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Caesar Dressing poured into a bowl of kale surrounded by a small bowl of croutons, a small bowl of lemon wedges and a glass of Parmesan mixture.

Vegan Caesar Dressing with Massaged Kale and Parmesan

Creamy, garlicky, spicy and full of lemony, briny flavor, this vegan Cesar dressing is delicious on any variety of greens, but especially romaine or kale, or as a dip. vegan + gluten free
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Author Traci York | Vanilla And Bean


For the Dressing (Yields 1 1/2 C or 352g) *See note:

  • 3/4 C Raw Cashews soaked in water overnight, rinsed and drained, 106g
  • 3/4 C Water 170g
  • 2 Tbs Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2 Cloves Large of Garlic to taste **see note 18g, Increase to 3 cloves (27g)
  • 2 Tbs Capers 24g
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp + 1/8 Sea Salt
  • 1/4 C Extra Virgin Olive Oil 46g

For the Parmesan (Yields about 3/4 C or 82g) See note***:

For the Salad (Yields 2 Salads):

  • 5 oz Russian Red or Baby Kale washed and torn into bite size pieces, 142g
  • Homemade Croutons
  • Lemon Wedges


For the Dressing:

  • In a VitaMix, add the soaked and drained cashews, water, lemon juice, garlic, capers, pepper and salt. Start to puree on low, then increase speed to high for 30 seconds. Scrape down the pitcher. Repeat until all ingredients are pureed and smooth, about 45 seconds.
  • With the lid plug removed, turn the VitaMix on to low speed. Slowly pour in the olive oil until all ingredients are smooth. Taste for salt and pepper seasoning adjustment.
  • Store in the refrigerator for at least a few hours before serving so it can chill, develop and thicken. If the dressing is too thick, add about 1 tsp of water at a time, by whisking in until desired consistency is reached.
  • This dressing freezes beautifully. When ready to use, thaw in the refrigerator and whisk or puree until smooth again (add water as needed as the dressing tends to thicken).

For the Parmesan:

  • To a bowl of a food processor, add the cashews, nutritional yeast, salt and garlic powder. Pulse ingredients until the desired consistency is reached. It should look like a fine meal.

To Assemble:

  • In a large bowl, add kale and about two Tbs of Caesar dressing. Set a timer and massage for two minutes, Don't be concerned about tearing the leaves, this is a sturdy kale. Taste a leaf or two, to see if more dressing is needed; add to taste.
  • Place in serving bowls, sprinkle with parmesan and top with croutons.
  • Serve with a few wedges of lemon.


*The dressing will not all be used for two salads. Store in the refrigerator for up to three days or freeze the leftovers. Give it a whirl in the blender or a good shake before using again. 
**The garlic. I've made this many times and have included up to four cloves of garlic. The level of spiciness/garlic flavor will depend largely on the type of garlic used. I recommend starting with two cloves and adjusting the recipe to taste.
***Store parmesan in a lidded container and store for up to two weeks. Vegan Parmesan slightly adapted from Minimalist Baker.


Potassium: 2060mg