All Hail Caesar! 32 Ways to Make Our Favorite Salad

Caesar salad is a hugely popular dish, found on restaurant menus, from fast food to upscale. While we love a classic rendition (more on that below), the tangy flavors lend themselves to newfangled creations, and we have 32 of them. From vegan versions, to grilled, those featuring hearty proteins (chicken, shrimp, salmon, steak, and more), or lighter variations; if you are a Caesar salad lover, this is the post for you. Need egg-free? No anchovies? Gluten-free? Lactose-Free? We’ve got them all.

The History of The Caesar Salad

Photo credit: Public Domain.

The history of the original Caesar salad is murky. By far the best research I have found is in this linked articleand it is way too much to go into here, but I have linked it in case you are interested.

Briefly explained, there is an Italian born restaurateur named Caesar Cardini, who opened a restaurant in Tijuana Mexico, somewhere around 1924, to sidestep Prohibition laws and serve alcohol legally. The restaurant resided in various locations over the years, and the recipe might have been different at each one (or not). Julia Child has written about her memories eating the salad in either 1925 or 1926 and she gives some insight, but it is not complete.

Caesar Cardini: Restaurateur

Caesar Cardini.Caesar Cardini.
Photo credit: Public Domain.

Caesar, shown above, also had a brother, Alex Cardini, as well as an Italian employee, Livio Santini. Each of these three men at various times claimed to be the originators of the salad. Alex even offered a $1000-dollar reward if anyone could prove him wrong, however, he made this offer after Caesar died. As I mentioned, the article really dives into the very complex history.

Ingenuity Makes Its Mark

Notice of Tijuana staying "open".Notice of Tijuana staying "open".
Photo credit: Public Domain.

One of the more popular stories is that Caesar invented the salad on Independence Day weekend, 1924. The 4th of July was a hot Friday night, and there were rumors that the Mexican government was going to shut down all gambling, as well as most of the businesses that weekend for Mexico’s elections. The exception was Tijuana, so savvy business owners placed ads for the entire week prior, assuring Californians that Tijuana would indeed be ‘open for business’.

Making Do

Caesars restaurant.Caesars restaurant.
Photo credit USC San Diego.

Caesar’s version of the story is that some folks came in late and wanted to eat, so he improvised the salad on the spot with some Romaine lettuce. Here is a quote from Julia Child: “Caesar himself rolled the big cart up to the table, tossed the Romaine in a great wooden bowl, and I wish I could say I remembered his every move, but I don’t. The only thing I see again clearly is the eggs. I can see him break 2 eggs over that Romaine and roll them in, the greens going all creamy as the eggs flowed over them. Two eggs in a salad? Two one-minute coddled eggs? And garlic-flavored croutons, and grated Parmesan cheese? It was a sensation of a salad from coast to coast…”

What Ingredients Are “Original”?

Original Caesar salad recipe.Original Caesar salad recipe.
Photo credit: Public Domain.

The question that everybody wants an answer to is, what ingredients were original? Two items in particular contention are the eggs and anchovies/Worcestershire sauce. Julia Child seems to remember the eggs being raw. An undated business card presents the recipe on the back, where a raw egg is clearly listed. Worcestershire sauce is listed as well.

Cooked, or “coddled” eggs, might’ve been used in subsequent variations, possibly due to the fear of raw eggs being unsanitary.

No Anchovies? Not So Fast…

AHA moment, Eureka moment. AHA moment, Eureka moment.
Image credit Studio Romantic via Shutterstock.

Okay, this might seem like splitting hairs to some, but Worcestershire sauce contains anchovies! So, in this version, anchovies are present, while not in their filet form.

I find it interesting that salad oil is listed, which would typically indicate a neutral vegetable oil, not olive oil.

Regardless, we love the flavors of garlic and cheese, the umami from anchovies and creaminess from egg. Some recipes are vegan and bring all the desired flavors together!

Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad 

Photo credit: Princess Pinky Girl.

This chicken Caesar Pasta Salad recipe combines crisp Romaine lettuce, tender rotisserie chicken, crunchy croutons, plenty of parmesan cheese, and al dente penne with a creamy homemade Caesar dressing. Get the recipe.

Homemade Creamy Caesar Dressing

Photo credit: Lori Yates.

This is the best Homemade Caesar Dressing you’ll ever make, and you don’t even need to bother with an egg yolk or chopping an anchovy! Get the recipe.

Salmon Caesar Salad

Photo credit: Lori Yates.

Salmon Caesar Salad is an upgraded twist on a classic, with butter lettuce, homemade dressing, the best croutons, and luscious avocado slices. Get the recipe.

Salmon Kale Caesar Salad with Quinoa

Salmon Caesar with kale and quinoa.Salmon Caesar with kale and quinoa.
Photo credit: Sigsbee Street.

This superfood salmon salad makes a great lunch or dinner. This recipe has a homemade dressing, tomatoes, and avocado to elevate the flavor of the salad. Get the recipe.

Lactose-Free Creamy Caesar Dressing
Photo credit: Dédé Wilson.

This is, hands down, the best lactose-free Creamy Caesar Salad Dressing that you can make without using an almost raw or barely cooked egg. Did I lose you there? A few classic early renditions of the dressing included either a raw, or a 1-minute coddled egg, which provided body and creaminess to the dressing, which by the way did not include anchovy filets (but did include Worcestershire sauce, which contains anchovies). Get the recipe.

Baby Kale Caesar Salad with Crispy Chickpeas
Photo credit: Sigsbee Street.

This baby kale Caesar salad is perfect when you need a light yet satisfying salad. You can use this as your main dish, pair it with a bowl of soup, or add it to the side of any meal.

I use baby kale in this recipe, but you can also use regular kale, just make sure to chop it up. You could also substitute spinach or romaine lettuce. Get the recipe.

Vegan Caesar Salad

Photo credit: Chef Ani.

This amazing Vegan Caesar Salad tastes as fresh and delicious as it looks. It is a perfect summer salad with crispy lettuce, homemade croutons, and a creamy, flavorful salad dressing. Top it off with some vegan parmesan, and you have a gourmet salad sure to impress the most ardent salad critic. This is possibly my family’s most loved salad recipe. Get the recipe.

Beautiful Steakhouse Caesar Salad 

2 Steakhouse.-Caesar-Salad-Hero.2 Steakhouse.-Caesar-Salad-Hero.
Photo credit: Susan Johnson.

This show-stopping steakhouse Caesar salad is a surefire winner for an impressive dinner side dish or appetizer. Buttery and crunchy smashed croutons adorn wedges of romaine hearts, torn radicchio leaves, and shaved carrots. Then, it is topped with shaved parmesan and dressed with garlicky Caesar dressing. This salad is sure to be a new entertaining favorite for dinner parties! Get the recipe.

Healthy Caesar Salad without Egg

healthy-caesar-salad-10.All Hail Caesar! 32 Ways to Make Our Favorite Salad
Photo credit: Elysia Cartlidge. 

This healthy Caesar salad recipe is a lightened up, tasty twist on the original! Creamy, tangy, and irresistibly flavorful, this recipe swaps out the mayo and raw eggs for a homemade Greek yogurt dressing, cutting down on calories without skimping on taste. Upgrade your salad game with every delicious bite—it’s a quick and easy recipe you’ll want to make all the time! Get the recipe.

Vegan Caesar Salad With Roasted Sriracha Chickpeas

Photo credit: Elysia Cartlidge. 

This vegan Caesar salad with roasted sriracha chickpeas very closely resembles your typical Caesar salad but is completely dairy-free and gluten-free! With the veggies, tahini dressing and crunchy chickpeas, it is also packed full of fiber, protein and healthy fats, making it both nutritious and filling! {Vegan, dairy-free & gluten-free}. Get the recipe.

Chicken Caesar Wrap with Avocado

Photo credit: Rena Awada.

There’s something about wraps and sandwiches that are so comforting and filling. This Chicken Caesar Wrap is easy to make and full of flavor and texture. Make and serve this easy and healthy wrap in just 30 minutes! Get the recipe.

Caesar Salad Dressing without Anchovies

Photo credit: Katie Youngs.

If you want to enjoy the creamy and tangy taste of Caesar salad without the salty and fishy taste of anchovies, you’re in luck! This Caesar Salad Dressing (without anchovies) is perfect for vegetarians and anyone else looking for a fish-free Caesar dressing. Get the recipe.

Caesar Salad with Cornbread Croutons

Photo credit: Katie Youngs.

If you’re a fan of Caesar salad, you owe it to yourself to try Caesar Salad with Cornbread Croutons. Cornbread croutons take your Caesar salad to the next level, with the combination of sweet cornbread and tangy Caesar dressing. Plus, cornbread croutons are a great way to use up leftover cornbread! Get the recipe.

Grilled Gluten-Free Caesar Salad with Homemade Dressing

Photo credit: Meeta Arora. 

Gluten-free salads don’t have to be boring. Take your gluten-free Caesar salad up a notch by taking it out to the grill. Your taste buds will thank you!

I know I have a lot of comfort foods on the site, but I am a huge fan of salads too. In fact, we have salads multiple times a week because when I ask my husband what he wants to go with dinner, it’s usually his answer. Lol, mostly because he isn’t a huge fan of cooked vegetables, but that’s okay. He loves salads, and I don’t like making boring gluten-free salads. This gluten-free grilled Caesar salad is a vegetable he’s okay with being cooked. It’s a pretty regular dish, especially in the summer when we are grilling all the time. Get the recipe.

Steak Caesar Salad

Photo credit: Kaeleigh Pugliese.

Add some protein grilled to perfection with this fresh and crisp Steak Caesar Salad. This is an easy lunch or dinner recipe that can easily be made ahead of time. With just a few minutes on the grill, this steak will add some amazing flavor and substance to your fresh Caesar Salad. Get the recipe.

Keto Vegan Caesar Salad

Photo credit: Rini Desai. 

Delicious Vegan Caesar Salad is quick and easy to make using crisp romaine lettuce and a simple vegan Caesar salad dressing that has extra garlic. This vegan version has no croutons and is gluten-free plus keto because it is made with baked tofu for extra protein. Salad is never boring. Get the recipe.

3 Ingredient Caesar Chicken: Easy Creamy One Pot Meal

Photo credit: Kim Hanna.

When it comes to easy chicken recipes you can’t get much more uncomplicated than this 3 Ingredient Caesar Chicken. This is one of my favorite camping dinner recipes when I want a really easy meal that requires no prep time and uses simple ingredients. Get the ingredients.

Chicken Caesar Wrap

Photo credit: Becky Hardin.

This Chicken Caesar Wrap is easy to make and perfect for packed lunches. All of the flavors of a traditional Chicken Caesar Salad are placed in a tortilla, making it a great option for lunch on the go. Get the recipe.

Easy, Cheesy & Creamy Caesar Chicken

Photo credit: Becky Hardin.

Easy baked Caesar Chicken is tender, cheesy, and full of flavor. Topped with plenty of cheese and creamy Caesar dressing, this is a quick and delicious dinner recipe for any night of the week. Get the recipe.

Caesar Dressing with No Egg

Photo credit: Sharon Rhodes.

Do you love Caesar salads but can’t have eggs? We’ve got you covered with this Homemade Caesar Dressing with No Egg. It is still a rich and creamy recipe but balanced with a punch of umami flavor. Get the recipe.

Caesar Salad with Chicken and Bacon 

caesar salad with bacon.caesar salad with bacon.
Photo credit: Ieva Greber.

Treat yourself to the medley of flavours and textures with our Caesar Salad with Chicken and Bacon recipe. This is one of our all-time favorites that offers a satisfying balance between indulgence and freshness, making it a perfect choice for both a hearty main course and an appetizing starter. Made with a homemade creamy dressing that omits anchovies, this salad welcomes all palates to revel in its goodness. With succulent chicken, crispy bacon bits, and homemade croutons, every bite is an invitation to experience the classic Caesar salad anew. Get the recipe.

Vegan Caesar Salad with Crunchy Chickpea Croutons & Smoked Tofu

Photo credit: Louise-Claire Cayzer. 

I am going to give you the recipe to this yummy, scrummy, garlicky Vegan Caesar salad with crunchy delicious chickpea croutons. This super delicious vegan salad recipe is an absolute FAVOURITE of mine. In fact, I make it again and again. It first made an appearance back in March 2018, when I wrote the below story about it. (Use the jump to buttons to skip the little story!) Get the recipe.

Creamy Caesar Potato Salad with Bacon

Photo credit: Dished by Kate.

This gorgeous 20-minute potato salad is PACKED with flavour and texture. Perfectly cooked potatoes are tossed with crispy bacon, an incredible Caesar dressing, crispy parmesan shards and fresh crunchy scallions. It has all the flavour of a traditional Caesar salad, in a delicious new form. Get the recipe.

Brussels Sprouts Caesar Salad Recipe

Brussels sprouts Caesar.Brussels sprouts Caesar.
Photo credit: Heather Painchaud.

A delightful twist on the classic Caesar salad, this brussels sprouts Caesar salad recipe combines crispy sprouts with creamy dressing. It’s irresistibly flavorful and satisfying. Get the recipe.

Grilled Caesar Salad with Shrimp

grilled Caesar salad with shrimp.grilled Caesar salad with shrimp.
Photo credit: Theresa Ravencraft.

Crisp, charred romaine and grilled shrimp with a creamy Caesar dressing, topped with crunchy croutons and shredded Parmesan cheese makes the best summer salad. Bursting with flavor and so easy to prepare. This delightful salad is truly a winner! Get the recipe.

High-Protein Vegan Caesar Dressing Recipe

Photo credit: Regi Pearce. 

This vegan Caesar dressing is about adding in the protein without losing any awesome flavor. It’s super creamy and tasty and perfect for prepping ahead. Ready in under 5 minutes, you can whip up a big batch and stash it in your fridge whenever you’re craving a quick, flavor-packed salad, pasta, wrap, or grain bowl. Get the recipe.

Smoked Salmon Caesar Salad

Photo credit: Lisa Leake. 

This Smoked Salmon Caesar is a perfect light salad for the summer. Toss it with the creamy homemade Caesar dressing for a healthy meal. Get the recipe.

Dairy-Free Caesar Salad Dressing

Caesar dressing.Caesar dressing.
Photo credit: Alyce Whitman. 

Dairy-free Caesar salad dressing with no egg is the perfect Caesar vinaigrette for those trying to follow a dairy-free diet. It’s so easy to make and so delicious! Get the recipe.

Grilled Caesar Salad (with homemade grilled croutons) 

Photo credit: DrugStoreDivas.

If you’re going to grill your main meal, grill your sides, like our Grilled Caesar Salad with homemade grilled croutons. Get the recipe.

Chicken Caesar Burger
Photo credit: Kristen McCaffrey. 

Chicken Caesar Burgers are a healthy, flavor packed version with all the favorites of a delicious Caesar salad in an easy to make burger. Get the recipe.

Tuna Caesar Salad 

Photo credit: Nataliia Chavez.

Tuna Caesar salad is a delicious spin on a classic Caesar. It’s a perfect combination of crispy lettuce, Parmesan, garlicky croutons, tangy dressing, and savory tuna fish. Enjoy it a light lunch or dinner. Get the recipe.

Shrimp Caesar Salad

Photo credit: Little Sunny Kitchen.

You don’t need to head to a restaurant to enjoy a fresh Shrimp Caesar Salad made with homemade croutons and a scratch-made dressing. I’ll teach you how to make your own delicious shrimp salad at home. Get the recipe.

The Ultimate Meatball Recipe Collection: 42 Recipes From All Over The World!

Spaghetti and meatballs.Spaghetti and meatballs.

Spaghetti and meatballs. Meatball sub sandwiches. What else can you do with meatballs you ask? You came to the right place! This is the ultimate meatball round-up. Beef meatballs, turkey meatballs, lamb, venison, vegetarian, vegan, smoked meatballs. We even have gluten-free, dairy-free, Instant Pot, and slow cooker options – and the BEST Ikea copycat recipe anywhere! Forty-two recipes representing cuisines from all over the world: Asian, Greek, Indian, Mexican, Italian inspired, and more. Read: The Ultimate Meatball Recipe Collection: 42 Recipes From All Over The World!

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