This vegan Caesar dressing recipe is made with deliciously simple ingredients including cashews and tofu. It creates a supremely creamy and nutritious salad dressing! With plenty of flavor and lots of garlic, I’ve made this dairy free Caesar dressing more times than I can count!
It’s incredibly easy and versatile too. Just toss the ingredients in a blender and you’ll enjoy a tasty salad in minutes; or use it as a dip or sauce for anything that needs a boost of garlicy flavor. Why not try it as the base of your next pizza?!
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Is Caesar Dressing Vegan?
Most Caesar dressing recipes are not vegan. They almost always contain dairy, and some recipes also include eggs.
Luckily, it’s easy to replicate classic Caesar flavors using vegan ingredients. As a bonus, this recipe uses nutrient dense and high-protein ingredients to create a delicious and nourishing meal!
Beyond salad dressing, Caesar recipes are typically not vegan if they include bacon bits and Parmesan cheese. Again, it’s not too difficult to create these salad components as a vegan.
Vegan Caesar Dressing Ingredients
This recipe uses basic ingredients that you may already have on hand. I consider all these ingredients staples in my vegan kitchen!
- Tofu: Tofu is the base of this dressing. I typically purchase firm or extra firm tofu and made this recipe for those types, but any tofu works. The softer your tofu is, the thinner the dressing will be but since it’s such a thick and creamy dressing, this really isn’t a concern.
- Cashews: To increase the fat content of this dressing and create an irresistibly rich sauce, add some soaked cashews. You can also use sunflower seeds or blanched almonds instead of cashews.
- Hemp seeds: This ingredient is optional, but it boosts the nutritional content of vegan Caesar dressing with extra plant-based protein, healthy fats, fiber and minerals.
- Soy milk: This is my preferred plant-based milk as it’s creamy and higher in protein compared to other options. Milk helps get everything blending well, so any unflavored and unsweetened plant-based milk will work.
- Garlic: When I eat Caesar salad, I want a pungent garlic flavor. This recipe uses raw garlic, so the flavor is strong. Use less (or more) to your taste preferences; you can always blend in an extra clove of garlic so tread carefully. If you don’t enjoy raw garlic, roasted garlic creates and equally delicious but milder flavor.
- Apple cider vinegar: For acidity that cuts through the rich and creamy ingredients, some vinegar helps to brighten the dressing and balance flavors.
- Nutritional yeast: I love using nutritional yeast for some delicious dairy-like flavor. Many Caesar dressings use Parmesan cheese, so this helps to replace that flavor.
- Dijon mustard: Add a kick and depth of flavor to the recipe with some Dijon mustard.
- Soy sauce: I used to make this recipe with a vegan Worcestershire sauce, but can’t find it in my local grocery store anymore. Now I use soy sauce (or tamari to keep it gluten free). Soy sauce, along with vinegar, is a decent Worcestershire replacement.
- Lemon juice: I love the flavor of fresh lemon juice in this recipe because it brightens everything so well. If you don’t have lemon juice, use an extra ½ tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.
- Salt: Bring out the delicious flavors from each ingredient with some salt. Dairy ingredients (like parmesan) tend to be high in salt so if you want the right flavor, you’ll need to add enough salt.
How to Make Tofu and Cashew Caesar Dressing
This vegan Caesar dressing recipe couldn’t be any easier. Dump the ingredients into your blender and puree until smooth!
Step 1: Add Ingredients to Blender and Puree
Add all the ingredients for this vegan cashew Caesar dressing directly into your blender.
Aside from measuring and pouring in, you’ll need to drain the liquid from your tofu package, juice a lemon, peel the garlic and drain the liquid from your soaked cashews (but that’s it!).
Once the ingredients are in your blender, blend to a smooth and creamy consistency. Give it a taste and adjust the salt and garlic to your taste preferences. Remember, start with less garlic and add more until it tastes as strong you want it to.
Step 2: Serve
How to Create a Balanced Vegan Meal
This dressing offers lots of plant-based protein and healthy fats from the tofu, cashews and soy milk. It’s lower in carbohydrates but you can easily add those to your meal by tossing in some croutons or chickpeas. You can also make a Caesar wrap and load a flour tortilla with veggies and this dressing.
As for veggies, if you’re making a salad, you’ll get loads of leafy lettuce. I love this recipe so much I pile up a huge plate of Caesar salad for meals.
My absolute favorite way to eat Caesar salad is with barbecue chickpeas. Simply drain and rinse a can of chickpeas, toss them in a pan with your favorite barbecue sauce and cook over medium heat until the sauce thickens and sticks to the chickpeas.
Toss these barbecue chickpeas onto a heaping plateful of salad or into a wrap and you’ll have an even more filling and satisfying meal.
Plant-based Caesar Variations and Uses
While you can certainly make a delicious vegan Caesar salad with this recipe, I’ve used this many times as a dip and sauce.
One of my favorite things to do with this dressing is to use it as the base sauce for homemade pizza! Load with barbecue chickpeas and veggies (smoked tofu too, if you can find it) and you have yourself an amazingly delicious salad.
I’ve also used this as a pasta sauce with some extra lemon juice in it. Simply toss onto cooked pasta with loads of veggies.
It’s also a delicious dip for veggies, chips, pita bread – whatever you like!
How to Refrigerate and Freeze Caesar Dressing
Refrigerate leftover dressing in an airtight container or jar for up to 5 days. If you’ve tossed the dressing onto lettuce already, store in an airtight container overnight and eat the next day. The lettuce will likely wilt and croutons will become soggy, but it’ll still taste amazing!
You can also freeze this dressing in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months. To thaw, allow the dressing to sit in the fridge overnight. Sometimes the dressing becomes discolored after freezing (becomes a slightly beige-grey color) but tastes fine.
If you make this recipe, please rate and comment below to help others benefit from your experience!
Vegan Caesar Dressing Recipe (with Tofu and Cashews)
- High speed blender
Step 1: Add Ingredients to Blender and Puree
- Add all the ingredients to a high-speed blender. Blend on high speed until completely smooth.175 grams tofu, ¾ cup soy milk, ½ cup cashews, ¼ cup hemp seeds, 4 cloves garlic, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, ½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar, ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard, 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast, ¾ teaspoon salt
- If your cashews are fully soaked, this recipe should work in a regular blender but it may take more time to blend to a fully creamy consistency.
More Vegan Side Dish Recipes
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About Nicole Stevens
Nicole is a vegan Registered Dietitian (RD) and founder of Lettuce Veg Out.
She helps people thrive on a vegan diet with balanced recipes and easy-to-understand nutrition science.