This Caesar Salad with Easy Homemade Dressing is super tasty and so simple to pull together. A rich and creamy Caesar Dressing made from pantry staples with NO ANCHOVIES!
Classic Chicken Caesar
Chicken caesar is probably one of the most well-known salads around, right? I’ve tried so many variations of this dish (both good and bad). I’m going back to basics with this recipe – crispy bacon, crunchy romaine lettuce, salty parmesan drizzled with a delicious, tangy and creamy Caesar dressing.
I love to add chicken to my Caesar salad to make it a complete (and satisfying meal) but you can easily leave it out of you are serving as a side dish or appetiser. If you don’t eat chicken then some soft-boiled eggs would be glorious.
Caesar Salad with Easy Homemade Dressing
I’ve tried my hand at a fair few variations of Caesar Dressing before. A lot of them seem pretty daunting – lots of emulsifying, raw eggs, whole anchovies.
And if there’s one thing I really can’t get behind it’s having to use (and wash up!) extra equipment like a blender or mortar & pestle. This dressing is super easy to whip up in just one bowl with a simple whisk or even a fork. No blending required.
Ok so technically there is a little anchovy in the dressing, in the form of 1 little teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce. But if you’re averse to these little fishes then I promise you won’t even notice. You can also source a vegan/vegetarian-friendly version or even make your own vegan Worcestershire.
Mayonnaise Based Dressing
This Caesar dressing is mayo-based, but you can swap out some, or all, of the mayo for full fat greek yoghurt if you wish. This will change the flavour though and make it a lot tangier (not necessarily a bad thing). You can also easily swap the mayo to a light or vegan version if you want to avoid full-fat mayo.
Perfect Crispy Bacon
How do you cook the perfect crispy bacon to top off your Caesar Salad? My secret is to OVEN COOK your bacon rashers! Simply line a baking tray or cookie sheet with some greaseproof or baking paper (don’t use foil) and lay out your streaky bacon rashers (this won’t work as well with back bacon).
Then place the tray in the middle of a COLD oven, turn the heat to 200c/180fan/400f/gas 6 and cook the bacon for about 20 minutes, or until your desired crispness. That’s it! Perfect crispy bacon every time.
These easy croutons really make the dish in my opinion. Super easy and tasty (I always find myself snacking on then while I’m preparing the rest of the salad, and have been known to make extra purely for this reason…).
I like to use Sourdough bread, but anything thick and crusty will do. You can even use regular sandwich-style sliced bread in a pinch.
Cut or tear the bread into bite-sized chunks, then toss with olive oil, garlic powder, parsley and salt & pepper. You can mix it up here and add additional spices and flavourings to suit yourself. Then simply bake the croutons at 200c/180fan/400f/gas 6 for 10 minutes – you can add them to the oven while the bacon is cooking!
Upgrade Your Caesar Salad
I have kept it simple here with only sliced lettuce, but there are so many ways you can upgrade your Caesar Salad. Add in some diced tomatoes, pepper, cucumber or slices of avocado.
Use a mixture of different lettuce, a bag of mixed salad leaves or even throw in some kale or spinach.
You can replace the chicken with shrimp, prawns or soft boiled egg.
Looking for more easy salad recipes? Here are some of my favourites:
- Easy No-Mayo Tuna Salad
- Easy Homemade Ranch Dressing with Chopped Salad
- Ultimate Chopped Salad
- Lemon Dill Potato Salad
- Strawberry Spinach Salad with Poppyseed Dressing
- Everyday Tomato & Mozzarella Salad
I hope you like this recipe as much as I do! Please leave a comment or tag me on Instagram @carrieskitchen_ if you make it!
Caesar Salad with Easy Homemade Dressing, Chicken and Crispy Bacon
- 4 Rashers streaky bacon
- 1 Head Cos or Romaine Lettuce
- 1 Chicken Breast
- 1 tsp Dried Parsley
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
- Salt & Pepper
- 80 grams Sourdough or Crusty Bread About 2 slices
- 1 tsp Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Dried Parsley
- ½ tsp Garlic Powder
- Salt & Pepper
- 6 tbsp Mayonnaise Full fat, light or vegan all work well
- 2 tbsp Greek Yoghurt
- ¼ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
- 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1 tsp Worstershire Sauce
- ½ tsp Dijon mustard/mustard powder
- 1 Garlic Clove, minced
- Mix together the chicken marinade ingredients in a bowl and season generously with salt and pepper.
- Butterfly the chicken breast* and place in the bowl with the marinade. Toss the chicken to make sure it's fully covered in marinade. Set aside for 10 minutes while you prepare the rest of the dish, or cover and refridgerate for up to 4 hours.
- To cook perfect crispy bacon, line a baking sheet with greaseproof or baking paper. Lay out the bacon rashers evenly and place in a COLD oven.
- Turn the oven temperature to 200c/180fan/400f/gas 6 and cook for about 20 minutes, until bacon reaches your desired level of crispy.
- To make the croutons, cut or tear the bread into ½ inch chunks.
- Add the bread cubes to a bowl with the olive oil, dried parsley and garlic. Season well with salt and pepper and toss to combine.
- Lay the bread on a cookie sheet or baking tray and bake at 200c/180fan/400f/gas 6 for 10 minutes, tossing halfway through. They should be golden brown and crispy.
- To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl or jar. Mix well with a whisk or fork. Season to taste.
- To cook the chicken, heat a drizzle of olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat.
- Add the chicken breast to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes before flipping over with a pair of tongs. Continue to cook the chicken for 8-10 minutes, flipping every couple of minutes, until the chicken is lightly browned on the outside and cooked all the way through.
- Remove the chicken from the pan and allow to rest and cool for a few minutes on a chopping board before cuting into slices or bite-sized cubes. You can cook the chicken in advance and store it, whole or cut, covered in the fridge for up to 2 days.
- When the bacon is cooked, allow it to cool on some kitchen paper then finely dice.
- To assemble the salad, wash and finely chop the lettuce.
- You can either mix the entire salad in one large bowl, or divide the ingredients equally between 2 or 4 bowls.
- Scatter the chopped bacon and croutons over the lettuce, then add the sliced chicken.
- Drizzle over a couple of tablespoons of dressing and garnish with some extra grated parmesan.
- Serve and enjoy!