Kid Friendly Caesar Salad

Kid friendly caesar salad

This salad is all about the dressing, and the dressing is the BOMB! This kid friendly caesar dressing gets made weekly in my house, and it’s a fan favorite of my instagram followers, and pretty much anyone who tries it at my house. I decided to repost it, as it’s gotten lost in the back of the website and needs to be bumped up front and center.

The reason why I call it a “kid friendly caesar” is because the dressing doesn’t have anchovies or raw egg in it, so it’s truly a family friendly dressing, and this dressing is what got my kids to actually eat a salad, plus some kale. Let’s face it, most kids (plus adults) are not fans of anchovies or raw eggs, but love the creaminess of a caesar dressing. This dressing is so creamy and rich and clings to each piece of lettuce. It does have parmesan in it, and I’m dairy-free for the most part, but it’s all about balance, and I just can’t give this dressing up.  

The dressing makes enough for 2 salads, and I love taking leftovers to work, or packing them in the kid’s school lunches. I just put the greens and shredded chicken into a glass container, put some croutons into a small container and then pour the dressing into a recycled spice jar. Old spice jars are the perfect vehicle to use for salad dressing as they don’t leak, and serve up the perfect portion of dressing. You could actually meal prep the below for a week’s worth of lunches. 

Kid friendly Caesar packed for school or work lunch.

This dressing is so easy to throw together and uses such simple pantry ingredients. This salad pairs with just about anything. You can serve it up as a side salad for any meal, such as pasta, chicken or steak. We typically eat it as a main meal with paired with shredded chicken. We also love topping our salad with sliced filet mignon, or my easy sautéed tofu on top. Also, you always need a carb with salad, so we love pairing our salad with popovers. 

Chicken caesar salad with popovers

We also love pairing it with my dairy-free and gluten-free popovers  filet mignon. 

Kid friendly caesar salad with steak.

Kid Friendly Caesar Salad

recipe adapted from The Supper Club
Makes about 1 1/2 cups dressing

Ingredients:

For the dressing:

  • 1 cup grated or shredded parmesan cheese
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard – I love this one from Primal Kitchen as it doesn’t contain sugar or other weird stuff
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (roughly 1 1/2 lemons)
  • 1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the salad:

Directions:

My below video show’s you just how easy this dressing is to make.

To make the caesar dressing, in a high powered blender (I used my Vitamix) add in 1 cup parmesan cheese, 3 cloves garlic, 1/4 cup Dijon mustard, 1/4 cup lemon juice, salt and pepper. Blend on low to medium speed to mince the garlic and to mix well.

Caesar dressing in the vitamix

With the machine running on low speed, slowly (very slowly) add the olive oil in a thin stream and blend until emulsified, then blend on medium to high speed to get everything incorporated. You may have to scrape down the sides a few times. If you pour the oil in too fast, then it will not emulsify, and it won’t get that creamy yellow color. 

Olive oil added to caesar dressing in the vitamix

Using a piece of lettuce, taste the dressing and adjust the seasoning if necessary. I sometimes add a bit more lemon juice, or pepper if needed. The dressing will be thick, but it’s great once it gets mixed into the salad.

Caesar dressing on lettuce leaf

Pour the dressing into a large glass mason jar, or a couple of smaller ones if you don’t have a large jar, using a spatula to get out all the dressing. I honestly love these mason jars from Ball. I use them as our drinking glasses, as well as for storing dressings, almond milk, soups, you name it. 

Storage: Store the caesar dressing in a tightly covered jar in the refrigerator. The caesar dressing will last for 1 week. I usually take the dressing out 1/2 hour before using, to get it to room temp. You’ll have to whisk the caesar dressing each time before you use it, as it will thicken up a bit.

Kid friendly caesar dressing in mason jar

To assemble the salad, toss prepped lettuces into a salad bowl, add in the croutons, and shredded chicken if using, and then drizzle some dressing over the greens, toss to combine, and add more dressing to taste. This caesar dressing is so creamy that a little goes a long way. 

I find that when I thinly slice the kale and romaine my kids and their peeps tend to eat more of the salad.

Slicing romaine lettuce

When you make the dressing, it might seem like a lot, but you’ll love the fact that you can literally throw together a salad at the last minute. If you keep your lettuces washed and ready to go, then you will be able to throw this salad together in less than 5 minutes. 

If you want to make the salad a more complete meal, just add some roasted shredded chicken to the salad before tossing.

Kid friendly caesar salad with chicken

I love pairing this salad with some popovers! 

Chicken caesar salad with popovers

My other favorite (also kid friendly) dressing is my Dairy-free green goddess dressing. It’s super creamy and coats every pice of lettuce, plus the color is stunning.

Dairy-free-green-goddess-dressing.

Looking for more salad dressings and salad ideas? I’ve got you covered. Check out my salad page for more recipes. 

Summer greens herb salad with basil vinaigrette.

With love Jackie

Kid Friendly Caesar Salad

Recipe by Jackie
5.0 from 7 votes
Servings

1 1/2 cups

dressing

    This salad is all about the dressing and the dressing is the BOMB! This kid friendly caesar dressing gets made weekly in my house, and it's a fan favorite of my instagram followers, and pretty much anyone who tries it at my house.The reason why I call it a "kid friendly caesar" is because the dressing doesn't have anchovies or raw egg in it, so it's truly a family friendly dressing. This dressing is so creamy and rich and clings to each piece of lettuce.

    Ingredients

    • For the dressing
    • 1 cup grated or shredded parmesan cheese

    • 3 cloves garlic

    • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard - I love this one from Primal Kitchen as it doesn't contain sugar or other weird stuff

    • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (roughly 1½ lemons)

    • 1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt

    • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

    • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

    • For the salad
    • 1 to 2 heads romaine lettuce, or 1 head romaine and 1 bunch of lacinato kale, thinly sliced, or 4 baby gem lettuces, washed and dried  - Also, you can use more or less lettuce depending on the amount of people you are serving

    Directions

    • Check out my video in the above post to see how easy it is to make this dressing. 

    • To make the caesar dressing, in a high powered blender add in 1 cup parmesan cheese, 3 cloves garlic, ¼ cup Dijon mustard, ¼ cup lemon juice, salt and pepper.

    • Blend on low to medium speed to mince the garlic and to mix well.

    • With the machine running on low speed, slowly (very slowly) add the olive oil in a thin stream and blend until emulsified, then blend on medium to high speed to get everything incorporated. You may have to scrape down the sides a few times. If you pour the oil in too fast, then it will not emulsify, and it won't get that creamy yellow color. 

    • Using a piece of lettuce, taste the dressing and adjust the seasoning if necessary. I sometimes add a bit more lemon juice or pepper if needed. The dressing will be thick, but it's great once it gets mixed into the salad.

    • Pour the dressing into a large glass mason jar, or a couple of smaller ones if you don't have a large jar, using a spatula to get out all the dressing. I honestly love these mason jars from Ball. I use them as our drinking glasses, as well as for storing dressings, almond milk, soups, you name it. 

    • To assemble the salad, toss prepped lettuces into a salad bowl, add in the croutons, and shredded chicken (if using) and then drizzle some dressing over the greens, toss to combine, and add more dressing to taste. This caesar dressing is so creamy that a little goes a long way. 

    • When you make the dressing, it might seem like a lot, but you'll love the fact that you can literally throw together a salad at the last minute. If you keep your lettuces washed and ready to go, then you will be able to throw this salad together in less than 5 minutes. 

    • Storage: Store the caesar dressing in a tightly covered jar in the refrigerator. The caesar dressing will last for 1 week. I usually take the dressing out 1/2 hour before using, to get it to room temp. You'll have to whisk the caesar dressing each time before you use it, as it will thicken up a bit.

    • If you love creamy dressings, then you have to try my dairy-free green goddess dressing. It's the most vibrant green color, and is kid and adult approved.

    Notes

    • The dressing makes enough for 2 salads, and I love taking leftovers to work, or packing them in the kid's school lunches. I just put the greens and shredded chicken into a glass container, put some croutons into a small container and then pour the dressing into a recycled spice jar. Old spice jars are the perfect vehicle to use for salad dressing as they don't leak, and serve up the perfect portion of dressing. You could actually meal prep this salad for a week's worth of lunches, (see photo in above post).
    • Looking for more salad dressings and salad ideas? I've got you covered. Check out my salad page for more recipes. Link is in the above post.
    • If you love this dressing, please rate it below, and leave me a comment. I love hearing from you all. Share your photos on instagram and tag me too!

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    34 thoughts on “Kid Friendly Caesar Salad”

    1. Hi Marin Mama – I’ve been reading your site for a little while and I thought I’d say hi. I found it when I googled kale this summer – the miso kale salad recipe is now one of my favorite recipes! I’ll have to try this one too. There are a few others that I’ve printed and are in the stack to try. Keep up the great food blog! Sara from Chicago

      1. Hi Sara! Thanks for stopping by and saying hi and for the kind words! I really love hearing from readers. I love that salad as well, and actually made it over the weekend for lunch. Have you tried the lacinato kale salad yet? It’s super yummy and by far my favorite, because it’s so easy to make. Stay warm in Chicago girl!
        xoxo,
        Jackie

      1. Hey Baker mama! I’m sure your kale loving gals will love this salad! Now that you have your lettuce burritos, your all set to go! I bet you’re cooking up a storm on this rainy and cozy day!
        xoxo,
        Jackie

    2. I was waiting for this recipe. I just whipped up the dressing, so easy BTW, and had some kale and romaine all ready to go in the fridge (from your great post on Tuesday) and I’m loving this salad. It is so good and I just love that I have fresh dressing ready to go for the week. I can’t wait to try it on the family tonight.
      Best, Sally

    3. Yum! Made this tonight with your heirloom tomato soup (Roasted the tomatoes for 45 minutes first to concentrate their flavor since there are no more heirlooms to be found). So good! Was all set to sneak the Kale in under the kid radar when Richard yelled from the kitchen “Do you want the kale in with the romaine?” Ay yay yay! I was shocked when Bella willingly ate the kale and loved it and G who, doesn’t like salad, actually went into the kitchen to get a salad plate and chomped it (sans kale!). It’s a keeper!
      THX!
      Amy

      1. Amy! I was cracking up when I read your comment. I could totally hear Richard shouting out about the kale 🙂 I’m psyched you made the salad and that Bella loved the kale and Georgia the salad! Yippee. Eli was proud when he heard about the girls liking the salad. He seems to think that it’s his salad creation. It’s funny that you made the heirloom soup. I just saw a batch of local organic heirlooms in the San Rafael Whole Foods the other day. They were pretty firm, so they still needed some ripening up. I may swing over there today and make some up for the weekend. I love your roasting technique. You gotta let me in on that. Ok, girl, see you around campus and thanks for letting me know how it all turned out, you know I love hearing that!
        xoxo,
        Jackie

    4. JG-made the dressing tonight and kids like it-yay! I too make a salad dressing for the week, I’ve made the same one for about 20 years (can you say b-o-r-i-n-g:)?) so it was a nice change of pace for the family. We are certain to make it part of the rotation:)
      Carolyn

      1. Carolyn, my mountain mama! I think you’re the one who inspired me to wash my lettuce and produce right away and then store it to help keep it fresh. I’m so glad you tried the recipe and that the kiddos loved it. I want your old BORING dressing recipe, as my kids are now into a nightly salad, so pass it on!
        xoxo,
        Jackie

    5. I can’t wait to try this dressing! And the mix of romain and kale might get me to eat more kale! I love kale in theory, but when it comes down to actually eating it, not so much. I’m trying to get better!

    6. Hi Michelle! You will love this dressing, its super creamy and comforting. I love mixing the kale in with any salad as it boosts up the nutritional value. Make the garlic breadcrumbs, they rock! Do you massage your kale? You would love it so much more if you massaged it. Try the lacinato salad as well. It has turned kale haters into kale lovers. You have to massage the dressing into the shredded kale leaves. It honestly doesn’t taste like kale at all. The curly kale does have a bitter flavor, but not the lacinato kale. Let me know if you try one of them and if it changes your outlook on kale. 🙂 xoxo, Jackie

      1. Hi Michelle. I’m so happy you made the dressing. I usually halve it as well. I just topped it on some kale and threw some leftover chicken on there the other day and it was a fabulous caesar salad. Glad you liked it! xoxo, Jackie

    7. I made this dressing tonight – delish! I served it with romaine and kale, plus a tomato from the garden. We aren’t raw kale fans just yet, but I will try your other kale based salad recipes to see if we can make it work in our house! Thanks for all the tasty recipes you post — I’m glad I found your blog!

      1. Yaay Emily! Another recipe success. I’m so happy to hear it and to hear that you keep trying so many recipes 🙂 This salad is hard for those that are new to kale as you can’t really massage the kale leaves. Try the lacinato or the kale salad with ricotta salata, both of those rock and the cheese in them really helps mask the kale flavor. Thanks for stopping by and saying hi girl! xoxo, Jackie

    8. Another Chicago girl loves this recipe! This is should be titled “Husband friendly Caesar salad” for me. I bookmarked this to make and told my husband who promptly told me he hates Caesar salad. He tried it anyway since he is sweet and he loved it! I’ve made it twice in the past month or so. I like it with whole grain dijon mustard from Maille and I added a bit more lemon juice. It thickened up in the fridge so I just added a bit of water to get it to the consistency I wanted.

      1. Hi Charity! Awesome! I’m so happy to hear that this dressing turned your hubby from a caesar hating man into a caesar salad loving man! I’ve thought about changing the title to “anchovy and egg free caesar dressing” since that’s what people dislike most about caesar dressings. I love the addition of using whole-grain Dijon, I’m not sure how my kids would feel about it, but you never know they might actually like it. Yes, the dressing does thicken up a bit in the fridge. I usually take it out a bit before I use it so that it warms up and then I whisk away and it thins out pretty nice, but adding water works great as well. I do that with some of my soups from time to time. Glad to hear that I have a fan in Chicago! I hope to visit that city someday! 🙂 xoxo, Jackie

    9. I made this dressing today using coarse dijon mustard, which made the dressing taste REALLY mustardy. I am kicking myself for not using regular dijon and so wanted to share tip with others. Can’t wait to try it again to get it right because it looks and sounds DELICIOUS.

    10. YUM!!! I’ve wanted to try this for awhile, but was very skeptical where my kids are concerned. I finally remembered to try it tonight and goodness, it was a HIT!! I LOVE the tang of fresh garlic, and I thought for sure my picky and sensitive Shea would hate the dressing and find it too “spicy.” She made a frowny face at first bite, but I encouraged her to try another as the “spice” doesn’t linger. What do you know? She gobbled the entire thing and called it good! And my husband?? Where salads and vegetables are concerned, he’s like a toddler, although your kale salad converted him (yay) on that front. He said (and I quote), “I could gobble up bowls and bowls of salad with this dressing. I’m not even kidding.” He was thrilled when I told him I had leftovers. Another recipe, another success!! THANK YOU!! Oh, and we ate our salad with a side of popovers and veggie quiche. Perfect!

      1. Hi Kyla! Yippee! I’m so happy that you finally tried this salad and that it was a BIG success. You know that makes my heart happy! Maybe I should call it kid friendly and hubby friendly salad 😉 I’m happy to hear that my salads are converting your hubby into a veggie liking dude! Try the roasted broccoli on him next. I haven’t had one kid or “toddler” adult pass that up 😉 Thanks so much for the rave review sweetie and for taking the time to write such a sweet comment! You rock! xoxo, Jacquelyn

    11. ok, finally made this….what took me so long? Family loved and devoured it. DJ even said “best salad ever”! I love that the dressing makes a large quantity so we could enjoy all week long.

      1. Awesome girl! I’m so happy to hear that you FINALLY made this salad 🙂 It’s an easy kid approved and adult approved salad! Try that shaved zucchini one I just posed. I think DJ and Cat would love that one as well 🙂 Jacquelyn

    12. Late to the party here, but I tried your dressing last night and it was a hit. We have another family favorite version of Caesar dressing, but this looks to be in the rotation now. I did add a pinch of sugar, but it really was a pinch. ; )

      1. Hi Antonia! You’re never late to the party here 🙂 So happy to hear your tried the dressing and it was a hit and that it’s made the rotation! Triple win in my book!
        xoxo, Jackie

    13. Hey there,

      Tried this recipe and the taste was great but the consistency wasn’t there. I used my robo coupe and it just didn’t emulsify. So I added homemade mayo and it brought it to where it should be . Will try again. With a stick blender next time.

      1. Hi Lu, happy to hear that the flavor was there, but sorry that the consistency wasn’t. I wasn’t sure what a robo coupe was, but I googled it and it seems like it’s a food processor. I’ve only made this dressing in my Vitamix which is a blender, but a food processor should still work. You want to make sure to run it first with all the ingredients, except the olive oil, so everything gets pre-blended. Then slowly, like a slow drizzle add in the olive oil (do it from the hole at the top) while the food processor is running on low so it gets emulsified. If you add in the oil too fast, it won’t emulsify. If you use the stick blender, make sure to slowly add in the olive oil. It should hopefully work next time. Do you have a blender too, or just the stick blender?

      1. Hi Noel, I’m sorry I don’t use a calorie or nutrition app. I’m such not a technology gal! I’m sure you can easily put it in one and find out. The 1 cup olive oil is going to have calories, but it’s also full of healthy fats, which are amazing for your gut and brain 🙂 If you can tolerate the parmesan, then that’s another healthy fat too! xoxo, Jackie

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