Simple Caesar Salad

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This Simple Caesar Salad is a classic for a reason! It’s crunchy, creamy, and oh-so-delicious! This recipe uses simple pantry staples, with a healthier spin on a few traditional ingredients for a quick, delicious, and lighter way to eat salad!

Caesar salad in circular white dish with shredded parmesan on top.

Caesar salad is one I always forget about until someone mentions the name. Then I instantly crave one! There is something about the cold, crisp Romaine lettuce and that tangy Parmesan dressing that is so refreshing! 

And while this simple Caesar salad may not be authentic, it is utterly delicious and so easy to whip up! This recipe uses everyday ingredients – no anchovies here! – most of which you probably already have on hand. And I replaced the mayo with plain Greek yogurt to lighten up the calories and to sneak in a hearty punch of protein! Easy and healthy? Winner-winner Caesar salad winner! 

Plus, this dish is hearty enough to stand on its own or serve as a great side to pretty much any main course. We love serving this salad with my One Pot Chicken Florentine Pasta, or my Creamy Sausage Tortellini Soup, and especially my easy one-pan Parmesan Chicken and Veggies for a filling, Italian inspired meal!

Why You’ll Love This Simple Salad

  • Use simple pantry ingredients
  • No anchovies needed
  • Lighter version of a traditional Caesar salad
  • Ready in 10 minutes!
Simple Caesar salad in circular white bowl with fresh Parmesan.

Key Ingredients For This Recipe

GREEK YOGURT: Greek yogurt adds a protein-packed creamy texture to the dressing. Feel free to use regular or low-fat plain Greek yogurt.

MILK: You can use regular milk or lactose-free milk. To keep dressing lower in calories, feel free to use fat-free (skim) milk, but any type of milk will work.

LEMON JUICE: Lemon juice adds the much-needed acidity to help balance out the creaminess of the dressing. While fresh lemon juice is always best, if all you have on hand is store-bought pre-squeezed lemon juice, feel free to use that.

DIJON MUSTARD: Offers a subtle spicy component to the creamy dressing. If you cannot find Dijon or don’t have any on hand, feel free to swap in spicy brown mustard as their flavor profiles are extremely similar.

ROMAINE LETTUCE: Used as the base of the Caesar salad. Romaine lettuce is a sturdy, crunchy, nutrient-packed hearty salad green. When purchasing at the local grocer or farmer’s market, look for bunches that have dark green outer leaves that are close together, firm, and crisp looking.

PARMESAN CHEESE: Parmesan Cheese is a hard Italian cheese that has a rich nutty flavor. For the freshest, more flavorful cheese, purchase a pre-cut wedge and grate yourself using a box grater.


  • Garlic
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Croutons
Close up of simple Caesar salad in a circular white bowl with a Parmesan wedge to the side.

How To Make A Simple Caesar Salad

It could not be easier to make this simple Caesar salad!

BLEND DRESSING INGREDIENTS: Simply combine all the dressing ingredients and refrigerate for an hour.

ASSEMBLE SALAD: Tear or chop the lettuce into bite-sized pieces and place it in a large bowl. Pour dressing over-top and toss to combine. Top with croutons and extra Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Tips And Tricks

  • Garnish with garlic croutons and freshly shaved Parmesan slices
  • While refrigerating dressing for an hour is not necessary, it does help develop the flavors
  • To make dairy-free use nut-based milk and yogurt and use a vegan parmesan-style cheese


How do I store leftovers?

I do not recommend storing a dressed leftover salad as the acid in the dressing will continue to wilt your greens causing them to get soggy.
If you made more salad than you can enjoy at one sitting, store washed lettuce in an airtight container in the fridge up to 10 days. Store any leftover dressing in an airtight container in the fridge up to 5 days.
When ready to enjoy, give the dressing a good shake or stir and assemble salad according to recipe.

Can I make this dairy-free?

Sure can! Feel free to use a nut-based milk and yogurt in the dressing and top with a vegan parmesan-style cheese.

What are some add-ins that I can put into this salad?

While I love this homemade Caesar salad on its own, feel free to make it a complete meal by adding in the following: grilled chicken, grilled or sauteed shrimp, avocado, bacon.

Is it difficult to make your own croutons?

While store-bought will save on time, homemade croutons are easy to make and taste so much better! In short, take stale, day-old bread and cut or tear it into bite-sized chunks. Place in a large bowl and toss with oil olive and seasonings. Pour onto a prepared baking sheet and bake at 400ºF until lightly toasted and browned.

More Salad Recipes To Try:

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Simple Caesar Salad
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins

This Simple Caesar Salad is an easy way to enjoy this traditional salad, and it's healthy!

Course: Salad
Servings: 4
Author: Countryside Cravings
  • Dressing
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 small garlic clove minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Salad
  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • Large garlic croutons optional
  • Parmesan cheese for serving optional
  1. Combine all dressing ingredients to a small bowl or mason jar; whisk together. Taste and adjust seasoning. Refrigerate for an hour. This step is optional, but I found it developed better flavors.

  2. Tear or chop the romaine into bite sized pieces and place into a large bowl. Pour dressing over the top and toss to combine. Top with optional croutons and extra Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home

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