This article will discuss whether Caesar dressing has dairy. It will cover whether the original recipe had dairy and if store-bought Caesar dressings have dairy. In summary, the original Caesar dressing had dairy from the use of Parmesan cheese as an ingredient. Additionally, most store-bought Caesar dressings have dairy that comes from Parmesan cheese and other dairy products. There are some store-bought Caesar dressings that are dairy-free. Read on for more details.
Original Caesar Dressing & Dairy
The Caesar salad was purportedly invented by Caesar Cardini in 1924. Cardini owned restaurants and hotels in the United States and Mexico. The now popular salad was said to have been first prepared in Tijuana, Mexico at Caesar’s Restaurante Bar. The restaurant is still in operation today and you can still order the original Caesar salad. However, the recipe has been tweaked somewhat from the original.
So, did the original Caesar salad have dairy? The answer is yes. Its ingredients included olive oil, egg, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, garlic, Parmesan cheese, salt/pepper, and romaine lettuce. The source of dairy in the original recipe was Parmesan cheese which was added as a component during tableside preparation.
You can see how a modern version of the original Ceasar salad is made at the original restaurant in the below video. You can see how liberally Parmesan cheese is used for this recipe. In other words, if you are looking to avoid dairy, this salad isn’t for you.
Store Bought Caesar Dressing & Dairy
Okay, most people aren’t heading over to Tijuana to eat at the original restaurant. So, let’s talk about if store-bought Caesar dressing has dairy.
We analyzed the ingredients of several popular Caesar dressing brands to see if they had dairy. Here are the results:
|Casesar Dressing||Contains Dairy (Yes or No?)||Primary Dairy Ingredients|
|Annie’s Organic Caesar||Yes||Parmesan Cheese|
|Kraft Classic Caesar||Yes||Romano and Parmesan Cheese|
|Ken’s Creamy Caesar||Yes||Parmesan Cheese|
|Newman’s Own Creamy Caesar||Yes||Parmesan Cheese|
|Cardini’s The Original Caesar||Yes||Parmesan Cheese|
|Wish-Bone Creamy Caesar||Yes||Parmesan and Mozzarella Cheese|
|Primal Kitchen Caesar||No||None|
|Marzetti Simply Dressed Caesar||Yes||Romano and Parmesan Cheese|
|Panera Bread at Home Caesar||No||None|
|Litehouse Caesar||Yes||Parmesan Cheese|
|Bolthouse Farms Creamy Caesar||Yes||Yogurt, Buttermilk, Asiago, Parmesan, Cheddar, Whey Protein Concentrate|
|Briannas Asiago Caesar||Yes||Asiago Cheese|
|Daiya Creamy Caesar||No||None|
While there are dairy-free Caesar dressings, most store-bought options have Parmesan cheese or another form of dairy as ingredients. Primal Kitchen, Daiya, and Panera Bread are three brands to consider if you want a dairy-free Caesar dressing. Keep in mind that anchovies and eggs are common ingredients in modern Caesar dressings. So while a dressing might be dairy-free, it also might not be vegetarian or vegan.
Homemade Dairy-Free Caesar Dressing
Of course, if you make your own Caesar dressing, you have control over whether it contains dairy or other potential undesirable ingredients for you. Here are a few dressing recipes you can try that are dairy-free:
- 5-Minute Vegan Caesar Dressing
- Easy Caesar Salad Dressing Recipe
- Whole30 Caesar Dressing
- Dairy-Free Caesar Dressing
Gardiner, M. A. (2019, May 14). Caesar salad has mixed history, but got its start in Tijuana. The San Diego Union-Tribune. https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/lifestyle/food-and-cooking/story/2019-05-14/caesar-salad-has-mixed-history-but-got-its-start-in-tijuana.