Homemade Caesar Dressing from scratch makes all the difference in preparing an incredible Caesar Salad, and it only takes 10 minutes to whip together, no fancy equipment needed. This is the real deal, not the “half-scratch” stuff made with mayonnaise. The flavor and creaminess are truly unmatched!
I have to warn you that once you start making caesar dressing from scratch, you won’t want to buy it at the store anymore. The flavor and richness are unmatched, and this tastes just like the really good caesar dressing you get at a high-quality restaurant.
I’ve noticed that some caesar dressing recipes call for using mayonnaise as a shortcut, but I really don’t understand the point of that. You’re already putting the work in to mix things up with the mayonnaise, and caesar salad dressing tastes much better when made with only the yolk (mayonnaise is usually made with the whole egg, and has a pronounced eggy flavor from the white).
No fancy equipment is needed to make this dressing, and it’s done by hand in just a few minutes.
Tips for Best Results
Use the freshest eggs possible – Don’t use eggs that have been in your fridge for a month. Pick up fresh eggs from the store when you want to make caesar dressing.
Use anchovy paste – Some people get put off when they find out there’s anchovies in caesar salad, but I assure you that it will not taste like a true caesar salad without it. It shouldn’t taste fishy, it’s adding more of a salty briny umami flavor. I recommend using anchovy paste instead of whole anchovies, because that way you don’t get any bone fragments and the flavor distributes nicely.
Chill before serving, if possible – In my Caesar Salad post I talk about how much more incredible the salad will taste if everything is really cold, because the salad tastes extra refreshing. If possible, try to make the dressing a couple hours in advance and keep it chilled in the fridge. It’s not a dealbreaker though if you make it right before assembly.
Step by Step Overview:
In a medium bowl, combine two egg yolks, Dijon mustard, garlic, anchovy paste, salt, pepper, and lemon juice:
I am currently expecting so I’m using pasteurized eggs here, which you can either purchase or make yourself. Ordinarily I use raw eggs.
Are raw eggs safe?
You are more likely to get sick from the lettuce in your salad than the raw eggs, as lettuce is actually the most common food linked with food poisoning.
The risk of salmonella from raw eggs is minimal. If you Google ‘how many eggs have salmonella,’ you will see articles (like this one from Slate) that discuss this risk, and it’s estimated that about 1 in 20,000 eggs has salmonella. That number is small enough that I just go ahead and normally eat raw eggs when the situation comes up.
However, if you prefer, you can purchase pasteurized eggs to use, or you can even pasteurize them yourself, which is what I did here. Just search for a tutorial, there are many.
Anchovy paste or whole filets?
I prefer to use anchovy paste instead of chopped anchovy filets because it distributes well and doesn’t have any bone fragments. However, if you want to taste those bits of briny salty umami, you may chop some filets instead, and whisk that in.
Whisk everything together to combine, then slowly drizzle in a light olive oil, whisking vigorously to aerate. You want to start with just a few drops at first, then slowly drizzle in more oil over a minute or two.
This is the same trick I use when making Mayonnaise. Going slowly will give you a thicker and creamier texture, which is what we want.
Eventually the dressing will look thick and creamy, like this:
It should still have a flowy texture to it, but with a thickness and richness that clings to the spoon:
To finish the dressing off, add a touch of grated parmigiano reggiano cheese:
Caesar salad is always served with shavings or a shower of grated parmigiano reggiano cheese, but it’s important to have a little bit in the dressing as well, evenly coating the leaves of romaine.
How to Serve It
Chill the dressing in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it for your Caesar Salad, or use it right away. I also suggest using your caesar dressing as a spread for Chicken Caesar wraps and for sandwiches. It pairs beautifully with Grilled Chicken Breast.
Recipe Tips and FAQ
Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
This is not recommended, because it will wreck the texture of the dressing. I share ideas in the post for how to use leftover dressing in ways that aren’t salad.
Did you enjoy the recipe? Please leave a 5-star rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page.
- 2 egg yolks (pasteurized, if desired)
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp anchovy paste*
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 garlic clove pressed or minced
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp grated parmigiano reggiano
- In a medium bowl, whisk to combine the egg yolks, lemon juice, anchovy paste, dijon mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper, for about 30 seconds, until smooth.
- While whisking constantly, add a couple drops of olive oil, then slowly drizzle in more in a steady stream, keeping in mind that you don’t want to add the oil too fast. Aim to distribute the addition of the oil over 60-90 seconds of whisking.
- At this point, the dressing should have a thick texture. Gently stir in the cheese, then place the dressing in the fridge until ready to use for Caesar Salad.
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.