Well hello, there, how about a tasty Caesar salad that’s gluten free and still consists of those crunchy, tasty croutons we just have to have on top of our Caesar salad? How about a dressing that’s made with Greek yogurt instead of raw egg yolks? I bet you can’t tell the difference. This dressing is still as creamy, rich, salty, and as delicious as the traditional dressing! Are you ready to make this Easy Caesar Salad?
Good, let me show you how!
First, we make some skillet croutons using our favorite gluten free bread. I used Udi’s, and it made a super crunchy crouton, but any of your favorite kind of gluten free bread that holds up well will work. We melt some butter and oil, throw in a little garlic powder, salt, and black pepper for flavor, and cook the croutons in a skillet until they’re golden brown, about 10 minutes. Easy, right? We didn’t even have to turn on the oven.
Next you make the dressing. Traditional Caesar salad dressing has raw egg yolks, anchovies, garlic, mustard, and olive oil. I didn’t want to mess with the raw egg situation. If you have access to really, really fresh eggs, then go for it. I won’t judge you or worry about your safety or your health. But for the rest of us city dwellers who don’t have a chicken coup in our backyard, or a neighbor who has one, we will stick with the Greek yogurt method. BTW what is life like when you have fresh eggs every single morning? Really, how awesome would that be?! I would never want to clean up after chickens, but I can dream, right?
Anyway, to make the Caesar dressing I use plain, fat free Greek yogurt, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper. Add a touch of anchovy paste – you seriously can’t skip out on that one; it adds so much flavor. Whiz everything together in a blender to make it nice and smooth and create an emulsion with the oil so that you don’t have any crazy separation going on later. Seriously, that dressing is just as good as the traditional stuff and way better than any bottled Caesar dressing you could buy! Plus it’s easy to make. Are you starting to see a theme here?
Now about the greens. Gotta have that crisp, crunchy romaine lettuce, always! Wash and dry it really, really well. We don’t want a wilted Caesar salad! Just before serving, toss that dressing with the lettuce so that every leaf gets coated with rich salty, dressing goodness. Then top the salad with plenty of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and those crunchy croutons! And just like that your Easy Caesar Salad is served! Be proud of yourself, my friend!
You could serve your Easy Caesar Salad as is. It makes a really impressive side salad. But if you wanted to turn it into a meal then simply add some cooked chicken. Some cooked shrimp would be delightful. I also enjoy Kalamata olives on my Easy Caesar Salad; more salty goodness! And there you go; now you have one amazing salad that you can also turn into a lunch or dinner!
I hope you give this Easy Caesar Salad a try. If you do, don’t forget to leave a comment below and rate the recipe. Your comments make my day! Enjoy!
- For the Croutons:
- 3 cups stale gluten free bread, cut into 1 inch cubes*
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- For the Dressing:
- ½ cup non fat, plain Greek yogurt
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 1 teaspoon smooth Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon anchovie paste (usually found by canned anchovies and sardines)
- 1 to 2 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- For the Salad:
- 2 heads of romaine lettuce, washed and dried really well
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated or shaved Parmesan cheese
- Other optional toppings:
- Kalamata olives
- Cooked chicken
- Cooked shrimp
- For the croutons:
- If your bread isn't stale, cut it into cubes and allow it to sit on the counter, uncovered for several hours, until hard. This step is optional, but I did find it helped the croutons to remain crispy for several days longer.
- Heat a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium high heat. NOTE: Depending on the size of your skillet you might need to work in batches with the croutons. Make sure not to overcrowd the pan; otherwise the croutons won't crisp up. If you need to work in batches make sure to divide the butter, oil, and spices in half. Allow the butter to melt, add the oil and spices and stir to combine. Add the bread and toss to coat in the butter and oil.
- Allow the croutons to cook for about 10 minutes, stirring every 3 minutes. The croutons should be golden brown and crispy. Remove immediately, and allow to cool.
- For the Dressing:
- Add all of the ingredients to a blender or a mini chopper, as I used, and blend until well combined. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. The consistency should be really thick but still pourable. If you need to thin it out a little add a little more olive oil.
- For the Salad:
- Tear the washed and dried romaine leaves into large, yet bite-sized chunks and place them in a serving bowl.
- Just before serving toss the dressing with the lettuce so that each lettuce is coated with the dressing. Top with the croutons and Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
- If you wish to turn this salad into a meal simply add cooked chicken or shrimp. I love adding Kalamata olives to my Caesar salad, too!
- If you are not serving the entire salad immediately then only wash as much lettuce as you want at a time and use as much dressing as needed. The dressing will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. The croutons will keep in an airtight container lined with a paper towel, at room temperature for up to 4 days. Assemble just before serving to prevent soggy salads.
Prep time does not include the suggested time to allow the bread to sit out and become stale before making the croutons.
Nutrition Facts do not include any of the extra toppings that I suggest in the ingredients list.