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Crunchy cornbread croutons are a creative way to jazz up a traditional Caesar salad! Fluffy, golden, slightly sweet cornbread served over savory Caesar salad is the perfect contrast between sweet and savory. In addition to the cornbread croutons, crisp romaine lettuce is coated in creamy made-from-scratch Caesar dressing. I served this salad with my marinated grilled shrimp skewers! Marinated grilled chicken breast or baked salmon would also be delicious with this salad.

Since this is such an easy dish, I can not wait to bring this to upcoming summer cookouts. Cornbread is so quick and easy to whip up. Cornbread croutons actually bake up easier if you make the cornbread the day before and let it dry out a bit. If you cook the cornbread the day before, the entire salad can be assembled in about 15 minutes!

Ingredients

Pictured below are the ingredients needed for the cornbread mix that I used. I have used Fleischmann’s Simply Homemade Cornbread Mix several times and I really like the flavor and consistency! My other top choice would be Bob’s Red Mill Cornbread Mix. Follow the cooking instructions on your package of cornbread mix to make the cornbread.

***The cornbread mix that I used (pictured below) is NOT gluten free! If you would like this recipe to be gluten free, make sure to choose a gluten free cornbread mix. Bob’s Red Mill, King Arthur and Pamela’s Products all make a gluten free cornbread mix.

Ingredients needed for Fleischmann's Simply Homemade Cornbread Mix.  Pictured ingredients are milk, butter, 1 egg, the cornbread mix and a square baking pan.
Ingredients needed for Fleischmann’s Simply Homemade Cornbread Mix

The Creamy Caesar Dressing is so simple to make from scratch! All you need are these kitchen staples.

Ingredients needed for Creamy Caesar Dressing. Ingredients in photo are mayonnaise, shredded parmesan cheese, sour cream, Dijon mustard, garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce.
Ingredients needed for Creamy Caesar Dressing

Once you have made your cornbread croutons and your creamy Caesar dressing, the Caesar Salad will mix together very quickly!

Ingredients needed for the Caesar salad. Pictured ingredients needed are romaine lettuce, cornbread croutons, parmesan cheese and creamy Caesar dressing.
Ingredients needed to assemble the Caesar Salad.

How to make

Cornbread

Simply follow the instructions on the back of your cornbread mix!

Homemade Cornbread Croutons

Step 1: After you have made your cornbread, let it cool completely. By completely, I mean, 100% totally cooled off. Just like you need to have a fully cooled cake before you can frost it. You will need the cornbread to be completely cooled off before you can start cutting it into small squares. If the cornbread is still warm, the cornbread will just crumble as you are cutting it. After it has fully cooled, remove it from the pan.

Tip: Make your cornbread the DAY/NIGHT BEFORE. This will ensure that it is fully cooled and even a little dried out before you cut into it.

Cornbread removed from the baking pan. Cornbread is ready to cut into.
Cooled cornbread, ready to cut.

Step 2: Cut the cornbread into small, 1 inch squares. This will look pretty large for croutons but any smaller will result in too much crumbling. After they are cooked they are very easy to break in half if needed. Cut them very gently, with a sharp chopping knife.

Cornbread cut into 1 inch squares.
Cornbread cut into 1 inch squares.

Step 3: Carefully transfer the cornbread squares to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of course salt over the cornbread. Gently mix with a spoon.

Cornbread squares in a medium sized mixing bowl drizzle with olive oil and sprinkled with course salt.
Cornbread squares in a mixing bowl with olive oil and salt.

Step 4: Carefully transfer the cornbread to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. I recommend using your hands and moving the chunks one at a time. Bake at 375° for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven when finished cooking.

Chunks of cornbread are on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and are ready to go in the oven.
Cornbread on a sheet pan, ready to go in the oven.

Creamy Caesar Dressing

Simply mix all ingredients needed for the Creamy Caesar Dressing in a medium sized mixing bowl and set aside.

Ingredients for the Caesar dressing are combined in a mixing bowl.
Caesar dressing ingredients combined in a mixing bowl.

Caesar Salad with Crispy Cornbread Croutons

Chop up your romaine lettuce and coat it with the Creamy Caesar dressing. Using a vegetable peeler, thinly shave the block of parmesan cheese. Top the romaine with the shaved parmesan and the crispy cornbread croutons. Serve and enjoy!

*Shortcut alert! If you want to save some time, Sargento® sells 5 ounce bags of shaved parmesan cheese.

Image for Pinterest. Image shows a zoomed in photo of the Caesar Salad topped with thinly sliced parmesan cheese and the cornbread croutons.
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Zoomed in photo of Caesar Salad with Crispy Cornbread Croutons. Salad is on a grey plate.

Caesar Salad with Crunchy Cornbread Croutons


  • Author: Katie
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 24 servings 1x

Description

Crisp romaine lettuce is coated in creamy Caesar dressing and topped with slightly sweet & fluffy cornbread croutons. The cornbread croutons are a creative way to jazz up a traditional Caesar Salad.


Ingredients

Scale

Cornbread Croutons

  • 1 pound package of cornbread mix, fully cooked and cooled off
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon course salt

Creamy Caesar Dressing

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • optional – 2-3 tablespoons water

Caesar Salad

  • 23 hearts of romaine lettuce
  • Block of parmesan cheese
  • Creamy Caesar Dressing
  • Cornbread Croutons

Instructions

Cornbread Croutons

  1. Preheat your oven to 375° Fahrenheit.
  2. Remove the fully cooked and cooled off cornbread from the baking pan and place it on a cutting board. Carefully cut the cornbread into 1 inch squares.  The cornbread needs to be handled gently because it crumbles easily.
  3. Carefully transfer the cornbread to a medium-sized mixing bowl.  Drizzle the cornbread with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Sprinkle the 1/4 teaspoon of course salt over the cornbread.  Gently mix to combine.
  4. Using your hands, transfer each chunk of cornbread, one-by-one, to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  5. Bake the cornbread croutons for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

Creamy Caesar Dressing

  1. Combine all ingredients for the dressing in a medium-sized mixing bowl (mayonnaise, sour cream, shredded parmesan cheese, minced garlic, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper).  Whisk to combine.
  2. If your dressing is too thick for your preference, you can thin it out with 2-3 tablespoons of water. Set aside.

Caesar Salad

  1. Using a vegetable peeler, thinly shave the block of parmesan cheese.
  2. Chop up your romaine lettuce.  Toss the romaine lettuce in about 1/4 cup of the Creamy Caesar Dressing. Top the romaine with the shaved parmesan cheese and the cornbread croutons.
  3. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • This recipe is only gluten free if you choose a gluten free cornbread mix.  Not all cornbread mixes are gluten free so make sure to check the ingredients label on the package you choose.
  • This recipe calls for both shredded and shaved parmesan cheese. The dressing calls for shredded parmesan and the salad calls for shaved parmesan.  The shaved parmesan cheese is made using a vegetable peeler. Shredded parmesan cheese is made using a box grater.
  • The cornbread needs to fully cooled before slicing into croutons. This is best achieved by baking the cornbread anywhere from 2-24 hours ahead of time.
  • The cornbread croutons will keep for 3-4 days on the counter in an air-tight container.
  • The Creamy Caesar Dressing will keep for 3-4 days in the refrigerator in an air-tight container.
  • Serve this recipe with grilled shrimp, grilled chicken or salmon!
  • Category: dinner
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: cornbread croutons, homemade cornbread croutons, salad with cornbread croutons

Serving Suggestions

Frequently Asked Questions & Tips

Is this recipe gluten free?

All of the ingredients used for the Creamy Caesar Dressing are gluten free. As long as you choose a cornbread mix that is also gluten free (not all are so be careful), then yes, this can be a gluten free recipe.

Can I make anything in this recipe ahead of time?

Yes! I actually recommend making the cornbread ahead of time. The salad dressing can be made in advance as well. I suggest assembling the salad at time of serving.

How long will the salad dressing and the cornbread croutons keep for?

The salad dressing will keep for about 3-4 days in the refrigerator. The croutons will keep for about 3-4 days in an air-tight container on the counter.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a review below!