Perfect Caesar Salad

The very best Caesar salad recipe! This stunner has the perfect balance of creamy homemade dressing, crunchy croutons, and crisp lettuce. Some foods are classic for a reason. Like frosty vanilla bean ice cream or hot crispy French fries, this classic salad is basic but truly irresistible. Meet the perfect Caesar salad! Yes, you can buy a packaged storebought version with sub-par dressing and soggy croutons. But make all the components at home and it’s a knock out stunner. We’ve perfected all the elements so that you can make them at home. The savory, creamy dressing will instantly become a household favorite. And the crunchy garlicky croutons…well, you’ll be eating them off the baking sheet. How to make the best Caesar salad This homemade Caesar salad is absolutely magnificent. From the first bite, you’ll be singing its praises. (Promise.) Here are the ingredients to make an absolutely perfect version of this classic: Homemade croutons: Don’t even think about purchasing a box! Tear the bread into uneven pieces to make fluffy, crunchy orbs. Best Caesar dressing: Our recipe is so good, you won’t want to buy it again. Romaine hearts: We like the romaine hearts, the sweet and crunchy portion of […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

The very best Caesar salad recipe! This stunner has the perfect balance of creamy homemade dressing, crunchy croutons, and crisp lettuce.

Caesar salad

Some foods are classic for a reason. Like frosty vanilla bean ice cream or hot crispy French fries, this classic salad is basic but truly irresistible. Meet the perfect Caesar salad! Yes, you can buy a packaged storebought version with sub-par dressing and soggy croutons. But make all the components at home and it’s a knock out stunner. We’ve perfected all the elements so that you can make them at home. The savory, creamy dressing will instantly become a household favorite. And the crunchy garlicky croutons…well, you’ll be eating them off the baking sheet.

How to make the best Caesar salad

This homemade Caesar salad is absolutely magnificent. From the first bite, you’ll be singing its praises. (Promise.) Here are the ingredients to make an absolutely perfect version of this classic:

  • Homemade croutons: Don’t even think about purchasing a box! Tear the bread into uneven pieces to make fluffy, crunchy orbs.
  • Best Caesar dressing: Our recipe is so good, you won’t want to buy it again.
  • Romaine hearts: We like the romaine hearts, the sweet and crunchy portion of a head of romaine. These are sold usually in packs of 3 in the grocery. You can also use a large head of romaine lettuce.
  • Parmesan cheese shavings: You need grated for the dressing, so grab yourself a block of the stuff.
Best Caesar salad

Tips for Caesar salad croutons

You’ll start with the croutons for this Caesar salad. All they need is 15 minutes in a hot oven! You can prep the rest of the salad while they bake. Here are our tips for the best homemade croutons:

  • Use great bread: The better the bread, the better the crouton! Use artisan bread, French bread or sourdough bread from the store, or leftover homemade bread.
  • Tear the bread into pieces: Tearing the bread into small pieces makes for crispier croutons with crevices that catch the dressing!
  • Add garlic powder. Our croutons recipe is for garlic croutons, which have the perfect savory flavor.
  • Bake until crispy (about 15 minutes). You’ll use a low temperature, 300 degrees, and bake until just crispy. The croutons crisp up after baking .
Best Caesar salad

The secrets to homemade Caesar dressing

This Caesar dressing recipe is our favorite that we’ve been making for years! It’s a healthy spin on the standard but it tastes just as good. It’s also easily made vegetarian. Here are a few notes on this Caesar dressing:

  • Greek yogurt gives it a healthy spin. Instead of going all mayo and oil, we’ve added a little Greek yogurt too. This keeps it creamy but cuts a few of the calories. We use this philosophy in our Ranch Dressing recipe too.
  • Use anchovy paste, or don’t: it’s optional! Traditional Caesar dressing gets its savory flavor from anchovies, so we’ve used it here. It adds a huge amount of flavor! But this dressing tastes just as good without it. Feel free to make a vegetarian Caesar dressing and it’s just as good.
  • There’s no raw egg. Standard Caesar dressing uses raw egg yolks (like a homemade mayo). But this recipe is so full of flavor, it doesn’t need it.
How to make Caesar salad

Make ahead instructions for Caesar salad

Once you’ve got your creamy dressing and crunchy croutons, all you need is romaine hearts and Parmesan cheese shavings to bring together that perfect Caesar salad. Want a few time savers for putting it together? Here’s how to make it ahead:

  • Make the dressing up to 1 week in advance. Make it and refrigerate up to 1 week: the flavor tastes just as good!
  • Make the croutons 2 days in advance. Make the croutons and let them cool completely. Then store in a sealed container for up to 2 days. The flavor gets gradually staler over time, so the closer to fresh they are, the better.

Variations: make it a main dish!

If you take all this time to make Caesar salad…why not turn it into a main dish meal? If you serve it topped with protein, it makes about 4 servings. Here are a few ideas:

Caesar salad

More variations: grilled, kale, and more

Here are a few more variations on Caesar salad that put a fun spin on this classic salad:

This Caesar salad recipe is…

Vegetarian without anchovy paste. For gluten free, use gluten-free bread for the croutons.

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Caesar salad

Perfect Caesar Salad


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

The very best Caesar salad recipe! This stunner has the perfect balance of creamy homemade dressing, crunchy croutons, and crisp lettuce.


Ingredients

For the Caesar dressing (makes 1 cup)

  • 1 medium clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (1/2 lemon)
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste (optional)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

For the Caesar salad

  • 1 recipe Homemade Croutons
  • 3 romaine hearts* (or 1 large head romaine)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese shavings

Instructions

  1. For the croutons: Make the Homemade Croutons, but tear the bread into pieces instead of slicing it into cubes.
  2. For the dressing: While the croutons bake, make the dressing. Grate the garlic, or finely mince it. Grate the Parmesan cheese as finely as possible (it’s helpful to use a microplane or the fine holes on a grater). Juice the lemon. Whisk together all the ingredients in a bowl. Store refrigerated (keeps at least 1 week).
  3. For the salad: Tear the romaine leaves into pieces (or chop them). Top each salad with Parmesan cheese shavings, croutons, and dressing.

Notes

*Romaine hearts are easy to find packaged separately in the produce aisle.

  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Caesar salad

More great salad recipes

We love salads! If you do too, here are a few more great salad recipes to try:

  • Broccoli Salad Crunchy and savory sweet, it stars broccoli, raisins, and a flavor-popping dressing.
  • Perfect Italian Salad Crisp veggies, crunchy croutons, tangy pepperoncini, and a punchy homemade dressing.
  • Antipasto Salad Hearty and full of zingy flavor, with lots of crunchy veggies, olives, artichokes, cheese, and Italian herbs.
  • Classic Corn Salad Fresh and full of tangy flavor, with bursts of bright tomato and basil!
  • Caprese Salad Pair perfectly ripe, juicy tomatoes with fresh mozzarella and peppery basil.

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Blackened Shrimp Kale Caesar Salad.

The most delicious blackened shrimp kale caesar is on the menu today!  It’s a simple yet flavorful recipe. There’s not much in that bowl, but it tastes like heaven! Promise. Pinky swear.  This is one of those salads that doesn’t need much. Clearly! All we have is some massage kale dressed in my favorite caesar […]

The post Blackened Shrimp Kale Caesar Salad. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

The most delicious blackened shrimp kale caesar is on the menu today! 

This blackened shrimp kale caesar is loaded with flavor. Spiced, buttery shrimp pan fried until golden, then thrown on kale caesar salad. Delish!

It’s a simple yet flavorful recipe. There’s not much in that bowl, but it tastes like heaven! Promise. Pinky swear. 

blackened shrimp skillet

This is one of those salads that doesn’t need much. Clearly! All we have is some massage kale dressed in my favorite caesar dressing and some blackened shrimp. 

THAT IS IT.

Oh and a few rogue pieces of shaved parmesan. I swear you don’t need much more. Both the kale and shrimp are heavily flavored. The shrimp acts like the (somewhat?) crunchy croutons to our caesar salad. The kale is chewy enough without being tough. There is texture and flavor and oh my heck what else do we need?

massaged kale caesar salad

The shrimp is easy. You use melted butter and a mix of cajun-ish seasonings and spices to get the flavorful coating. Cook it in a skillet for a few minutes and you’re good to go. I guess if you didn’t want the skillet mess, you could also cook it on a sheet pan for 8 or so minutes like I do with my lime shrimp fajitas

Then you’d have a sheet pan mess, but whatever! It’s worth it for a deeeelish meal.

blackened shrimp

The kale caesar? Well, I don’t even know what to say about that, other than this is my go-to for kale caesars! Sometimes we go through periods of eating this salad once a week. Eddie absolutely LOVES it, I think it’s his favorite salad that I make. 

What I love about it is that it’s super flavorful on its own, but additionally, it makes a great base for practically ANYTHING.

Everything!

Crispy chicken tenders? Done.

Salmon or shrimp? Easy.

Roasted chickpeas? Obviously.

Lots of roasted vegetables? YEP.

This blackened shrimp kale caesar is loaded with flavor. Spiced, buttery shrimp pan fried until golden, then thrown on kale caesar salad. Delish!

Everything you put on this kale caesar complements it well. Or I guess I should say that the kale caesar is what does the complementing, because it’s such a fantastic base! 

This blackened shrimp kale caesar is loaded with flavor. Spiced, buttery shrimp pan fried until golden, then thrown on kale caesar salad. Delish!

It’s the perfect meal to add to your lenten friday line up. It’s also really great for dinner anytime at all. 

This blackened shrimp kale caesar is loaded with flavor. Spiced, buttery shrimp pan fried until golden, then thrown on kale caesar salad. Delish!

And perhaps what I love most: the kale caesar is almost better the next day. YES. It sits in the dressing, basically massages in the fridge and the texture becomes even softer and the taste more flavorful. It’s a salad you can actually prep entirely before if you’d like! Just keep the shrimp separate and then mix everything at once right before eating. 

Winner winner kale for dinner.

This blackened shrimp kale caesar is loaded with flavor. Spiced, buttery shrimp pan fried until golden, then thrown on kale caesar salad. Delish!

Blackened Shrimp Kale Caesar Salad

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Blackened Shrimp Kale Caesar

This blackened shrimp kale caesar is loaded with flavor. Spiced, buttery shrimp pan fried until golden, then thrown on kale caesar salad. Delish!
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 2 to 4 people
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

kale caesar

  • 1 to 2 bunches of curly green kale, stems removed and torn into pieces
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • shaved parmesan, for garnish

blackened shrimp

  • 1 pound raw peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Instructions

kale caesar

  • Tear, shred or chop the kale and place it in a bowl. You can actually chop it as much or as little as you like - depends on how you like to eat your kale salad!
  • To make the dressing, add the garlic, yogurt, parmesan, mustard, vinegar, anchovy paste, lemon juice, salt and pepper to a food processor and blend until pureed. With the processor still on, stream in the olive oil until a creamy dressing forms. (This will make more dressing than needed, but you can store it sealed in the fridge for about 3-4 days and stir well before using.)
  • Add about 1/4 cup of the dressing (or even 1/3 to 1/2 cup if you use it on 2 bunches) on the kale to start and toss well to distribute, even massaging it with clean hands. Let it sit for 10 minutes. While the kale marinates in the dressing, cook your shrimp!

blackened shrimp

  • Pat the shrimp dry with a paper towel.
  • In a bowl, whisk together the paprika, oregano, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and crushed red pepper.
  • Place the shrimp in a large bowl. Drizzle with the melted butter and toss well to coat. Sprinkle the seasoning all over the shrimp and toss well so they are all coated in the spices.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the olive oil. Add the shrimp in a single layer (you may need to do this in batches) and cook until golden and crisp on each side, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Do not overcook or the shrimp will be chewy!
  • Remove the shrimp and place it on the kale salad. Garnish with shaved parmesan if you’d like!

 

This blackened shrimp kale caesar is loaded with flavor. Spiced, buttery shrimp pan fried until golden, then thrown on kale caesar salad. Delish!

Look at that crisp.

The post Blackened Shrimp Kale Caesar Salad. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.