Whole30 Caesar Dressing (Dairy-Free Caesar Dressing)
This Whole30 Caesar dressing is one of my favorite Whole30 salad dressing recipes! Rich, tangy, and garlicky, it comes together so easily with an immersion blender, making it “dump Caesar dressing”! This Whole30 Caesar dressing is great to have in the fridge and makes a delicious, easy side. You’ve got to try this “dump Caesar dressing”!
What Makes This Recipe So Good
Every now and then I get an intense craving for a Caesar salad: the crisp romaine, the creamy dressing so rich with umami, the crunchy croutons and creamy, aged parmesan. I’ll settle for a bowl almost anywhere!
The trouble strikes when we’re in the middle of a Whole30 and heavy sweet potatoes and avocados and eggs no longer sound appetizing. I need cool and refreshing and crisp, and a big Caesar salad would fit the bill so perfectly. Except, you know, that aged parmesan. Not exactly Whole30 compliant.
But ever since my vegan days, I’ve been working tirelessly at winning substitutions for cheesy flavor and tang in recipes. From my paleo and vegan broccoli cheese soup to my paleo and vegan queso blanco, I simply refuse to let the cheese craving go! I’ve experimented with tahini and lemon, nutritional yeast and pimentos. I no longer settle for simple, yet massive, amounts of nutritional yeast, nope. It’s gotta be complex and nutty and rich and perfect to hit the blog.
I came up with this Whole30 Caesar dressing by tweaking my beloved Whole30 immersion blender mayo (which I’ve made approximately 400000 times) and my favorite Caesar dressing from my pre-paleo days. Easy and flavorful = Whole30 heavyweight.
The result? This Whole30 Caesar dressing is all of those things I mentioned before: complex and nutty and rich and tangy and creamy and perfect. I could essentially survive off of turkey Caesar lettuce wraps for lunch, and there’s nothing more refreshing and light yet filling than a big ass bowl of Caesar salad, topped with a bit of spiced seared salmon (Coming soon!).
And when it comes to Whole30 date night? This Whole30 Caesar dressing has you absolutely covered. Pair a bowl of crisp lettuce tossed in this Whole30 Caesar dressing with a seared steak and a steamed sweet potato and wham bam thank you ma’am. Love is totally in the air.
This Whole30 Caesar dressing is made entirely in the immersion blender, just like my Whole30 coconut oil mayonnaise, my Whole30 immersion blender mayo, and “dump ranch.” Dump the ingredients, give it a whirl, and you’re done. In approximately… 26 seconds.
There are two important notes here, though: first of all, you must use “light-tasting” olive oil or avocado or fractionated (liquid) coconut oil. The coconut oil must be “tasteless” (Refined, in other words) in a bottle and must be liquid all the time; if it’s solid in a jar ever, it won’t work. And if you use regular olive oil, even organic or “extra virgin,” you’ll find a bitter, heavy taste to your dressing that you just won’t dig. Trust me on this.
Secondly, don’t skip the anchovy! If you like Caesar dressing, you don’t mind the taste of anchovy, I promise. And without it, you just won’t have Whole30 “Caesar dressing.” You’ll have a, um, creamy, lemony, garlicky dressing, which sounds totally good in its own right! But you know what it won’t be? Whole30 Caesar dressing. Plus, anchovies are stellar for you. DON’T SKIP THEM!
You can use anchovy paste, my personal favorite, which we keep in the fridge to add to dishes that need a boost of umami. Or you can use a tablespoon of anchovy filets, which we like to keep around to throw on salads. Basically: learn to love the anchovies, y’all. Tiny but mighty nutritionally, they add so much flavor to so many dishes. Try the anchovy paste first – you can find it in a rectangular box in the Italian imports section – or go with filets packed in olive oil if you can’t find paste.
Oh, and your egg doesn’t have to be room temperature if you’re using an immersion blender. I’ve made this and my Whole30 immersion blender mayo approximately 4000 times, and it makes no difference whatsoever. However, if you don’t have an immersion blender and are making this Whole30 Caesar dressing as outlined below, you’ll want to err on the side of caution and use a room temperature egg.
If you don’t have an immersion blender, use the oil, mustard powder, and egg to make mayonnaise first, as outlined in my recipe for Whole30 garlic mayonnaise. Don’t underestimate how slowly you must incorporate the oil: if you go even a tiny bit too fast, the mayo will break. After you’ve made a thick, creamy mayo, blend in the remaining ingredients from this Whole30 Caesar dressing recipe.
That said… you should really own an immersion blender. Really.
To make this Whole30 Caesar dressing, I used…
Whole30 Caesar Dressing
- 1 cup light-tasting olive oil or avocado oil, or fractionated coconut oil
- 1 whole egg
- 1 tablespoon Whole30-compliant anchovy paste see Notes
- 2 cloves garlic smashed and peeled
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- ½ tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon mustard powder
- juice of ½ lemon plus more to taste
- 2-4 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk to thin, optional
- Pour all ingredients into immersion blender jar or other jar that isn’t much wider than the immersion blender head.
- Push immersion blender into jar all the way to the bottom then start to blend, on medium speed first then increasing to high if necessary, until mixture at bottom becomes thick and opaque. Slowly raise the immersion blender a little at a time then press back down, to incorporate the remaining oil.
- Taste and adjust seasoning level as needed.
- If you can’t find a compliant brand of anchovy paste, substitute 1 tablespoon of anchovy filets packed in oil.
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.
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