Caesar Salad


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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.

A big bowl of Caesar salad.
Photo: Gayle McLeod

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!
Ingredients for Caesar salad.

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

Pouring Caesar dressing onto a Caesar salad.

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!
Close up of a Caesar salad.

More Easy Salad Recipes

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.

A white bowl of Caesar salad.

Caesar Salad

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 20 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan


Crunchy, garlicky, and cheesy, this is the best Caesar salad! It's loaded with protein-filled roasted chickpeas and the tastiest homemade Caesar dressing. Watch the video below to see how I make this in my kitchen!




  • Mix together. Add the lettuce, chickpeas, parmesan cheese, and dressing to a mixing bowl. Stir together.
    Adding dressing to Caesar salad.
  • Serve. Transfer the Caesar salad to a serving bowl, and if you'd like, garnish with a little bit more parmesan cheese before serving.
    Caesar salad with serving spoons.

Lisa’s Tips

  • 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.


Calories: 340kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 15g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 670mg | Potassium: 157mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 701IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 142mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: Caesar Salad, Caesar Salad Recipe
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating


  1. hi – just have a question regarding the lettuce you purchase – is it organic?
    I won’t order salads in restaurants any longer, due to their poor quality of lettuce.

    So these recipes for home are great. I love a great salad.


    1. Hi Catherine – yes, when I make recipes at home I use organic ingredients. But I know others may choose what’s best for their budget. Either way, cooking at home always turns out better! ;)

  2. Amazing flavours! Thank you Lisa 🙏 the dressing is delicious and the roasted chickpeas makes this dish a full meal in itself.5 stars

  3. Caesar salad is really mouth-watering! Your description invites readers into the world of flavors and culinary creativity. It is a testament to the timelessness of the Caesar salad and proves that with a thoughtful touch, a classic can become a contemporary favorite. I can’t wait to try this renewed Caesar salad in my own kitchen.