Vegan Caesar Salad With Brussels Sprouts

June 5, 2023

This vegan caesar salad is so delicious and loaded with extra nutrients with the shaved brussels sprouts. Don’t miss it.

Vegan Caesar Salad With Brussels Sprouts

This vegan caesar salad with shaved brussels sprouts tastes really close to a conventional caesar salad, but is gluten-free, and packed with nutrition and delicious flavors.

There are four elements to make with this salad: The salad base, the dressing, the pine-hemp parmesan, and the croutons. But don’t let that deter you from making this recipe! You can make the dressing, parmesan, and croutons the day before or a couple of days before to make assembling this salad “on the day” much quicker and easier.

I will often do this if I’m taking this salad to a BBQ or a potluck. I have all of the elements pre-made, and then I quickly shred the romaine and brussels sprouts right before assembling so they are nice and fresh.

I do love a traditional caesar salad with romaine lettuce, but these recipes are not very nutrient dense. So, I like to add shredded kale or cabbage, and in this case, brussels sprouts to boost the nutrition. And, before you screw up your nose, you cannot taste the brussels sprouts! And, we don’t want to taste them or this recipe won’t taste like a traditional caesar salad!

The secret to getting raw brussels sprouts to taste amazing is…

Finely chop, shred, or grate your brussels sprouts. When they’re in really fine pieces, the flavor is milder, and the dressing coats them more evenly. And, they taste just like lettuce!

I use a mandoline to shave them. But, be sure to use the vegetable holder (or be really careful holding your brussels sprouts) or you may shave off the top of your fingers! If you don’t have a mandoline, use a sharp chef’s knife to shred them. Simply cut off the hard core (that’s the piece that is the most bitter), cut really thin slices, and then run your knife over the slices to get thin shredded pieces.

The health benefits of brussels sprouts:

If you’re like me, the mere thought of chomping down on whole raw brussels sprouts makes you gag! But, raw brussels sprouts are nutrient-dense detox superstars. So, it’s really beneficial to include them in our diet. And, hands down, the most delicious way to include them is in this caesar salad!

Brussels sprouts are loaded with glucosinolates (detox compounds); antioxidants; vitamins C and K; omega-3 fatty acids; alkaline minerals; and fiber to help regulate blood sugar and cholesterol, aid digestion, combat oxidative damage, and help encourage healthy inflammatory responses. Brussels sprouts also contain a specific compound that prevents environmental, toxin-triggered changes to our DNA.

But again, shred them finely and smother them in a dressing that makes you weak in the knees. And, let’s be honest, caesar salad is all about the dressing….and depending on your preference, the croutons! (I’ve got that covered, too!)

So, let’s talk about the dressing…

How to make the best vegan caesar dressing:

The key to making a really sensational vegan caesar dressing is a clever blend of cashews, olive oil, lemon juice, white miso paste, capers, mustard, and worcestershire sauce.

Here are some notes and substitution ideas for the ingredients:

  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil – If you want to reduce the oil, use 1 cup of light-colored vegetable broth that is not too heavy on tomatoes and carrots.
  • Filtered Water
  • Fresh Lemon Juice – Don’t use shelf-stable lemon juice or the best flavor.
  • Raw Unsalted Cashews – Don’t use roasted cashews or the flavor will be too assertive. You could substitute with blanched slivered almonds, but you must soak them to get the smoothest texture, even when using a high-speed blender.
  • White Miso Paste – You could also use yellow miso or chickpea miso. Do NOT use red miso in this caesar dressing. You will get a completely different flavor profile.
  • Capers – Resist the urge to omit these or your dressing will be missing a key flavor.
  • Gluten-Free Vegan Worcestershire Sauce – There are some vegan worcestershire sauces on the market, and some gluten-free worcestershire sauces. But, if you’re both vegan and gluten-free like me, I’ve only found one vegan gluten-free worcestershire sauce. It’s from The Wizards. If you are not gluten-free or vegan, you can, of course, use regular worcestershire sauce.
  • Dijon Mustard – You could also use prepared yellow mustard.
  • Fresh Garlic – Don’t skip this or you will be missing a lovely note of flavor.
  • Salt and Pepper
Use a high-speed blender to get your caesar dressing really creamy.

To achieve a really silky consistency with your caesar dressing, use a high-speed blender. I developed this recipe for the KitchenAid® when I was the spokesperson for their blenders. I recommend using the High Performance blender or the K400 blender. Both of these machines are fantastic and will deliver a consistency that is incredibly smooth and creamy.

If you’re using a conventional blender, it’s really important to soak your cashews according to the instructions in the recipe in order to get the smoothest consistency, otherwise your dressing may be a bit mealy.

How to make the gluten-free croutons:

I’m not a fan of store-bought croutons. You can, of course, pick some up at the grocery store to make this salad quicker and easier. But, invest the time in making your own, because they are really easy to make and absolutely delicious. And, you can make these croutons ahead of time!

Use any standard loaf of gluten-free bread. You’ll need about 8 slices to get the 4 cups of bread cubes. I know it seems like a lot of oil, but you will need it to get nice delicious crispy croutons! And you may even need more olive oil depending on how thirsty your bread is. I like to put my bread cubes in a large bowl so I have plenty of room to toss the bread cubes with the olive oil, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper until it’s all evenly coated.

Make sure you don’t crowd your bread cubes on the tray or they won’t crisp up evenly. And, this is a great simple crouton recipe to have in your repertoire because they can be used in all kinds of other salads!

The croutons deliver the requisite crunchy texture for any self respecting caesar salad. But, if you don’t want to eat bread, add some roasted chickpeas or edamame for crunch and additional protein.

Don’t skip the pine-hemp parmesan!

This condiment made with seeds, spices, and nutritional yeast adds a delicious cheesy quality to this vegan caesar, and takes less than 5 minutes to make in your food processor. I’ve used a base of pine nuts and hemp seeds because the flavor combo is divine. But, I know pine nuts can be expensive. You could substitute raw unsalted cashews or blanched slivered almonds. This vegan parmesan can also be made ahead of time. Place it in a sealed container in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble your salad.

Don’t miss making this vegan caesar salad.  It is absolutely delicious!
Other Creamy Salad Recipes

Vegan Coleslaw
Vegan Potato Salad
Creamy Raw Broccoli Salad
Creamy Cabbage and Kale Slaw
Brussels Sprouts and Cabbage Slaw

*I was a spokesperson for KitchenAid® blenders. But, my opinions are my own.


Vegan Brussels Sprouts Caesar Salad

This vegan caesar salad with shaved brussels sprouts is gluten-free, and is packed with nutrition and delicious flavors. The dressing is absolutely amazing.

Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 to 8
Author Tess Masters



pine-hemp parmesan: (makes 1 cup/115g)

dressing: (makes 1 3/4 cups/420ml)


  • 10 cups (500g) shredded romaine hearts (about 5 hearts)
  • 5 cups (40g) shaved Brussels sprouts 


  1. Make the Croutons: Preheat the oven to 300 ̊F/150 ̊C, and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. 

  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, garlic and onion powders, salt, and pepper until well combined. Place the bread cubes in a bowl and drizzle the oil mixture over the top, and toss well to coat all bread pieces evenly. You may need more olive oil depending on how thirsty your bread is. Transfer the coated bread cubes to your prepared baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes, toss the cubes, and bake for another 10 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Remove the croutons from the oven, and let them cool.
  3. Make the Pine-Hemp Parmesan: Throw the ingredients into a food chopper or a food processor fitted with the s blade, and process for 5 to 10 seconds until the texture resembles shelf-stable parmesan cheese.

  4. Make the Dressing: Quick-soak your cashews by placing them in a small bowl, and covering them with boiling hot water to soften them. Allow them to sit for 10 minutes, and then drain, and discard the soaking liquid. Throw the drained cashews into your blender with the rest of the dressing ingredients, and blast on high for 30 to 60 seconds, until smooth and creamy.

  5. Assemble the Salad: In a large salad bowl, mix together the romaine lettuce and brussels sprouts, and add the dressing gradually to your preference.  Add half of the parmesan and half of the croutons.

  6. Serve family style, or portion out the salad onto plates, and top with additional parmesan and croutons. Pass remaining dressing, croutons, and parmesan at the table.