This really is the best Vegan Caesar Dressing and is oil-free and uses no mayo, but totally plant-based! It is the perfect dressing for Caesar Salad and tastes incredibly authentic and made with just 5 main ingredients!
VEGAN CAESAR DRESSING
I love Caesar dressing. I even already have a really popular Vegan Caesar Dressing that is oil-free. That version is made completely different, so give it a try if this version has ingredients, too, and see which one you like best!
WHAT IS CAESAR DRESSING?
Tradition Caesar dressing is made with very non-vegan ingredients like anchovies and egg yolks. So, trying to replicate that delicious dressing in a vegan version is a bit challenging, but I think you will all agree how delicious and authentic this vegan Caesar dressing tastes! Also, most vegan versions you will find online contain oil or mayo, which I avoid and know many of you all really prefer to eat oil-free. You can learn all about how to reduce or avoid oil at How to Cook Without Oil!
To mimic the anchovy taste, I used artichoke brine and dijon mustard for that rich, salty bite and depth of flavor. The fat from the cashews mimics the richness that yolks give in traditional dressing.
This dressing was originally created for these Vegan Caesar Smashed Chickpea Sandwiches. However, due to its incredible popularity, and dozens of you all calling it the best caesar dressing ever, it needed its own post, so it’s easier for you readers to find.
You only need 5 main ingredients, plus salt/pepper/water:
- Raw cashews: This thickens the dressing and adds richness where Caesar normally gets from egg yolks or mayo or oil. Here we are using healthy, whole food fats.
- Dijon mustard: This adds vinegar and a saltiness to the dressing to mimic that Caesar flavor.
- Artichoke brine: This is a very briny flavor and is important for the flavor of the Caesar dressing. I have also tested this recipe for green olive brine and that also works, but prefer the artichoke. This is simply the liquid that is in a can of artichoke hearts. Make sure you are getting artichokes that are in water and not oil!
- Garlic powder
- Lemon juice
HOW TO MAKE VEGAN CAESAR DRESSING
Add all of the ingredients to a high-powered blender, like a Vitamix, and blend until completely smooth and no bits of nuts remain. Scrape the sides as needed.
If you do not have a high-powered blender, you will need to soak your nuts for several hours or overnight in a bowl of warm water. Drain and rinse and proceed with the recipes. I find that a food processor makes things smoother than a non-powerful blender, which tends to leave a gritty mouthfeel.
DOES THIS FREEZE WELL?
Yes! You can freeze this vegan Caesar dressing! Just thaw in the fridge overnight or on the counter until soft and whisk well or reblend. It is as good as fresh!
MORE VEGAN OIL-FREE SALAD DRESSINGS
- Best Vegan Ranch Dressing or Easy Vegan Ranch Dressing. Both are great. One has yogurt, the other does not.
- Lemon Ginger Turmeric Sauce (my fave!)
- Oil-free Creamy Italian Dressing
- Almond Butter Dressing
- Oil-free Tahini Goddess Dressing
Vegan Caesar Dressing (No Mayo!)
- 4 tablespoons (60g) artichoke brine from a can (one soaked in water, not oil!)
- 4 tablespoons (60g) fresh lemon juice
- 4-6 tablespoons (60g) water (I used 5)
- 2 tablespoons (30g) Dijon mustard
- 1 cup (140g) raw, unsalted cashews
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt (start with 1/4 and add more if desired)
If you don't have a Vitamix, then you will need to soak your cashews overnight in a bowl of water, drain and rinse. This is to soften the nuts, otherwise, your dressing will be gritty. For the soaked version, I prefer to process them in a food processor, which I find makes things smoother than a weak blender. Weak blenders can leave a gritty result.
Add all of the ingredients to a high-powered blender (or food processor if using soaked nuts and no high-powered blender) and blend until completely smooth. Scrape the sides as needed.
The dressing should be smooth and creamy. Taste and add any more salt if desired. IOnce chilled overnight, it becomes thicker, so add a touch of water and lemon juice if desired to slightly thin it out.