Jan 17, 2024
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Crunchy, garlicky, and cheesy, this Caesar salad is my absolute favorite! Here’s a big thanks to Italian chef Caesar Cardini for making this delicious creation in the 1920s. But today, let’s recreate this cult classic in your kitchen with a twist. My version swaps croutons for crunchy, protein-filled chickpeas and is tossed in the best homemade Caesar dressing.
Why This Will Be Your Go-To Caesar Salad
- Emphasis on high-quality ingredients. A classic Caesar salad isn’t difficult to make, but choosing the right ingredients will make a night-and-day difference. This means grating fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and a making the dressing yourself. I’ll walk you through each one below.
- There’s added protein. Although croutons are expected, why not use another crunchy ingredient loaded with plant-based protein? Roasted chickpeas are quick to make and any leftovers can be enjoyed for a healthy snack.
- It’s easy and flavorful. These are the two words I always want my salad recipes to be described as, and this recipe is just that! It’s simple like my Greek salad or kale salad, and tastes so yummy thanks to my homemade Caesar dressing.
- Perfect for serving a crowd. While this can be prepped for weekly lunches and dinners, this recipe has been a hit for all the holiday parties I’ve brought this to, especially for Christmas dinner!
Caesar Salad Recipe Ingredients
- Romaine Lettuce: Chopped romaine lettuce is what I’m using today for a classic Caesar salad. You can also use gem lettuce leaves for a different look. If using the latter, drizzle and sprinkle the other ingredients on top of the leaves instead of tossing.
- Roasted Chickpeas: Toasted croutons are of course an option. But for added protein, I’m using roasted chickpeas for an equally satisfying crunch.
- Parmesan Cheese: Use a fresh block of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese instead of packaged. The flavor and texture is unmatched.
- Caesar Dressing: This homemade dressing is worth the extra 5 minutes it takes to make it. Especially with how bold, creamy, and tasty it is. For more information and substitutions, make sure to read through my Caesar dressing post!
Find the printable recipe with measurements below
How To Make Caesar Salad
- Make the roasted chickpeas and dressing. To save time, you can even make the roasted chickpeas and Caesar dressing a day before! That way, you can toss everything at once when you’re ready to enjoy.
- Mix the salad. Add the lettuce, chickpeas, parmesan cheese, and dressing to a large mixing bowl. Stir it all together until the salad is evenly coated with the dressing. Note: I always prefer to toss the salad in a mixing bowl first, then transfer to a serving bowl for less mess around the edge of the bowl.
- Serve. Transfer the Caesar salad to a serving bowl, and if you’d like, garnish with a little bit more parmesan cheese (or any of the delicious toppings below) before serving.
Caesar Salad Variations
- Add protein to make it a full meal. My favorite way to tweak this recipe is to turn it into a chicken Caesar salad with herb-baked chicken. But you can add any protein you’re craving, such as garlic butter shrimp, hard-boiled eggs, or baked salmon.
- Mix in other toppings for more texture. Treat this like a Cobb salad and add in diced cherry tomatoes, sliced red onion, or crispy bacon bits.
- Use it to make a chicken Caesar wrap. Lay down a large tortilla, add a layer of Caesar salad, then sliced chicken breast on top. Roll it up and voila!
More Easy Salad Recipes
- Mediterranean Chickpea Salad: The best chickpea salad with garden-fresh flavors.
- Caprese Salad: A classic that always hits the spot.
- Broccoli Salad: The perfect loaded salad to feed a crowd.
- Fresh Corn Salad: A must-make when it’s corn season.
I hope you love this classic Caesar salad recipe as much as I do! If you make it, I’d love to hear how it turned out in the comment box below. Your review will help other readers in the community.
- Mix together. Add the lettuce, chickpeas, parmesan cheese, and dressing to a mixing bowl. Stir together.
- Serve. Transfer the Caesar salad to a serving bowl, and if you'd like, garnish with a little bit more parmesan cheese before serving.
- To store the salad: Any leftovers (that have been tossed in the dressing) will last for 3 to 4 days in the fridge. But if you want to keep this salad on hand for a day longer, keep the dressing separate from the other ingredients.
- To store the dressing: The dressing will stay good in the fridge for up to one week in a sealed container.
- Make-ahead tips: Make the roasted chickpeas and Caesar dressing, and grate the parmesan cheese a day before! That way, you can quickly toss the salad with all the ingredients you’ve prepped in under 5 minutes.
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