Oh She Glows Crowd Pleasing Caesar Salad

Who doesn’t love a great Caesar salad? The cool crisp romaine, the crunchy croutons, and the creamy dressing that makes it come together perfectly! The problem is, the traditional Caesar dressing is full of calories, being in large part made up of olive oil and egg yolks. While cardiovascular benefits of olive oil have been demonstrated as part of a Mediterranean diet, oil is a processed food which lacks most of the nutrition found in the original fruit (in this case, the olive). The healthy monounsaturated fats provide a much greater health benefit when consumed in the whole food form where fiber and phytonutrients remain intact.

The Oh She Glows blog came up with a unique method of creating a delicious Caesar dressing which gets it’s creaminess from soaked cashews. While the recipe does contain olive oil, there is only a small amount. The brininess of anchovies found in a traditional Caesar dressing is replicated by instead adding capers.

I love to simply eat this flavorful dressing on top of a bed of greens or use it as a dip for raw vegetables. You have the option of making crispy chickpea croutons which can add fiber and protein, as well as a vegan “Parmesan” cheese for extra flavor and texture. While the salad is delicious even without these accompaniments, they make the dish a complete meal if you’re willing to give a little extra effort in preparation!

Find original recipe here


For the Roasted Chickpea Croutons: (These are optional. You can also make traditional croutons out of a good crusty bread cut up into small cubes, sprinkled with garlic salt, and toasted until crunchy. The chickpeas do add fiber and protein if this is going to be a meal rather than a side dish or appetizer).
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (or 1 1/2 cups cooked), drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
For the Caesar Dressing (makes 3/4-1 cup):
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight (Rather than soak overnight (who really thinks that far ahead?!), just boil 2 cups of water in the microwave and soak cashews for 20-30 minutes until soft and plump).
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 small garlic clove (you can add another if you like it super potent)
  • 1/2 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce (I use Wizard’s gluten-free brand)
  • 2 teaspoons capers
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt and pepper, or to taste
For the Nut and Seed Parmesan Cheese: (This is optional as well, but adds a nice contrast in flavor and texture to the lettuce, dressing, and croutons. Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast that comes in powder form and can be purchased in the bulk section of most health food stores or online. It packs a good dose of protein and lends a cheesy flavor to many vegan dishes).
  • 1/3 cup raw cashews
  • 2 tablespoons hulled hemp seeds
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • fine grain sea salt, to taste
For the lettuce: (You can use all romaine or kale to make things simple, and can buy either in packaged, already washed form to save time and effort).
  • 1 small/medium bunch lacinato kale, destemmed (5 cups chopped) 
  • 2 small heads romaine lettuce (10 cups chopped)


  1. Soak cashews in a bowl of water overnight, or for at least a few hours. Drain and rinse.
  2. Roast chickpea croutons: Preheat oven to 400°F. Drain and rinse chickpeas. Place chickpeas in a tea towel and rub dry (it’s okay if some skins fall off). Place onto large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle on oil and roll around to coat. Sprinkle on the garlic powder, salt, and optional cayenne. Toss to coat. Roast for 20 minutes at 400°F, then gently roll the chickpeas around in the baking sheet. Roast for another 10 to 20 minutes, until lightly golden. They will firm up as they cool.
  3. Prepare the dressing: Add the cashews and all other dressing ingredients (except salt) into a high-speed blender, and blend on high until the dressing is super smooth. You can add a splash of water if necessary to get it blending. Add salt to taste and adjust other seasonings, if desired. Set aside.
  4. Prepare the Parmesan cheese: Add cashews and garlic into a mini food processor and process until finely chopped. Now add in the rest of the ingredients and pulse until the mixture is combined. Salt to taste.
  5. Prepare the lettuce: Destem the kale and then finely chop the leaves. Wash and dry in a salad spinner. Place into extra large bowl. Chop up the romaine into bite-sized pieces. Rinse and then spin dry. Place into bowl along with kale. You should have roughly 5 cups chopped kale and 10 cups chopped romaine.
  6. Assemble: Add dressing onto lettuce and toss until fully coated. Season with a pinch of salt and mix again. Now sprinkle on the roasted chickpeas and the Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.


  • Be sure to check the label to ensure your Worcestershire Sauce is gluten-free (if necessary) as not many are. I use Wizard`s Gluten-Free Organic Worcestershire Sauce.
  • The dressing thickens when chilled, so be sure to leave it at room temperature to soften before using.