This Vegan Caesar Salad is perfect for a light, crowd-pleasing dinner or lunch! It’s made with a tangy, creamy dressing, crunchy croutons, and crisp romaine lettuce! It’s bound to be a new favorite in your household.

Vegan caesar salad with caesar dressing.

For someone who loved Italian food as a kid (it was my favorite cuisine), I hadn’t tried that many caesar salads until recently. Boy, have I been missing out!

This Vegan Caesar Salad is light and healthy, but so, SO flavorful. It starts with a crisp bed of lettuce, some parmesan cheese, and a handful of salty coconut bacon bits. Top all that off with a few crunchy homemade croutons and some tangy vegan caesar salad dressing, and voila. You will not believe the treat your tastebuds are experiencing!

If you’ve ever had a really well done caesar salad before, and you’re now searching for a vegan version to relive those good memories, you’ve found your match.

So… while lasagna and pizza are still my all-time favorite Italian dinners, this Vegan Caesar Salad is going to be making a lot of appearances on my table, and I thought you all might want in on the goodness!

Ingredients for vegan caesar salad dressing.

Notes on Ingredients

Every time I make a vegan version of a classic, I aim to make it as close as possible to the original flavor-wise. While there have been some ingredient switch-ups, most of this should look familiar:

For the Croutons

  • Bread: I like to use a crusty vegan sourdough bread, torn into 1 inch pieces (tearing the pieces means that they grab the sauce better).
  • Thrive Algae Oil: You can also use another cooking oil, like olive oil or avocado oil.
  • Seasoning: Just a simple mix of salt and pepper!

For the Dressing

  • Oil: Again, a substitute cooking oil can be used here. I love using a high quality olive oil for flavour.
  • Garlic: Roasted garlic adds fantastic flavor!
  • Capers and Cashews: A traditional caesar salad has anchovies in the dressing as well as egg yolk. These ingredients are for that salty flavor, as well as thickness. To replace them, I opted to use capers instead of anchovies for that beautiful brine, and cashews for thickness.
  • Nutritional Yeast: This is a great source of protein.
  • Mustard: Dijon mustard provides the perfect amount of tanginess to your salad dressing.
  • Lemon Juice: If you want to use lime juice, that works too.
  • Seasoning: I like to add a touch of sea salt and ground black pepper.
  • Water: To mix everything together with.

For the Salad

  • Lettuce: You’ll need crispy romaine lettuce for this salad.
  • Parmesan Cheese: I’m happy to report that vegan parmesan cheese adds another layer of beautiful brine and tanginess to this salad. I have a recipe that you can whip up, or you can buy your own – either in block form or sprinkle form.
  • Vegan Coconut Bacon: You can do store-bought or homemade here, too.

How to Make Vegan Caesar Salad

Vegan caesar salad is quickly becoming one of my favorite dinners to whip up because it takes under half and hour to make. All I have to do is prep the croutons, bake them, blend the salad dressing, and arrange everything in a bowl. Easy!

Make the Croutons

Preheat the Oven to 400°F/200°C: Then add the bread cubes to a silicone mat on a baking sheet, or a baking sheet prepared with parchment paper or foil.

Bake the Croutons: Drizzle the algae oil over the cubes and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Toss gently with your hands to evenly coat everything. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Make the Dressing

Blend the Dressing Together: Add all of the caesar dressing ingredients into a blender and combine until creamy. (This generally takes about 2 minutes to ensure that the cashews are throughly blended down.) Blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the blender if necessary.

Assemble the Salad

Build the Salad: In a large mixing bowl, add the chopped lettuce. Drizzle a good amount of dressing (as much or as little as you’d like) over the lettuce and toss to combine. Add in the croutons, coconut bacon, and the vegan parmesan cheese. Toss until combined. Serve with extra coconut bacon and vegan parmesan and dressing on the side. Enjoy!

Tips for Success

Four steps, and you’re done. Pretty great, right?

Here are some extra tips for this vegan caesar salad recipe that you might find helpful:

  • Soak Your Cashews: This is important for easy digestion, and also because you want the dressing to come out nice and creamy.
  • Make the Croutons First: That way you can prepare the homemade caesar dressing while they bake – it’s a huge timesaver!
  • Customize It: Feel free to make this salad to your own taste. You can use as much or as little dressing on the salad as you want. You can add more coconut bacon or less vegan parmesan (let’s be real – you’ll never add less vegan parmesan cheese!).

Variation Ideas

While we’re on the topic of customization, feel free to switch up what you add into this simple caesar salad, too! Take a look at some of these variation ideas:

  • Chickpeas: While I’m a big fan of crunchy, crispy croutons, know that you could also swap them for chickpeas if you wanted to add some extra protein into this dish.
  • Rice Paper: If coconut bacon isn’t your thing, you can try rice paper instead, or even crumble pressed tofu and soak it in the dressing.
  • Veggies: You can add avocado, cucumbers, bell peppers, etc. Whatever you think fits!
  • Gluten-Free Bread: Using gluten-free bread converts this salad into an easy gluten-free dinner option!
An plate of caesar salad with coconut bacon and croutons.

Serving Suggestions

Want to serve this vegan caesar salad on the side of another main course? Great! I’ve got a few suggestions for you, though practically any meal will work:

How to Store Salad

Okay, the slightly tricky part. Because this is a dressed salad, it tastes best fresh. If you have leftovers, you’re going to want to store them in an airtight container in your fridge for about 3 days. If you want to meal prep this salad, I highly recommend making the lettuce separate, the dressing separate, and the croutons fresh. Then you can assemble a small portion for yourself when you need it. That way it’ll last for a while in your fridge (up to a week for the dressing).

Can I Freeze This?

While you obviously can’t freeze the salad itself or the croutons, you can freeze the dressing for up to 2 months in a tightly sealed jar or airtight container.

Enjoy, friends!

Plate of vegan caesar salad with dressing, croutons, and parmesan cheese.
Vegan caesar salad with caesar dressing.

Vegan Caesar Salad with Coconut Bacon

This Vegan Caesar Salad is perfect for a light, crowd-pleasing dinner or lunch! It’s made with a tangy, creamy dressing, crunchy croutons, and crisp romaine lettuce! It’s bound to be a new favorite in your household.
5 (from 2 ratings)

Ingredients

Croutons

  • 2 cups crusty vegan sourdough bread, torn into 1 inch pieces (tearing the pieces means that they grab the sauce better)
  • 1 teaspoon oil, (any oil is fine)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Vegan Caesar Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons oil, (any oil is fine)
  • ½ cup cashews, soaked overnight then drained and rinsed
  • 3 cloves of roasted garlic
  • 2 teaspoons capers
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1-2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ cup water

Vegan Caesar Salad: 

Instructions 

Croutons:

  • Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C. Add the bread cubes to a silicone mat on a baking sheet or a baking sheet prepared with parchment paper or foil.
  • Drizzle the Thrive Algae Oil over the cubes, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss gently with hands to coat. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Vegan Caesar Dressing:

  • While the croutons are baking, you can make the dressing.
  • Add all of the caesar dressing ingredients into a blender until combined and creamy. This takes about 2 minutes to ensure the cashews are throughly blended down. Blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the blender if necessary. 

Vegan Caesar Salad: 

  • In a large mixing bowl, add the chopped lettuce. Drizzle a good amount of dressing (as much or as little as you’d like) over the lettuce and toss to combine. 
  • Add in toasted bread, coconut bacon and the vegan parmesan cheese. Toss until combined.
  • Serve with extra coconut bacon and vegan parmesan and dressing on the side. Enjoy! 

Notes

  • Soak Your Cashews: This is important for easy digestion, and also because you want the dressing to come out nice and creamy.
  • Make the Croutons First: That way you can prepare the homemade caesar dressing while they bake – it’s a huge timesaver!
  • Customize It: Feel free to make this salad to your own taste. You can use as much or as little dressing on the salad as you want. You can add more coconut bacon or less vegan parmesan (let’s be real – you’ll never add less vegan parmesan cheese!).
  • Storage: If you have leftovers, you’re going to want to store them in an airtight container in your fridge for about 3 days. If you want to meal prep this salad, I highly recommend making the lettuce separate, the dressing separate, and the croutons fresh. 
Calories: 169kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Sodium: 369mg, Potassium: 149mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 813IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 17mg, Iron: 1mg

Disclaimer: Although jessicainthekitchen.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Jessicainthekitchen.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

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