If you're a fan of Caesar salad, you owe it to yourself to try Caesar Salad with Cornbread Croutons. Cornbread croutons take your Caesar salad to the next level, with the combination of sweet cornbread and tangy Caesar dressing. Plus, cornbread croutons are a great way to use up leftover cornbread!
Caesar salad is usually a combination of romaine lettuce, parmesan cheese, croutons, and Caesar dressing. By replacing traditional homemade croutons with cornbread croutons, you add a creative twist to this beloved classic salad.
Step-by-step instructions on how to make cornbread croutons are included below. Cornbread croutons only require 3 ingredients and are made in under 30 minutes!
When I make my cornbread crouton Caesar salad I always top it with my rich and creamy Caesar Salad Dressing (without anchovies). My Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Breast, Blackened Cod, and Chicken and Shrimp Kabobs are all perfect proteins to pair with Caesar Salad.
Why you'll love this recipe
- Caesar Salad with Cornbread Croutons has a satisfying combination of textures. You can have crisp romaine lettuce leaves, creamy Caesar dressing, and crunchy cornbread croutons all in one bite.
- Caesar salad is versatile. You can choose to keep your salad vegetarian, or you can add different proteins like chicken, fish, or shrimp.
- When you add cornbread croutons to Caesar salad, you take an otherwise savory dish and add a hint of sweetness to it!
- Caesar salad is what I would call healthy comfort food! It’s a nostalgic, classic salad that will easily fill your belly without weighing you down. The cornbread croutons add a Southern food twist.
- Cornbread croutons are a fantastic way to use up leftover cornbread.
Cornbread: It's best to use cornbread that is a day or two old. However, I regularly make cornbread croutons with freshly made cornbread. The key is letting the cornbread fully cool down and dry out a bit.
Romaine lettuce: Aside from the croutons, romaine lettuce is the main ingredient in Caesar salad. Choose fresh, crisp, bright romaine.
Parmesan cheese: I recommend shredding your parmesan cheese yourself using a cheese grater or a box grater.
Caesar salad dressing: I have an amazing recipe for homemade, creamy Caesar Salad Dressing without Anchovies. My recipe only calls for a few ingredients and a quick whisk! Store-bought Caesar dressing is totally fine to use too though!
Additional ingredients: Extra virgin olive oil and kosher salt are needed to make the cornbread crouton recipe.
After you've baked your cornbread, you'll need a large, parchment-lined baking sheet, measuring cups, measuring spoons, a large mixing bowl, a cutting board, and a chopping knife.
How to make Caesar Salad with Cornbread Croutons
- Cut your cornbread into cubes and bake them until they are fully toasted.
- Toss the romaine, parmesan cheese, and salad dressing together in a large mixing bowl.
- Transfer the Caesar salad to a serving bowl and top with slightly warm croutons.
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 375°F. Use a sharp chopping knife to carefully cut cooled-down and dried-out cornbread into bite-sized cubes. The cornbread crumbles easily, so it needs to be handled carefully.
Step 2: Transfer the cornbread to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spread the cornbread out into an even layer. Drizzle olive oil over the top of the cornbread pieces and sprinkle with kosher salt.
Step 3: Place the tray of cornbread into your preheated oven. Bake the croutons for 15-20 minutes, until they're golden brown and no longer soft and spongy. You want crisp, lightly browned, croutons.
While the croutons are baking, prep the rest of your salad ingredients. Chop the romaine lettuce leaves into bite-sized pieces, shred your parmesan cheese, and mix up some homemade Caesar salad dressing.
Step 4: Transfer your chopped romaine lettuce, shredded parmesan cheese, and Caesar dressing to a large mixing bowl. Toss the lettuce, cheese, and dressing together until the creamy dressing is coating all of the romaine lettuce pieces.
Step 5: Add the warm cornbread croutons to the Caesar salad. I like to toss some of the croutons into the salad and leave some on top. Serve immediately and enjoy!
- Bake a square or rectangular tray of cornbread. This will be easier to cut into cubes, as opposed to cornbread that has been baked in a round baking pan.
- One to two day old leftover cornbread is best, but fresh cornbread will also work perfectly fine! Just let the cornbread fully cool down before chopping it into 1-inch cubes.
- You need to be very gentle when handling the cornbread. It has a tendency to crumble as you are chopping it and transferring it to the baking sheet.
- I often use box mix when making cornbread, but homemade cornbread works as well!
Substitutions and variations
Cornbread croutons: Melted butter, canola oil, or avocado oil can be used in place of the extra virgin olive oil. In addition to the kosher salt, you could add ground black pepper, cinnamon, maple sugar, red pepper flakes, or any dried herbs that you love.
Caesar dressing: Use whatever Caesar dressing that you prefer. I love creamy dressings, but if you love the oil-based version of Caesar dressing, use that instead.
What to serve with
Caesar Salad pairs well with just about any soup, sandwich, or wrap. You can serve it with practically all dinner recipes. It's also a nice addition to Sunday brunch.
Cornbread croutons are also a nice addition to just about any salad. I think they would taste wonderful on fall salads, like my Butternut and Beetroot Salad.
How to store
Store leftover Caesar salad in a glass, airtight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. The romaine lettuce leaves will start to get soggy the longer it's stored.
Leftover cornbread croutons can be stored in a plastic, zip-top bag on the counter at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Frequently asked questions
Cornbread croutons are gluten-free if the cornbread used to make the croutons do not include any gluten-containing ingredients. Some cornbread recipes call for wheat flour, so it's best to double-check your ingredients list before assuming cornbread croutons are gluten-free.
Cornbread croutons for stuffing (or dressing) are made the exact same way that I make them in this recipe. Follow my recipe steps above to learn how to make cornbread croutons for stuffing.
Yes, Caesar salad will get soggy if it's tossed with dressing and then stored in the refrigerator for more than 1-2 days. If you do not want your Caesar salad to get soggy, then it is best to add Caesar dressing when you will be serving it.
Whether or not Caesar salad is healthy depends on your individual health goals. If you are trying to eat more vegetables, then yes, Caesar salad would be healthy for you. Some Caesar salad dressings are high in calories though. So if you are on a low-calorie diet, then it would be best to look for a lighter Caesar dressing.
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