Caesar salads are one of our go-to weeknight salads and using homemade Caesar salad dressing is easy and tastes so much better than anything you buy at the store. There are a ton of variations -with mayo, without mayo, anchovies, no anchovies, eggs, no eggs- but this traditional version is one we love.
Key Ingredients and Substitutions
There is no mayo in our Caesar dressing but yes, there are anchovies!
The complete ingredient list and measurements are listed in the printable recipe below.
- Anchovies: There are a lot of recipes that exclude anchovies from the recipe but to make true traditional Caesar Dressing you need some anchovy. They add a briny (salty) umami flavor that makes the Caesar Dressing delicious. We have tried this recipe with both anchovy filets and anchovy paste it works great with either. One anchovy filet is equal to 1/2 teaspoon of anchovy paste.
- Egg: The USDA does consider it safe to eat raw egg yolks that have been pasteurized. The egg yolk is what gives the dressing that rich emulsion but if you prefer you can substitute approximately 1/2 tablespoon mayo for 1 egg yolk.
- Garlic: You can use more or less garlic depending on your preference.
- Olive Oil: Most recipes call for both olive oil and neutral oil such as vegetable oil. We opted to use only olive oil in our recipe but you can substitute neutral oil for some of the olive oil. We have made it both ways and it was great.
- Parmigiano Reggiano: The real stuff and not Parmesan. If you get pre-grated just make sure the package says Parmigiano Reggiano.
How to Make Caesar Dressing
Here are the quick step-by-step instructions with visuals; you can find the full instructions with the exact ingredients in the recipe card below.
Pro-tip: If your dressing seems too thick add a splash of lemon and water to thin it out. You can add more if needed so be careful not to add too much.
1. Prep the Anchovy Fillets and Garlic: On a cutting board chop together the anchovy fillets, garlic, and a pinch of salt. You want the garlic and anchovy fillets as small as possible. Then using the side of the knife blade mash the garlic and fillets into a paste using the salt as an abrasive. Scrap the garlic, anchovy, and salt mixture into a medium bowl. Note: If you are using anchovy paste instead of anchovy fillets combine them with the salt and crushed garlic in a medium bowl until they have formed a uniform paste.
2. Whisk or Blend: Whisk in the egg yolk, lemon juice, mustard, and Parmigiano Reggiano Then slowly add the olive oil either by using a hand whisk or immersion blender.
- Using a Hand Whisk: Starting with a few drops slowly whisk in the olive oil and whisk until all the olive oil has been added and the dressing is glossy.
- Using an immersion Blender: Place the immersion blender in the bottom of the medium bowl turn it on to a low setting and slowly stream in the olive oil until all the olive oil has been added and the dressing is glossy. The blender will also help break down the garlic and anchovy fillets into a finer paste.
3. Serve: Fold in the lemon zest, then add additional salt to taste. Besides your favorite salad, this dressing is perfect in a Caesar Salad wrap, as a dressing for your favorite burger or sandwich, or as a dip for veggies.
Recipe Tips and Notes
- Pour the olive oil in slowly as you are whisking to ensure the dressing emulsifies into a smooth, silky consistency. You can use a food processor or a handheld immersion blender instead of whisking by hand.
- Besides using the side of a knife blade to mash the garlic and anchovies into a paste you can opt for using a mortar and pestle. You can also substitute anchovy paste.
- You can secure the bowl with a damp towel rolled up and wrapped around its base to help prevent it from slipping.
Frequently Asked Questions
Place leftover dressing in an air-tight container and store it in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
Let’s Connect! If you make our Homemade Caesar Dressing with Anchovies or any other recipe on Casual Epicure, please don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It helps others who are considering making our recipes and we love hearing about your cooking experiences. And if you snapped some shots, share them on Instagram, and be sure to tag @casual.epicure so we can feature them in our stories.
Other Recipes to Try
If you enjoy this recipe, we recommend checking out some of these other dressings and dips:
Homemade Caesar Dressing with Anchovies
- Medium-Size bowl
- Garlic Press
- Immersion Blender (optional)
- 3 anchovy fillets
- 1 clove garlic, medium
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice, fresh squeezed
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 ½ tablespoons Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated
- On a cutting board chop together the anchovy fillets, garlic, and pinch of salt. Using the side of the knife blade mash the garlic and fillets into a paste, then scrape into a medium bowl. See Notes below if using anchovy paste.
- Whisk in the egg yolk, lemon juice, mustard, and Parmigiano Reggiano.
- Using a Hand Whisk: Starting with a few drops slowly whisk in the olive oil and whisk until all the olive oil has been added and the dressing is glossy.Using an immersion Blender: Placing the blender in the bottom of the medium bowl turn it on a low setting and slowly stream in the olive oil until all the olive oil has been added and the dressing is glossy. The blender will also help break down the garlic and anchovy fillets into a finer paste.
- Fold in the lemon zest, then add additional salt to taste.