You can make this creamy, delicious (and very authentic-tasting) Caesar dressing as is, or add nutritional yeast for a cheesy twist. You can also reduce the milk and use it as a dip or sandwich spread.

By Dreena Burton,


  • ⅓ cup raw cashews, soaked for 3-4 hours in advance and then drained
  • 1−2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon whole chia seeds
  • scant ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon kelp granules (see notes)
  • ½ teaspoon capers
  • 1 medium clove garlic, chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ⅓−½ cup unsweetened, unflavored plant milk (plus extra to thin)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1½ teaspoons pure maple syrup


  • Combine the cashews, 1 tablespoon of the nutritional yeast (if using), the chia, salt, kelp granules, capers, garlic, pepper, milk, lemon juice, and maple syrup in a blender, and purée until very smooth. Add more nutritional yeast for a cheesier flavor if you like, and add extra salt, pepper and/or garlic if desired.
  • Serve tossed into romaine lettuce, along with your choice of croutons, if desired.
  • Refrigerate for up to 4 days. This oil-free dressing will thicken after refrigeration. You can thin it by stirring in 2 to 3 teaspoons of plant milk or water, if desired.


    Kelp: If you have trouble finding kelp granules, the dressing is still delicious without them!

    Milk: I prefer unsweetened, unflavored almond milk or soy milk in this recipe, but you can choose another plant milk if you prefer.

Comments (7)

(5 from 4 votes)

Recipe Rating

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Bob Carlile

I used a pitted date instead of maple syrup and it was excellent!!! I also used 1/2 a sheet of seaweed instead of kelp flakes.


How long will this keep in the fridge?

Lisa, Forks Over Knives Support

Hi Carrie, Stored in an airtight container in the fridge, this dressing will keep for up to 5 days. Enjoy! Lisa. Forks Over Knives Support


Agree that maple syrup is unnecessary. Followed the recipe otherwise, used 1 Tbsp nooch. Delicious!


This is far more delicious than expected. And I did not use capers, kelp granules or the maple syrup. This will become a regular at our house.


It's a keeper. My husband and I loved it but I made a few tweaks: 3/8 teaspoon regular iodized (not sea) salt, I didn't have kelp so I used spirulina, and 1/2 teaspoon (not 1 -1/2 tsp) maple syrup, but I will omit maple syrup next time. My husband is a hot dog loving carnivore. I've made many salad dressings including with oil, yet he said this is the best salad dressing I've ever made


This is a terrific oil-free dressing. I didn't include the kelp granules. I did add the nutritional yeast. Although I added the maple syrup, I don't think it's necessary to add sweetness. After tasting, I decided to add a little more lemon juice to zing it up. Looking forward to seeing how it thickens the next day. I can definitely see how it can be used as a dip for vegetables too. Thank you!!

About the Author

Headshot of Dreena Burton

About the Author

Dreena Burton

Dreena Burton has written six cookbooks charting her journey as a plant-powered cook and at-home mother of three. Always passionate about creating nutritious recipes, she is an advocate of using the “vegan basics” (beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables) to create dishes that are healthy but also very satisfying and delicious! For more on her plant-powered recipes and newest cookbook, Dreena’s Kind Kitchen: 100+ Whole-Foods Vegan Recipes to Enjoy Every Day, visit, and follow her on Instagram and Facebook.
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