Easy recipe for Vegan Caesar dressing uses capers for umami flavor and texture. Tahini provides nut-free and dairy-free creaminess. No added oil and naturally gluten-free.
I get more requests for healthy salad dressing recipes than anything else. (if chocolate isn’t in the equation…LOL). Specifically, everyone seems to be looking for a vegan caesar dressing recipe that has no cashews. I’m here to help you get comfortable in the kitchen so you make more food from scratch. It’s the best way to know exactly what you’re getting so you can stay true to your health and wellness goals. So, here’s an easy recipe for caesar salad dressing. If you’re looking for an everyday vinaigrette, check this recipe out!
What’s in Vegan Caesar Salad Dressing?
- Lemon zest and juice
- Nutritional Yeast
- Dijon Mustard
- Maple Syrup
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
Traditional Caesar Salad Dressing is made with anchovies…which aren’t vegan. Also, I’ve noticed that many people don’t like the texture of anchovies. I found that capers give the same salty/briny punch, but no gritty texture and no animal products. Win-win. Another ingredient I replaced for this salad dressing to be vegan is the raw eggs…..but I’m confident you’re not going to miss them!
Why Tahini in this healthy dressing recipe?
Caesar Salad Dressing is usually made with olive oil, and sometimes with processed vegetable oil or mayo. Tahini is a great substitution because it provides healthy fats without the need for additional oil and also a creaminess that make up for the lack of eggs. Additionally, tahini has health benefits:
- Calcium: a great non-dairy source of calcium. Good for strong bones and blood transport.
- Protein: Tahini contains more protein than dairy milk and most nuts.
- Healthy Fats: Good for brain health and changing the ratio of good/bad cholesterol.
- Good source of anti-oxidants that help fight inflammation.
- Iron: tahini is a good source of plant-based iron.
More recipes that use tahini:
- Roasted Cauliflower Hummus
- Grain-free energy bars
- Roasted Eggplant with tahini drizzle
- Chopped Salad with Tahini Dressing
- And, my FAVORITE: Chocolate Trail Mix Bars
Is Vegan Caesar Salad Dressing Easy to make?
Yes, of course it is!! This is exactly why I am sharing this recipe with you. Healthy. Simple. Tasty. I like to chop the capers into a paste. Sometimes I even mash in some of the nutritional yeast and the crushed red pepper into the caper paste…but you could even skip that step and mix the capers in whole. If you decide to go that route you can shave a couple minutes off of the prep time and have this Whole Food Plant Based Dressing made in about 2 minutes flat. How do I know this? I’ve done it. MANY times. Doesn’t get any easier.
What should I use this dressing for?
Oh…the things you can do with a jar of vegan caesar in your fridge! Absolutely ANY salad would taste good with this dressing. Start with some greens…..kale, spinach, arugula, swiss chard, romaine, dandelion greens….chopped beet greens….whatever you have or whatever you like! Add in some raw or cooked veggies that you have lying around. BAM…the best salad EVER. Use this for a dipping sauce for spring rolls., in a wrap, even as a pasta sauce. My favorite way to use this is as a sauce for a grain bowl….though enchilada sauce is another go-to for those. DE-LISH!! Let me know in the comments your favorite way to use this easy salad dressing.
OH…..and the most obvious choice: use this yummy dressing to make a Caesar Salad! This delicious kale version has crispy roasted chickpeas in place of croutons….more YUM!
- 2-3 teaspoons capers
- 1/3 cup tahini
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 2 cloves garlic, zested
- 1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
- 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 teaspoons caper brining juice
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- crushed red pepper to taste
- Optional: 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- Chop 2 teaspoons capers until they resemble a paste.
- Pour tahini* into small bowl. Zest lemon** and garlic into bowl with tahini.
- Squeeze in juice from lemon, then add remaining ingredients and whisk until mixed well.
- Mix in additional teaspoon of whole capers if desired.
- Taste for seasoning, adding more black pepper, or nutritional yeast, as desired.
*When you open a new jar of tahini, it's super important to mix it WELL, until it's uniform in texture. Otherwise, the recipes you use it for (cauliflower hummus, eggplant with tahini, pumpkin donuts) could be a little too runny or a little too dry.
** Roll lemon on countertop pressing down firmly to release the juices before zesting.
Dressing will stay good in the fridge in an air tight container for up to a week.
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Serving Size1 Tablespoon
Amount Per Serving Calories 44Total Fat 3gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 0mgSodium 62mgCarbohydrates 4gFiber 1gSugar 2gProtein 1g