Caesar salad is kind of a “gateway salad.” It’s easy to throw together, and contains that mainstay of salads – lettuce – while still having enough indulgence and flavour to make it appetizing to those not yet on the salad-is-a-meal bandwagon. This No-mayo Caesar Salad recipe keeps all of that flavour and ease while getting rid of the fat-and-calorie-laden caesar dressing that sabotages our healthy eating efforts.
Now, a proper Caesar dressing doesn’t come out of a bottle – it’s a whisked egg and oil mixture that results in a homemade mayonnaise that is spiced and tossed onto salad. While I’m by no means “anti-mayo” I think it’s nice to have the option to skip the typical dressing and have something a bit lighter and healthier.
If you really want to cut back, you can also skip the croutons and Parmesan cheese but I instead just try to limit how much of those I add to my salad. Besides, I’m pretty sure my daughter would refuse to eat a Caesar salad without croutons!
How to Make a Mayo-free Caesar Salad
First, gather your ingredients:
- Approximately 3 cups bread crusts and ends, cut into cubes
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2-4 anchovy fillets, minced
- 3 Tablespoons lemon juice (or juice of a whole lemon)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 cups lettuce or green of choice
- Handful Parmesan cheese, optional
- Salt & Pepper
Traditionally, Caesar salad is made with romaine lettuce but you can easily make it with kale, spinach, or iceberg lettuce – whatever you have on hand or prefer.
Preheat oven to 400F.
Cube the bread crusts and coat with 2 Tablespoons or so of the oil, just until moist. Season with salt and pepper and distribute on baking tray – leaving space between the croutons so they don’t crowd each other. Kids can help with all of these steps!
Bake for 8-12 minutes until crispy and browned.
Set the croutons aside to cool as you prepare the dressing and wash the lettuce. These croutons will last for a couple weeks if stored in a dry, cool place.
I love to save our bread crusts and then when I have enough make a quick batch of homemade croutons, bread pudding, or our One-pot French Onion Soup.
Next, add the anchovies, oil, salt and pepper, garlic, and lemon juice to a mason jar. Firmly screw the lid on and pass it to your kitchen helper for a vigorous shaking!
Perfect! Make sure to taste the dressing and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Rinse and chop up your lettuce, and then toss everything together in a large bowl – lettuce, croutons, dressing, and that handful of Parmesan.
And there you have it – a no-mayo Caesar Salad that cuts the fat and keeps the flavour!
Here’s your free printable recipe for my No-Mayo Caesar Salad recipe:
What’s your favourite salad for when you don’t quite feel like eating healthy?
Check out our full collection of Easter spread recipes, including:
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- Honey-Caramel Ham
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- Cream Egg Cake