I’m feeling a little bit of vegan Caesar salad love. And not for a cashew-based kind of vegan dressing, but rather a tahini-based Caesar salad dressing. Packed with flavor, I am simply in love! This is the kind of dressing that only needs greens. Okay, I added some roasted seeds and fresh herbs. Yes, breaking all the Caesar salad rules here! But really, the dressing is magical, you’d never believe it possible to made a vegan version that tastes so amazingly close to a traditional Caesar dressing. Or at least the kind I know back home…in Canada. I can’t say I have ever had a traditional caesar salad here in German. Or at least not the way I know them. Caesar salads should be bold with flavor.
A vegan Caesar salad dressing worth doubling
The first time I made this dressing, I actually made a big batch. Totally worth it. The dressing keeps well in fridge and is perfect to enjoy with any kind of sturdy greens (tastes fab with spinach!), or drizzled on top of a “Poke Bowl”, “Buddha Bowl”, “Nourish Bowl” or any kind of “packed-with-vegetables” kind of bowl meal you want to enjoy. Trust me you’re going to want more of this dressing. So feel free to simply double the dressing quantities listed in the recipe and store the extra dressing in a sealed jar in the fridge. Double YAY to enjoying salads all week long!
The secret behind a tasty vegan caesar salad dressing
This vegan tahini Caesar dressing is cashew-free, egg-free, dairy-free, soy-free, anchovy-free, and 100% delicious. So what’s secret to making it taste so great? Well, grainy Dijon mustard for one. plus tahini and lemon because they are dreamy together and help this Caesar salad dressing taste more authentic, along with the nutritional yeast which gives it a parmesan cheese-y flavor, just like the original! I adore it, so hope you all will love this dressing too! This dressing is perfect on hearty salads, especially kale that’s been massaged with a little olive oil. I guess I should have jazzed the picture up a bit just to show how yummy this is. But really, like I said, this dressing is so tasty, all you need are greens.
A simply delicious tahini-based vegan caesar salad dressing. Full of bold flavors, it's a great vegan alternative to the real thing. Go ahead and double the dressing recipe so you can enjoy tasty salads all week! Serve 4 as a side, or light lunch for two alongside some crusty bread.
- 3 heads baby romaine (Romana Salatherzen) or 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
- Generous handful flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
- Generous handful basil leaves, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh dill
- 4 tablespoons mixed toasted seeds (I used sesame, poppy, hemp, and sunflower seeds)
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1 tablespoon grainy Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tablespoons water, or more as needed
First roast the seeds. In a medium skillet, cook all of the seeds over medium heat, swirling the skillet, until lightly toasted and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside.
To make the dressing, in a small bowl, combine the tahini, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, maple syrup, nutritional yeast, and olive oil. Whisk together until well combined, then add the water and whisk until you have a smooth dressing. If too thick to pour, whisk in an additional tablespoon of water.
To prepare the salad, transfer the chopped romaine to a large serving bowl.
When you’re ready to serve, drizzle enough dressing over the greens to lightly coat (you might not need all of it, this depends on how much dressing you like). Toss until the dressing is evenly distributed. Add the herbs and toasted seeds and toss again.
Serve immediately and enjoy!
- I really like to use romaine hearts for this recipe. Romaine Hearts are the center leaves of Romaine lettuce. Smaller, more yellow, and sweeter, these leaves have a delicious flavor and texture that is perfect for this vegan caesar salad. Plus the stand up well when dressed.
- Wait to dress the salad until you are ready to serve it to avoid the salad leaves becoming soggy.
- Feel free to use your favorite seeds for this recipe. Pumpkin seeds, poppy seeds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, black or white sesame seeds, nigella seeds (black cumin) or even buckwheat are also great choices.
Variations for this vegan Caesar salad
Add homemade croutons – they are easy to make with stale bread. Cut bread into cubes, drizzle with a little olive oil and toss with garlic and herbs of choice (oregano, basil, or thyme). Bake for 10 minutes at 375°F / 175°C, tossing halfway through. Voila!
Add crispy roasted chickpeas – drain, rinse and dry chickpeas with a clean tea towel. Sprinkle with olive oil, sea salt, garlic powder and a pinch of cayenne. Roast for 30 minutes at 400°F / 200°C, giving a shake halfway through. Let cool and then add to the salad.
Trade out herbs and add a pop of color with radicchio – Not a fan of bitter leaves, then try soaking the radicchio in ice-cold water for an hour. This crisps the leaves and reduces the bitterness.
Add some winter greens — go ahead and switch out romaine lettuce for curly kale or Tuscan lacinato kale. But don’t forget to give it a little massage first with a little olive oil.
If you make this Vegan Caesar Salad recipe, I’d love to hear how it turned out for you! Be sure to rate it and leave a comment below to let me know! Especially if you have tips for other readers. Or take a picture and tag me on Instagram @ellerepublic and don’t foget to hashtag #ellerepublic so I don’t miss it!