Oh yes. We are making a caesar salad with pizza croutons!
This may look just the teensiest boring but I promise it is NOT. If you’re anything like me and craving some “regular” dinner flavors right now, make this salad. You will not regret it!
Do you ever just CRAVE a caesar salad? It’s one of the few salads that I actually crave, and that’s saying something because it’s rather simple. It’s no secret that I love a seriously trashed up salad. But I often just crave the crisp refreshing simplicity of a plain caesar.
No chicken. No salmon. Nothing!
Just romaine tossed in a delicious caesar dressing with parmesan shavings and croutons.
That’s where this baby comes in.
Hello pizza croutons! I mean, I cannot get enough.
The pizza croutons start with sourdough cubes that are seasoned with basil and garlic and toasted until golden. Then, they are drizzled with tomato sauce and asiago cheese, plus maybe a sprinkling of parmesan. They go back into the oven until warm and melty.
And then they find their way to the top of your caesar!
Unless they find their way into your mouth first.
In fact, it’s very IMpossible to not eat these right off the baking sheet. They are freaking good.
I’ve done plenty of kale caesars here on the blog. And many times, I prefer a kale caesar. It depends on my mood. Eddie LOVES a kale caesar. I rotate between caesars at home and my house salad. And even though we haven’t eaten in a restaurant for nine months now (what!), we almost always start with a caesar salad or split one. We’re just a little obsessed.
So for this one, I stay classic with romaine hearts. They are great for a salad like this because the leaves are hearty enough to hold up to the dressing, but crisp and refreshing enough to give you exactly the kind of bite you crave.
And speaking of the dressing! This is my longtime caesar dressing that I’ve shared on the blog many times before. I like to make it with greek yogurt and the key ingredient is anchovy paste. I highly suggest not leaving it out, because it really adds a ton of flavor and especially delivers on that classic caesar taste. Plus, you don’t have to chop up the actual anchovies. It’s just the paste.
This salad is perfect for nights when you aren’t that hungry or just want a light meal. The pizza croutons add an incredible element to the salad. They make it more flavorful and more satisfying – and honestly, just more fun!
Caesar Salad with Pizza Croutons
Caesar Salad with Pizza Croutons
- 3 cups sourdough bread cubes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- kosher salt and pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ¼ cup marinara sauce
- ¼ cup freshly grated asiago cheese
- 2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan cheese
- 3 hearts of romaine, washed and chopped
- 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
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the bread cubes on a baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil and toss. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper, the garlic powder and basil. Bake the cubes for 10 to 12 minutes, until slightly golden.
- Remove the baking sheet and top each cube with a dollop of marinara sauce. Sprinkle the asiago cheese on top (don’t worry if it gets on the baking sheet too - it gets crispy and amazing!) along with the parmesan. Return the sheet to the oven and bake for 4 to 5 minutes more, until warmed through and the cheese is melted.
- I make the caesar dressing while the bread cubes are toasting. 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 may make more dressing than needed, but you can store it sealed in the fridge for about 3-4 days and stir well before using.)
- Chop the romaine hearts and place them in a bowl. Toss with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add in a few tablespoons of the dressing and toss the romaine with kitchen tongs, until the dressing is evenly dispersed. Top with a few shavings of parmesan cheese. Top with the pizza croutons. Serve immediately with extra dressing for serving.