Caesar 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.

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


  • 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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  • brandon

    it was delicious


  • Kristina Hotchkiss

    Better to make this a day ahead or day of? Dressing and croutons that is

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Kristina! Emma here, managing editor. The croutons can be made the day ahead. The salad dressing can also be made the day ahead, but I’d wait to whisk in the egg until just before you’re ready to toss the salad (mostly for food safety reasons).

  • Tina

    This is a keeper. I was making a Caesar as a side for just 4, so I halved the recipe, and it was perfect. It’s so easy and much better than the bottled dressing. I will never go back to bottled dressing again!


  • Joffrey

    I’ll never buy caesar dressing again!


  • Latha

    Delicious recipe. Made it as part of a weeknight dinner for the family. Paired it with whole wheat spaghetti and sauce. My husband and kids devoured it. This one’s a keeper!!!


  • Madhu

    My first attempt at Caesar salad and it was tasty! Subbed Worcestershire sauce and a stale loaf of garlic bread, toasted with garlic butter and chopped. I’m going to make and keep some garlicky olive oil for next time…Thank you for putting up the recipe with lovely pictures !


  • Michael

    Excellent! SO simple, SO delicious and SO much better than the dressings with dry mustard, mayo and others. Thank you for this recipe!


  • Katie K.

    Dayum. This salad is good. I made it for a dinner party. This was definitely a crowd pleaser!! Thanks so much. Your recipes are delicious.


  • Angie

    This is so delicious! Just the right amount of tangy, too. Thank you very much for this recipe, as well as others on your site. I’ve tried many of them and have never once been disappointed. Thanks again!!


  • Jonathan

    Delicious! An outstanding salad, and with a little sautéed chicken it makes a perfect dinner salad. And, while others have pointed it out, the photos are amazing, better than professional-grade. Thanks for the recipe!


  • Christine

    Hi! This recipe (and site) is great. I use this all the time to make caesar salad wraps– delicious!

    Why is it that can you use worcestershire sauce as a substitute for the anchovy paste? Does that apply only to this caesar dressing recipe, or could I substitute worcestershire for anchovy paste in a recipe for a spinach dip?

    One of the main ingredients in worcestershire sauce is anchovies, which is why you can sometimes use it as a substitute. You could try it with your spinach dip recipe, and see if you like it. ~Elise


  • Randi Lynne

    I made this for the first time tonite. My husband and good friend said they had never had a Caesar Salad dressing that good, even at a restaurant. I made a loaf of homemade bread so I skipped the croutons, but the dressing to me is the best part anyway. It was delicious. Thank you so much for this great recipe!


  • pat

    Amazing, loved this recipe. I made it tonight after looking at this Caesar salad recipe this morning. I did everything except I used my magic bullet to mix the dressing. The Caesar was wonderful. I used my old frozen rolls and bread to make the croutons and just tossed them in a bag with the olive oil garlic mixture, then threw them on a aluminum foil sheet pan. Low min and checked.
    The best all time favorite.
    Thank you
    Can not wait to pass this on.

    So glad you liked it! ~Elise


  • Tao

    I usually don’t like caesar salads but made it for my boyfriend and looooved it! it was so good! thanks!
    ps. and thanx for the advise for the raw egg!


  • Gloriana

    Made this to accompany tonight’s dinner. Thumbs up all around. Another great recipe from a great site. Thanks, Elise!


  • Tao

    Is it safe to serve eggs uncooked?

    • Giancarlo Junyent

      I to my knowledge salmonella risk is concentrated on the eggs shell. A quick inmersion in boiling water eliminates the risk. I´ve done that in my restaurant during the last 27 years and never had a problem… Giancarlo

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Tao, the risk of getting sick from raw eggs is very low, but it is recommended that very young, very old, and immune compromised people refrain from eating raw eggs. For what it’s worth whenever you eat a poached or runny fried egg, the yolk isn’t cooked enough to kill salmonella. So if you are comfortable eating poached eggs, you should feel comfortable with this recipe.

  • Hannah

    I have tried a few homemade Caesar Salad recipes and they have not turned out quite as good as I was hoping, so I am anxious to try this. Thank you for sharing.

    I have previously used the anchovy paste, but I’d like to use anchovies. I am not a big fish person, though, so when you say 1-2 anchovies smashed and minced, is it as simple as opening a can of anchovies and chopping them into bits, or do you use fresh anchovies, need to de-bone, etc.? Thanks for any advice.

    You open a can, pull out one or two skinny anchovy fillets, and chop them up. Put the open can with the remaining anchovies in a small plastic container, or cover them with plastic wrap, and store in the refrigerator until your next use. They will last for a couple months refrigerated because they are salt-cured and packed in oil. ~Elise

  • Daniele

    Thanks for this tasty hint. I had only eaten the MacDonald variety and never had done any research on the recipe (I was lazily thinking that the salad was named after being a rather “rich” salad…).

    A very simple, personal variation:

    – Mix Roman lettuce, grated carrot and pickles cut in small cubes
    – Dress with a vinaigrette of olive oil, apple vinegar and salt
    – Prepare a toasted sandwich with fontina cheese, cut it into small squares and toss upon the salad.

  • chefpaulo

    I concur with all above posters who use only the yolks. I recall this from childhood when Caesar salad was a novelty and to have it prepared tableside was a real treat.

    Regardless of Caesar’s (Cardini)original recipe, anchovies are a must in this house. And the Parmesan must be freshly shaved – no powdered blasphemy from a green cardboard shaker.


  • CJ McD

    When feeling unsure about the safety of the fresh eggs I have on hand, I often substitute a tablespoon of mayonnaise as an emulsifier. Yields a good textura result and does not interfere with flavors for those squeamish about raw egg. Just don’t use more.

    Great idea, especially in this case, since all mayo is is egg, oil, and vinegar/lemon juice. ~Elise

  • Roz

    Hi Elise,

    You are so kind for sharing this recipe….absolutely one of my all time favorites! There is a little book called something like “In Search of the Caeser Salad” and it has the original recipe served in Tijuana, Mexico. If you can find a copy it is full of many variations in addition to the original recipe. THIS SOUNDS DIVINE and I thank you!


    Hi Roz, wow, a whole book just on caesar salad? Had to look for it and I did find it here on Amazon: In Search of Caesar: The Ultimate Caesar Salad Book. ~Elise

  • Linda in Washington State

    Hi Elise,

    In my pre kids days (those were the yummy days when I didn’t have to cook sigh lol),I worked at a restaurant that made and served Caesar salad tableside. >. They used red wine vinegar along with the lemon juice. They coddled the egg before using only the yolk in the dressing. I personally prefer adding lemon zest along with the lemon juice to a light salad or pasta dressing.
    A few drops Worcestershire sauce can be used instead of anchovies to make this dressing.
    I am not a big anchovies fan.

  • Alecia

    We love to do homemade caesar. I like the sounds of this dressing, less ingredients to fuss with – I will try it! We like to grill our romaine. Had it that way in a restaurant a while back and so we tried it at home. Before tearing the leaves, wash and dry the heads and then put on the grill for a few minutes until the outsides have a bit of color, you’ll have to watch them and rotate them. The grilling adds a unique smokey flavor and sometimes we throw in some grilled shrimp too.

    What an interesting idea! Thank you for the suggestion. ~Elise

  • Candie

    I use grey poupon mustard and a little Worcestershire instead of eggs. Too many people are allergic to the egg. Also add fresh lemon to zest it up! Wash & pinch lettuce, wrap it in a clean town and refrigerate until time to serve.

  • Tao

    Do you know how many cups of parmasean is equivalent to approximately 4 ounces?

    About one cup grated cheese. ~Elise

  • Crystal

    You can also substitute fish sauce for anchovy paste, if you cook Thai dishes you should have some on hand.

    Great idea! ~Elise

  • jonathan

    Really? The whole egg? Not just the yolk(s)? That’s a new one. For me, the difference between a good Caesar and a great Caesar is the garlic croutons. I like to cube day-old Italian loaf, infuse some olive oil long, low and slow heat with lots of sliced garlic (remove when brown), turn up the heat and then saute the cubes until golden. They absorb the oil and when bitten into give you a nice textural crunch followed by a shot of delicious garlic oil. Save me.