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Caesar Salad

May 23, 2024

Crispy, crunchy, lettuce meets creamy anchovy dressing in this classic Caesar salad.


Caesar salad on a plate with homemade caesar dressing, toasted panko breadcrumbs and finely grated Parmesan cheese
Photography by Gayle McLeod

The Classic Caesar Salad and Why Everyone Loves It

A true crowd-pleaser, Caesar salad has something to offer to everyone! So refreshing without being too heavy, but creamy and packed with little bursts of umami from the parmesan and anchovies, what’s not to love? This Caesar salad recipe is so good that you can let it shine on its own or have it brighten up your next meal, like this Grilled Skirt Steak with Blistered Tomatoes and Burrata. Crispy, green lettuce, rich caesar dressing, and perfectly toasted breadcrumbs make for the best caesar salad recipe. Of course, you can make this recipe your own by adding more or less anchovies, switching up the type of leafy greens, or adding a teaspoon of Dijon if you’re feeling a little crazy.

ingredients for caesar salad with homemade caesar dressing in bowls on the counter
panko breadcrumbs being toasted in olive oil in a skillet for Caesar salad
an immersion blender on the counter next to bowls of ingredients for homemade Caesar salad dressing
romaine lettuce in a salad bowl surrounded by bowls of grated parmesan, toasted breadcrumbs and homemade caesar dressing

What is Caesar Salad Made of?

To obtain the best Caesar salad, you need a perfect balance of freshness from the greens, crunchiness, and crispiness from the crouton, or, in this case, breadcrumbs and creaminess from the dressing. Make sure not to skip on the Parmesan: we love the subtle nuttiness it adds.
Caesar salad is made of these simple ingredients:

  • Romaine lettuce or another leafy green as in our Kale Caesar

  • Caesar dressing

  • Aged Parmesan

  • Toasty breadcrumbs

chopped romaine in a salad bowl topped with homemade caesar dressing and parmesan next to bowls extra parmesan and dressing
chopped romaine in a salad bowl being tossed with homemade Caesar dressing and finely grated parmesan
Caesar salad with homemade caesar dressing in a bowl beside bowls of parmesan, toasted breadcrumbs and pepper for topping
caesar salad with homemade caesar dressing, finely grated parmesan, toasted breadcrumbs and black pepper on a plate

The Secret to The Best Caesar Salad Dressing

No, it’s not the anchovies in the caesar that takes the cake, although they do come in a close second. Instead, it’s the egg yolks that help form a stable emulsion. As lemon juice and oil usually don’t combine, adding egg yolks makes for a smooth and nicely emulsified dressing. In our Caesar Salad dressing recipe, freshly squeezed lemon, cracked pepper, salty anchovies, your favorite neutral oil, a touch of Worcestershire, and egg yolks combine to give you the creamiest melt-in-your-mouth caesar dressing. We’d like to think it’s the perfect complement to the aged Parmesan, fresh lettuce, and golden brown bread crumbs, with a zingy but not-too-overpowering punch from the garlic and anchovies. Although some recipes call to remove the egg yolk and replace it with mayo, we find, for an original caesar salad, you’ll want to keep them.

homemade Caesar salad with homemade caesar dressing, surrounded by bowls of toasted breadcrumbs, pepper and Parmesan

How to Make Caesar Salad

  1. Chop the Romaine! The ideal recipe for caesar salad calls for using equal amounts of inner crispy leaves and outer leafy green leaves for the best crunch. By cutting the romaine into bite-size pieces, the lettuce will perfectly hold the creamy Caesar dressing.

  2. Toast the Breadcrumbs. This is our favorite way to elevate Caesar salad in less time than making homemade croutons AND without sacrificing texture!

  3. Make the Caesar Dressing! The holy grail of the salad - creamy, bright, and garlicky with anchovies and fresh cracked black pepper.

  4. Arrange the Caesar Salad! Toss the lettuce with fresh grated Parmesan, the caesar dressing, and toasted breadcrumbs, but make sure you save some for the top! Sprinkle with fresh cracked pepper and the remaining golden brown breadcrumbs.

homemade Caesar salad with homemade caesar dressing, surrounded by bowls of toasted breadcrumbs, pepper and Parmesan

The Simple Tools You’ll Need for The Best Caesar

Summer Salad Recipes You Need Now

We even compiled a list of our 30 favorite salads in our Best Salad Recipes ever or, for a similar take on Caesar, give the following a try:

Caesar salad with homemade caesar dressing, toasted breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan cheese on a plate with a fork

The Best Caesar Salad Ever?

Let us know how your Caesar Salad turned out! Snap a photo of it and maybe even a video of the toasty breadcrumbs and delicious crunch. Tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

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Caesar Salad

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  10 min
  • Cook Time:  5 min
  • Calories: 304



  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs
  • 6 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • ½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

Caesar Dressing

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 anchovy filets, roughly chopped
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ cup avocado oil, or other neutral oil
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper


  1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat until glistening. Add in the panko bread crumbs and toss to combine, spread in an even layer. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring often until breadcrumbs are golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

  2. In a narrow jar add egg yolks, anchovies, garlic, 1 tbsp of the lemon juice and salt. Set an immersion blender in the jar and blend without lifting or tilting until combined, about 30 seconds. In a steady stream slowly add in the oil keeping the blender flat on the bottom of the jar. If the dressing gets too thick, slowly lift the blender up to incorporate the remaining oil. Add in the remaining lemon juice, worcestershire sauce and black pepper and blend until combined.

  3. In a large bowl toss the lettuce with the dressing along with half of the grated Parmesan cheese. Top with bread crumbs, remaining Parmesan and freshly cracked pepper to serve.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories304
  • Protein5 g
  • Carbohydrates6 g
  • Total Fat30 g
  • Dietary Fiber0 g
  • Cholesterol7 mg
  • sodium225 mg
  • Total Sugars1 g

Caesar Salad

Questions & Reviews

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  • Micah

    Absolutely delicious. The whole family loved it. Made it a chicken Caesar salad with your baked chicken breast recipe (also delicious). The toasted breadcrumbs are such a great addition and way better than croutons.

    YES! WE love breadcrumbs over croutons. We are glad you loved this Micah!

  • Jenn

    Divine. The homemade dressing was very fast and simple and had delicious flavor. I love the toasted breadcrumbs instead of eating large croutons.

    Thanks Jenn! Glad you loved it!