Savory/ Snacks, Appetizers and Side Dishes

Healthier Caesar Salad with Healthy Caesar Vinaigrette

Today’s recipe is a simple one, but gives you an idea on how to make salad a healthy component of your dinner.  The classic caesar salad can be a healthy salad choice, as long as you don’t douse it with tons of fatty caesar dressing, and add the cheese and croutons sparingly.  So I took the classic caesar salad and made some adjustments, as well as a light caesar vinaigrette recipe, to give you a healthier caesar salad option!

Sometimes people think ordering a salad at a restaurant is a healthier option while dining out.  It can be….if you do it right.  However, if you order a salad straight off the menu, with tons of cheese, bacon and dressing, you probably would be better off just ordering a hamburger.  Don’t believe me?  Then click HERE to see!

Okay now that I have blown some of your minds, lets get healthy!  I lightened up the classic caesar dressing for this salad, since that’s where the bulk of the calories come from in a caesar salad.  Yes, my vinaigrette is not as creamy as the classic version, but healthier is what we are going for, remember?

To amp up the healthiness even more for this salad, I added Barlean’s Digestive Seed Blend on top of the salad.  You just sprinkle the seed blend on top!  Barlean’s sent me their Digestive Blend to try, as part of #RecipeMakeover.  The Digestive Blend has Omega-3’s, dietary fiber, antioxidants, probiotics and protein to help support digestive health and fuel your body!  Barlean’s makes being healthy easy!  If you want to try out Barlean’s Click HERE.  This is an easy way to sneak in nutrients to your kids’ diet, without them really noticing!

The lighter caesar vinaigrette is easy to mix up, and can be made ahead of time.  As an added bonus, there aren’t any raw eggs or dairy in this dressing!  To keep the dressing dairy free I used nutritional yeast in place of the finely grated parmesan cheese normally used in caesar dressing.  Nutritional yeast is dairy free, has several health benefits and acts as a thickener, with a rich, cheesy-type taste.  You can also just use parmesan cheese too 🙂

And croutons of course!  These are my favorite brand and type of crouton for this Caesar Salad…but you use whatever you like!

Healthier Caesar Salad with Healthy Caesar Vinaigrette

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 0-minutes


  • 1 teaspoon garlic paste
  • 2 teaspoons anchovy paste
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional...can substitute parmesan cheese instead)
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • I bag romaine lettuce
  • 1/4 cup classic caesar croutons
  • Sprinkle of parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Barlean's Digestive Seed Blend





In a medium sized bowl, add the garlic paste, anchovy paste, mustard, salt, pepper, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and olive oil. Whisk until all ingredients are fully incorporated. Pour dressing into a canning jar or other air tight container and place in the refrigerator.




In a large salad bowl, add the entire bag of lettuce. Sprinkle the croutons, parmesan cheese and Barlean's Digestive Seed Blend on top of the lettuce. Serve salad with the Healthy Caesar Vinaigrette on the side.


Store leftover dressing in the refrigerator, in a jar or airtight container. Dressing will stay fresh for 4-5 days.

Just a drizzle of vinaigrette is all you need!

Do you see the Barlean’s Digestive Blend I sprinkled on top there??  Added health benefits that you can sneak in…my 10-year old didn’t even notice 🙂

So what is your favorite kind of salad??  Favorite kind of salad dressing??  Let me know!

And don’t forget to go check out Barlean’s!  You can follow them on Facebook and Pinterest for ideas on how to use their healthy products!  Barlean’s provided me with their Digestive Blend to incorporate in a recipe for #RecipeMakeover.  All thoughts, recipes and opinions are mine!




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PS….I have linked this recipe up to the MEAL PLAN MONDAY link party!  Click the link to check out the party 🙂

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  • Reply
    Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen
    April 26, 2017 at 8:32 AM

    Thank you for lightening up one of my favorite salads! This looks delicious 🙂

    • Reply
      April 26, 2017 at 1:39 PM

      Thanks Kelsie!! It has been kinda fun trying to lighten up recipes for this weeks posts! 🙂 XOXO

  • Reply
    Lindsay | With Salt and Pepper
    April 26, 2017 at 9:04 AM

    Whoa…nutritional yeast instead of cheese…genius!!! I can’t believe I haven’t thought of that…you are smart girl!! I love caesar salads but am right there with you on needing it to be LIGHT 🙂 XOXO

    • Reply
      April 26, 2017 at 1:41 PM

      Thanks Lindsay! Yeah I was going to make the dressing with parmesan cheese and then remembered I had nutritional yeast, so I took the gamble. It paid off! Yummy and even healthier! XOXO 🙂

  • Reply
    April 26, 2017 at 10:30 AM

    Caesar salad is one of my favorites. I’m happy to have a lightened up version.

    • Reply
      April 26, 2017 at 1:42 PM

      Thank you Wendy!! Always good to have an option of lightening up our favorites when we want a different option, right?! XOXO 🙂

  • Reply
    April 26, 2017 at 11:18 AM

    This looks wonderful Kelly, love your blog too by the way. Just dropping by for the first time. Val x

    • Reply
      April 26, 2017 at 1:44 PM

      Awww! Thanks Val! You totally made my day! I hope you come back and visit the blog again 🙂 XOXOXOXO

  • Reply
    Cynthia Landrie
    April 26, 2017 at 2:46 PM

    Your salad looks delicious and your dressing sounds like the perfect one for this salad. I like the fact that you didn’t add eggs to the dressing. That has always worried me.

    • Reply
      April 26, 2017 at 4:49 PM

      Thank you Cynthia! I was thinking this was a good healthy recipe, but also good for those with food allergies too 🙂 XOXO

  • Reply
    April 26, 2017 at 3:11 PM

    I could eat Caesar Salad every day, and with a #RecipeMakeover version like this I literally could do it without turning into a blimp!

    • Reply
      April 26, 2017 at 4:48 PM

      I totally agree with you Colleen! Thats why I am totally loving this week! XOXO

  • Reply
    Kim @ The Baking ChocolaTess
    April 26, 2017 at 4:27 PM

    Is it ok to have that healthy garlic bread with this? haha…I’m still obsessed with that bread!! Can you tell? 🙂 It looks super delish and now you know why I eat cookies versus a full blown Caesar salad-same calories! Actually cookies might be less. 😉 Pinning!

    • Reply
      April 26, 2017 at 4:47 PM

      Hehehe totally Kim! Actually, this is just the second recipe of four I am sharing for #RecipeMakeover, so on Friday all four recipes will come together for the perfect dinner! And thank you for your sweet comments….I think I am totally with you on just eating cookies instead of salad too 😉 I might just have some cookies in the oven right now hehehe XOXOXO 🙂

  • Reply
    Brynn at The Domestic Dietitian
    April 26, 2017 at 10:29 PM

    Kelly this looks great! I love that you used the same caesar dressing flavors but in vinaigrette form instead, so smart!

    • Reply
      April 27, 2017 at 1:31 PM

      Thank you Brynn!! XOXO 🙂

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