Sunday, July 25, 2021
Home Healthy food Recipe Vegan Caesar Salad with Cashew Ceasar Dressing

Vegan Caesar Salad with Cashew Ceasar Dressing

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This salad is bursting with savory, umami flavors, just like a classic Caesar salad! It has creaminess from a homemade vegan cashew Caesar dressing and makes a well-balanced meal with roasted chickpeas and cashew parmesan.

Recipe features

  • Diet-friendly: vegan, vegetarian, soy-free
  • Balanced: Roasted chickpeas, homemade miso croutons, cashew Parmesan and a deliciously creamy cashew-based dressing
  • Flavorful: Packed with savory, umami flavors

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Ingredients

Labeled ingredients used to make caesar salad

Romaine lettuce: I use head of romaine lettuce and roughly chop it into bite-sized pieces, but you can buy a 10-12 ounce of pre-chopped lettuce to save on time. Spinach or kale work if you don’t want to use romaine.

Croutons: Bite-sized pieces of baguette with a savory miso and vegan butter combination makes the best simple croutons. You can also use sourdough. Yellow or white miso will work. If unable to find miso, just add a pinch or two of salt.

Cashews: Choose raw, unsalted cashews to make the Caesar dressing and cashew Parmesan.

Worcestershire sauce is a key ingredient in Caesar salads. It usually containers anchovies, but many store-brand options are actually anchovy-free/vegan.

Nutritional yeast adds body and a cheesy flavor to the cashew parm and salad dressing. You can usually find nutritional yeast in the health food section, by spices/seasonings or with baking ingredients.

Step by step instructions

There are a few different components to this recipe. See below for time-saving tips and tips to prep components ahead. The cashew parm and dressing can be made while the chickpeas and croutons roast.

Cashew parmesan

Labeled ingredients used to make cashew parm

I recommend making this before you make the Caesar dressing because you want your blender to be completely dry. You can also make this in a food processor.

Cashew parmesan in blender

Add the nutritional yeast, cashews and seasonings to your blender. Pulse until the cashews are just broken down. You want them to be very tiny pieces like canned Parmesan.

Cashew Caesar dressing

Ingredients used to make caesar dressing

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. This will take anywhere from 1-2 minutes depending on the power of your blender.

Before and after blending cashew dressing

Crispy chickpeas

Add chickpeas to a medium baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Use clean hands to combine.

Roast at 400 for 30 minutes total. Halfway through (after 15 minutes), remove from the oven and stir to promote even cooking. At this point you can add the croutons to the sheet pan.

Roasted chickpeas on a sheet pan before roasting and after 15 minutes

Cook until dry and golden.

Pro tip: Pat the chickpeas dry with a paper towel to remove excess moisture before tossing them in olive oil.

Croutons

Labeled ingredients used to make croutons

Tear or cut bread into 1 inch pieces. In a small bowl, whisk together the miso and melted vegan butter. Drizzle over the bread, tossing to combine.

Add croutons to the pan with the chickpeas. Bake at 400 for about 15 minutes, or until dried out and golden. The chickpeas and croutons should finish cooking at the same time.

Assembling the salad

For one large salad: Add romaine to a large salad bowl. Drizzle with all of the caesar dressing, tossing to coat. Add the croutons, chickpeas and a sprinkle of the cashew Parmesan. Garnish each serving with additional cashew parm.

For individual salads: Assemble salads as you are ready to eat them. See below for storage instructions for individual components.

Overhead view of caesar salad in a large glass bowl on a marble background

Recipe FAQ and expert tips

  • Time-saving tips: Use pre-cut romaine lettuce and store bought croutons to cut down on time. Crispy chickpeas and cashew dressing can be made 1-2 days in advance of serving. Cashew Parmesan can be made 3-4 days in advance.
  • Soaking cashews: You don’t need a high speed blender to make the cashew sauce. Soaking the cashews helps soften them and makes them easier to blend. Soak cashews in very hot water from a kettle for an hour or in cool water overnight or up to 24 hours. The longer they are soaked the easier they will be to blend.
  • Leftover cashew parmesan is great on vegan mac and cheese, avocado pesto, or any other kind of pasta.
How do you store leftovers?

I recommend assembling the salads as you are ready to eat them to prevent the lettuce from getting soggy. The dressing keeps for up to a week. The cashew parm keeps for up to 2 weeks and crispy chickpeas and croutons are best if eaten in 3-4 days. Store the parm, chickpeas and croutons at room temp.

Looking for similar recipes?

Print Recipe

Vegan Caesar Salad with Creamy Cashew Dressing

This salad is bursting with savory, umami flavors, just like a classic Caesar salad! It has creaminess from a homemade vegan cashew Caesar dressing and makes a well-balanced meal with roasted chickpeas and cashew parmesan.

Prep Time20 mins

Cook Time30 mins

Total Time50 mins

Servings: 5 servings

Author: Cassidy Reeser, RDN, LDN

Instructions

Roasted Chickpeas

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Add chickpeas to a medium baking sheet. Pat chickpeas dry with a paper towel or kitchen towel. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Use clean hands to combine.

  • Roast at 400F on the middle oven rack for 30 minutes total. Halfway through the 30 minutes, remove from the oven and stir to promote even cooking. At this point you can add the croutons to the sheet pan. Return to oven and roast until golden and mostly dried out.

Miso Croutons

  • Tear or cut bread into 1 inch pieces. You need a total of 3 cups of torn bread. In a small bowl, whisk together the miso and melted vegan butter. Add bread pieces to a large bowl and drizzle the melted butter/miso over the bread, tossing to combine.

  • Add croutons to the pan with the chickpeas. Bake at 400 for about 15 minutes, or until dried out and golden.

Cashew Parmesan

  • I recommend making this before you make the Caesar dressing because you want your blender to be completely dry. Add the cashews, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder and coarse salt to your blender.

  • Pulse until the cashews are just broken down. You want them to be very tiny pieces like Parmesan from a jar/can. Set aside.

Cashew Caesar Dressing

  • Combine the cashews, olive oil, mustard, garlic cloves, nutritional yeast, Worcestershire sauce, salt, water and lemon juice in a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. This will take anywhere from 1-2 minutes depending on the power level of your blender. Set aside.

Salad

  • If using a head of lettuce, rinse individual leaves and slice into bite size pieces. Let air dry before using to prevent the salad from getting soggy.

  • For one large salad: Add romaine to a large salad bowl. Drizzle with all of the Caesar dressing, tossing to coat. Add the croutons, chickpeas and a sprinkle of the cashew Parmesan. Garnish each serving with additional cashew parm and a lemon wedge.

  • For individual salads: Assemble salads as you are ready to eat them. Garnish each with a lemon wedge. See below for storage instructions for individual components.

Notes

  1. Cashews: Soaking the cashews softens them and makes them easier to blend. Soak cashews in very hot water from a kettle for an hour or in cool water overnight or up to 24 hours. The longer they are soaked the easier they will be to blend.
  2. Leftovers: I recommend assembling the salads as you are ready to eat them to prevent the lettuce from getting soggy. The dressing keeps for up to a week. The cashew parm keeps for up to 2 weeks and crispy chickpeas and croutons are best if eaten in 3-4 days. Store the parm, chickpeas and croutons at room temp. 
  3. Time-saving tips: Use pre-cut romaine lettuce and store bought croutons to cut down on time. Crispy chickpeas and cashew dressing can be made 1-2 days in advance of serving. Cashew Parmesan can be made 3-4 days in advance.

Calories: 420kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 16gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gSodium: 444mgPotassium: 833mgFiber: 11gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 11149IUVitamin C: 16mgCalcium: 105mgIron: 6mg

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