Vegan Caesar Salad Dressing

by Rebekahcooked up on October 18, 2017

Nope, I’m not a vegan. Not currently, anyway. And if you know me, you know that I love me some dairy. And some anchovies. And some eggs. All things present in a traditional Caesar salad (which I also love).

Vegan Caesar Salad Dressing | PDXfoodlove

But sometimes it’s fun to experiment with different techniques — especially when they are better for the environment. Eating meatless, vegetarian or vegan more often is a goal of mine, even though I don’t have plans to become a vegetarian full time. So this weekend I decided to try my first cashew-based salad dressing, for a fun experiment!

Vegan Caesar Salad Dressing | PDXfoodlove

I started by soaking some cashews in a bowl overnight. The next day, they looked a little funky. I hadn’t told Dave what I was up to, so when he walked past my bowl of bloated cashews on the counter and noticed them, he gave me a *real* funny look. I’m still giggling about it.

Vegan Caesar Salad Dressing | PDXfoodlove

I soaked mine overnight. I think it’s important to soak them that long – some recipes I referenced said a couple of hours would work, but it seems like that would make this recipe grainy. And it took some good work by my big fancy blender to make smooth as it is.

So what was the verdict? I loved it!

Vegan Caesar Salad Dressing | PDXfoodlove

Surprisingly, this came pretty darn close to tasting like actual Caesar dressing. I’m kind of shocked.
Texture is a different story – while the texture of this dressing was totally fine, it did not mimic the “traditional” version. But I’m OK with that — more important than an exactly copy, I’m looking for a different dressing to make sometimes. And this one will definitely be in the regular rotation. And not just vegans, but your dairy free, gluten free and paleo friends will love it.

We ate this as a side with no toppings, but to make it an entree, I think roasted chickpeas, crispy tofu or crumbled, sautéed tempeh would be a great choice. Or, and this is not a paid endorsement, I love Tofurky’s chicken substitute product. LOVE. I mean it. I eat it right out of the bag. It would be great on this salad!

Vegan Caesar Salad Dressing

Vegan Caesar Salad Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
  • 1 Tbsp. miso paste (omit for low carb/paleo)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4-6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 teaspoons capers
  • 1 tsp. salt

Instructions

  1. Soak cashews overnight in water. Drain.
  2. Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor and blend on high until smooth.
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8 Comments

  1. We try to reduce meat, dairy… in our daily meals as well. Even without being vegan at all. It’s always nice to find good recipes that are also a bit better for everyone!

    Comment by Marine — October 18, 2017 at 5:36 pm

  2. Exactly!!

    Comment by bekky — October 21, 2017 at 6:10 pm

  3. Yummy! I’ve been vegan by choice, and I’ve also had to give up dairy and other ingredients while breastfeeding, in the past. During those times I REALLY missed a good vegan caesar dressing. This one looks amazing!

    Comment by Catherine @ Ten Thousand Hour Mama — October 18, 2017 at 7:36 pm

  4. I’m surprised at how close the flavor is!

    Comment by bekky — October 21, 2017 at 6:10 pm

  5. This sounds SO yummy! I actually have a Vegan Caesar Dressing recipe on my blog too – Fellow non-vegan… Love that you added Miso Paste in yours!

    Comment by Erin (Platings and Pairings) — October 19, 2017 at 11:08 pm

  6. I looooove miso paste!

    Comment by bekky — October 21, 2017 at 6:10 pm

  7. My son loves Caesar, and I can’t eat dairy, so I rarely make it for him. Now I have no excuse! Thanks for the great recipe!

    Comment by Tamara Belgard — October 19, 2017 at 11:20 pm

  8. You’ll have to tell me how it works for you! 🙂

    Comment by bekky — October 21, 2017 at 6:09 pm

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Other meatless recipes to try:

Delicata Squash & Coconut Rice Buddha Bowl

Basically, my dream post-gym dinner.

Coconut Carrot Miso Soup

A rich and velvety soup to start the winter off right.

Cauliflower Rice Gratin with Kale and Leeks

This cheeeeeeeeeesy (but VEGGIE-PACKED!) side belongs on you holiday table!