Lighter Caesar Dressing: Yes You Can!

April 6, 2016   14 Comments

Turns out you don’t need to buy Caesar dressing or make it with a ton of oil and egg yolks.

Lighter Caesar Dressing - No Mayo

My favorite salad that I will order out is Caesar salad. I love the saltiness of the anchovies, creaminess of the mayonnaise, and the earthy flavor of the cheese. Oh mann.

When you look at your average Caesar you are looking at many calories for a salad which is not a problem unless you are replacing a burger with this salad and think you are being virtuous.

This salad does not have a halo. Until now.

The magic of this dressing is anchovy paste:

I found this box next to the anchovies and above the tuna in your supermarket. Buy yourself a tube and you will have the key ingredient in making this lighter dressing truly taste like Caesar. I believe it cost me about $3.50 and will work for many, many salads.

What makes this dressing work is using Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise for the creaminess. I did add 1 tablespoon of olive oil so that it wouldn't taste too flat without any fat. It works!

Do you love Caesar? Please share.

Lighter Caesar Salad Dressing

1.6 from 24 reviews

Makes ½ cup

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1/3 cup plain Greek fat-free yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon ground black pepper


Whisk yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, anchovy paste, mustard, and black pepper in a medium bowl. Use immediately or store for later use in the refrigerator.

Nutrition Facts

One tablespoon is 26 calories, 2.7 g fat, 0.0 g saturated fat, 1.0 g carbohydrates, 0.8 g sugar, 1.3 g protein, 4.0 g fiber, 65 mg sodium, 1 SmartPts

Points values are calculated by Snack Girl and are provided for information only. See all Snack Girl Recipes

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I will try this / I do like Caesar salad but don't eat it because of all the calories!

Awesomeness! I love you Snack Girl. I would love to eat a Caesar salad that is healthy. I must admit the anchovy part scares me a bit. But I will give it a try as it is in the real stuff. Which I know I like. Thank YOU!

Definitely added this one to my recipes to try file. Love those 'ready to heat' chicken strips AND this salad for a great low calorie lunch! Thanks for this healthy alternative!!

Lisa how many Tablespoons did you use on your salad and how many cups of salad did you use for a total of how many calories? I could eat the whole bowl of greek salad I love it that much.

When I make Caesar salad I use olive oil and Eggbeaters whisked together with grated Parmesan for the creamy part. Real Caesar does not have mayonnaise in it. I phoned the company that makes Eggbeaters and was told it's safe to use the product raw because it is pasteurized. If I am certain of the source of the eggs, like from my neighbors free range chickens I will use those raw eggs.

I learned to make this salad table-side, when I dated a restaurant owner.

@Annie - probably around 3 tablespoons, 3-4 cups lettuce, croutons, grated cheese - maybe about 300 calories total? It all depends on what you put on the lettuce.

Thanks for your question!

Yes my friend showed me this recipe a few years ago. I always have a hard time finding anchovy paste in stores, so I always have to order from amazon.

Lisa, I've been making something similar for ages and the secret ingredient IS the anchovy paste!!!!! Plus, it's a great little "hot spot addition" into a pot of something savory. Since I'm in eastern MA, I have a place called "Ocean State Job Lot" that sells the paste at an even better price point(@$2).

You MUST try grilled Caesar...spritz your split romaine heads w/OO spray and put on grill to carmelize, then drizzle w/dressing and whatever else you wish. Totally awesome.

Like you, I rarely purchase salad dressing, having adapted to making in a jar. The only one I occasionally purchase is Ken's blue cheese as it works perfectly for buffalo strips. I mix it w/a little Greek yogurt and lemon juice. YUMO.

I made this yesterday, it was awesome... added a bit of milk to make it a bit more liquid. Would decrease anchovy paste, it is very strong. I used Icelandic yogurt, almost same as greek for consistency.

Will sure make again. Thanks for sharing recipe!

@Beth - Thank you for sharing your results. Yes, it IS strong. It was too strong for my daughter but I loved it. Sounds like you made it work for you.

Thanks! I have a similar recipe from a WW leader (except a little light mayo rather than oil) - Very good. For those afraid of the anchovy paste, it doesn't taste fishy - garlic makes it strong too - a little goes a long way. Thanks for the reminder!!! (Oh, and if I don't feel like making, I use a combo of Ken's light creamy Caesar & Newman's own light Caesar, not creamy - points are reasonable ... but this is better.)

Help needed. Made this today and put it in a stainless steel "shaker" to mix it. It mixed okay but is too thick to pour. Am I doing something wrong? I followed the recipe. How can I make it pourable and will it keep for a week without being refrigerated? I'm afraid that would thicken it up too much...


@Karen - it is not pourable is it? I believe this is because of the yogurt - it is more of a spoon it on type of dressing. I would add more lemon juice, Worcestershire, and olive oil to make it more liquidy. Keep adding dashes and tasting to see what you have changed. This is not an easy problem. Thanks for your question!

I have just made this dressing and it smells so good and fresh! About how long can I expect to keep it in the refrigerator.

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