Classic Caesar Salad. Please Don’t Buy That Crap in a Jar

Classic Caesar Salad recipe with romaine, bacon, croutons and yes – anchovies.  You can leave those out if you want but then it won’t be CLASSIC caesar salad, just caesar salad. If you’re fine with that, I am too.

Caesar Salad on a handmade plate set on wood table with a wedge of parmesan cheese and croutons to the side.

I can’t rest until I’ve completely figured out the best way to do something. A lot of times this obsession really starts to rage when the focus is food.  I’m just not satisfied with something that’s pretty good. It has to be the absolute best version of itself that it can possibly be.

As you can imagine, those around me find this tiresome.  Until they need the perfect caesar salad recipe.  

Because my homemade caesar salad recipe is going to make them the hit of the pot-luck dinner they’re going to and everyone will think they’re smarter and prettier and better at math than they really are on account of it.  They will appear so impressive in the glow of the caesar salad that almost any number of good things could happen!  They could be offered jobs, company cars … pet monkeys!  Anything is possible when you hold the recipe to this crowd favourite.

Classic Caesar Salad


Grid of all the ingredients of caesar salad dressing: lemon, vinegar, worcestershire sauce, parmesan, egg, salt, pepper, oil, garlic, anchovy paste.

So that’s what you need to make the best Caesar Salad dressing you’ve ever made. 

Want to make a meal of it?  Add grilled chicken for a Chicken Caesar Salad. Although, weirdly, even though I like both chicken and caesar salad, I don’t like them together. But you might. Most people do. They’re weird like that.

This recipe is made a lot like my mayonnaise recipe using that whole immersion blender technique. Like this … 


How to Make this Caesar Salad Dressing


OIl being drizzled out of clear glass measuring cup into short mason jar.

Just whack your egg into a mason jar and then add all of the other ingredients.

Overhead look at salad dressing ingredients in mason jar on silver tray.

You don’t even need to chop the garlic. Just throw the whole clove in there.

Stick blender pressed to bottom of mason jar with salad dressing ingredients in it.

Place the base of your immersion blender directly over the egg yolk until the blender is resting firmly on the bottom of the jar.  Now turn it on.  Don’t move the blender!  Just leave it pushed down to the bottom of the jar and everything will immediately whirl and emulsify.

Emulsified caesar salad dressing in low Ball mason jar.

Once everything is emulsified you can slowly lift the immersion blender (while holding the mason jar firmly) and it will release it’s little tornado-like suction.  Blend up and down a couple of times.

Let it sit in the fridge for a day if you can and you’re done.  (Just like chili, caesar salad dressing is the best the next day.)

Classic Caesar Salad Recipe

Classic Caesar Salad

A classic caesar salad recipe that's garlicky, rich and creamy. Just add romaine! (well and croutons and bacon)
4.45 from 18 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 12 people
Calories: 93.08kcal
Author: Karen Bertelsen


  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil OR very light olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 4 tbsps parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp vinegar scant
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 inch Anchovy Paste
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper


  • Crack egg into bottom of a wide mouth mason jar or immersion blender jar.
  • Add remaining ingredients.
  • Place the bottom of the immersion blender and blade directly over the egg yolk and press the bottom of the blender to the bottom of the jar. Turn on the blender and let it mix. Once the ingredients are emulsified slowly pull the immersion blender straight up. You will feel a vacuum and then the vacuum seal with break. This technique creates a mayonnaise consistency from your two main ingredients, egg and oil.
  • Pour the dressing onto torn romaine lettuce leaves. Mix dressing into the leaves by hand. I mean, you can use salad tongs if you're fancy like that, but mixing it by hand will do a better job of getting all the dressing evenly distributed over the lettuce.
  • Top with shaved parmesan cheese, croutons and bacon.


Can't stomach the thought of anchovy paste? Don't worry about it, just leave it out.  You just won't have classic caesar salad. You'll have regular old caesar salad. And everybody will judge you. No big deal.
Can't stomach the thought of raw egg? Don't worry about it, substitute the egg and oil with 1/2 cup of mayonnaise.
I used to make this ALL the time with olive oil but it was hard to find an oil that was light enough so now I usually make it with a vegetable oil.
If you DO use olive oil make sure it's *very* light in taste or it will overpower the other ingredients.
The dressing is good right away but is even better after sitting in the fridge for a day or two.
You can also make mayonnaise with the same technique with the immersion blender and it's DELICIOUS. Here's the recipe for that.
Want an EXTRA CREAMY dressing?  Use 2 egg yolks instead of 1 whole egg.
Here's my recipe for insanely good homemade croutons to top the salad with.


Calories: 93.08kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.38g | Protein: 1.12g | Fat: 9.8g | Saturated Fat: 1.64g | Cholesterol: 14.86mg | Sodium: 188.67mg | Potassium: 9.06mg | Sugar: 0.11g | Vitamin A: 32.82IU | Vitamin C: 0.56mg | Calcium: 21.79mg | Iron: 0.14mg

Like I said, I love my immersion blender for this. It’s the only way to go. Mine is similar to this one by Kitchen Aid, although I’m sure the cheaper ones probably work just as well. I do like the way mine and the one I’ve linked to have a flat bottom which helps create the great suction for emulsifying (as opposed to the style of blender that have more of a prong bottom)

Now if you’ll excuse me I have some very complicated math problems to solve whilst watching my pet monkey.

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  1. Lily MacBloom says:

    Karen: I’ve made this salad dressing since the original post date and thought I would let you know it still my go to! When I went to let you know I was shocked it’s been 21 !!! Years WOW! We go wayyy back!

  2. Linda J Howes-Smyth says:

    You can also substitute Miso for those who don’t want to eat anchovies.

  3. Jan in Waterdown says:

    Hey there, opinion time please! Ok, first a confession, I’ve never gotten around to making your recipe but I had the best of intentions…. 🙄. Yeah I know. Now I’m having company for a deck supper and want to make it so I checked my frig and the never opened tube of anchovy paste’s best before date is May 2018. Would YOU use it? I won’t hold you responsible if anything happens but I don’t want a salad related death either. I frequently ignore that date depending on the item. You may want to reconsider my next dinner invitation 😉.
    Any thoughts?

    • Karen says:

      I’m sure it would be fine, but no I wouldn’t use it. However, I’m sure you’ve made and eaten the salad by now, lol. ~ karen!

      • Jan in Waterdown says:

        Thanks. I just happened to come across your response now… no email notification… It matters not since yes, I made the dressing with fresh anchovy paste and it was uhmazing. I decided that it would be thoughtful to not give food poisoning to my guests.

  4. Deni says:

    Excellent; the best classic Caesar dressing.

  5. Beth L Bilous says:

    In your original recipe you added a tablespoon of mayo, why not in this recipe. It makes it so much more creamy?

    • Karen says:

      HI Beth! Good eye! I took the mayo out because it really doesn’t do anything. I made it over and over again without it and there was no difference. Is your dressing not creamy? ~ karen!

  6. Catherine Sampson says:

    OMG. I had given up on caesar salad as I was so grossed out by the over salty and weirdly textured bottled dressings. I made this for a party a few days ago and made a second batch immediately because I liked it so much. It was amazing. In my college days, I worked in a restaurant where we made the tableside Caesar salads. I cringed every time I pulled out those nasty anchovies. The paste made it easier on my more mature palate.

  7. Marisol says:

    I haven’t ever tried to make this before, mostly because the raw egg squicks me out. Well, that, and it just seemed like it would be difficult and too adult-y. You convinced me and OH BOY! Literally, my 13 year old son would like to move in with you now! As he devoured his salad and giant helping of dressing he exclaimed over (and over, and over) how AWESOME the dressing was (and considering that he took ceasar salad and chicken breast for lunch at school for an entire year, hmm, two years ago? I think he may have some idea of what ceasar dressing should taste like) and how this must be the ONLY dressing we have from now on.
    Honestly, I’m trusting you. Mayo is up next!

  8. Julie Peel says:

    This will be my go to Caesar dressing from now on. I didn’t have cheese on hand and it was still delicious. Can’t wait to try it again with all the ingredients.

    • Karen says:

      That’s great! And thanks for leaving a review! I ate my dinner tonight and cleaned up and was so ticked off when I realized I forgot to make and eat my Caesar salad, LOL.

  9. Nathalie says:

    I made this last night and just had a salad now . . . excellent! I used ACV because I was out of white and left out the anchovies because I’m vegetarian and it was still so, so good. I think I used an exceptionally strong garlic and a half a clove might have been better but my dog still likes me so it can’t be that bad.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks so much Nathalie! I’m glad you liked it. And thanks for leaving a rating! It helps give other people confidence that this really is a good recipe when they’re searching for one. :) ~ karen!

  10. Peggy Vargo says:

    Amazing! Easy, fresh, and so good. I’ll never buy Caesar salad dressing again.

    I’ve tried making mayonnaise in my blender, but your method is the best and it always works. I may never buy mayonnaise again either. Thanks so much.

  11. Barb says:

    Made it yesterday and waited patiently (sort or) until tonight to use it and it was so worth the wait. This time I did use mayo and even that version is the best I’ve had since I first tasted Caesar salad on an Alaskan cruise many years ago. My husband was wowed as well. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  12. Laura says:

    How long will the dressing keep?

    • Karen says:

      I keep it for 4 days in the fridge. I wouldn’t keep it any longer than that due to the raw eggs. I used to keep and use it for a week but I’ve become more cautious in my old age, lol. ~ karen!

  13. Mary Edmondson says:

    Love the tray. I have more of this silver plate stuff than I can count – everything from flat and footed trays, with and without handles. Coffee pots, tea pots, cream & super sets, all kinds of other serving dishes & bowls of varying sizes. I love them all tarnished and I use them for everything I can think of including as pet food dishes. Thrilled to see your beautiful tray and other things you use and like that I also do.

  14. Jan in Waterdown says:

    Ooooh very fancy shmancy with the new photo stylings! Nothin’ like an old silver tarnished tray to kick it up a notch. You’ve been working it. 😅

  15. Wilma says:

    I was SO excited to make this, even had the same jar! The three heads of romaine in the fridge were calling. Alas— I arrived late to the blender stick conversion so the Breville was too large.

    Step one- use a jar that works with your blender stick!!

    P. S. Love a buttery crouton. I make mine in a big cast iron skillet.

  16. Rebecca Holt says:

    I have a math question. 1/2 inch anchovy paste = about how much in teaspoons?

  17. My husband is a firefighter and everyone has always said his recipe is THE BEST. It’s essentially identical to yours, but with the addition of an AVOCADO! Makes it even creamier. (Is that a word?) We don’t have an immersion blender. We simply use our Vita Mixer.

  18. Hannah says:

    Looks so simple and delicious! For someone who’s new to adulting and hasn’t yet invested in a blender (immersion or otherwise), can the ingredients be minced and whisked vigorously or will it not have the same effect?

    • Karen says:

      To do the same thing without an immersion blender (but as soon as you can afford one, buy one because you’ll use it all the time and it’s way cheaper and more efficient than a cheap blender) you will have to whisk, whisk, whisk. Mince the garlic as tiny as possible. Add all the ingredients other than the oil to a bowl. Then slowly, SLOWLY, whisk in the oil. Slowly add it and whisk until it has emulsified then keep doing that until you’ve added all of the oil. ~ karen!

  19. Denise Stalder says:

    Hi Karen, Have you ever tried substituting capers for the anchovies? We use both, but when anyone is visiting that doesn’t like anchovies we stick to the capers, very finely minced. They make a pretty good substitute.

  20. billy sharpstick says:

    Another technique for mellowing out garlic: Slice the clove in half, lengthwise. Pick out the small green shoot part in the center. Your fingernail will work fine. That part contains the “harsh” part of the garlic. Not so important when cooking garlic, but I always do this for raw garlic. My wife claims that doing this has helped in avoiding garlic heartburn! (cutting off the stem end first makes it easier to peel too.)

  21. Brooke says:

    I know this was posted a while back but I just thought I’d let everyone know that once you make this you will never buy Caesar dressing again. (And you will judge any other restaurant Caesar salad you eat!) this recipe is amazing! I don’t mind anchovy paste but I’ve used filets as well!! Just as good. Everyone must try this!!
    I agree about the immersion blender as well. It’s almost a must have for salad dressing.

  22. Anna says:

    I have no self-control, so of course I had some right after I made it tonight and it was already delicious…can’t wait to try it tomorrow or the next day.

    What is the recommended vinegar for caesar dressing? I spent several minutes staring at the 12 bottles of vinegar in my cupboard before using balsamic…and I also realized that I literally have vinegar in 5 rooms in my home (including the garage). In total I would estimate that there is currently more than six gallons of vinegar in my home. I think I need an intervention…or maybe I will just eat caesar salad every night for the next 6 months.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Anna – For the vinegar just use normal white vinegar. Unless you love what the balsamic did … in which case keep using that. But normally it would be white vinegar. I’m making some tonight! ~ karen

  23. Laura says:

    This is so good-I’ve made it a couple times now. FYI-if you are out of parmesan then Feta is a great substitute!

  24. Beth Bilous says:

    Okay on a whim made this tonite, did not let it rest over nite. Made awesome homemade garlic croutons, and used extra crunchy romaine. The only thing different I did, was shave some wide strips of Parm Reggiano over the top. OMG good. Keepin this one close.

  25. mia pratt says:

    For the pregnant lady or anyone else concerned with eating raw egg – you can add one drop of Microdyne or any other brand of disinfectant drops for washing and de-bugging veggies etc., into your raw egg and it will be safe to eat after 10 minutes. In Mexico we normally use one drop of Microdyne in several quarts of water to disinfect virtually all raw foods, and only use it IN the food on rare occasions (like when we want to eat your salad dressing using market eggs that have never seen the inside of a fridge!) I’m told it’s basically iodine, which is fine to consume in such small amounts. So there you have it!

    • Tara Lynn says:

      I have used egg substitute in a recipe that is close to this one when my daughter was pregnant. It was very good. But if you do not have an immersion blender, I do not, I use a blender or actually it’s a Ninja mixer but I add the oil very slowly so it will be thick. We also use anchovies fillets. Very yummy.

  26. Shannon V. says:

    Wish I’d sen this yesterday as we are having Caesar salad tonight.

    • Karen says:

      Shannon V. – Somewhere higher up in the comments is a comment from someone saying you can microwave your garlic for a bit to cook it slightly. This will get rid of that sharpness it has. I haven’t tried this technique yet, so I can’t vouch for it, but it sounds reasonable. Look for the comment and give it a shot! ~ karen

      • Shannon V. says:

        Made this for dinner but substituted minced garlic (in a jar) for a clove as it is not as strong. Also used red wine vinegar because that is what I had. Everyone loved it. Next time I will use fresh garlic and make it a day in advance.

        Thanks so much Karen!

  27. Laura says:

    I just found your site a few weeks ago and have an inkling that you may have been switched at birth with my sister – she hates to cook and believes the correct response to any situation is to throw money at it. Plus, you’re a bit warped. Like me. And I mean that as a sincere compliment. All of the best people are at least marginally warped.

    Can I offer a suggestion to allow for immediate gratification (the very best kind)? To eliminate the sharpness of the garlic, slice the peeled cloves lengthwise and place them in a small glass bowl with enough water to float them. Microwave on high until the water boils. It won’t take very long, so don’t wander. Let the bowl sit until the water has cooled enough to handle. The cloves will soften but, since you’re about to pulverize them, texture doesn’t matter. You should be able to consume your dressing immediately and enjoy all of the garlicky goodness without the bite. I also use this same technique for my garlic toast spread.

    Give it try. Go on. I’ll wait right here…

  28. Augustus says:

    I once worked in a fancy restaurant, and they made Caesar salad, in wooden bowls, at the table. I’d never had it before, and it was amazing. I’ve never had a good Caesar since, so I’m going to try this. As a thank you I’m offering a bit of knowledge most people don’t have: my father was stationed, during World War 2, in the town where Worcestershire sauce is made. He asked how it was pronounced and they said, “Wooster.” This saves half a second whenever I mention the stuff, for an estimated sixteen minutes over the course of the average life.

    • Karen says:

      Augustus – Thank you. A friend of mine from England actually told me it was pronounced “Wuster like General Custer” but I think it was her accent that was throwing me. :) And ever since she told me this (years ago) I wondered if she just was telling me how to pronounce the first portion of the word. The Worcerster part … and did I still need to add the “shire” at the end? As you can see .. it’s been a very confusing time for me. Wooster. Got it. ~ karen!

      • judy says:

        A shire is a village-the Hobbits- Bilbo Baggins lived in the “Shire”

        • Laura O says:

          A shire is an English county, generally rural. A lot of the counties have lost the old-fashioned -shire ending, but not all: Devonshire, Cheshire, Wiltshire, Hampshire, etc. Worcester is the top city in Worcestershire. We grew up saying the town of Wustuh is in Wustuhsheer

      • Cathy Reeves says:

        K—why is your Lea/Perrins label so much more classy than mine?

  29. Leanne says:

    so… i reaaally want to make your ceasar dressing… but… anchovy paste… is that raw fish mush? I could handle cooked fish mush… but raw?…. I’m not cool enough for that.

  30. Renee says:

    I recently had a Caesar salad with grilled shrimp at a restaurant and was raving about their dressing. I was excited to come across this “proper” recipe on your blog linked from the “ies” recipe. I’ll definitely try this sometime soon!

  31. Gayle says:

    OMG Thanks!!! I have come up disappointed with every other recipe I’ve tried. I kinda rolled my eyes when my best friend told me about this one.
    Well, I JUST whipped up a double batch and dipped my finger in and I cannot believe how good it is! Even with not resting – I love garlic.
    I will let it rest though…
    I just took a break from typing this and dipped in again. SERIOUSLY.
    Oh, and before I forget, I was completely out of the most important ingredient, and substituted canola – can’t wait to try it with the good stuff.
    Thanks again.
    I Love the blog so much and all the better that it’s coming from a fellow Canadian Thrifty Perfectionist.

  32. Tickled Red says:

    You can come and be Obsessive Compulsive at my house anytime if you promise to always produce results like this :) Yum!!

    • Karen says:

      Hee! Did you try it or are thinking of trying it. As I have stressed to everyone … you have to let it REST. I made it last night and of course did not follow my own rule. We ate it last night. It was gross. Well maybe not gross, but nothing like how it’s supposed to taste. :( I have absolutely NO self control.

  33. Marcy says:

    Great recipe! I brought it to my work bbq today and the foodies fawned over me. Fawned, Karen! Smarter and prettier and better at math, indeed.

    • Karen says:

      YAY!!! I’m so happy to hear that. Honestly, I’m thrilled it elicited some foodie fawning. Did you let it rest a few days?

      • Marcy says:

        Yes, it chillaxed for 1.5 days. It smelled so good as soon as I had blended it and it tried to seduce me from its mason jar every time I opened the fridge afterwards but I took the virtual slap vow seriously and let it rest.

  34. Lisa says:

    Also: Mayonnaise – Please don’t buy that crap in a jar.
    A friend recently turned me on to how easy homemade mayo is (30 seconds in a blender), and I hope to NEVER buy the crappy, white stuff again!

  35. I am going to attempt to make this tonight. Hopefully our discount grocer has anchovies or paste!

    • Karen says:

      Good job! Don’t forget to let it sit a day or two. I’m sure you’ll find anchovies in a can at your grocery store. Let me know how it goes!

  36. Eivind says:

    Tossing in a -whole- anchovie works just fine, by the way, no need for the paste.

    The fish, you see, get “pasted” just fine, once you start the immersion blender on it.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Eivin. Um … “pasted” just doesn’t sound appealing does it? LOL. Tastes good. Just doesn’t sound good. O.K. I’m sold … next batch of Caesar Salad I’ll use an actual anchovy.

  37. Kristi says:

    This was some kind of wonderful!!!!! Even my kids loved it!

  38. Cathy says:

    THANK YOU!!! *rubs slapped hands together*

    • Karen says:

      Yers welcome. Oh! And to all of you making the Caesar Salad … remember you can adjust to your tastes. More salt, less lemon, no anchovy paste (which I chastise you for) whatever you want. Try the first batch you make as the recipe states then play with it. That’s how I came up with this version. It’s perfect for me. Make it perfect for you.

      • Mel says:

        Okay so I know this was posted ages ago, but I need to know:
        Can I leave out the raw egg? What is the purpose of the egg? If it is to bind the dressing, can I substitute a flax and water mixture?

        • Karen says:

          Hi mel – I’m afraid you can’t really make Caesar Salad dressing without the egg. It’s what technically creates the dressing. Egg + oil = mayo. Are you allergic or worried about raw egg? The risk of getting ill from a raw egg is very slight if you use locally produced eggs from a small farmer. NOT a big huge chicken farm. I use eggs from my own chickens now, but prior to that I always just used a store bought egg. ~ karen!

        • Mel says:

          Worse, I’m preggers, and raw egg along with a ton of other things are off of the menu. I’ll have to just wait until after the little monkey is born. And then I will make your super yummy sounding dressing. Thanks for the fast reply!

        • Sarah McDonnell says:

          late to this party BUT, Mel, you can substitute store bought mayo for the egg and oil. It is not as tasty but it works. No doubt you tried this by now but there may be another pregnant newcomer who will find this to be useful info. AWESOME recipe!

        • deb says:

          Just a tip for the egg dilemma… the unopened egg in a pot of freshly boiled water. Let sit for NO MORE than 1 minute. ( I prefer 5o seconds myself) This will heat the egg enough to kill any bacteria.

  39. Lisa says:

    You crack me up.

    The dressing looks delicious, I can’t wait to try it!

  40. Rebecca says:

    Freshly made dressings are really soooo much better than store bought. I can’t wait to try this!

  41. Liz says:

    Ugh, that anchovy paste looks gruesome. I do like anchovies, but i’m not sure about anything that is basically fish, blended.

    • Karen says:

      Mmm … uh … then just mush up your own anchovies from a can. Although I’m not sure how that will be less gruesome. Just close your eyes when you squeeze it out. Besides blended fish is really only gruesome when it’s in the form of a milkshake and you have to drink it through a straw.

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