It’s no secret around these parts that I love Caesar salad.  I’ll never forget the time I first tried one.  My family was on vacation and we were enjoying a girls’ night out at what was surely the fanciest restaurant I’d dined at up to that point in my thirteen years of life.  I had been so excited for the meal but then was hit by a pretty severe stomachache just before we left for dinner.  I sucked it up and went anyway, hoping I would feel better along the way.  Unfortunately while we were ordering I still felt pretty bad so I just glanced over the salads and for no reason I can recall, I ordered a Caesar salad.  When it arrived I took a few bites and before I knew it, my stomachache had disappeared.  I’m sure it was coincidental timing, but it didn’t hurt that the salad happened to taste fabulous.  I’ve been hooked ever since.  Good thing no one told thirteen year old me there were anchovies in it.

I have a few variations of Caesar salads that I make depending on what ingredients we have on hand, but this is hands down my favorite.  In fact, this is pretty much the only version I make anymore with regularity (except for in the past, when I have been pregnant and raw eggs were a no-no.   Sadness.)  The dressing is rich and luxurious without feeling heavy, and it pairs so well with fresh, crisp romaine leaves and our favorite croutons.  A perfect compliment to almost any meal, at least in my mind.


For the dressing:

  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 2-3 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 6 anchovy fillets, patted dry with paper towels and mashed to a paste with a fork
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 5 tbsp. canola oil
  • 5 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • About ¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan, divided
  • Freshly ground black pepper

To serve:

  • 2 heads romaine lettuce, rinsed, dried, and torn into bite-sized pieces
  • Croutons
  • Parmesan shavings
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • 01

    To make the dressing, grate the garlic clove with a microplane or zester to a fine paste in a small bowl.  Mix in the lemon juice and let stand 10 minutes.  Add in the Worcestershire sauce, egg yolks, and anchovies and whisk to blend.  Whisk in the canola and olive oils until the dressing is emulsified.  Add about ½ cup of the grated Parmesan, season with freshly ground black pepper, and adjust seasonings to taste.

  • 02

    Place the romaine in a large salad bowl.  Add a small portion of the dressing initially and toss well to coat.  Continue to add additional dressing little by little until the lettuce is coated to your liking.  (It is very easy to overdo the dressing, so start slowly and add in small spoonfuls.  You can always add more but you can’t take it away!)  Toss with croutons and serve with shaved Parmesan and freshly ground black pepper, if desired.

  • 03

    *As written, this recipe makes a lot of salad.  We find a half recipe to be more than enough for our family.
  • This looks delicious and it sounds like that stomach ache was hunger!

  • RikiTikiTembo

    LOVE Ceasar Salad – cant wait to try this version:)

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    I love a good Caesar salad! Yours sounds just like the classic version my mom used to make :)

  • Melissa@Kids in the Sink

    Cesar Salad is hands down my favorite salad, too. I’ve never made it before because I’m intimidated by the anchovies. Where do you buy them? Are they in the regular grocery store in some specific area usually? Thanks!

  • annieseats

    Yep, regular store with other canned/preserved fish such as tuna, etc.

  • Yum! A Caesar dressing without anchovies just doesn’t taste the same.

  • Yay! Finally a REAL caesar salad recipe with anchovies. I cannot wait to try this!

  • Lcoudiere

    Yay! I’ve been waiting for a great cesar salad, I’m trying it tonight!
    Just a few questions: I have anchovy paste at home, how much would you say the 6 anchovy fillets equal in tablespoons?
    Would you store any leftover dressing in the fridge and how long?
    Thanks again!

  • annieseats

    I don’t know what the substitution ratio would be. You’ll have to experiment or try Googling. I don’t feel comfortable storing this dressing due to the raw eggs so I always make it fresh.

  • AmyR.

    This sounds fantastic. I’ve been hungry for a good fresh caesar salad. I have to wait until the end of July when “baby boy” comes to enjoy the real stuff! :( But I’ll bookmark this recipe for sure!

  • Lauren Ochoa

    That looks fabulous! I was also introduced to Caesar salad as a young adult and found it enchantingly wonderful, luckily not finding out about the raw egg and anchovies until after I had firmly developed my taste for it. Since I AM pregnant right now, I will have to bookmark this one for sometime after Thanksgiving.

  • Sarah

    Another caesar salad lover here! Not being able to order caesar salads at restaurants was definitely one of the hardest parts of my pregnancy! :)

  • I love caesar salad!

  • I love that this caesar salad dressing doesn’t have any mayo in it! I am honestly so excited! I have an unreasonable phobia of mayo. Weird, I know.

  • Melissa

    This looks delicious! I had a question, though. Do you get local or organic eggs that would be safer to eat raw than your typical supermarket egg?

  • I always order Caesar salads whenever the option is there. I have never made it at home. I need to. Thank you for this beautiful recipe.

  • Caesar salad is my absolute favorite. This looks wonderful! Can’t wait to try it!

  • annieseats

    I buy local free range eggs from a butcher shop/local farm, but that’s just what I buy all the time. As long as you aren’t immunocompromised in any way, I don’t think one is significantly safer than the other.

  • Yum! I love Cesar Salad! That fresh Parmesan looks amazing!

  • Jaye

    Yum! I made this last night since our garden has so much lettuce right now. Very easy to make and you are right it really makes a lot of dressing but I didn’t know what to do with the other anchovies so I just made too much. I used my immersion blender and a cup to make, super easy and no mess.


  • Elisabeth

    I used to make caesar dressing all the time and rather than have a can of half used anchovies in my fridge I found the tubes of anchovies paste. It worked great and the leftover didn’t smell up my fridge.

  • Man, I remember when I first posted this and you were pregnant with Caroline! Doesn’t that seem like ages ago? It really is fantastic. Who knew raw eggs and anchovies could make something so delicious?

  • Becky

    Would the consistency still be the same if the anchovies were not added?

  • annieseats

    If you omit the anchovies, it’s not really a Caesar dressing anymore and the flavor will be very different.

  • Autumn Malsbury

    I was wondering the same thing since I could only find the paste and googling showed 1/4 to 1/2 tsp per anchovy. Did you try it and if so what amount did you use?

  • Umm, I remember when I worked in a vegetarian restaurant and we made our Caesar dressing without anchovies or egg yolks, plus used a vegetarian version of Worchestershire. It was delicious and so popular, but as you indicated, probably didn’t taste like the original.

    Keep writing…

  • Jenna@littlekitchenbigflavors

    I just wrote a whole post on caesar salad, too. I can’t get enough of the stuff… especially the dressing. I could dip just about anything in that dressing! Your picture of the salad looks beautiful… in the past, I have used asiago cheese, but now I think I may have to give parmesan shavings a try!

  • Ruth

    Absolutely fabulous- I’ve been trying recipes for years, and this is by far the best- as is most everything you share with us! Thank you!

  • So good! I made it earlier tonight and have just tasted the dressing so far. I just roasted up some shrimp to throw on top and am just waiting for the shrimpies to cool off a bit before eating it. Can’t wait!