If you want to enjoy the creamy and tangy taste of Caesar salad without the salty and fishy taste of anchovies, you're in luck! This Caesar Salad Dressing (without anchovies) is perfect for vegetarians and anyone else looking for a fish-free Caesar dressing.
Caesar salad dressing is made with just a few simple ingredients and a quick whisk. This is a rich and creamy Caesar dressing recipe that is perfect for drizzling over crisp romaine lettuce and crunchy homemade croutons.
Anchovies are traditionally included in Caesar dressing because they give the dressing a salty, umami flavor. Luckily, we can still get the classic salty flavor by adding ingredients like Worcestershire sauce (instead of anchovies or anchovy paste).
This is my favorite dressing recipe to use when I make my Caesar Salad with Cornbread Croutons. It's a very thick and creamy recipe which also makes it the perfect topping for baked potatoes or for dipping raw veggies.
Why you'll love this recipe
- If you're vegetarian or allergic to fish, this recipe is perfect for you!
- Anchovies can be pretty pricey. Eliminating them makes homemade Caesar salad dressing very budget-friendly.
- This is a quick and easy recipe that doesn't require any special kitchen equipment. You don't need a blender or a food processor!
- Anchovies can have a very strong and overpowering taste. Eliminating them makes this a much more mild-tasting salad dressing.
- In addition to eliminating anchovies and anchovy paste, this recipe doesn't contain raw eggs.
Parmesan cheese: You'll need freshly shredded parmesan cheese. I prefer to shred my parmesan myself using a box grater. You do not want to use grated parmesan from a can.
Mayo & Sour Cream: The mayonnaise and sour cream give this recipe rich and creamy texture. I prefer to use low-fat mayo but any variety of mayo will work.
Worcestershire sauce: Worcestershire sauce is the main ingredient that we're using to replace the flavor of anchovies. If you're substituting anchovies because you have a shellfish or fish allergy, you'll want to choose a vegan Worcestershire sauce as Worcestershire is traditionally made with anchovies. My favorite vegan Worcestershire sauce is Annie's Organic Worcestershire Sauce.
Additional ingredients: You'll also need freshly squeezed lemon juice, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, kosher salt, and ground black pepper. The juice from 1 whole lemon should give you all that you need for this recipe. I prefer to use a smooth, mild, Dijon mustard (not grainy Dijon).
All you need to make this Caesar dressing recipe is a glass mixing bowl, whisk, measuring cups, and measuring spoons. You don't need a food processor, immersion blender, or countertop blender!
How to make Caesar Salad Dressing without Anchovies
- Add all of your ingredients to a mixing bowl.
- Whisk until smooth.
- Slowly add water until your desired consistency is achieved.
Step 1: Add the shredded parmesan cheese, mayo, sour cream, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, fresh garlic, salt, and pepper to a medium-sized mixing bowl.
Step 2: Whisk until all of the ingredients are fully incorporated together. You want a smooth and creamy salad dressing consistency.
Step 3: Add water a few tablespoons at a time to thin out the dressing. I like a rich, creamy dressing that can easily be poured (or drizzled) onto my salad.
Add water, and then whisk it in. Keep adding water and whisking until you've reached a thickness that you like.
Step 4: Pour your dressing directly onto your Caesar salad or store it in a glass jar in the refrigerator for later use. Enjoy!
- I like to use freshly grated parmesan cheese and freshly squeezed lemon juice. I recommend using fresh if you can!
- If this recipe is a little too thick and chunky for you, then go ahead and throw it in your food processor! An immersion blender would also work.
- If you need this recipe to be gluten-free, make sure that your Worcestershire sauce is gluten-free. Some Worcestershire sauces contain barley malt.
- If you need this recipe to be fish-free, make sure that your Worcestershire sauce doesn't contain anchovies or anchovy paste.
- You do not need to be intimidated by homemade salad dressing recipes! Skip the store-bought salad dressing and whip up this 15-minute dressing recipe instead.
Substitutions and variations
Substitutes for anchovies: In addition to Worcestershire sauce, capers, olives, soy sauce, miso paste, tamarind paste, distilled white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, and fish sauce are also common substitutes for anchovies.
Add oils: Many homemade Caesar salad dressing recipes call for a neutral-tasting oil like extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, or vegetable oil. If you're going to add oil to thin out the dressing, then you'll need to emulsify the oil into the dressing by using a food processor.
My homemade Caesar dressing recipe is low-carb, keto-friendly, and gluten-free (double-check your Worcestershire sauce).
How to store
How to store: Store leftover Caesar salad dressing in a glass jar. Any recycled glass jar with a lid will work! It will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to one week (7 days).
What to serve with
You can use Caesar Salad Dressing without Anchovies on more than just Caesar Salad! Add a dollop of Caesar dressing to garden salads, chef salads, greek salads, or antipasto salads.
Use Caesar salad dressing as a dip for raw vegetables, and a topping for grilled chicken (cast iron skillet chicken would also be amazing), shrimp, or salmon. I'm going to try it on my Grilled Chicken and Shrimp Kabobs!
Frequently asked questions
Yes, you can easily make homemade Caesar salad dressing without anchovies by using common substitutes for anchovies like Worcestershire sauce or capers.
Yes, traditional recipes for Caesar salad dressing contain anchovies or anchovy paste.
Caesar salad is typically made with romaine lettuce, parmesan cheese, croutons, and a protein like grilled chicken, grilled shrimp, or salmon.
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