Fresh crisp romaine, perfectly cooked lentils, and ripe tomatoes come together to make this amazing Vegan Caesar Salad recipe. It's tossed with an addictive homemade Caesar dressing and then topped with vegan parmesan for the complete Caesar experience. It's the perfect main dish for 2 or side dish for 4.
In all my years as a plant based chef I have found that there are a few things that people desperately crave vegan replacements for and it seems like creamy salad dressings are a big one. I've been making my Vegan Ranch Dressing that clients love for years now, but I realized it was time to perfect a Vegan Caesar Dressing and then create a vegan Caesar salad recipe to go along with it.
I mean it's a classic with so much history! I'm wondering why it took me this long to formulate my own recipe. But it's here now and it's amazing!
Creamy like Caesar should be, savory with the hints of salt, and touch of cheesy flavor. And the best part as we all know is that it's totally plant based. No anchovies or parmesan cheese in this recipe. Instead, capers were used to give an anchovy like taste with their salty savory flavor profile and nutritional yeast was used as my cheesy flavor. The final result is remarkably good. So good you could almost fool someone. I call that a success when developing a new recipe!
You can serve the salad as a side that will serve 4 people or main dish that will serve 2 people. It is fantastic when paired with my recipe for Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo with Garlicky Mushrooms or my recipe for Vegan Pesto Pasta with Arugula and Walnuts. This salad also serves really well at potlucks and BBQs.
This recipe doesn't require a long list of difficult to find ingredients! In fact, you probably have many of them right in your fridge or pantry.
For the Caesar dressing:
- Vegan Mayo- Any type of vegan mayo can be used for the dressing.
- Nutritional Yeast Flakes- You can find this ingredient in places like Whole Foods, Traders Joe's, and Sprouts.
- Garlic- Use fresh cloves for the best flavor.
- Capers- You will find capers near the olives in the salad dressing aisle of your market.
- Lemon- Fresh lemon is always best.
- Black Pepper- I like to use fresh ground black pepper.
For the salad:
- Cooked Lentils- You can use store bought already cooked lentils or cook your own.
- Hearts of Romaine Lettuce- Fresh and crisp is best.
- Roma Tomatoes- Cherry or grape tomatoes can also be used.
- Vegan Caesar Dressing- The recipe is provided below.
- Vegan Parmesan Cheese- I like to use this vegan parmesan recipe for the salad.
How To Make Vegan Caesar Salad
Caesar salad is quick and easy to make. It can be made in just a matter of minutes.
However, this recipe does assume that you are using ready make already cooked lentils. So if you are cooking your own lentils you'll need to start those right away before you even begin the dressing. To do that, just follow the package directions. If you aren't provided any directions on your package of lentils just bring ¼ cup of lentils and 1 ½ cups of water to a boil in a saucepan. Then cover tightly and lower the heat to a simmer to cook for about 15 minutes until the lentils are tender, yet not mushy. Now, drain the lentils and set them aside to cool.
Once your lentils are ready you will want to begin making the dressing by adding all of the ingredients except the water and black pepper into your food processor or blender and pureeing until smooth. An immersion blender can also be used for this step. Now, use a little bit of water to thin out if needed and finish with a few grinds of black pepper. Then set in the fridge to chill.
Next, make the salad by putting the torn romaine lettuce into a large bowl along with the cooked lentils. Then drizzle ⅓ cup of the Caesar dressing over the lettuce and toss to combine. Now, add the tomatoes and toss lightly again. Add more Caesar dressing as needed. I use about ½ cup in total.
To finish the vegan caesar salad, sprinkle with vegan parmesan cheese and a few grinds of fresh ground black pepper.
This salad is really versatile and can be adapted in many ways.
- Croutons- add some croutons to finish off this classic.
- Add Protein- add vegan chicken, chickpeas, or seared tofu.
- Veggies- add as many veggies as you like! Cucumbers would work great.
Leftover vegan Caesar salad will keep in the fridge for about one day once it's tossed in dressing. You could also make the salad without the dressing and then add just the dressing each time before eating to make it last longer.
This Vegan Caesar Salad with Lentils is amazing because it's...
- Addictively good with creamy vegan Caesar dressing
- A fresh and healthy choice full of veggies
- Quick and easy to make in just a few minutes
- A fantastic main, side, or potluck dish
If you try this recipe please let me know how it turns out by leaving a comment and rating. You can also hashtag #danceswithknives with a photo of your creation on Instagram where you can find me @dances_with_knives.
More Salad Recipes
- Vegan Cobb Salad with Coconut Bacon
- Easy Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad
- Curried Israeli Couscous Salad
- Easy Chickpea "Tuna" Salad
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Vegan Caesar Salad with Lentils
- ½ cup cooked lentils- ¼ cup dry uncooked (see notes below)
- 2 hearts of romaine lettuce, torn into pieces
- 2 roma tomatoes, large dice
- ½ cup vegan caesar dressing
- 1-2 tablespoon vegan parmesan cheese (recipe here)
Vegan Caesar Dressing (makes 1 cup)
- 1 cup vegan mayo
- 2 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 teaspoon capers
- 1 teaspoon caper juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon water
- Ground black pepper
Make the Caesar Dressing
- Add all the ingredients except the water and fresh ground black pepper into the bowl of a food processor and puree. You can also use a blender or an immersion blender.
- Add the water if you want a thinner consistency.
- To finish, add a few grinds of fresh ground black pepper.
- Place in the fridge to chill while you get your salad veggies ready. This recipe makes one cup of dressing, but you will only need ½ cup of for the salad.
Make the Salad
- Put the torn romaine lettuce into a big bowl along with the cooked lentils. Now, drizzle ⅓ to ½ cup of the caesar dressing over the lettuce and toss to combine. I always start with ⅓ cup that way I don't take the chance of using too much dressing. Some heads of romaine are smaller than others.
- Add the chopped roma tomatoes and toss once more to combine.
- To finish, sprinkle with vegan parmesan cheese and fresh ground black pepper.
- This salad will serve 4 as a side dish and 2 people as a main when served with fresh bread.