This Vegan Caesar Salad is a crowd-pleasing, deli-style salad. The dairy-free Caesar dressing is creamy, zesty, garlicky, and absolutely delicious thanks to the healthy substitution of tahini instead of mayo. This healthy side dish is just as good as the traditional Caesar salad.
The good old Caesar salad. Who doesn’t love it, right?
Rich, creamy dressing over a bed of romaine lettuce, topped with salty parmesan cheese and crispy croutons. Yes, please! However, if you’re trying to make healthier choices, traditional Caesar dressing is not the best option. But sometimes you just want something other than vinaigrette dressing on your salad, right? Especially if you’re looking for a dairy-free option.
I have good news for you! This Vegan Caesar Salad is just as good, if not better than traditional Caesar Salad. The dairy-free Caesar dressing is creamy, zesty, garlicky, and absolutely delicious. This is sure to become a crowd-pleasing dinner party recipe that your guests will be begging you to share!
How can this Caesar Salad dressing be dairy free?
The base for this simple dressing is tahini – sesame seed paste. Tahini has some incredible health benefits. Compared to other nuts and seeds, sesame seeds have one of the highest oil contents by weight — which is why tahini is exceptionally silky smooth compared to other nut butters (like peanut or almond butter). Sesame seeds contain up to 55 percent oil and 20 percent protein, exactly why they’re well-known for providing both healthy fats and certain amino acids.
Tahini is a great way to intake B vitamins like thiamine, along with minerals including magnesium, copper, phosphorus, manganese, iron, and zinc. Adding tahini to recipes is a good way to get your daily copper — which is needed to maintain nerve, bone, and metabolic health.
After the tahini comes generous amounts of minced garlic, lemon juice, nutritional yeast (adds a cheesy flavor without the dairy), coconut aminos (healthier soy sauce), and a little dijon mustard. Add salt and pepper to taste and you’re good to go.
The best part, in my opinion, is the dairy-free parmesan cheese. Crumble this on top of the salad and it tastes just like the real deal – promise!
- 1 small/medium bunch lacinato kale, de-stemmed (5 cups chopped)
- 2 small heads romaine lettuce (10 cups chopped)!
- ½ cup raw tahini
- ½ lemon, freshly squeezed
- ½ cup water
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- ¼ tsp pink Himalayan sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ⅓ cup raw cashews
- 2 tbsp hemp seeds
- 1 small garlic clove
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- Pink Himalayan sea salt, to taste
- Add the tahini and all other dressing ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend on high until the dressing is super smooth. You can add an extra splash of water if necessary to get it blending. Add additional salt to taste and adjust other seasonings, if desired. Set aside.
- Add cashews and garlic into a food processor or high-speed blender and process until finely chopped. Now add in the rest of the ingredients and pulse until the mixture is combined. Salt to taste.
- De-stem the kale and then finely chop the leaves. Place into extra large bowl. Chop up the romaine into bite-sized pieces. Place into bowl along with kale. You should have roughly 5 cups chopped kale and 10 cups chopped romaine.
- Add dressing to the lettuce mixture and toss until fully coated. Season with a pinch of salt and mix again. Now sprinkle on the Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
Home Chef Tip: You can make a double batch of this dressing at the beginning of the week and keep it on hand for easy lunch or dinner salads.
We hope you love this Vegan Caesar Salads recipe from SoFabFood Home Chef, Nicole from Living Well with Nic, as much as we do. If you enjoyed this easy recipe, you can find more like it by visiting our Salad Section. For daily recipe inspiration, subscribe to our newsletter, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Pinterest. Enjoy!