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VEGAN CAESAR SALAD

Vegan Caesar Salad features a homemade rich and creamy roasted garlic Caesar Dressing, fresh romaine, crispy chickpea croutons, almond parmesan, and avocado for the most amazing vegan salad!

top down view of vegan caesar salad on a platter with items surrounding.

Why We Love This Recipe!

  • Healthy + well balanced. This Caesar Salad is 100% vegan (diary free and egg free), well-balanced, and made with healthy whole food plant based ingredients!
  • Easy to make. Everything you need for this salad is simple, accessible, and super easy to put together.
  • Make it ahead. The Caesar dressing and chickpeas can be made in advance so you can have them handy anytime. Then all you need to do is chop up the romaine.

Served as a small appetizer, side salad, or main entree, Caesar salad one of my favorite go-to salads at the moment and I think you’re going to love it as much as we do!!

Want to try something different, try this Caesar Pasta Salad. It’s just as healthy and delicious!

top down view of ingredients used to make vegan caesar salad recipe.

What is in a Vegan Caesar Salad?

Caesar salad is a simple dish that can be changed up a variety of ways to suit your taste. I love adding sliced avocado for extra creaminess, and of course you can change up the garlic chickpea croutons by adding traditional bread croutons instead.

Here is everything you will need, including substitution ideas:

  • Romaine – Fresh romaine lettuce is crisp and crunchy with a mild, slightly bitter taste that’s delicious.
  • Chickpeas – Typically Caesar salad includes croutons, but we’ll be making homemade garlic chickpea croutons instead, adding a crispy texture and protein to the caesar salad.
  • Cashews – This is the base of the vegan caesar dressing. Use raw cashews for a neutral flavor. See notes for nut-free options.
  • Capers – Adds an overall briny flavor that replaces sardines found in traditional caesar dressing.
  • Garlic – The recipe calls for roasting the garlic which sweetens and mellows the flavor, but you can use fresh as well. 
  • Vegan Worcestershire – This adds a richness to the caesar salad dressing. See notes in recipe card for substituting.
  • Dijon – Adds a slight tang, sharp, and spiciness to the dressing.
  • Lemon – Add tanginess. Can sub with apple cider vinegar.
  • Parmesan cheese: We’ll be using a non-dairy Almond Parmesan. It’s a delicious vegan cheese that pairs perfectly with the tanginess from the caesar salad dressing. If using store bought, I love this Violife Vegan Parm.
side by side photos of homemade crispy baked chickpeas and vegan caesar dressing.

How To Make Vegan Caesar Salad

A vegan caesar salad is super easy to make. The only thing that takes time is the garlic chickpea croutons, but once those are done the salad is ready in 5 minutes!

  • How To Make Chickpea Croutons: Make sure the chickpeas are mostly dry and remove any of the skins that peel away during the drying process. Roast them on a rimmed baking sheet with a drizzle of oil and spices. Add the garlic (for the dressing) with the chickpeas and bake for 35 – 40 minutes at 400 degrees F. Be sure to remove garlic if they start to brown too much, this will happen with smaller cloves of garlic.
  • How To Make Vegan Caesar Dressing: Soak the cashew for 5 minutes in hot water (this will help soften them for blending). Place the cashews, roasted garlic, capers, dijon, vegan Worcestershire, lemon juice, salt & pepper, in a small blender (<affiliate link) and blend until creamy smooth. Taste for flavor.
  • How To Assemble Vegan Caesar Salad: Chop the romaine, add to a large mixing bowl, and toss with the vegan Caesar dressing (you may have leftovers), top with chickpea croutons and healthy sprinkle of Almond Parmesan. Serve with optional sliced avocado and extra capers.

And that’s it! We hope you enjoy this fresh and savory salad often!

top down view of vegan caesar salad on a platter with items surrounding.

How To Store

  • Salad: Leftover Caesar Salad can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 4 – 5 day in a covered container.
  • Dressing: Caesar Dressing can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to 6 days.
  • Chickpeas: Leftover crispy chickpeas can be kept in an airtight container for up to 6 days.

Serving Suggestions

Serve Caesar salad as a side dish or main entree. If making as a side, here are a few plant based main dishes and sides that will pair well for a full meal.

top down view of vegan caesar salad in a large white bowl.

Adjusting For Dietary Restrictions

Looking to make dietary adjustments? Here are a few helpful ideas to get you started.

  • Gluten-free: In place of bottled worcestershire sauce, use the suggested replacement noted in the recipe card.
  • Nut-free: Instead of using cashews for Caesar dressing , try subbing with 2/3 – 3/4 cup of plain, unsweetened, non-dairy yogurt or vegan mayo. Add a little water as needed to thin. It should be just as savory and delicious!
  • Oil-free: Skip the oil when roasting the chickpeas, instead tossing them with a little canned chickpea juice or tamari instead.

More Healthy Salads!

Salads are a great way to include fresh veggies and fruits into your diet. Take a look at these other healthy salads, you just may find a new favorite for the meal rotation!

up close side angle view of the best vegan caesar salad with crispy chickpeas and avocado.

If you try this easy salad recipe or have a question, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.

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VEGAN CAESAR SALAD

This vegan caesar salad with garlicky chickpea croutons is so easy to make and absolutely the BEST! Recipe is dairy free, egg free and perfect for lunch, dinner or make ahead meals.

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 40 min
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 3 – 4 1x
  • Category: Salad, Entree
  • Method: blend, mix
  • Cuisine: Vegan

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 3 heads romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 avocado, sliced (optional)
  • Almond Parmesan

Chickpea Croutons

  • 1 can (15oz) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • generous pinch mineral salt

Caesar Dressing

  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons capers
  • 1 tablespoon vegan worcestershire (I use Annie’s)
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • juice of 1 medium lemon or 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • generous pinch of mineral salt & fresh cracked pepper

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat.

Chickpea Croutons: Place rinsed chickpeas between a clean dish cloth, and gently rub them to dry, removing any of the loose skins. Place chickpeas on a prepared baking sheet, drizzle with oil and toss to coat, sprinkle with garlic powder and salt. Arrange chickpeas in a single layer, and garlic cloves (from the dressing), and bake for 40 – 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so. Remove the garlic if they seem to be getting too baked (especially if they are on the smaller side). Once done, set aside.

Caesar Salad Dressing: Soak the cashew in hot water (not boiling) for 5 minutes, drain. In a high speed or personal blender, add the cashews, water, roasted garlic cloves, capers, worcestershire, dijon, lemon juice, salt & pepper, blend until creamy smooth. Makes about 1 cup.

Assemble Caesar Salad: Place the chopped romaine in a large mixing bowl, add as much or as little of the dressing as you like, you may have some leftover, and give a good toss. Top with chickpea croutons, avocado, and a sprinkle of Almond Parmesan.

Serves 3 – 4

Store: Leftover salad and dressing will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 5 – 6 days in covered containers.

Notes

If you don’t have capers, no worries, the caesar dressing is just as great without them!

If you can find vegan Worcestershire or are looking for a gluten free option, try using a mixture of:

  • 2 teaspoons coconut amins or tamari
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cane sugar or pure maple sugar
  • dash of hot sauce

Alternatively, replace the worcestershire with 1 teaspoon of mellow miso and tamari for a delicious umami flavor. Add more of each ingredient as needed.

RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT: I use my small blender NutriBullet to blend the caesar dressing. It works great for small jobs like this and cleans up easily. For more of my favorite cooking tools, shop my kitchen essentials.

Updated: This recipe was originally published in March 2019. It has been retested and updated with new photos and helpful tips in March 2021.

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11 Comments

  1. Love the dressing. I put extra veggies in the salad and the croutons are great. I am not sure about the almond cheese yet. I changed some things and will try it all together tomorrow. Thank you for the recipe. I feel inspired!

  2. Absolutely wonderful, simple salad. The dressing is perfect!

  3. Best Caesar salad recipe I’ve found. Chickpeas are crispy and dressing is perfect. Didn’t have capers and used miso and soy sauce instead or Worcestershire. Lemon juice is better than acv, in my opinion. I like adding “bacon” bits – whatever I have around, whether it’s tofu crumbles or chunks of lightlife bacon. Adding seitan chicken is really good too!

  4. I’ve only made the dressing so far and it’s absolutely delicious! It will be my go to ceasar dressing from now on! Thank you!!

  5. That dressing is the BEST! This salad was a total hit with me and my hubby. Thanks for the great recipe!

  6. What can you use instead of Worcestershire sauce?? I cannot have gluten or soy… I’ve been craving Caesar salads and this looks incredible!!!

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Hi Deanna, that’s a great question! I’ve added a substitution in the recipe card notes. Enjoy the salad and let us know how you liked it!

  7. This was sooooo delicious! The dressing is just divine!

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Yay, so glad you loved it!

  8. Looks delicious! Just one question about the roasted garlic. Skins on while roasting? Looks like it in the pic but just want to make sure!

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Actually, I peeled it beforehand, making it easier to add to the blender for the dressing. But you could just as well leave the skin on, as they should squeeze out of the skin fairly easy, they’ll just need to cool a bit first.

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