Does Caesar Dressing Have Dairy?

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One of the most popular salads available at restaurants across the country, Caesar salads are probably the first thing you think of when you want something refreshing, filling, and delicious.

Incredibly easy to make at home as well, it is made using romaine lettuce, croutons, parmesan cheese, and topped with some delicious and creamy Caesar dressing.

The salad’s popularity has catapulted the demand for Caesar dressing, with all supermarkets stocking up on different brands of the readymade dressing.

However, if you love salads but are on a dairy-free diet, you might wonder if Caesar dressing has dairy. Skipping the parmesan cheese in the salad will make it dairy-free, but what about the dressing? Let’s find out.

So, does Caesar dressing have dairy? Yes, most Caesar dressings are made using Dijon mustard, parmesan cheese, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, anchovies, eggs, and black pepper, making them unsuitable for people on a dairy-free diet.

There are, however, dairy-free or vegan options that you can both make at home and buy from the supermarket.

Read on to find out how Caesar dressing is made, whether all Caesar dressings have dairy, and our picks of the 3 best vegan/dairy-free Caesar dressing options available on the market.

What Is Caesar Dressing?

Caesar dressing is a delicious, creamy, and slightly tangy concoction with a velvety texture made using a few common pantry items.

Its main ingredients include Dijon mustard, olive oil, egg yolks, parmesan cheese, anchovies, lemon juice, garlic, and pepper.

While these are some of the standard ingredients used to make it, each recipe may differ a little depending on the addition or removal of one or more ingredients.

Caesar dressing is most commonly used on Caesar salad, although it is not the only way that it is used.

Some fun and interesting ways to enjoy it include:

  • Marinade for grilled chicken or meat
  • Dressing for pasta or potato salad
  • Dip for veggies, crackers, kebabs, or skewers
  • Flavoring for roasted veggies
  • Spread for burgers, sandwiches, or wraps
  • Sauce for baked fish

Do All Caesar Dressings Have Dairy?

Dairy is any food that is made from milk, such as butter, cheese, yogurt, and cream, and since Caesar dressing is commonly made using parmesan cheese, it is not considered dairy-free.

Although the addition of parmesan cheese makes Caesar dressing unsuitable for dairy-free diets, it is safer for people who are lactose intolerant since parmesan cheese has the lowest amount of lactose compared to other types of cheese.

It is also rich in vitamins and minerals that make the dressing extra nutritious, and is low in fat content, making it a suitable choice for those looking for a low-calorie option.

As mentioned earlier, the popularity of Caesar salads has resulted in an influx of Caesar dressing options suitable for different diets. You can easily find dairy-free options in the supermarket and can even make it at home yourself.

All you have to do is omit the cheese part entirely and make the Caesar dressing without it. If you wish to add more flavor and texture to your dressing, you can try using sweet potato sauce or nutritional yeast instead of parmesan cheese.

How To Make Dairy-Free Caesar Dressing

There are several variations of Caesar dressing, with home cooks making it with mayonnaise, while others go the more authentic route and use ingredients such as anchovies, and Dijon mustard.

Here’s what you’ll need to make dairy-free Caesar dressing at home:

  • Anchovy fillets
  • Egg yolks
  • Garlic cloves
  • Dijon mustard
  • Olive oil 
  • Salt 
  • Black pepper
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Nutritional yeast (instead of Parmesan cheese)

What you need to do is toss all the ingredients, except the olive oil, into a blender and grind it into a smooth paste.

Next, gradually add the olive oil with the blender turned on to make the paste smoother. You may adjust the salt and pepper according to your taste. Serve it immediately or refrigerate it and consume within a week.

Best Vegan/Dairy-Free Caesar Dressings

With so many varieties of Caesar dressing available in stores, while most of them have dairy in them, there are a few options specially catered to diary-free and vegan diets, aka no parmesan cheese, eggs, or anchovies.

Here are our picks of the 3 best vegan/dairy-free Caesar dressings available on the market:

RankProductKey Features
1.Follow Your Heart Organic Vegan Caesar DressingMade in small batches with solar power
2.Daiya Dairy-Free Creamy Caesar Dressing Free of the top 8 allergens
3.Fody Foods Vegan Caesar Salad DressingLow FODMAP and IBS-friendly

1. Follow Your Heart Organic Vegan Caesar Dressing

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This organic vegan Caesar dressing by Follow Your Heart is rich and creamy with notes of garlic and pepper that elevate its flavor even more.

It is made fresh in small batches using solar power and tastes just like traditional Caesar dressing, or even better, without any eggs, dairy, or anchovies.

Made with Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, oil, Vegenaise, and a few other ingredients, it is certified organic, plant-based, kosher, non-GMO verified, dairy-free, egg-free, vegan, and cholesterol and preservative-free.

What more could you ask for?

2. Daiya Dairy-free Creamy Caesar Dressing 

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A delicious non-dairy and vegan-friendly option, this creamy Caesar dressing by Daiya is made using plant-based ingredients.

It offers a rich and creamy taste that will have you questioning whether it is dairy-free, but trust us, it is!

It is free of the top 8 allergens, including dairy, egg, gluten, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, fish, and shellfish, and contains no animal products whatsoever.

In addition to that, it contains no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, and can be enjoyed not only with salads but also as a creamy dipping sauce, a marinade for your chicken, a spread for your burgers and sandwiches, and so much more.

3. Fody Foods Vegan Caesar Salad Dressing

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This delicious vegan Caesar dressing by Fody is a kitchen staple that can accompany any of your favorite salads, sandwiches, and pasta dishes.

In addition to being certified vegan and non-GMO verified, it is also certified gluten-free, keto-friendly, and gut-friendly.

Made with no garlic, this creamy dressing is certified low FODMAP and suitable for individuals suffering from IBS or sensitive stomachs.

Related Questions

Now that you know whether Caesar dressing has dairy, along with some of the best dairy-free, vegan options available out there, here are a few additional questions we thought you might have:

Is Caesar dressing vegan?

Since traditional Caesar dressing contains parmesan cheese, eggs, and anchovies, it is not a suitable choice for vegans. Depending on the recipe, some may also include tuna, chicken, or other types of meat.

There are, however, several plant-based vegan Caesar dressings available on the market. You can also make it yourself at home since it would give you more freedom over the choice of ingredients.

Is Caesar dressing vegetarian?

No, since Caesar dressing normally contains anchovies to give it an umami flavor, it is not suitable for vegetarians. You can, however, find some options without anchovies, or skip it if you’re preparing the dressing at home.

Is Caesar dressing gluten-free?

Caesar dressing doesn’t contain any ingredients with gluten; therefore, it is generally considered gluten-free.

However, when using readymade store-bought Caesar dressing, it is always best to check for a gluten-free label to be sure that the product works for your dietary requirements.

How do you store Caesar dressing?

The recommended way to store Caesar dressing is in the refrigerator, where it will last much longer as compared to the pantry.

However, the exact duration that the Caesar dressing lasts depends on the ingredients and the amount of preservatives used.

Most store-bought varieties are made with preservatives to last longer, with an opened bottle of Caesar dressing lasting in the fridge for up to 9 months, and an unopened one lasting in the pantry up to a year.

Freshly made Caesar dressing, on the other hand, needs to be refrigerated as soon as it is prepared, lasting about one week in the refrigerator.

How to know if Caesar dressing has gone bad?

Caesar dressing is one of those condiments that you can easily tell if it has gone bad. Since it includes ingredients such as egg yolks and parmesan cheese, it will give off a rotten smell if it has gone bad.

This smell will often be so bad that you won’t even have to bother inspecting it further. Just one whiff and you’ll know for sure that it’s going in the trash.

Does ranch dressing contain dairy?

The most popular dressing in the country, ranch is widely consumed by Americans in salads, pizzas, burgers, sandwiches, steaks, and everything in between.

Ranch dressing often contains ingredients such as buttermilk, yogurt, and sour cream that give the dressing its distinct tangy flavor.

Unfortunately, this makes ranch unsuitable for people looking for dairy-free food options since both homemade and store-bought varieties contain dairy.

There are, however, dairy-free ranch dressing options available out there, and you can also whip up some at home yourself with a few adjustments and substitutions here are there.

Up Next: Best Store-Bought Keto Salad Dressings

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