The Not-So-Caesar Caesar Salad Dressing

Lighter Caesar Salad Dressing We all know beans are a great source of protein, fiber, iron, magnesium and many other nutrients. But did you know that, according to the Mayo Clinic, beans are packed with phytonutrients that may help prevent chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer? That’s pretty remarkable.

My recent trip to Napa was full of cooking and exploring an array of ways to use beans. We discussed how cooking with beans is more than just opening a can, heating them up and serving them as a side. Beans are an ingredient to be used creatively in sauces, salads, dips and as thickeners to name a few.

Soon after starting this blog I started a series called “The Bodacious Bean” highlighting a variety of bean recipes. And with inspiration from all the great people I cooked with in Napa (and a little creativity of my own), I can’t wait to continue to add to “The Bodacious Bean” recipe file. I’d love to hear any ideas you have utilizing the bean too.

The first recipe I want to share is for a salad dressing. We cooked many recipes and shared endless ideas but this lighter Caesar Salad Dressing, using bean puree instead of eggs, really surprised me. The flavor and texture offer a pretty good match for the original. Plus it’s healthier.

By no means am I saying it’s better than the original but it is a good option for those with egg allergies, or others who can’t eat raw eggs for one reason or another.

The ingredients are basic: white beans, olive oil, lemon juice, parmesan cheese, pepper, anchovy paste, garlic, and water to thin if needed.

Begin by pureeing a whole can of white beans and their liquid in a food processor.

You’ll only need one cup of the puree – 1 (15 oz). can of beans makes about 1 3/4 cup of puree. You can use the remaining puree in a soup or as a thickener for a sauce.

In a blender add all ingredients, except the water and blend until smooth.


If needed, add water to desired consistency but I didn’t add any to mine. Also, feel free to adjust the amount of anchovy paste if you’re not an anchovy fan. You can also use whole anchovies minced.

Toss with some chopped romaine hearts and serve. Yum. Yum. Yum.

That’s it. So simple.


I’d love to hear about any favorite bean recipes you may have. Are you a classic chili bean lover? Is there a tasty bean dip you can’t pass up? Please share – can’t wait to see hear from you!

The Not-So-Caesar Caesar Salad Dressing
Adapted from Joyce Goldstein; 2010 Worlds of Healthy Flavor Conference.
Serves: Makes about 2 cups.
  • 1 cup of white bean puree (canned beans & bean liquid pureed in food processor or blender)
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup lemon juice (juice of about 1 lemon)
  • ¼ cup parmesan, grated
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1-2 teaspoons anchovy paste (adjust to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced (about 2 large cloves)
  • ¼ cup water (as needed)
  1. In a blender combine bean puree, olive oil, lemon juice, parmesan cheese, pepper, anchovy paste, and garlic until blended and smooth.
  2. If needed, add water to thin to desired consistency.
  3. Refrigerate until used.

(Even though I have an ongoing relationship with Bush’s Beans, they did not compensate me for this post.)


  1. 1

    Michelle (What's Cooking) says

    I am so glad you shared this recipe – it’s a perfect option to cook with my students. I don’t feel safe enough to use raw egg with children…and I am sure their parents would thank me for using a healthy (and safe) alternative.

    Sometime soon, I’ll write up the recipe I used in my Recipes from Books and Movies series of cooking classes. For the movie “Cars,” we made Step On The Gas Baked Beans… and with it, of course, came a bit of the science that often so fragrantly accompanies eating beans!

  2. 2


    Brilliant!! Caesar dressing is my absolute favorite, and I don’t even like other dressings besides vinegar. It’s hard to consume everyday though with the 20 g of fat in a tablespoon or 2! This sounds delicious!

  3. 3

    Miss Wisabus says

    Oooh, I must try this. All my life, my mother has refused caesar salad because raw eggs are against her religion. Not literally, but you’d think so with the way she used to slap my hand away from the stuff at a buffet.

  4. 5


    this is so cool! I love cooking with beans for protein and keeping some dishes around here vegetarian. I used to make falafel with butter beans quite often too! I love this idea, thanks for the recipe!

  5. 8

    Angie B says

    My mom’s allergic to eggs–she’ll be thrilled to hear about this since so many dressings are off limits to her. You’d be amazed how many things eggs are in! Thanks!

  6. 9


    well that’s just nifty! and here i thought caesar salad was a worthless creation that only served to take up valuable stomach room. great use for the beans, amy–i’m enticed!

  7. 12


    That looks delicious Amy!! Great pictures and wonderful post! I Stumbled it, so hopefully more people will enjoy it too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Rate this recipe: