This Healthy Caesar Salad is so creamy and delicious, you wont believe it has a healthy twist! It's also made vegetarian without anchovies and tastes just as good as the real thing!
I love a classic Caesar Salad but they usually aren't the healthiest and can be quite heavy. So here I've made a healthy caesar dressing with a base of Greek yogurt rather than mayonnaise which makes it healthier and high in protein too! It's also a vegetarian recipe without the anchovy paste or raw eggs so everyone can enjoy it.
I've also made it into a main meal and topped the caesar salad with crispy breaded tofu…YUM! You can also add breaded or grilled chicken breast if you aren't vegetarian.
Serve it as a side dish at your next bbq or family night and everyone will be hooked! You can even use it as a base to making a healthy caesar salad wrap or sandwich too.
Table of Contents
Why you'll love this recipe
- Nutrient Packed Ingredients. It includes wholesome ingredients such as romaine lettuce, Greek yogurt dressing, tofu, boiled eggs and whole grain croutons
- Lighter Dressing. A lighter, homemade caesar dressing brings the classic flavors with a healthier twist and reducing the calories by using Greek yogurt instead of mayo
- Customizable. Feel free to personalize it how you like. Here I've added breaded tofu, but you can also add grilled chicken, swap romaine for kale, or experiment as you wish
- Satisfying and Flavorful. Whilst being healthy, this salad doesn't compromise on taste. It’s full of flavor and a perfect meal on its own or great as a side dish
Ingredients to make a Healthy Caesar Salad
- Romaine lettuce is the traditional lettuce type to use in a classic caesar salad. It's crisp and still holds it body when tossed in the dressing
- Parmesan Cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano) adds a cheesy and savory kick to the salad, it's used in both the salad and the dressing. Grana Padano is also a great substitute. If you are vegetarian, ensure to check the packaging and ensure there is no rennet in the ingredients. Nutritional yeast can also be used to make it a vegan caesar salad.
- Boiled eggs are great in the caesar salad for added healthy protein. I like to grate the boiled eggs in the salad but you can also just chop or add slices
- Croutons add a crunchy texture and are perfect in the salad. I’ve made healthier homemade croutons using whole grain bread which you can simply toss in olive oil, dried oregano and garlic powder then bake until crunchy. You can also use gluten-free bread or sourdough
- Tofu is used here rather than chicken for a vegetarian option. I’ve made crispy breaded tofu which is similar to chicken cutlets. Grilled chicken breast or shrimp can also be used if you aren't vegetarian
- Greek Yogurt is the base of the healthy caesar dressing rather than mayonnaise. It creates a super creamy texture and a perfect healthy substitute. If making into a vegan caesar salad, you can easily substitute with a plant based yogurt such as soy yogurt or also an unflavored coconut yogurt
- Capers are the secret ingredient to making a vegetarian or vegan caesar salad without anchovies. They are tiny and salty and give it that unique umami flavor. Traditionally anchovy paste and or worcestershire sauce are used which are quite salty
- Dijon Mustard adds extra creaminess and tang to the caesar dressing
- Lemon Juice gives a slight citrusy flavor to the dressing. White wine vinegar is a suitable substitute
- Garlic adds depth and aroma to the dressing. Use garlic powder if fresh garlic isn’t available
- Parmesan cheese adds a savory, cheesy flavor. It's always best to use good quality freshly grated parmesan cheese rather than pre-grated cheeses
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil is added to slightly thin the dressing and also to make it extra silky and yummy. Avocado oil can also be used
How to make Healthy Caesar Salad
Making a Healthy Caesar Salad at home takes no time at all. Here are my simple steps below.
- Chop romaine lettuce into large bite size pieces
- Tip, soak the lettuce in a large bowl of cold water with ice cubes for 10 minutes to make it extra crisp. Drain then dry
- Boil eggs then place in the fridge to cool
- Place all salad dressing ingredients in a blender and season with salt and black pepper. Blend until smooth
- Finely grate the parmesan cheese, then grate the eggs using the same grater
- Prepare protein, pictured I've made crispy breaded tofu as a vegan protein
- In a large salad bowl, add the romaine lettuce, grated eggs and ¾ of the parmesan cheese, half of the croutons and pour over half of the dressing. Gently toss through
- Top with remaining croutons and protein of choice. Sprinkle with the remaining parmesan cheese and a drizzle of extra dressing and enjoy!
Tips and Tricks
- Soak the lettuce in a large bowl of cold water with ice cubes for 10 minutes to make it extra crisp
- Make homemade croutons. I love to make my own homemade croutons with whole-grain or sourdough bread for a healthier option
- I always prefer to buy a block of Parmesan cheese and grate it myself. It will always taste better this way guaranteed!
- Add half of the dressing to the salad to start and toss it well so everything is nicely coated. Then top with the croutons and protein so they don't go soggy
- Add extra protein. Here I've made crispy breaded tofu in the air fryer or you can also use a skillet to make grilled chicken breast or shrimp
Storage and Leftovers
- This healthy caesar salad is best eaten when fresh. However if the salad is dressed, it will still be fine to eat the next day if stored in an airtight container in the fridge
- Store any undressed salad fresh for up to 3 days, if placed in an airtight container in the fridge. Add the croutons and the dressing when ready to serve and it will be as good as new!
- Leftover caesar salad dressing can keep up to 3-4 days in the fridge. Ensure it's stored in an airtight container or mason jar
You sure can! Once the dressing is made, keep it sealed in an airtight mason jar or container in the fridge for up to 3 - 4 days. Shake it or whisk it before using and its good to go
It's best eaten when fresh, however if the salad is dressed, it will still be fine to eat the next day if stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Bear in mind, the croutons and lettuce wont be as crunchy
Definitely, with 2 simple substitutions this recipe can easily be made vegan. Rather than Greek yogurt, use a plant based yogurt and substitute with vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast
More Healthy Salads
- Chopped Greek Salad
- Kani Salad
- Chickpea Avocado Salad
- Asian Chopped Salad
- Rocket Pear and Parmesan Salad
- Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
- Shirazi Salad
I love seeing your creations and remakes, so be sure to rate the recipe, comment and share your Healthy Caesar Salad photo on Instagram so I can share the love!
Healthy Caesar Salad (Without Anchovies)
Caesar Salad Dressing
- 1 cup Greek yogurt (I’ve used non fat)
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1-2 garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoons capers including some of the brine
- ⅓ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (approx 1 small lemon)
- 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and black pepper
- Chop the romaine lettuce into large bite size pieces and wash it well. I like to soak the lettuce in a large bowl of cold water with ice cubes for 10 minutes to make it extra crisp. Then drain and dry through a colander or salad spinner
- Boil the eggs then place in the fridge to cool
- Place all of the salad dressing ingredients in a blender with a pinch of salt and black pepper and blend until smooth. I always start with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and alter if needed. More info on the dressing recipe here.Taste and adjust seasonings if required
- Finely grate the parmesan cheese. Peel the boiled eggs and grate the eggs using the same grater, or you can also slice or chop the eggs
- **Optional I have made crispy breaded tofu as a vegan protein. You can also now cook your added protein if you wish
- In a large salad bowl, add the romaine lettuce, the grated eggs and ¾ of the parmesan cheeseAdd half of the croutons and pour over half of the dressing. Gently toss the salad so that everything is nicely coated in the caesar salad dressing
- Top with remaining croutons and breaded tofu or protein of choice. Sprinkle with the remaining parmesan cheese and a drizzle of extra dressing and enjoy your Healthy Caesar Salad!
- You may have leftover dressing depending on how much dressing you like. The nutritional table is on the full amount being used
- Nutritional table does not include the breaded tofu or added protein
- Optional. If you are wishing to make your own croutons, slice the whole grain or sourdough bread into cubes and season with olive oil, salt and dried herbs. Bake in the oven or air fryer for 5-10 minutes until golden brown and crunchy