The Original Caesar Dressing Recipe

Updated on February 28, 2020
James Peters profile image

James loves preparing classic dishes the old-fashioned way and learning about the history of foods and recipes.

Give them what they want in a Caesar salad: plenty of dressing with cheese! Anybody who knows anything about salads knows that a Caesar salad is more than just a bowl of romaine lettuce with a bunch of croutons and an added splash of some version of a "so-called" Caesar dressing.

It doesn't take a "master chef" to know that fresh romaine lettuce is preferred, along with freshly made croutons, and of course, the finest Parmesan cheese (such as the one pictured below). It might, however, take a master chef to present the most awesome tasting Caesar salad dressing. The secret to a fabulous Caesar salad? The dressing, of course.

It's the dressing in a Caesar salad that makes it fantastic, but it's the Parmesan Cheese that pulls it together.
It's the dressing in a Caesar salad that makes it fantastic, but it's the Parmesan Cheese that pulls it together. | Source

A Brief History of the Caesar Salad

Most people believe that the Caesar salad has something to do with the famous Roman emperor, Julius Caesar. This is not the case. It's more than likely that people believe this because of the romaine lettuce but, sorry . . . they would be wrong.

During the "prohibition era," an Italian immigrant named Caesar Cardini, who owned restaurants in San Diego, CA, and Tijuana, Mexico, is said to have invented the Caesar salad—so says his daughter Rosa (1928–2003). She says that her father invented the dish back in 1924 when a Fourth of July lunch rush emptied pretty much everything in his restaurant's kitchen. Cardini, making a last-minute decision and having to make do with what he had, threw together this recipe and added the dramatic phrase and a well-known ad-booster for top-notch restaurants that you still see to this day: "by the chef".

Now, of course, there are several former Cardini employees who claim to have been the one who invented the Caesar salad but carry no proof. This upset a few people, almost to their breaking point. Side note—the famous master chef and TV personality, Julia Child, claims to have eaten an original Caesar salad at the famous Cardini Restaurant when she was a child in the 1920s. However, the earliest documentation of the Caesar salad came from a 1946 Los Angeles restaurant menu 20+ years after the claim from Cardini's daughter.

Some people prefer chicken strips with their Caesar salad. A few slices of cucumber and some shredded red cabbage and carrot make it a terrific power lunch. However you prefer to top it, you're going to need a great dressing recipe.

Preparation Time

Prep time: 2 min
Cook time: 3 min
Ready in: 5 min
Yields: about 1.5 cups of salad dressing


  • 2 large eggs, raw or cooked (cooked is recommended, but i like to live a bit more dangerously—go raw!)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, put through a press
  • 1 tbs mustard powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbs lemon juice, or the juice from one whole lemon
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1.25 cup oil, preferably sunflower, safflower, or light olive.
Most people prefer chicken with their Caesar salad. Add a few cucumbers and some shredded red cabbage and carrots and you've got yourself a meal.
Most people prefer chicken with their Caesar salad. Add a few cucumbers and some shredded red cabbage and carrots and you've got yourself a meal. | Source


  1. Originally, this salad dressing called for two raw eggs, but because of the possible outbreak of bacteria that may occur in some eggs, it is highly suggested that you boil the eggs.
  2. After the eggs have boiled (3 mins), peel the shell and place both hard boiled eggs into a food processor with all the other ingredients (except for the oil) and puree.
  3. Once the ingredients are blending nicely, you may slowly pour in your oil until the mixture becomes creamy. Be sure to pour slowly.
  4. If not used immediately, you should refrigerate your dressing right away. This salad dressing will keep for three days in the fridge. However, it is best to use this salad dressing as soon as it's prepared for best results.

Questions & Answers

    © 2012 James Timothy Peters


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      • James Peters profile imageAUTHOR

        James Timothy Peters 

        5 years ago from Hammond, Indiana

        Thank you so very much for the comment.

      • MarleneB profile image

        Marlene Bertrand 

        5 years ago from USA

        Very nice recipe. I enjoyed reading about the history that goes with this recipe. Caesar Salad Dressing is, by far, one of my favorite.


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