the top feed chute. If making by hand, whisk vigorously. A sturdy balloon whisk works best.

  • Taste the dressing as you go and adjust the seasoning. Add more lemon juice for acidity, Parmesan for umami, or garlic for pungency.

  • Be cautious with the salt. Both anchovies and Parmesan cheese add saltiness, so add additional salt gradually and be sure to taste as you go. It’s easy to add more salt if you don’t have enough but you can’t take it away if you accidentally add too much.

  • Feel free to adjust the consistency of the dressing to suit your liking. If the dressing is too thick, you can thin it out with a bit of water, more lemon juice, or a neutral oil like light tasting olive oil or avocado oil. If it’s too thin, add more Parmesan cheese or a bit more oil while continuing to whisk or blend.

  • Let your homemade Caesar salad dressing sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavours to meld.
bowl of white creamy sauce with a spoon in it, caesar salad and bowl of parmesan in the background
FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

DOES ALL CESAR DRESSING HAVE ANCHOVIES?

Not all Caesar dressings contain anchovies, but traditional recipes do include them as a key ingredient. Anchovies contribute a distinctive umami depth and savoury richness that are hallmarks of the classic Caesar flavour profile.

However, due to dietary preferences, allergies, or personal taste, some variations of Caesar dressing omit anchovies altogether. In these cases, the flavour can be compensated with Worcestershire sauce, which contains a small amount of anchovy, or other umami-rich ingredients like soy sauce or miso.

While purists might argue that anchovies are essential for an authentic Caesar dressing, there are many delicious versions available that cater to different needs and preferences.

HOW LONG DOES HOMEMADE CAESAR DRESSING LAST?

Homemade Caesar dressing typically lasts about 3 to 5 days when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The freshness and quality of the ingredients, especially the raw egg yolks, significantly influence the dressing’s shelf life.

It’s important to use fresh, high-quality ingredients and to keep the dressing chilled to maintain its safety and flavour. If you’re using pasteurized eggs, the dressing might last a bit longer. Always check for any changes in smell, taste, or appearance before using leftover dressing, and when in doubt, it’s best to err on the side of caution and throw it out.

CAN I FREEZE CAESAR DRESSING?

Freezing Caesar dressing is generally not recommended because it can significantly alter the texture and consistency of the dressing. The emulsion of egg yolks and oil may break when thawed, resulting in a separated and grainy texture. Additionally, ingredients like fresh garlic and Parmesan cheese may not fare well in the freezer, leading to changes in flavour.

If you do choose to freeze it, ensure it is stored in an airtight container and be prepared to re-emulsify the dressing by whisking or blending it after thawing. However, for the best quality and taste, it’s preferable to make and use Caesar dressing fresh or within a few days of preparation. After all, it’s easy-peasy and only takes 5 minutes!

bowl of thick, creamy, white sauce with a spoon, bowl of caesar salad and two slices of lemon in the background

MORE GREAT FROM SCRATCH SALAD DRESSINGS FOR YOU TO TRY

HEALTHY HOMEMADE RANCH DRESSING

VEGAN LEMON TAHINI DRESSING

JAPANESE STYLE ROASTED SESAME DRESSING

GREEK YOGURT BLUE CHEESE

ZESTY LEMON POPPYSEED

LOVE THIS RECIPE? PIN IT FOR LATER!

PIN FOR CAESAR SAUCE DRESSING RECIPE
bowl of caesar salad dressing with a spoon lifting out of it, caesar salad in the background

HOMEMADE CAESAR SALAD DRESSING

Yield: ~1.5 Cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Just when you thought caesar salads couldn't get any better... they can! With homemade Caesar dressing, of course! This Caesar Sauce Dressing Recipe is so quick to make, takes all of 5 minutes, and comes out better than anything you'll ever buy on a grocery store shelf. Just sayin'.

Ingredients

  • 2 large Egg Yolks*
  • 1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 6 Anchovy Fillets Packed in Oil, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup light or neutral tasting Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Add the egg yolks, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, minced garlic, chopped anchovies, and Worcestershire sauce to the bowl of the food processor. Process on high speed until they are smooth and well combined, about 30 seconds.
    egg yolks, chopped anchovies, dijon, and garlic unmixed in a food processor
    yellowish, liquidy sauce in a food processor, bowl of chopped lettuce in the background
  2. With the food processor running on low speed, very slowly drizzle in the olive oil through the feed tube. This should be done gradually to ensure the mixture emulsifies properly and becomes thick and creamy. If your food processor has a small hole in the feed tube, you can use it to add the oil drop by drop initially. Keep processing until all the oil is incorporated and the dressing is smooth and thick.
    oil being poured out into the feed chute of a food processor
    thick, creamy, yellow sauce in a good processor, bowl of chopped lettuce in the background
  3. Add the freshly grated Parmesan cheese to the dressing. Pulse the food processor a few times until the cheese is well incorporated into the dressing.
    freshly grated parmesan cheese sprinkled on top of a thick, creamy, yellow sauce in the base of a food processor, bowl of chopped lettuce in the background
  4. Season the dressing with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Remember to add the salt gradually, as the anchovies and Parmesan already contribute saltiness. Give the dressing one last quick blend to ensure everything is well mixed. Transfer the dressing to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. This helps the flavors to meld together.
    caesar sauce in a food processor seasoned with salt and pepper, bowl of chopped lettuce in the background
    homemade caesar salad dressing in a food processor with a small rubber spatula

Notes

Room temperature ingredients work best for this recipe.

If you are concerned about using raw egg yolks, use pasteurized eggs which are available at many grocery stores.

If the dressing is too thick, you can thin it out with a small amount of water or more lemon juice. If it's too thin, add more Parmesan cheese or a bit more oil while continuing to whisk or blend.

The dressing can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 2522Total Fat: 261gSaturated Fat: 44gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 207gCholesterol: 620mgSodium: 2695mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 38g

Nutrition is only an estimate and calculated using Nutritionix.

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