Caesar Salad

SaladCroutonGarlicRomaine Lettuce

Classic Caesar Salad with romaine lettuce, homemade croutons, parmesan cheese, and easy homemade caesar dressing. Never buy caesar dressing again!

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

About Caesar Salad

Do a little research into the background of the caesar salad and you’ll find that it is named not for some illustrious Roman emperor, but for Caesar Cardini, a Mexican chef working in Tijuana in the 1920s, who would dramatically serve it up table-side. (At least that’s how the story goes.)

Fast forward to this century and you have what is probably the most popular restaurant salad in the country, with plenty of variations around the theme of romaine lettuce, garlic, Parmesan, and croutons.

Plated Caesar Salad with Homemade Caesar Dressing and Croutons

What follows is my friend Suzanne’s recipe, family size. I love Suzanne’s caesar salad, and have been a frequent guest at her house when it has happened to have been served (lucky!)

Homemade Caesar Salad Croutons

In this recipe we are making croutons from scratch, from baguette slices that have been brushed with olive oil, toasted, and then roughly chopped. You toast the baguette slices while the garlic soaks in olive oil in the serving bowl, which a great way to infuse the oil with garlic.

Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing

Classic Caesar Salad dressing is made with olive oil, garlic, raw eggs, and anchovies. The eggs give the dressing creaminess, and the anchovies? A salty, savory deliciousness. If you don’t have access to anchovies, just add a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce to the dressing.

A note about using raw eggs in the dressing. Because of the risk of salmonella, it’s a good idea to avoid them if you are very young, old, or immune compromised.

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Caesar Salad Recipe

  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6 for a main course or up to 8-12 for a side salad

If you don't have anchovies available, add a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce to the dressing.

A note about using raw eggs in the dressing. Because of the risk of salmonella, it’s a good idea to avoid them if you are very young, old, or immune compromised.


  • 1/2 cup high quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, peeled, smashed, then minced
  • 1 baguette, preferably a day old, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup freshly juiced lemon juice (plus more to taste)
  • 4 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste, or 1-2 anchovies, smashed and minced
  • 2 eggs
  • Freshly ground black pepper (1/4 teaspoon or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4-6 small heads of romaine lettuce, rinsed, patted dry, wilted outer leaves discarded


1 In a very large bowl, whisk together the olive oil and garlic. Let sit for half an hour.

2 Make the toasted croutons: While the oil is sitting, make the croutons. Spread the baguette slices out over a baking sheet (may need to do in batches), lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

Brush or spray with olive oil (or melted butter, or if you want garlicky croutons, dip pastry brush in the garlic infused oil you have sitting in step 1).

Broil for a couple of minutes until the tops are lightly browned. (Note: do not walk away, these can easily go from browned to burnt.) Remove and let cool.

Homemade Croutons for Caesar Salad Toasted Homemade Croutons for Caesar Salad

The steps up until this point can be made ahead.

3 Make the dressing: Add anchovies and eggs to the oil garlic mixture. Whisk until creamy. Add salt and pepper and 1/4 cup of lemon juice. Whisk in half of the Parmesan cheese. Taste, add more lemon juice to taste. The lemon should give an edge to the dressing, but not overwhelm it.

Eggs in Bowl for Caesar Salad Dressing Mixing Homemade Caesar Dressing

4 Tear off chunks of romaine lettuce: Using your hands, tear off chunks of lettuce from the heads of romaine lettuce (do not use a knife to cut). Add to the oil mixture and toss until coated. Add the rest of the Parmesan cheese, toss.

Lettuce heads for Caesar Salad Tearing Lettuce for Caesar Salad

5 Coarsely chop the toasted bread and add (with the crumbs from the chopping) to the salad. Toss. Serve immediately.

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Fresh Lettuce Heads for Caesar Salad


Caesar Salad

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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45 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Terrie

    What are the calories for the salad?

    Show Replies (1)
  2. Jayne

    Delicious. Made croutons with butter & cut them small. Recipe is enough for quite a lot of romaine. Will try to make half the recipe (Used ersatz eggs, so it’s possible).


  3. Diana

    Can I use mayo instead of the eggs? How can I avoid eggs in the dressing?

    Show Replies (1)
  4. Susan

    My family loved the dressing! ❤️


  5. Angelitacarmelita

    Caesar salad is my SO’s FAVORITE salad. I’ve made others and they were just okay… I found your recipe and tried it and OMG! My search for a great recipe for this is over! I followed the recipe as written and wouldn’t change a thing for the dressy. The only thing I did differently was swap out the croutons for a new take. I saw Molly Yeh do a salad with browned panko (I used the garlic oil as noted in your recipe to brown them), and finished the salad with those beautiful garlicky crumbs instead. I’m not a fan of the big chunky croutons and neither is my SO’s mom, so I decided to go the bread crumb route. It was amazing and per my family “the best ceasar salad any of them had ever had” This is better than any I’ve ever had, in any (even very high end, table-side prepared) restaurant. Thank you!!


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