Without a doubt, a keto caesar salad is the best keto meal to order at any restaurant, but do you know how easy it is to make it at home?
All you need is a few simple ingredients together for a quick lunch or simple dinner PLUS learn how to make the magic 1-minute homemade Caesar salad dressing.
It's quick, easy, filling, packed with protein, and nutritious. PLUS it's only 4.5g NET carbs.
This delicious keto chicken salad can be served as a main meal or as a side dish for pork, beef, or chicken.
Is Caesar salad keto?
A traditional Caesar salad is not keto because it contains croutons made from wheat bread or gluten-free bread.
Common Caesar salad ingredients are lettuce, croutons, garlic, Dijon mustard, black pepper, Worcester sauce, anchovies, eggs, and parmesan cheese.
But with a few simple changes, you can lower the carbs and increase the protein to make it perfect for the high-protein low-carb diet, low-carb diet or keto diet.
A keto caesar salad is easy to throw together and typically consists of just a few basic ingredients. However, this is a high-protein salad with moderate-high fat and low-carbs, so the ingredients will be slightly different. As you'll see below, you can omit or swap many of these to create a salad you are happy with:
All ingredients and quantities are in the recipe card below.
Romaine lettuce - high in water, fibre, minerals, and vitamins like C and K, I love the crunch that romaine lettuce offers.
Cucumber - a standard Caesar salad recipe has croutons (made from wheat bread), which is not keto-friendly. To replicate that crunch, cucumbers will do nicely.
Tomato - optional, but traditional salads always need the colour and flavour of a few cherry tomatoes.
Chicken breast - grilled chicken is perfect in this recipe and adds to the protein. You can serve sliced chicken or cubed, whichever is easier. You can also use leftover chicken making this easy salad perfect for your keto diet.
Parmesan cheese - whether you like shredded parmesan cheese, grated parmesan cheese, or sliced, the flavour is excellent with this recipe!
Blue cheese - to amp up fat and flavour, I add a sharp blue cheese. This is completely optional.
Anchovies - you may omit these but they really do add the authentic Caesar salty taste to the salad.
Dressing - as you'll see below, I take the standard keto Caesar dressing and make it my own! This delicious homemade dressing will help you hit your macros. To make this keto Caesar dressing you'll need homemade mayo and anchovies.
To make a Caesar salad you can either layer ingredients in your serving dish and add the dressing at the end, or you can make it in a large bowl, add the dressing and mix gently with your hands to ensure all the salad is coated with your homemade mayonnaise.
I prefer to layer it on the plate and leave the dressing on the table so everyone can add the quantity they prefer.
There are many opinions on what exactly should go into a classic Caesar salad, but in reality, you can add what you like. Adaptable recipes are the best and most likely to be actually made, rather than a prescriptive recipe.
This keto Caesar salad starts with a huge base of leafy greens, I like baby kale, but any leafy green is superb. Any other salad ingredients you need to use up can be added next such as baby tomatoes, spring onions, or cucumber cubes. Now add your choice of protein.
Add your favourite cheese, for me it has to be blue cheese and parmesan. The classic anchovies are next, or maybe another oily fish that you prefer such as smoked salmon slices.
Now serve with, or drizzle over the top, with homemade mayonnaise. I cannot emphasise enough how incredibly easy and nutritious it is to make your own mayonnaise.
Substitutions & variations
One thing that's fun about a keto Caesar salad is that you don't have to stick with the standard ingredients. Why not add cooked diced bacon and avocado too? Anything goes.
Feel free to experiment with ingredients and really make this keto Caesar salad your own!
Swap out the typical romaine lettuce for another variety. I've found arugula to add a nice peppery bite, but also enjoy baby kale. I will use mixed greens if that's what I have available too.
A classic keto Ceasar salad has parmesan cheese, but if you aren't a fan, you can swap it up. Parmigiano Reggiano is aged longer than parmesan cheese and can add a deeper flavour.
You can also sub it out for feta, blue cheese, or even plain cheddar...whichever you prefer.
Instead of grilled chicken, feel free to add another source of protein. Diced cooked bacon pieces, a poached egg, sliced boiled egg, cooked shrimp, cooked prawns, or a low-carb vegetarian source of protein.
Herbs and seasoning
The cheeses and Caesar dressing are both delicious, but you might also want to add garlic powder, dried onion flakes, bagel seasoning,
Just like any fresh salad, this keto Caesar salad recipe will be best if enjoyed right away. Once you add the anchovies and mayo, you won't be able to keep it in the fridge for long. It's best eaten within 24 hours otherwise the salad greens will go limp and brown with the addition of the salad dressing.
Keto salad meal prep
If you want to prep ahead for this chicken Caesar salad, you can:
Grill your chicken (or keep leftover chicken) stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Prep the individual salad ingredients and store them in an airtight container for 1-2 days. Once you wash lettuce or other leafy greens, you can keep them in a large ziplock bag or container with a piece of kitchen paper. The paper helps to absorb any excess water and helps to keep the lettuce crisp.
Make your mayonnaise and pour it into a jar with a lid. Keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Then when you want to enjoy a fresh keto salad, simply put the salad together, add your anchovies and mayo, and enjoy!
What to serve with Caesar salad
To turn your keto salad into a complete meal, you can serve with cheesy keto garlic bread, almond flour bread, coconut flour bread or keto breadsticks made from mozzarella dough.
How to make keto Caesar salad fast.
Making a keto Caesar salad at home is my go-to meal when we are in a hurry. It is my healthy family 'fast food' and cheaper than takeaways. Just buy these two things on your way home via the grocery store:
1: A hot rotisserie chicken (without stuffing or sauces).
2: A bag of salad or leafy greens.
When you get home it takes no time at all to put the keto Caesar salad on your kitchen table and throw some extra ingredients together that you have probably sitting in the fridge already such as cheese, olives, avocado, etc.
How to make keto Caesar salad family-friendly.
Because you add whatever salad ingredients, cheese, or protein you have in the fridge (you know I always encourage you that leftovers are king), then pour over the top plenty of homemade mayo.
Children always love a fun meal that they can make themselves and have some control over. They are able to choose whichever ingredients they like from the fridge and add them to their salad. If you are struggling to get kids to eat their greens, give this keto Caesar salad a try!
Keto salad FAQ
Most traditional Caesar salads are not keto but with a few simple changes, you can lower the carbs and increase the protein. Simply ask for no croutons, extra cheese, extra chicken, and often a poached egg is available as a salad optional extra.
How many carbs are in a Caesar salad will depend on what ingredients have been used, how many croutons have been added, and whether it is served with bread on the side? Dressings often have added sugar. For example, Bertucci's Caesar salad has 28g carbs (source: Cronometer).
Ready-made dressings often contain unhealthy oils such as canola oil or sunflower oil and often contain added sugars and starches that don't fir in with your keto diet. You can make your own mayonnaise with an egg and olive oil, or you can make a simple keto salad dressing made with olive oil and vinegar.
More keto salad recipes
Please rate this recipe.
Keto Caesar Salad Recipe (High Protein)
Keto salad bowl
- 2 cups romaine lettuce
- 1 tablespoon spring onion/scallion sliced
- 2 (4) cherry tomatoes cut half
- 1 oz (28 g) cucumber cubed
- 3.5 oz (100 g) chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoon blue cheese
- 2 tablespoon parmesan cheese
- 4 anchovies
Keto Caesar salad dressing
- ¼ cup homemade mayonnaise
- ½ teaspoon garlic minced crushed
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
Keto salad bowl
- Layer the lettuce and salad ingredients on the bottom of the serving dish.
- Place the chicken, anchovies, and cheeses on top.
Keto Caesar salad dressing
- Mix the mayonnaise with the garlic, Dijon, and seasoning.
- Drizzle the homemade mayonnaise all over the top of the salad, serve on the side, or mix together to coat all the salad ingredietns.
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Approximate nutrition information is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. For the most accurate nutritional data, use the actual ingredients and brands you used in your preferred nutrition calculator.
Please leave a comment with your favourite keto salad ideas. What do you add to make them high-protein, nutritious, and filling?
I have to say this is my absolute favourite salad EVER! I pile on as much chicken as I can find then add an egg or two for extra protein. Thank you for another fabulous delicious recipe.
Hey there, Joan. Thank you for such a glowing review of my Caesar salad. This is one of my go-to recipes too and it's what I order when I eat out, almost every time (or steak).
sharon c norman
For me it's not a salad unless it has avocado,tomatos and shredded cheddar cheese, dressing of choice cilantro.
That wouldn't be a classic Caesar salad by definition ? yummy, but not a Ceasar.
Anchovies are part of the original Caesar salad. Cos lettuce is wonderful plus bacon, eggs and parmesan. Caeser dressing is mayo based
OK, this looks like a delicious salad, but Caesar salad is a thing, and this is not it. Caesar salad is romaine lettuce and croutons dressed with an egg-and-oil based dressing with Parmesan cheese and anchovies. There is no tomato, cucumber, onion, or bleu cheese in a Caesar salad. Now, you can make whatever salad you want, but you can't just toss a bunch of stuff together and call it a Caesar salad. Why not make a sandwich of peanut butter and banana and call it a BLT?
Probably the same reason snarky commenters are not called what they come across as. To each is own. The world is made up of wonderfully different foods, and not all of us put them together in the same exact ways. This recipe was freely given and cost you nothing to view, so shut it.
Then take out what you don't want, dry off some Almond bread in the oven to make croutons. Hey presto! Lovely.
My favorite salad and go to meal is a taco salad. Greens with chopped tomato, chopped green onion, topped with grated cheddar, dressing of choice (I like plain mayo, adds fat with almost no protein), ground browned meat with chili powder and small bit of cumin. Top with liberal amount of natural sour cream. Very satisfying simple. Sometimes I brown several pounds of ground meat immediately after buying and then freeze it in one-pound freezer bags, then just thaw it and warm in a skillet with a small amount of water.
Love your website and recipes
I make a taco salad like this as well. For the dressing I use mayonnaise mixed with salsa, usually homemade. It's delicious and tastes more authentic.
What about dressing? I hate blue cheese? Is there an alternative to that ?
Absolutely, that's why I say this is just the perfect LCHF meal as you can add exactly what you like and what you have on hand. Just add your favourite cheese instead, I love blue cheese but realise it's not to everyone's taste.
what is are nutrition's in this salad
I made a note in the recipe that I can't really give you the nutrition as everyone will make this differently, with different ingredients each time and different amounts. Needless to say it will be low in carbs, moderate protein and load it up with healthy fats 🙂
Just super food Libby - looks great.
All the best Jan
Thanks Jan, 'fast food' with a different take 🙂
I have stopped buying hot roast chickens (without stuffing or sauces) as the list of ingredients painted on the skin of the chicken looks crazy and not so good. Perhaps I am going to have to buy a few organic fresh chickens and roast and freeze them for fast meals that I know are good for me.
Me too. you can buy just the plain roast chickens or I quite often put a whole chicken in the slow cooker and it's ready when we get home for dinner and school lunches the next day.
Is it necessary to use anchovies, or any fish, for that matter?
No way. Nothing in this recipe is absolutely necessary. Use anything you like, change whatever you like, how ever you like it. That's the beauty of LCHF salads. I used to hate anchovies, now I absolutely adore them, so I understand your hesitation. Enjoy your version, whatever that may include 🙂
I was wondering about anchovies too. Everything else I can do.