Lighter Caesar Salad Recipe (no eggs!)

If eating raw eggs makes you uneasy, this caesar salad recipe is for you.  This caesar salad is bright, fresh, full of flavor and much lighter than a traditional caesar salad.

I’m sharing my go-to recipe for healthy caesar salad dressing plus how-to make crispy roasted chickpeas (which is a fun, nutrient-dense swap for croutons!).

caesar salad topped with roasted chickpeas on a linen napkin

I’ve been a fan of caesar salad for years.  I love the bright, fresh, briny flavor of a great caesar salad dressing and how they are are hearty enough to be a main meal, yet still fill light and satisfying.

I’m excited to share some of my tips for making your caesar salad super nutritious (and obviously, delicious!).

Let’s do this!

caesar salad topped with roasted chickpeas

How To Make Lighter Caesar Salad

My approach to a lighter caesar salad starts with the dressing and finishes with roasted chickpeas.

I lighten things up in the caesar dressing by using a mix of plain Greek and mayonnaise as the base (no raw eggs in this recipe!).

Then, I kick up the nutritional profile by swapping out a traditional crouton with some crispy roasted chickpeas.

These simple swaps create a caesar salad that is lighter, fresher and even more delicious then the original.

How To Make Crispy Roasted Chickpeas

  • Pre-heat over to 400ºF.
  • Drain and rinse chickpeas. 
  • Dry chickpeas by rolling them around on a lint-free dish towel.
  • Transfer onto a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. 
  • Toss them around to coat the chickpeas with the oil and spices.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, giving the pan a shake half way through.

That’s it!  Not only do these crispy, plant based, roasted chickpeas taste great on caesar salad, but they are also a delicious snack.

Consider doubling the recipe and then storing the extra chickpeas in an airtight container.  They make a fabulous head-start ingredient.

How To Make Lighter Caesar Salad Dressing

  • Combine plain Greek yogurt and mayonnaise in a small spouted cup or bowl.
  • Add in anchovy paste, garlic, dijon, Worcestershire, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. 
  • Stir everything together until you have a thick and creamy caesar dressing.  

If you don’t use all the dressing on your salad, store the remainder in an airtight container (I like using mason jars).  This dressing will last up to one week in your fridge.

How To Assemble Your Lighter Caesar Salad

  • Combine chopped romaine and fennel in a large bowl.  The fennel is optional but trust me when I tell you it works do well in this salad.
  • Drizzle on the caesar dressing.  You may not need it all, so start small and add as you go.
  • Toss the salad together, coating all of the veggies with the dressing.
  • Sprinkle roasted chickpeas over the top.
  • Serve and enjoy!

If you want to bulk up the dish a little more, try topping this salad with my lemon garlic baked chicken or some crispy baked tofu.  Both are great options to round out the meal!

Did You Make This Lighter Caesar Salad?

Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think.  And don’t forget to snap a picture and tag me on Instagram or FaceBook using #cleananddelicious.  I just LOVE seeing what you are cooking in your very own clean and delicious kitchen.

Caesar Salad Recipe

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time:15 minutes

Cook Time:30 minutes

Total Time:45 minutes

Ingredients:

Caesar Salad Recipe

  • 3 hearts of romaine
  • 2 fennel bulbs

Caesar Salad Dressing

  • 1/3 cup yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons anchovy paste
  • 1 clove crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 pepper + salt

Roasted Chickpeas

  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 1 tablespoons olive  oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Caesar Salad

  1. Chop and wash your romaine lettuce before  running it through your salad spinner. Be sure the lettuce is nice and dry and then pop it into a nice big bowl.
  2. Trim tops off the fennel, slice in half lengthwise and cut out the core.  Then slice each half in half again and cut into quarter moons and add the romaine.

Caesar Salad Dressing

  1. In a small bowl or spouted cup, combine yogurt, mayonnaise, anchovy paste, garlic, dijon, Worcestershire, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.
  2. Stir until you have a thick, creamy salad dressing.

Roasted Chickpeas

  1. Pre-heat over to 400ºF.
  2. Drain and rinse chickpeas.  Lay them on a lint-free dishtowel and roll them around to dry them off.
  3. Transfer onto a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Toss them around to coat the chickpeas with the oil and spices.
  4. Pop in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, giving the pan a shake half way through.

Salad Assembly

  1. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and gently toss to coat all the veggies with the dressing.  You may not need all of the dressing.  I suggest starting with half and then adding more as needed/wanted.
Store extra dressing in an airtight container.  It will last up to one week in your fridge!

NUTRIENTS PER SERVING (1/4th of recipe): Calories 287 | Total Fat 18.3g | Saturated Fat 3.3g | Cholesterol 8mg | Sodium 530mg | Carbohydrate 25.3g | Dietary Fiber 6.1g | Sugars 2.8g | Protein 8.7g