Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a sucker for a simple olive oil and lemon juice dressing, but sometimes you need a dressing with a little more oomph! Something creamy, delicate, smooth and full of flavour. Something fit for the king of salads….a caesar dressing! Not just any caesar dressing though; a creamy vegan caesar dressing. I’ve really thought of everything here guys!
Dressings are one of the best and easiest way to jazz up your salads. Combining all those salad veggies with a delicious dressing does so much more than add in some flavour; it’s a fantastic way to include some healthy fats, making it a complete and nutritionally balanced meal.
This creamy vegan caesar dressing is no exception; it’s packed with nourishing goodness, all while being extra velvety and delicious. Even better still, it’s super simple to make! Whiz it in the blender for 2 minutes and voilá!
This vegan caesar dressing recipe is super straight-forward, so don’t worry about getting too technical. It’s pretty much fail-safe; as long as you get the right ingredients and use a good blender, you’ll be onto a winner. Here are just my top tips on how to get your dressing just right…
Soak your nuts! Whether you use almonds for the low FODMAP version, or cashews, make sure you don’t skip this step. Soak the nuts in boiling water for an hour, or overnight if you prefer, and make sure they’re all fully submerged. This makes the almonds/ cashews much easier to blend and ensures you get a nice velvety smooth texture.
A bit at a time. The white miso/ coconut aminos gives this dressing that deliciously savoury depth of flavour, but you want to avoid adding too much and overpowering the delicate creaminess. The trick here is to add a little at time and adjust according to taste. It sounds obvious but just don’t go in with that entire tablespoon at once. Also, don’t skip on the capers. Either in the dressing, blitzed, folded in or in the salad. I added mine to the salad but feel free to do what works for you.
Every food blogger or recipe developer will tell you not to skip out on or substitute ingredients. It will seriously impact on the end result and you might not be left with the texture, taste or look you were going for. To highlight this, I thought I would briefly explain the importance of each ingredient in this creamy vegan caesar dressing…
Flaked blanched almonds/ cashews.
Starting with the basics, the nuts provide the base to this dressing, giving it a thick creamy texture and a good dose of plant powered protein. More specifically, if you’re opting for the cashews, these are softer than other nuts, and so are easier to blend making this caesar dressing even creamier. Cashews have a mild, buttery and nutty flavour, and a dreamy, silky texture once soaked and blended. Alternatively, if you’re going with almonds like I did for the low FODMAP option, it’s important to go with flaked blanched almonds. Blanched almonds come without the skin which would otherwise give your dressing a bitty texture, and make it harder to digest. Flaked almonds soften much faster when soaked, and so are vital for easy blending and achieving that smooth, creamy texture.
Unsweetened almond milk.
This works to thin out the dressing so that it has the consistency of a salad dressing and isn’t too thick. It’s important to use unsweetened almond milk to keep things sugar free and to avoid any unwanted sweetness. My favourite is Plenish as it just contains 3 natural ingredients – nuts, water and salt. If you’re using cashews, you could use cashew milk too.
This works to add in some acidity and freshness to lift the dressing.
Sweet white miso/ coconut aminos.
Whichever you choose to use, these ingredients incorporate a savoury umami element to deepen and elevate the flavour of this creamy vegan dressing.
Garlic and paprika.
To add extra flavour to the dressing without overpowering it. The low FODMAP option is to use garlic oil which will have a similar effect.
Flaked sea salt.
Unlike other salts which can be harsh and synthetic, sea salt is natural and is much milder and delicate, which is perfect for this recipe. You can also use Pink Himalayan salt to taste.
This is a personal recommendation which I think just finishes off the flavour of the dressing with a lemony, salty tanginess. I actually added mine to the salad. You could make the dressing and then either try adding a few chopped ones into the dressing or to the salad.
Enjoy this creamy caesar dressing alongside crispy chickpeas and smokey tofu bites for a delicious, nourishing and plant based caesar salad. Alternatively, add to any salad of your choosing for a creamy and flavoursome flavour boost.
CREAMY VEGAN CAESAR DRESSING
- 1/2 cup flaked blanched almonds or 3/4 cup cashews (use almonds for low fodmap)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp sweet white miso or coconut aminos
- 1 small garlic clove minced (use 1 tbsp garlic oil for low fodmap)
- Flaked sea salt to taste
- Pinch of paprika
- 1 - 2 tbsp capers in brine or olive oil, drained + chopped (or add whole to kale caesar dressing but recommend in the salad somewhere to add flavour)
- Place the almonds or cashews in boiling water for 1 hour to soak. Use almonds for low fodmap. Cashews are a bit more flavoursome in my opinion but both are nice.
- Drain the nuts and add to a small high speed blender or spice grinder and blitz for 2 minutes until super smooth and creamy. Adjust seasoning to taste. Depending if using miso or coconut aminos start with 1/2 tbsp and up to your desired taste. I also recommend adding some capers but you can either add to the salad, puree into the dressing or stir through into the dressing in the end. they just need to be in the dish somewhere to add a really lovely flavour.
- Store in a sealed glass jar in the fridge for 3 days.