Avocado Caesar salad is a healthy twist on a classic, featuring a creamy dressing made with avocado in place of mayonnaise or egg yolks. With crisp romaine and homemade sourdough croutons, it’s refreshing, flavorful, and filling! Plus, this easy recipe can be bulked up as a main dish or served as a side. If you need a strictly vegetarian Caesar salad recipe, I included tips for ingredients swaps that will get you there.
I have never been more ready for the crisp, fresh flavors of this avocado Caesar salad! Something about it just screams warm weather dining, and I’m totally here for it. We had a very long winter (with record snowfall) here in Minneapolis. Mother Nature tried to make it up to us this week with some record-high heat, which means I was really craving spring/summer vegetables!
With such gorgeous weather IRL, it’s perfect timing for this post to go live! I totally see a backyard dinner featuring this salad in your future. It’s simple enough to make for a weeknight meal but interesting and fun enough for entertaining too. Using avocado as a base for the dressing is a game-changer that yields ultra-creamy and rich texture that’s still somehow light and irresistibly fresh.
Serve your Caesar on the side of sandwiches or burgers or bulk it up with some grilled chicken, salmon, crispy tofu, or pan-fried chickpeas. It’s worthy of becoming a go-to recipe to mix into your rotation, just like some of my other salads of summers past (the Roasted Chickpea and Arugula Salad, Grilled Panzanella Salad, and Greek Lentil Salad, to name a few)!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Romaine: Get the crispest romaine you can find! Avoid bunches that have too many wilted leaves or discoloration.
- Sourdough bread: I am a big fan of making homemade croutons with sourdough bread. You can of course sub your favorite store-bought ones, but it literally takes under 10 minutes to make your own! It’s so worth it.
- Extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper: For making the croutons. I season them with salt and pepper, but if you have lemon pepper, that’s a nice touch!
- Avocado: Of course, this is the star ingredient in avocado Caesar salad. You’ll need 2 for the recipe: 1 for the dressing and 1 to cut up and add to the salad (because why not?).
- Lemon juice: Sub white wine vinegar if you don’t have lemon juice.
- Dijon mustard: This is a key ingredient but you could use a grainy mustard if you don’t have Dijon.
- Worcestershire sauce: If you want this to be fully vegetarian, use a vegan Worcestershire sauce like Annie’s.
- Capers: You won’t find these in every Caesar dressing recipe, but I love the flavor they contribute. You can substitute a couple of green olives for the capers if needed.
- Garlic: Use 1 teaspoon garlic powder as a substitute for 1 clove fresh garlic if needed.
- Parmesan cheese: Freshly grated is the best, but you can of course sub pre-shredded. If you need this to be strictly vegetarian, look for parmesan cheese that’s labeled as such (like the Whole Foods 365 brand).
The full recipe card for avocado Caesar salad is at the bottom of the post. Here’s a preview of the steps with photos to help guide you.
Prep the croutons. Cube enough sourdough bread to yield 4 cups. Warm olive oil in a cast iron skillet. Add the bread, stirring to toss it in the oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned.
While the croutons cook, wash and chop the romaine. Pat the romaine dry if needed to prevent it from getting soggy.
Combine the avocado and other dressing ingredients in a high-powered blender or food processor.
Blend until smooth, adding water as needed to thin the dressing to your desired consistency.
Prep Ahead and Storage
Avocado Caesar salad, like most salads, is best enjoyed right away. However, you can do some steps in advance to cut back on prep time. The dressing can be made up to a few hours in advance and kept in an airtight jar in the fridge. The avocado may get too brown if you make it too far in advance.
You can also chop the romaine a few hours ahead of time, wrap it in paper towels, and store it in a bag or container with as much air as possible removed. Lastly, feel free to make the croutons up to a couple of days in advance. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
To bulk up avocado Caesar salad so it can be served as a main course, consider adding chicken, salmon, spinach chicken meatballs, crispy tofu, or sautéed chickpeas. Alternatively, serve it as a side to my Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers, Spinach Feta Salmon Burgers, or Halloumi Sandwiches. On a hot summer day, Caesar salad also pairs well with my Roasted Veggie Flatbread or Creamy Chilled Cucumber Avocado Soup.
More Salad Recipes
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Avocado Caesar Salad
- 1 bunch romaine - chopped, about 6 cups
- 1 medium avocado - pit and skin removed, cubed
- ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 4 cups sourdough bread cubes - about ½-inch cubes, from 2 large or 4 small slices
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Salt - to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper - to taste
Avocado caesar dressing
- 1 medium avocado - pit and skin removed, about ¾ cup flesh
- 3 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 clove garlic - smashed
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper - more to taste
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ to ½ cup water - to thin the dressing
- Prepare the salad ingredients. Chop up the romaine and pat it dry (if needed) to remove excess moisture to prevent it from getting soggy. You can cube the avocado for the salad at this time or wait until closer to serving so it doesn't brown.
- To prepare the croutons, slice up your sourdough bread so you have 4 cups of cubes. Warm the olive oil in a large cast iron skillet (or other skillet) over medium heat. Add the bread and stir so that it gets coated in the oil. Season with salt and pepper.
- Let the bread cook in the skillet, stirring occasionally, for about 5 to 7 minutes or until it's browned to your liking. Remove the skillet from heat and let the croutons cool while you prepare the dressing.
- Combine the dressing ingredients in a high-powered blender or food processor: avocado flesh, parmesan cheese, lemon juice, Dijon, capers, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth. Add water as needed to thin to your desired consistency. I added ½ cup water and whisked it in after I removed the dressing from the blender. This made it thin enough to drizzle over the salad.
- Assemble the salads on individual serving plates by dividing the romaine, croutons, and parmesan cheese evenly. Drizzle each plate with the dressing. Alternatively, you can mix the ingredients all together in a large bowl and toss with the dressing before serving.
- Leave a rating or review by tapping the stars on this recipe card (above) or in the comments section (at the end of the post)!
- If you need/want the salad to be strictly vegetarian, use a vegan Worcestershire sauce (such as Annie’s brand) and parmesan cheese labeled as vegetarian.
- To bulk up the salad to make it a main dish, add chicken, salmon, crispy tofu, or sautéed or roasted chickpeas.
- The dressing can be prepped up to a few hours in advance. Keep it in a sealed jar in the fridge. The croutons can also be prepped in advance (up to a couple days) and stored in a sealed container on the counter.
- Dressing yields about 1 cup. The salad can serve 4 people as a side or 2 as a main. With added protein, you can possibly make it serve 3 or 4 as a main.
Enjoy this fresh recipe! – Lizzie
Sooooo very yummy, something different in the salad 👍
Lizzie Streit, MS, RDN
Hi Joyce, I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe!