That Spicy Chick

Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing

This Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing starts with mayonnaise as the base and is quick and easy to whip up in just a few minutes, full of savory and bold umami notes, and irresistibly creamy! It’s delicious in Caesar salads, wraps, sandwiches, or as a dip for crudités!

Confession. I am a Caesar salad dressing snob.

There are only two places in this city where I like and will eat the Caesar salad dressing – Outback Steakhouse in their Caesar salad and City Super Deli’s chicken Caesar wrap. I’m always cautious when visiting a new restaurant and have multiple self-debates on whether to order their Caesar salad and risk being disappointed if it is anything but perfect. After all, it is my favorite dressing!!

I’ve tried many bottled supermarket ones over the years and they’ve all been rather disappointing. Some were too tangy or salty, some tasted too much like a watered-down ranch dressing instead of Caesar, while others were lacking in flavor and dull (most likely the ones that were anchovy-free).

While developing my Caesar Pasta Bake recipe (coming soon!), I quickly realized that I’d have to make my own homemade Caesar dressing to perfect the recipe and do it justice!

So I took on the task, and here I am today sharing my perfected, easy, and downright delicious homemade Caesar salad dressing recipe with you all! 🤗

There’s no mucking about with raw egg yolks or a large quantity of oil in this recipe because we’ll be taking a shortcut and using mayonnaise as the base. As we know from my Kebab Shop Garlic Sauce and Cilantro and Mint Sauce, mayo is EXCELLENT for making irresistibly dreamy and deliciously creamy sauces. And now we know it does wonders for smooth and creamy salad dressings too. 😊

Bowl with chicken Caesar salad on a checkered red and white napkin. Dressing in jar behind.

Why This Recipe Works

  • It’s quick and easy to whip up in in under 10 minutes!
  • Using store-bought mayonnaise allows us to skip the step of emulsifying egg yolks and oil to make the base of the dressing.
  • Using both Worcestershire sauce and anchovy paste doubles down on the signature umami notes in modern day Caesar dressings.
  • The extra virgin olive oil and sour cream helps to smooth out the dressing without adding any overbearing flavors.
  • It tastes 100 times better and fresher than any store-bought Caesar dressings on the market!!

Ingredient Notes

Labeled ingredients for Caesar salad dressing on a wooden board.
  • Mayonnaise: Use a good quality full-fat mayo. I like Kraft Mayonnaise, but Hellmann’s would work well too.
  • Sour Cream: Again, full-fat works best.
  • Lemon Juice: Use freshly squeezed for best flavor. If you like your Caesar dressing to be on the tangier side, feel free to add more than what I’ve indicated in the recipe card below.
  • Garlic: To give the dressing a bit of a garlicky punch.
  • Anchovy Paste: Any decent restaurant will use anchovies in their Caesar dressing because it is a MUST for a good Caesar salad dressing! Although anchovy fillets packed in tins or jars with oil would deliver the best flavor, I don’t always have ways to use all the fillets. I prefer to use anchovy paste, which is smashed anchovies with oil and salt and comes in tubes. It can be stored in the fridge for up to a year. If you’re looking for another way to use the paste aside from in this dressing, try my Salmon Pasta with Anchovy-Garlic Sauce! Look for it in the canned seafood aisle or where they keep the tomato paste tubes in your local supermarket.
  • Worcestershire Sauce: This adds tangy and savory umami notes. It’s typically made with anchovies and other seasonings, although there are anchovy-free brands available. Note that the anchovy-free brands may use soy, so check the ingredients label if you are following a gluten-free diet.
  • Dijon Mustard: To add a hint of tang.
  • Kosher Salt: Use half the amount if using fine sea salt. Keep in mind you don’t need to season with a lot of salt since the anchovy paste is already quite salty.
  • Black Pepper: Use freshly cracked black pepper for best flavor. It does make a difference.
  • Fresh Flat-leaf Parsley: Although not typically found in Caesar dressing, I like to add it to give the dressing some fresh herby sparkle!
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: To smooth out the dressing. You can also use a good quality olive oil instead.
  • Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese: As always, I recommend using freshly grated cheese from a block instead of the pre-shredded bagged variety. It only takes a minute to grate the amount of cheese needed for this recipe, and it will make the dressing taste 100 times better!
  • Whole Milk (optional): This dressing is on the creamier side. You can add milk to thin it out and make it smoother and of drizzling consistency if desired.

Full ingredient amounts are in the recipe card below.

How to Make Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing

1. Smash the garlic: Smash the garlic cloves into a smooth paste using a mortar and pestle.

2. Combine all the ingredients. Either in a large liquid measuring cup or medium bowl.

3. Mix to combine. Mix well with a spoon until everything is evenly combined.

Ingredients in measuring cup with a spoon, and dressing in measuring cup.

That’s all there’s to it! Your homemade Caesar salad dressing is ready to be enjoyed in a classic Caesar salad, in wraps, sandwiches, or as a dip with crudités. YUM! 😋

Spoon inside of jar with dressing.
Close-up top view of Caesar chicken salad in a bowl.

You can also use this dressing in my Caesar Pasta Bake with Grilled Cajun Shrimp (coming soon!). The creamy Caesar dressing makes a dreamy and luscious sauce for pasta when combined with chicken broth and a few seasonings. It’s an easy weeknight dinner that’s sure to be loved by adults and kids alike. 😊

Full detailed instructions are in the recipe card below.

Cook’s Tips

  • Use a mortar and pestle to smash the garlic. Pounding the garlic into a paste helps to release their oils and makes them more flavorful. If you don’t own a mortar and pestle, use a mini blender to blend the garlic into a paste. Alternatively, crush the garlic with the flat side of your knife, and then use the back of the knife to smash it into a paste.
  • Use a blender (or immersion handheld blender) to blend the ingredients if a smoother and drizzly dressing consistency is desired.
Spoon with dressing above jar with dressing.

FAQs

Does Caesar dressing have anchovies?

The good modern day ones do. The original Caesar dressing didn’t, but it did have Worcestershire sauce which has anchovies as one of the ingredients. The anchovies add an umami blast that makes the dressing so tasty. But if working with anchovy fillets makes you squeamish, using anchovy paste which comes in squeezable tubes is the next best thing in terms of flavor. Contrary to what one might think, it won’t make the dressing taste fishy or smelly. It is hardly discernible once mixed together with everything else. But you’ll definitely feel that something is missing if you leave it out.

Is Caesar dressing keto?

Caesar salad dressing can be made keto friendly if you skip the Worcestershire sauce (it has added sugar). You can replace it with a little more anchovy paste. Also, you can opt to use Romano instead of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, which has slightly less carbs per gram. The rest of the ingredients are all part of a keto friendly diet. Just be sure to use keto friendly croutons in your Caesar salad. These halloumi croutons sound delicious!

How long will it keep?

About 5-7 days if stored properly in a sealed airtight container or jar in the fridge.

Spoon with dressing and close-up of salad in a bowl. Text overlay "The Best Easy Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing" and "thatspicychick.com".

More Salad Dressings, Sauces, Dips & Condiments


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Spoon with dressing above jar with dressing.

Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing

This Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing starts with mayonnaise as the base and is quick and easy to whip up in just a few minutes, full of savory and bold umami notes, and irresistibly creamy!

  • Author: Lavina
  • Prep Time: 8
  • Total Time: 8 minutes
  • Yield: 11/3 cups 1x
  • Category: Salad Dressing
  • Method: Mix
  • Cuisine: Italian-American
  • Diet: Gluten Free
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 Garlic cloves – peeled
  • ¾ cup Mayonnaise (full-fat works best – I like Kraft Mayonnaise)
  • 3 TBLS Sour Cream
  • 2 TSP freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1 TSP Anchovy Paste
  • ½ TSP Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 TSP Dijon Mustard
  • ¼ TSP Kosher Salt, to taste
  • ¼ TSP freshly cracked Black Pepper, to taste
  • 1 TSP fresh flat-leaf Parsley – finely chopped
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese
  • 1 TBLS Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 TBLS Whole Milk (optional)

Instructions

  1. Smash the garlic: Smash the garlic into a smooth paste using a mortar and pestle.
  2. Mix everything together: Combine the mayonnaise, smashed garlic paste, sour cream, lemon juice, anchovy paste, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, kosher salt, black pepper, chopped fresh parsley, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, and extra virgin olive oil in a large liquid measuring cup or medium sized bowl. Mix well with a spoon until evenly combine. Taste and adjust seasonings by adding more lemon juice, salt, or black pepper if desired. Add milk if you’d like the dressing to be more fluid (see note 2).
  3. Serve: Use in Caesar salads, wraps, sandwiches, as a dip with crudités, or try my Caesar Pasta Bake with Grilled Cajun Shrimp!
  4. Storing: Store in a sealed airtight container or jar in the fridge and consume within 5-7 days.

Notes

  1. Mortar and pestle: Use a mini blender to blend the garlic into a paste if you don’t own a mortar and pestle. Alternatively, crush the garlic with the flat side of your knife, and then use the back of the knife to smash it into a paste.
  2. Whole Milk: I find that the extra virgin olive oil and sour cream makes the dressing smooth enough for my preference. But feel free to add milk if you prefer a more fluid dressing that’s of drizzling consistency.
  3. Worcestershire sauce: It’s typically made with anchovies, seasonings, and spices. However, there are anchovy-free brands available. Note that the anchovy-free brands may use soy, so check the ingredients label if you are following a gluten-free diet.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
  • Calories: 121
  • Sugar: 0.2g
  • Sodium: 124.6mg
  • Fat: 12.9g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.2g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 10.3g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 0.7g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Protein: 0.5g
  • Cholesterol: 8.4mg

The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary based on several factors. It should only be used as a general guideline. For more information, please see our Disclosure.

This post may contain affiliate links. We are a part of the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you) by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary based on several factors. It should only be used as a general guideline. For more information, please see our Disclosure.

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