Vegan Caesar Salad with Grilled Romaine topped with Garlic-Herb Croutons

Vegan Caesar Salad with Grilled Romaine

When it comes to transitioning to a plant-based diet, the most helpful thing you can do is discover ways to replace diary and meat-based ingredients. 

Once you figure out how to do this, you can easily enjoy your favorite recipes without missing any flavors or textures. That’s what this recipe for Vegan Caesar Salad with Grilled Romaine is here to teach you.

Dairy-Free Caesar Dressing Tips:

If you want a sauce or dressing that is thick and creamy, look no further than a handful of cashews!

There’s no need to rely on processed vegan foods like egg-free mayo in order to achieve the creaminess of a classic Caesar dressing in this recipe. 

By simply soaking a cup of cashews in hot water for a few minutes, you gain the perfect base for a totally plant-based version. 

With the addition of a few condiments like salty capers and tangy dijon mustard, you will have the perfect salad accompaniment in just a few pulses of the blender.

Nutrition Facts for Vegan Caesar Dressing, Showing 151 calories, 12g fat, 9g carbs, and 5g protein per serving

Cashews provide a great source of nutritious fats and plant-based protein to this delicious salad!

Vegan Caesar Salad with Grilled Romaine topped with Garlic-Herb Croutons

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Vegan Caesar Salad with Grilled Romaine

Cool and creamy dairy-free Caesar dressing pairs perfectly with a slightly charred bed of lettuce and crunchy homemade croutons in this recipe!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Appetizer, Lunch, Salad
Cuisine: American, Plant Based, Vegan
Keyword: Caesar Salad, Dairy Free Caesar Salad, Healthy Salad Recipes, Vegan Caesar Salad
Servings: 1 Serving


For Caesar Dressing

  • 1 Cup Raw, Unsalted Cashews
  • 1 Lemon Juiced
  • ½ Cup Water Plus more as needed
  • 1 Tbsp Capers
  • 1 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 Tsp Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 3 Dashes Sea Salt

For Grilled Romaine

  • ½ Head Organic Romaine Lettuce
  • 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tsp Freshly Cracked Black Pepper

For Garlic & Herb Croutons

  • 2 Slices Crusty Bread
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tsp Dried Herbs (i.e. Parsley, Oregano...)


  • Preheat the oven to a low broil.
  • Add the raw, unsalted cashews into a bowl and cover them with hot water. Allow them to soak and soften for 10 minutes.
  • Once the cashews are soft, drain the water then toss the nuts into a blender. Add the rest of the Caesar salad dressing ingredients and blend until you achieve a smooth and thickened, yet slightly runny consistency. Add extra water as needed if the dressing is too thick.
  • Refridgerate the dressing while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  • Prep the croutons by tearing the bread into bite sized pieces, then toss in a bowl with the olive oil and seasonings.
  • Spread the bread bites on a non-stick baking dish and then bake on the lowest rack of the oven for about 15 minutes, making sure they don't burn. Once the bread hardens into croutons, remove from the oven and set aside to cool to room temp.
  • Slice the head of lettuce in half lengthwise. Do not cut off the ends, as this holds the lettuce in its form while cooking.
  • Rinse and dry the lettuce thoroughly, then coat each half with a drizzle of olive oil.
  • Place lettuce halves onto a nonstick baking sheet and broil on the top rack of the oven for about 5-7 minutes, just long enough to slightly char the surface of the romaine. Alternatively, you can use a grill to do this step if you have one available.
  • Remove the lettuce from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Top each romaine half with 3-4 Tbsp Caesar dressing, a handful of croutons, and a dash of freshly cracked black pepper. Serve with a lemon wedge on the side.
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