Making a Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing is surprisingly easier than you might think! With the tips and tricks outlined below you’ll be able to turn a simple egg yolk into a luxuriously creamy, garlic and Parmesan cheese-flavored salad dressing that rivals any restaurant’s. And the best part? It’s ready in just 5 minutes!

A fork digs into romaine lettuce with Caesar salad dressing in a white bowl.

Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing Recipe

I stood in awe as I witnessed the magic unfold.

A simple egg yolk, whisked, emulsified with oil, and flavored with anchovy paste, garlic, and Parmesan cheese transformed into a creamy Caesar salad dressing that tasted…

OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD!

And the best Caesar salad dressing was all ready in just 5 minutes.

Good news: I happen to be a master at taking notes and documenting the tiniest details… all of which I’ve outlined for you below so you can get the best results when you make your own easy Caesar dressing any night of the week. (Which you MUST serve with this Caesar Salad and Homemade Croutons!)

Want a few other healthy salad dressing recipe ideas? Check out this Healthy Balsamic Vinaigrette, the Best Ranch Dressing, or this Honey Mustard Dressing next!

Anchovy paste, Parmesan cheese, eggs, oil, and garlic are the main ingredients for this dressing.
A cover, table of contents, and recipe page for the 17 healthy salad dressings e-book.

17 Simple Salad Dressings e-Book

An e-cookbook full of quick vinaigrettes and creamy dressings that are ready in under 5 minutes!

Ingredients

  • Anchovy paste. This ingredient is made from whole anchovies and should easily be found in the canned meat section of the grocery store. You don’t need much more than a teaspoon of anchovy paste or two, so you can keep some on hand to add umami flavor to a variety of dishes! 
  • Lemon. Freshly squeezed lemon juice is essential for the absolute best flavor.
  • Egg. A single egg yolk is needed for this homemade dressing, but be sure it’s a large one.
  • Mustard. Dijon mustard is the best for that classic Caesar salad taste. In a pinch, you could use yellow mustard. Steer clear of stone-ground or spicy mustard.
  • Parmesan cheese. Nutty Parmesan cheese is an essential part of this salad. Save time by buying a bag of grated from the store. You can also grab a wedge of Parmigiano Reggiano and grate it yourself for a more authentic taste.
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How to Make the Best Caesar Dressing

Please see the recipe card below for ingredient amounts and more detailed instructions.

1. Mix the Anchovy and Garlic

Use a sharp knife and a cutting board to mince the garlic. You can also use a garlic press.

Add the anchovy paste and salt, then smash the mixture using the edge of the knife. A paste should form.

Anchovy paste and garlic are mixed together.

2. Make the Base

Set a medium-sized saucepan on the counter, then drape a towel over it, and then fit a medium-sized glass or metal mixing bowl inside. This towel and pot method helps to stabilize the mixing bowl so you can use both hands while whisking!

Add the raw egg yolks, lemon juice, and mustard to the bowl. Whisk vigorously until the mixture becomes frothy and bubbles start to form. You want to make sure it gets nice and frothy so the dressing will thicken up!

Drip in 1 to 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil (or another neutral oil), 1 or 2 drops at a time. Continue whisking until it thickens and begins to emulsify. Then, slowly pour in the rest of the oil.

The caesar dressing is whisked until incorporated.

3. Bring it All Together

Mix in the anchovy mixture, Parmesan cheese, and black pepper. If the dressing is too thick, slowly add in water until your desired consistency is reached.

Serve the Caesar salad dressing immediately. If saving, keep it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

A spoon scoops out a serving of Caesar salad dressing.

FAQs

What is real Caesar salad dressing made of?

Authentic Caesar dressing contains garlic and anchovies mixed into tempered egg yolks, mustard, and oil and finished with Parmesan cheese.

FAQs

What can I substitute for anchovies in Caesar dressing? 

One of the best substitutes for anchovies in this dressing is capers! Simply mash them into the garlic as you would the fish and continue with the recipe. Another substitute is Worcestershire sauce.

 Where is Caesar salad from? 

Caesar salad has a unique history, as it is Italian in nature, but comes from Mexico. Caesar Cardini was an Italian chef living in Mexico in the 1920s to avoid Prohibition and invented this classic salad.

Recipe Tips

  • Save time. Buy a bag of pre-grated Parmesan cheese at the grocery store.
  • Make it work. Sub in capers or Worcestershire sauce for this classic Caesar salad dressing.
  • Free up your hands. Stabilizing the bowl with a towel and saucepan will keep the bowl in place while you’re mixing.
  • Elbow grease. Be sure to whisk the egg yolk until frothy.
  • Slowly add it in. Only add a few drops of oil at a time in the beginning to create a proper emulsion.
Caesar salad is topped with croutons, cheese, dressing, and a lemon.

What to Serve with Traditional Caesar Dressing

Caesar dressing is surprisingly versatile!

Of course, you can’t go wrong with a bed of crisp romaine lettuce for an easy Caesar Salad. Drizzle it over your other favorite salads for a unique twist.

Or, use it as a marinade for meat, like Air Fryer Boneless Chicken Thighs or Air Fryer Salmon.

It’s savory flavor is delicious on veggies, like Air Fryer Broccoli or Easy Roasted Eggplant.

A cover, table of contents, and recipe page for the 17 healthy salad dressings e-book.

17 Simple Salad Dressings e-Book

An e-cookbook full of quick vinaigrettes and creamy dressings that are ready in under 5 minutes!

More Dressing Recipes

You’ll find it’s quick, easy, and affordable to make your own dressings any time of the year.

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 4 votes

Caesar Salad Dressing Recipe

Making a Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing is surprisingly easier than you might think! With the tips and tricks outlined below you'll be able to turn a simple egg yolk into a luxuriously creamy, garlic and Parmesan cheese-flavored salad dressing that rivals any restaurants!
A fork digs into romaine lettuce with Caesar salad dressing in a white bowl.
Yield 8 servings
Prep 5 minutes
Total 5 minutes
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Ingredients 

  • 2-3 tsp. anchovy paste or 2-3 anchovies
  • 1 large clove garlic finely minced
  • ¼-½ tsp. salt to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup oil olive or avocado
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • tsp. black pepper optional
  • 1-2 Tbsp. water optional

Instructions 

  • Mix the Anchovy and Garlic: Finely mince garlic clove on a cutting board, or use a garlic press. Add anchovy paste and salt. Smash the mixture with the sides of a knife until a paste forms.
    2-3 tsp. anchovy paste, 1 large clove garlic, ¼-½ tsp. salt
  • Make the Base: Place a towel in a medium-sized saucepan and then add a medium-sized bowl. (This helps to stabilize the bowl while you’re using both hands! This is NOT done on the stovetop.) Add the egg yolk, lemon juice, and mustard. Whisk vigorously until it begins to get frothy and bubbles form on top of the surface.
    2 Tbsp. lemon juice, 1 large egg yolk, 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • Emulsify with Oil: Drip in 1-2 tablespoons of oil, drop by drop, while continuing to whisk. Wait for it to thicken up and then slowly pour in the remaining oil, one tablespoon at a time. When done slowly you'll create an emulsion of ingredients.
    ½ cup oil
  • Bring it All Together: Mix in the anchovy mixture, Parmesan cheese, and black pepper. If the mixture is too thick, slowly add in water until your desired consistency is reached. Serve Caesar salad dressing immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
    ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, ⅛ tsp. black pepper, 1-2 Tbsp. water
Last step! If you make this, please leave a review letting us know how it was!

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 4 votes

Video

Notes

  • Serving size is ~2 tablespoons of dressing.
Prep-Ahead Instructions:
This Caesar dressing is best enjoyed immediately after making, but you can grate the cheese if needed.
Storage Directions:
If you don’t use all of the dressing, store it in an airtight container for up to 5 to 6 days. Freezing is not recommended.
Recipe Tips
  • Save time. Buy a bag of pre-grated Parmesan cheese at the grocery store.
  • Make it work. Sub in capers or Worcestershire sauce for this classic Caesar salad dressing.
  • Be careful. Placing a towel over the saucepan will keep the mixing bowl in place while you’re mixing.
  • Elbow grease. Be sure to whisk the base well over the heat.
  • It’s up to you. Finish with seasonings of your choice to make it your own.

Nutrition

Calories: 147kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 9g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 27mg, Sodium: 163mg, Potassium: 18mg, Fiber: 0.1g, Sugar: 0.1g, Vitamin A: 58IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 44mg, Iron: 0.2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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