The Caesar Dressing Shortcut That Happens To Be Vegan

Named one of the best foods to come from the Americas per The Washington Post, there's something inarguably spectacular about the simplicity of a Caesar salad. With its fresh, crisp romaine lettuce, seasoned croutons, and zesty dressing, everyone at the table will want their share. That is unless you're vegan. Besides the generous topping of parmesan cheese, there are a couple of other ingredients hidden within the salad's dressing: Anchovies and egg whites that make it an obvious pass. On the brighter side, you can easily create vegan Caesar dressing at home for yourself. Someone might even ask you if they can steal a bite.

With plant-based deli meats, burgers, and even chicken wings on the market, a vegan Caesar salad dressing should be simple, right? Vegans have long been searching for ways to emulate the salad dressing's creamy, zingy flavor with plant-based ingredients in their own homes. Ingredient alternatives usually involve some sort of cashew-soaking along with the dreaded task of cleaning your blender. But all of this time, there's been one singular, plant-based ingredient that could've saved you from all of that mess. Odds are it's sitting inside your fridge right now, just waiting for its star moment.

Use hummus instead

We all know hummus; that creamy, chickpea-based spread famously served with warm pita bread and crispy falafel. Being a protein-packed, plant-based food, hummus is a star in and of itself — one that can be found inside the refrigerators of many vegans. But Bon Appétit states that, when used as a substitute for mayonnaise in your homemade dressing, hummus is your shortcut to a creamy vegan Caesar dressing in less than five minutes. And, no, it doesn't even need to be the fancy kind. 

As long as it's plain hummus, you can grab any old container from the store. Then, when you get home, and your Caesar salad craving hits, take about half a cup of your store-bought hummus, stir in all of the other basic ingredients, and season to taste. You'll have a five-star Caesar dressing in less than five minutes, with no cashew soaking necessary. Of course, there are still a few other ingredients you'll have to substitute, but those are easy. 

If your recipe calls for Worcestershire sauce, you can use a vegan version instead. Additionally, Minimalist Baker recommends substituting capers for anchovies — which weren't even included in the original Caesar salad (via Food & Wine) — to get that ocean flavor minus the tiny canned fish. Other vegan additions could include extra lemon zest, pepperoncini, or a dash of crushed red pepper flakes to put The Butcher's Daughter's $16 vegan spicy kale Caesar to shame.