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+ servings

Caesar Dressing

This homemade Caesar Dressing recipe is a creamy, bright, tangy, garlicky, umami explosion of YUM. It will blow any store-bought version out of the water and elevates and enlivens everything it touches from Caesar salad to vegetables, to chicken, to sandwiches to wraps.  Best of all, this Caesar Salad Dressing doesn’t contain any raw eggs so it’s easy to make and will last up to two weeks in your refrigerator, should you be so lucky.  It doesn’t get any better than this Caesar Dressing my friends, let’s make some!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 whole anchovy fillets, minced then mashed*
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • ¼ tsp EACH salt, pepper plus more to taste
  • 1/3 cup finely, freshly grated Parmesan cheese (like powder)
  • milk as needed

Instructions

  • Add all of the dressing ingredients to a mixing bowl except the Parmesan and mix until smooth; then mix in the Parmesan.
  • Add milk 1 tablespoon at a time to reach desired consistency. Taste and add salt/pepper to taste if needed and additional lemon juice if desired.
  • Best if chilled 1 hour before using.

Notes

 
  • *To prep anchovies: start by chopping the anchovies until finely minced.  Next, use the side of your knife to mash the anchovies by pressing down and sliding the knife against the cutting board to form a paste.  It might sound odd, but will make sense once you attempt it.
  • Anchovies: are a key ingredient so please don’t skip!  Anchovies are the key, umami rich ingredient that add saltiness and a savory, complex depth to this otherwise flat dressing without leaving it “fishy-tasting.”  If you omit the anchovies, the dressing will be flat, bland and wanting.   The anchovies you want for this recipe are sold in cans packed in olive oil, usually located next to the tuna fish.
  • Leftover anchovies: should be stored submerged in olive oil in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 months or frozen for 6 months. To use up the leftover anchovies, whip up a batch of Pasta Puttanesca, add them to pizza, Niçoise toasts, potato salad, etc.
  • Anchovy paste: whole anchovies will impart the best flavor but you may substitute with anchovy paste if needed.  Anchovy paste is found in a tube next to the canned anchovies and tuna fish.  Substitute with 1 ½ teaspoons anchovy paste.
  • Anchovy substitute? Nothing is as good as the real thing but here are some options: 1) increase the Worcestershire sauce to 1 tablespoon, 2) add ½ teaspoon fish sauce plus more taste, 3) add 1 tablespoon, minced and mashed capers.   Adjust any of these quantities as needed. 
  • Mayonnaise substitute: use your favorite vegan mayonnaise substitute.  Readers have said great things about grapeseed oil Vegainase.
  • Sour cream substitute: I prefer sour cream in this dressing but Greek yogurt will work, just start off with only 1 tablespoon lemon juice and add more to taste.  If you are vegan, swap in your favorite vegan sour cream or even vegan mayo.
  • Parmesan substitute: if your vegetarian or vegan, try Whole Foods 365 or BelGioioso brands of Parmesan, which are truly vegetarian (most Parmesans contain animal rennet).
  • Vegan Caesar Dressing:  use vegan sour cream, vegan mayonnaise, vegan Worcestershire sauce, vegan Parmesan and replace the anchovies with 1 tablespoon minced and mashed capers.
  • Play with ingredient quantities.  Use more or less of any of the ingredients to make this homemade Caesar Dressing perfect for YOU!  I love a bold, full-flavored Caesar Dressing but you can tame the dressing by using less garlic and anchovies. 
  • Storage:  this recipe doesn’t use raw egg so it is good for up to 2 weeks stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  You may need to whisk in additional milk to thin before using.