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This cashew Caesar salad dressing is vegan, dairy-free, oil-free, and gluten-free. It is creamy and delicious, and is perfect drizzled on top of a bed of romaine lettuce.
Have you been looking for a way to make a tasty vegan Caesar salad? Look no further, because this super easy Caesar dressing recipe is exactly what you need!
Raw cashews make this dressing super creamy! They are a great based for several creamy vegan sauces, dressings, and dips.
Garlic adds a strong flavour to this recipe to create the classic Caesar dressing taste that you love!
This recipe is made with only 6 simple ingredients (one of which is water). No nutritional yeast, and no oil of any kind!
Here is what you’ll need:
- Raw cashews (no salt added!)
- Dijon mustard
- Garlic (cloves or powder)
- Fresh lemon juice
- Ground black pepper
How to make this vegan Caesar dressing
The first thing you may need to do before making this recipe, is soak your cashews. If you have a high-powered blender or food processor this step may be skipped. I have a Vitamix and it is able to whip this dressing up into a perfectly smooth texture with no soaking at all.
If you need to soak your cashews, place them in a bowl and cover with water. Let sit for several hours (I recommend at least 3, but the longer they soak, the smoother the dressing will be).
If you’re in a pinch and you know that your food processor or blender will not be able to handle the cashews without softening them first, you can boil them on the stove for at least 15 minutes. Then drain the water and they should be ready to use.
Once your cashews are ready, decide if you’ll be using garlic powder or garlic cloves. I find the cloves yield a stronger taste, but you can definitely use powder if that’s what you have.
If using garlic powder, just toss all ingredients into your food processor or high-powered blender and blend until smooth.
If using garlic cloves, chop them up then blend them with the water before adding the other ingredients. I recommend doing this because I find it breaks the garlic cloves up more evenly. I have tested this recipe several times, and I found that even when using my Vitamix, I was left with some fairly large chunks of garlic that left the dressing with an uneven distribution of flavour when I mixed everything all together at once. Blending the garlic cloves with water first solves this issue. It may foam up, but that will disappear upon mixing in the other ingredients!
Garlic creates the main taste of this recipe. To me, a classic Caesar salad dressing needs to be super garlicky, but not everyone will like the same amount. I recommend starting with less, then do a taste test and add more as desired.
If using garlic cloves, start with two small cloves of about 3 grams each. If using garlic powder, start with 1.5 teaspoons.
I recommend using freshly squeezed lemon juice for the healthiest dressing. Make sure you don’t add any seeds, because they may yield a bitter taste.
Storing this dressing
This dressing should be store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It keeps fairly well for up to 5 days, and possibly a bit longer.
This cashew Caesar dressing will thicken upon refrigeration, but it is still pourable for salads!
Of course this dressing is great on a salad. I like to pour it on a bed of romaine lettuce. You may also want to add other veggies such as cucumber, and possibly some plant-based croutons or coconut bacon.
I even enjoy pouring this dressing onto rice bowls or a baked potato.
This dressing is quite thick and creamy, so it’s also great as a dip! Use it as a dip for veggies and tortilla chips.
You can also spread this vegan Caesar dressing onto a wrap!
If you are looking for more whole-foods plant-based oil-free dressings, check out this maple Dijon dressing as well!
Vegan Cashew Caesar Salad Dressing (Oil-Free)
- 1 cup cashews
- ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons water
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
- 2-3 small cloves of garlic or 2 teaspoons garlic powder – SEE NOTE BELOW
- If you do not have a high-powered blender or food processor, start by soaking your cashews. You can soak them in a bowl for a few hours or overnight, or you can boil them on the stove for about 15 minutes. Then drain the water and your cashews are ready to use. You will need to cool them down with cold water if you intend on consuming the dressing immediately after making. I use a Vitamix and soaking isn’t necessary, so it depends on what appliance you’re using.
- Chop your garlic and add it to your blender or food processor with the water. Blend these two ingredients first to allow the garlic to break up evenly. If you are able to finely grate your garlic or if you are using garlic powder, this step is not necessary.
- Add all remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.