This classic vegan Caesar salad is made with crisp romaine lettuce, galicky baked croutons and to-die-for rich and creamy cashew-based dressing.
I hope you guys like cashews! Actually, it probably doesn’t matter. This vegan Caesar salad doesn’t taste like cashews, but they’re in there. Actually, come to think of it, they’re in all this week’s recipes. Cashew cheese, cashew sour cream, and now cashew Caesar dressing. I mention it just because I tend to feel a little weird when I hit an ingredient repeatedly like this, but then again, I didn’t even realize I was doing it with cashews until I sat down to write up the recipe, which, I believe, just supports my hypothesis that none of this stuff tastes like cashews.
I’ve visited cashews-a-many on this blog, and I’ve actually done a few spins on Caesar salad-themed stuff too, but they were just that, spins. Caesar sandwich. Caesar salad with tempeh. How about a classic vegan Caesar salad? I’ve had requests, so I figured it was about time. I’m always tempted to put crazy spins on things, but sometimes the classics are just that because they’re great, and I think that may be the case with Caesar salads…you know, except for the whole dairy and anchovy part. Maybe slightly modified classics are the best.
I thought about just sharing a recipe for vegan Caesar dressing, but opted to include the whole shebang, mainly because the croutons are so key. Make a double batch of croutons because you will snack on most of them.
Classic Vegan Caesar Salad
For the Croutons
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 garlic clove minced
- about half of a baguette torn into bite-sized pieces (4 cups)
- salt and pepper to taste
For the Vegan Caesar Salad Dressing
- 1 cup raw cashews soaked in water 4-8 hours and drained
- 3 garlic cloves or even more if you like
- 2 tbsp. white miso paste
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 3/4 to 1 cup water
- salt to taste
For the Vegan Caesar Salad
- 2 medium heads romaine lettuce torn into bite-sized pieces
- finely chopped fresh parsley optional
- vegan Parmesan cheese optional
Make the Croutons
- Preheat oven to 400°. Stir olive oil and garlic together in a small bowl. Place bread pieces into a large bowl and add olive oil mixture. Toss to coat.
- Arrange bread pieces on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Bake until bread pieces begin to brown and crisp-up, 12-14 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack to cool.
Make the Vegan Caesar Salad Dressing
- While croutons bake, place all dressing ingredients into a food processor or blender, staring with 3/4 cup of water. Blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl or pitcher as needed. Thin with additional water as needed, and season with salt to taste.
Make the Vegan Caesar Salad
- Place lettuce and croutons into a large bowl. Add dressing, a bit at a time, and toss to coat. Sprinkle with parsely and vegan Parmesan cheese, if using.
- Divide onto plates and serve.