This is such a quick and easy salad recipe that has been a go to in our house for a few months now. My husband loves caesar salad and it is one of the salads that the kids don’t really complain about eating. I was looking for a way to make a standard caesar salad just a little more nutritious and decided to toss in a little quinoa I was making for dinner one night. Amazingly no one complained or really even commented on the quinoa and ever since, I have been serving almost all of our salads with quinoa mixed in.
If you aren’t on the quinoa bandwagon, it has a very mild taste that blends really well with all sorts of foods and flavors. I love quinoa in particular because it packs a ton of iron, protein and magnesium.
To make this salad is incredibly simple. You can go all out and try a completely homemade caesar salad or you can cut some time off and use packaged salad dressing and croutons and this comes together in minutes.
Now I have to confess I don’t really like using raw eggs in recipes and I am definitely not an anchovy person. This isn’t a classic caesar salad dressing because it omits both of those items but the Worcestershire sauce definitely adds that salty element so I still feel like this tastes a lot like a classic restaurant style caesar salad.
For my fellow vegetarian friends, just omit the Worcestershire and this is a great salad for you too.
- ½ loaf of French Bread roughly torn or chopped into 1 inch pieces
- ¼ cup olive oil or melted butter
- 2 teaspoons Italian Seasonings
- salt and pepper
- red pepper flakes (optional)
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons mayo
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (optional)
- salt and pepper
- 2 heads chopped romaine lettuce
- freshly shaved or grated parmesan (about ¼-1/2 cup depending on preference)
- 1 cup cooked quinoa, fluffed with a fork
- Preheat oven 375 degrees.
- Place bread in a large bowl and evenly coat with olive oil and Italian seasoning.
- Stir well and spread croutons evenly on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and red pepper flakes (to taste).
- Bake 10 minutes and remove from oven and set aside.
- Whisk all ingredients together until completely incorporated and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add romaine lettuce to a large bowl, drizzle with salad dressing and quinoa- mix well.
- Gently stir in parmesan and sprinkle on top with homemade croutons.
A few notes about this recipe. You can use any quinoa you like. I used a white quinoa which blends into the salad nicely (for fussy kids.)
I do prefer to use a regular olive oil not extra virgin olive oil in this recipe but you can use what you have on hand.
The croutons can be made ahead and stored in a freezer bag or tupperware but I much, much prefer them freshly made. If you do make them ahead, I like to heat them for a few minutes in the oven so they crisp up again.
I add just the tiniest bit of red pepper flakes to the croutons- maybe 1/2 teaspoon. A little goes a long way.
Super simple recipe that is so delicious with almost anything you are making or top with steak or chicken and this could easily be a quick dinner idea.
If you decide to try this recipe, please come back and let me know what you think!
Here are a few other recipes you might also enjoy:
Homemade Burger Seasoning (So good!)