This low-commitment creamy Caesar salad dressing is a great recipe when you need a dressing and you need it quick. A few ingredient shortcuts makes this easy to throw together while also tasting homemade and very flavorful.
Table of contents
Why This Recipe Works
This recipe features all the classic Caesar dressing ingredients with a few shortcuts that save time but don’t skimp on flavor. Loaded with the good stuff—Parmesan, anchovy, garlic and lemon—this Caesar dressing with mayo is as scrumptious as our Homemade Caesar Dressing, just without all the whisking involved.
Mayonnaise is the biggest shortcut for making a easy Caesar dressing. We prefer olive oil mayonnaise, it’s just as delicious as regular mayo with a touch more flavor. Bonus, when you use store-bought mayo you avoid using raw eggs.
Grated Parmesan is what you’re looking for here. You can use pre-grated or freshly grated, either work well. Just steer clear of shredded as it doesn’t mix into the dressing as well.
As we always say, if it isn’t fresh, we don’t want it! You just need 1 medium clove, and even better, we’re grating it instead of mincing, which is way less work.
We love a lot of lemon in our Caesar dressing which is why we use both lemon zest and juice. To saturate the lemon flavor without adding too much liquid, we rely on lemon zest which adds flavor but no extra liquid.
A dash of Dijon adds a nice spicy heat in the background of the dressing. You can substitute with whole grain or stone-ground in a pinch.
Think of Worcestershire as the English cousin to soy sauce or fish sauce. It’s an umami-bomb made with fermented onions and garlic, cured anchovies, molasses, tamarind paste, and a handful of spices. Just a dash of Worcestershire goes a long way. If you don’t have any on hand, you can use soy sauce, though Worcestershire is best here.
Anchovy is what sets Caesar dressing recipes apart from all others. It simply adds depth and savoriness without making it taste “fishy.”
For this easy homemade Caesar dressing, we rely on anchovy paste, a less-fussy option than whole anchovies. Look for anchovy paste in the tinned fish aisle near the sardines and tuna. If you’ve got whole canned or jarred anchovies on hand,feel free to use them. Mince three anchovies into a paste then toss them in with the other ingreds.
Test Kitchen Tips
- Feel free to add more lemon juice to reach your desired flavor and consistency. Depending on the mayo you use, you may need more or less than listed. Add it by tablespoon and adjust as needed.
- Since mayonnaise is the base of the dressing, make sure you use a quality mayo. We like Hellmans Olive Oil Mayo or Sir Kensington’s Classic Mayo or their Avocado Oil Mayo.
- Once opened, store the tube of anchovy paste in the refrigerator.
How to Use this Easy Caesar Dressing
- Make our Salmon Caesar Salad—it’s the ideal weeknight din!
- Toss chopped romaine with a hearty drizzle of this Caesar Dressing. Finish with parsley, shreds of Parm and some black pepper. Add homemade croutons for a classic Caesar Salad.
- Serve as a veggie dip with your favorite raw veggies for snacking on.
- Use in place of mayo on sandwiches. We love to turn our crispy chicken cutlets into a sandwich with this Caesar dressing and some romaine on a brioche bun.
- Make Caesar turkey burgers by using this dressing as the spread on the bun.
Homemade Dressing Recipes
- For a very traditional Caesar dressing, try our Simple Homemade Caesar Dressing—instead of store bought mayo, you make your own. So good!
- This Green Goddess Dressing recipe is easily one of our favorite dressing recipes to date. It’s of course delicious drizzled over a big green salad, but we also serve it as a dip alongside a platter of crudité.
- If you love a classic, you’ll love our Healthy Blue Cheese Dressing. It’s made with Greek yogurt so you know it’s uber creamy and packed with flavor!
- Our Healthy Dill Ranch is another delicious take on a classic dressing recipe. We like to drizzle it over green beans!
Store the Caesar dressing in a glass airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Sure, if you aren’t a fan of anchovies you can leave them out. If you’re on the fence, I encourage you to at least try using the anchovy paste, even if you use a smaller amount than called for. Anchovy paste is easier to use and more convenient than whole anchovies.
Quick and Easy Caesar Salad Dressing
- ¾ cup olive oil mayonnaise
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 medium clove garlic, grated
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- ¾ teaspoon anchovy paste
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- In a medium bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, Parmesan, garlic, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, ½ teaspoon lemon zest, Dijon, Worcestershire, anchovy paste, ½ teaspoon pepper and ¼ teaspoon salt.
- Season to taste with additional salt, pepper and lemon zest.