A refreshing and classic vegan Caesar Salad made with Romaine lettuce and topped with soy curls “chicken”, vegan parmesan, fresh croutons, and homemade caesar dressing. It’s a healthy spin on a classic salad that everyone will love.
This post was originally published on 4/26/2017.
I was hoping to sneak in this recipe before Valentine’s Day. I mean, when it comes to the perfect romantic meal, a classic Caesar Salad is at the top of my list! But I also wanted to make sure you got the recipes for my French Creme Brulee and Pots de Creme as well as my Cashew Ricotta Stuffed Shells and there simply wasn’t enough time to fit it all in.
But have no fear! A vegan Caesar salad is a meal that you can enjoy any time of the year. And once you give it a try, I’m certain you will be doing just that.
Let’s take a closer look at this delicious and hearty vegan salad.
WHAT IS A TRADITIONAL CAESAR SALAD?
Caesar Salad originated in Mexico by an Italian chef, Caesar Cardini, in the late 1920s.
A traditional Caesar salad is a simple garden salad made with a base of Romaine lettuce tossed with parmesan cheese and croutons. It is then dressed with a salad dressing made from lemon juice, olive oil, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, anchovies, garlic, Dijon mustard, Parmesan cheese, and black pepper. Adaptations of Caesar Salad have turned it into a hearty meal by adding chicken or salmon.
In other words, a traditional Caesar salad is not very vegan-friendly.
HOW TO MAKE VEGAN CAESAR SALAD
To make a delicious vegan caesar salad we just need to replace a few ingredients. Namely the parmesan, salad dressing, and protein.
REPLACING THE PARMESAN
When it comes to vegan parmesan you have two options.
You can either make your own out of hemp seeds, nutritional yeast, and garlic or you can buy vegan parmesan at the store. As you already know, I’m a HUGE fan of Violife parmesan. Violife makes the BEST vegan cheeses I had ever had and their parmesan is exactly how I remember parmesan to taste. It’s tangy, salty, cheesy, and perfect for this Vegan Chicken Caesar Salad.
REPLACING THE DRESSING
Traditional Caesar Salad Dressing has a handful of non-vegan ingredients: egg, Worcestershire sauce, anchovies, and parmesan.
These replacements are made quite easy with storebought ingredients. For my vegan version, I use vegan mayo (This is the brand I like the most), vegan Worcestershire (if you can’t find it at your local grocery store, you can pick some up here), capers (in lieu of anchovies), and, of course, Violife parmesan.
REPLACING THE CHICKEN
To replace the chicken, I used one of my favorite whole food chicken replacements, soy curls.
Soy curls are a dehydrated soy product made by soaking the beans in fresh water and then constantly stirring them while they cook. They get dried at low temperatures which hold in the nutrients making soy curls a fiber and omega-3 rich food. They are chewy, sponges for flavor, and perfect for a whole food vegan chicken option.
You can find soy curls in the bulk section at most grocery stores or online.
HOW TO PREPARE VEGAN CAESAR SALAD SALAD
There are several things to prepare when making this Caesar Salad but none of them take very much time.
- Begin by making a batch of the vegan Caesar Salad Dressing. You can also pick vegan Caesar Salad Dressing up at the grocery store.
- Next, make the homemade croutons. To do this, simply toss cubed bread in olive oil, salt, and pepper and place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake the croutons 12-15 minutes, until lightly golden brown and crunchy.
- Sauté the rehydrated soy curls in spices until they have shriveled in size and are browned on the outside.
- Finally, assemble the salad starting with a base of Romaine lettuce and kale (if using). Add vegan parmesan, homemade croutons, and soy curl chicken. Toss with Caesar salad dressing and serve!
CAN THIS BE MADE IN ADVANCE?
Yes! You can make the salad dressing up to 7 days in advance. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use. Homemade parmesan and croutons can be made up to 5 days in advance. These should be stored separately in airtight containers at room temperature.
If you are looking for a lunch that will last you several days, make a big batch of the croutons and dressing. When it is time to make the salad, heat up the soy curls (if using), chop the lettuce, and toss everything together.
Variations of Vegan Caesar Salad
This Vegan Chicken Caesar Salad is wildly adaptable. Here are a few things to consider:
- To save on time, consider using storebought vegan Caesar Salad Dressing. This is my favorite brand.
- You can either use homemade or storebought vegan parmesan. I recommend Violife parmesan if you can find it.
- I love soy curls chicken. However, you can use any plant-based chicken option you like. For a lighter salad, omit the vegan chicken altogether.
- Want a more classic salad, skip the kale and replace it with extra Romaine lettuce.
SERVING AND STORING VEGAN CAESAR SALAD
A few things to keep in mind when preparing this salad.
- Eat this salad within several hours of assembling it. When you are ready to eat, toss it with the dressing and enjoy immediately
- This makes a great on-the-go lunch. Layer it in a salad jar and pack the dressing separately.
- Make the components in advance, store them in the refrigerator, and enjoy a lunch salad all week long.
- Makes a hearty lunch or dinner. High in protein, low in net carbs, delicious in flavor!
MORE HEALTHY SALAD RECIPES
- Thai Cashew Salad with Sesame Peanut Sauce
- Vegan Taco Salad with Walnut Taco Meat
- ULTIMATE Detox Salad with Lemon Ginger Dressing
- Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
- Southwest BBQ Tempeh Salad with Vegan Ranch
But before you go, let’s take a look at this vegan Caesar salad recipe below.
A refreshing and classic vegan Caesar Salad made with Romaine lettuce and topped with soy curls "chicken", vegan parmesan, fresh croutons, and homemade caesar dressing. It's a healthy spin on a classic salad that everyone will love.
Keyword: Vegan Caesar Salad
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 491 kcal
Author: Sarah McMinn
- 6 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
- 2-4 tablespoons vegan parmesan
- 2 cups bread, cut into 1/2" cubes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the soy curls in a small bowl and top with vegetable broth. Allow the soy curls to rehydrate for 10-15 minutes.
Toss the cubed bread in olive oil, oregano, salt, and pepper and place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until lightly golden brown and crunchy. Remove from heat and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor combine the ingredients for the Caesar Salad Dressing and blend until completely smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.
To make the soy curls chicken, drain the excess vegetable broth from the soy curls. Heat up olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté the soy curls for 2-3 minutes. Add the nutritional yeast and spices and continue to sauté until the soy curls are browned on the outside and cooked all the way through. Remove from heat.
Assemble the salad by tossing the romaine in a large bowl with the Caesar Salad Dressing. Top with soy curls, croutons, and vegan parmesan. Serve immediately.
- Serve immediately.