Caesar Salad Dressing {No Anchovies}

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This easy homemade Caesar salad dressing is made without anchovies and can be whisked together in just a minute from budget-friendly pantry ingredients you probably already have on hand.

A salad spinner basket holds freshly washed lettuce leaves.

When the temperatures rise, cold and crunch salad is a perfect dinner idea.

My kids love traditional Caesar salad, but we usually serve it as a simple side dish.

When I want to turn it into a full dinner option, we just add a few extras to make it more filling.

However, once they heard that most Caesar salad dressings are made with anchovies, this dish wasn't requested as often.

But good news, my homemade Caesar is made without anchovies so my kids can feel even better about asking for this for dinner!

Why This is the Best Recipe

I love mixing and matching salad bases for entirely new dinner ideas. I think this is the best Caesar salad recipe because:

  1. 3 Different Dinners: Mix and match the protein on top and you suddenly have a full blown entree salad instead of just a Caesar salad side dish.
  2. No Anchovies: Bottled salad dressing is convenient, but you never know if they've used anchovies in the recipe or not. My Caesar salad has no anchovies at all, I promise!
  3. Budget Friendly: The ingredients you need are right in your pantry, no need to spend more money on a bottle of dressing!


My kids love the texture of this homemade dressing so much more than the bottled kind.

Making it from scratch during our beach house trip was better than buying a prepared bottle because I used the other ingredients on the list in other recipes during the week.

  • Mayonnaise
  • Minced garlic
  • Lime
  • Dijon mustard
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt & Pepper

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How to Make the Dressing

If you've never made homemade dressing before, you're going to love this.

All you need to do is add the ingredients to a mixing bowl and whisk them together. That's it!

To achieve the right consistency, just add 1 tablespoon of water at a time. If you like your dressing thick, stop. If you want it a little thinner, add a splash more.

Make Ahead Tips

You can prep the Caesar salad dressing in advance and keep it in the fridge for up to a week.

Do not try to freeze the dressing, it will separate in the freezing and thawing process.

How to Use the Dressing

You can make a simple Caesar salad side dish by drizzling the prepared dressing over your favorite salad greens.

Traditionally, a Caesar salad also features these two simple things:

  • Parmesan Cheese: You could use grated, shredded, or shaved.
  • Crispy Croutons

Caesar Salad Variations

If you want to turn your regular Caesar salad into a full-blown dinner entree salad, just add a few more ingredients.

The first two variations below are the recommended dinner from our beach house meal plan.

Chicken Caesar Salad

Toss chopped romaine lettuce with the classic Caesar salad dressing from the recipe below. Sprinkle shredded parmesan over the top and a squeeze of lemon. Top with big, chunky croutons.

For the chicken: You can use sliced grilled chicken or shredded rotisserie chicken but my new favorite is this healthy air fryer chicken that is done in 15 minutes!

Healthy Chicken Tenderloins in the Air Fryer
This tender and juicy 15-minute chicken tenderloin airfryer recipe is your new go-to chicken for adding to salads, tossing into pasta dishes, or topping a homemade pizza.
5 from 1 vote
An airfryer basket has 7 seasoned chicken tenderloins golden brown and cooked.

Shrimp Caesar Salad

How to Make Croutons From BreadToss chopped romaine lettuce with the classic Caesar salad dressing from the recipe below. Sprinkle shredded parmesan over the top and a squeeze of lemon. Top with big, chunky croutons.

For the shrimp: Frozen shrimp are the most convenient. First, learn how to properly defrost the shrimp. Then you can cook our favorite spicy sautéed shrimp or just cook a batch of air fryer shrimp.

Air Fryer Shrimp
Learn how to cook frozen shrimp in an air fryer for a fast and easy appetizer or seafood dinner on a busy night. Season the shrimp and use them to add to a pasta dish, top a salad, wrap in a tortilla for shrimp tacos, or add to a healthy rice bowl.
5 from 1 vote
A platter of cooked shrimp next to a dipping cup of sauce for dunking.

Steak and Tomato Caesar Salad

Toss chopped romaine lettuce and a pint of cherry tomatoes sliced in half with the classic Caesar salad dressing from the recipe below.

For the steak: Grilled and sliced flank steak is the best choice for beef when you're making an entree salad. Not sure how to grill the steak? This recipe is a great one.

Sprinkle shredded parmesan over the top and a squeeze of lemon.

Top with big, chunky croutons.

Chimichurri Steak
Need an easy grilling recipe for flank steak? This delicious chimichurri sauce makes the beef tender and pairs so well with fresh tomatoes during the summer.
5 from 1 vote
A blue plate holds a serving of rice with chunks of steak drizzled with fresh green chimichurri sauce. Fresh tomatoes are sliced in the back.

📖 Recipe

A salad spinner basket holds freshly washed lettuce leaves.

Caesar Salad Dressing

5 from 2 votes
This Caesar salad dressing does not use anchovies but boosts the flavor with garlic, dijon, and fresh lime juice.
TOTAL TIME 5 minutes
PREP TIME 5 minutes
YIELD 1 cup dressing


  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp minced garlic or 1 clove minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • ¾ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp grated Parmesan
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 - 2 tbsp of water


  • Whisk all the ingredients except for the water in a mixing bowl. Add the water 1 tbsp at a time until the desired consistency has been reached.

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The photo collage shows a mason jar of salad dressing next to a photo of a bowl of prepared lettuce.

One Comment

  1. Pingback: How to cook a week of easy vacation recipes at your beach rental - Don't Just Fly
5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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