Caesar Salad made using vegan ingredients.

There is never a wrong moment to serve Caesar salad, and this vegan Caesar salad is a crowd-pleasing lunch or nutritious side dish that everyone can enjoy regardless of their dietary choices (meat lovers, rejoice!).

It all begins with our award-winning vegan Caesar dressing, which is prepared with olive oil, fresh lemon juice, tahini, nutritional yeast, Dijon mustard, capers, and garlic. The tahini imparts the dressing with the distinctive smoothness of a Caesar dressing, while the nutritional yeast acts as Parmesan cheese. If you’ve never tasted nutritional yeast, which tastes like salty cheese, you’re in for a vegan surprise!

Caesar Salad made using vegan ingredients - Photo by MIKE GARTEN
Caesar Salad made using vegan ingredients – Photo by MIKE GARTEN

Toss the dressing with gem lettuce or romaine hearts, then top with hearty fresh croutons and crunchy chickpeas. To give the meal a bit more substance and intrigue (after all, this is a vegan recipe), we added delectable, sweet grilled onions and spicy radishes. Trust us, this Caesar will be unlike any other.

Make a double batch of the dressing and store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container for future healthy salads. This Caesar salad will go quickly, so you won’t mind having some extra dressing on hand to pour over your work lunches throughout the week.

Ingredients to prepare:

For crispy chickpeas

  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • Kosher salt and pepper

For dressing

  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1/4 c. tahini
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest plus 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1 small clove garlic, finely grated
  • 2 tsp. capers plus 1 tsp caper brine
  • Kosher salt and pepper

For salad

  • 4 thick slices bread
  • 2 small red onions, cut into thick rounds
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 bunches small radishes
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 2 heads gem lettuce or romaine hearts, leaves separated
  • 1 clove garlic, cut in half

Making It:

Prepare the crispy chickpeas as follows:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Rinse chickpeas and wipe them dry well using paper towels, removing any loose skins.
  2. Toss chickpeas with olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast, tossing periodically, for 30 to 40 minutes, or until crisp.
  3. Transfer to a bowl and mix with lemon zest after removing from the oven. As the chickpeas cool, they will continue to crisp.

Prepare the Salad and Dressing:

  1. Preheat grill to a medium setting. To make the dressing, purée all the dressing ingredients in a small blender or food processor until smooth, adding 1 tablespoon water at a time to modify consistency and seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside the dressing.
  2. Prepare salad: Brush 1 1/2 teaspoons of oil over the bread. Brush 1 tablespoon of oil over onion slices and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss the radishes with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil and a sprinkle of salt. Radishes should be threaded onto tiny skewers. Grill bread for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until toasted; immediately rub with garlic. Grill the onions and radishes until tender, about 5 minutes per side for the onions and 6 to 8 minutes each side for the radishes.
  3. Tear bread into bits and cut onion rings into rings. Toss half of the dressing into the lettuce to coat it. Fold in the grilled croutons and onion rings gently. Serve with radish skewers and fried chickpeas, with any leftover dressing drizzled or dipped.

Must Read