Caesar Salad with Chile-Spiced Croutons

Caesar Salad with Chile-Spiced Croutons
Staff Writer
Caesar Salad with Chile-Spiced Croutons

Viviane Bauquet Farre

Caesar Salad with Chile-Spiced Croutons

Who doesn’t love Caesar salad? I haven’t met anyone yet... And it’s been a favorite of mine ever since my college days in California. Back then, any trendy restaurant would assemble it right at your table. The waiter would arrive with his arsenal and furiously whip an egg to make the dressing. Going out for dinner and not ordering one was inconceivable!

For me, this favorite recipe has evolved though. First, I find the egg-based dressing a bit rich, so I’ve come up with one that’s just as creamy and flavorful but sits better in my stomach.

Then, whenever possible, I like to use young romaine lettuces that I serve whole. It makes a gorgeous presentation and looks less predictable than the torn-up pieces of mature, thick romaine leaves. The real bonus of course is that these young romaines are utterly succulent! You won’t find them in your grocery store though, so head out to your local farmers market to pick a bunch. And I dare say you haven’t tasted a romaine until you taste these young lettuces!

Lastly, I like to make my own croutons. I’ll admit it’s a fetish of mine, but I just don’t enjoy the boxed, super dehydrated ones. Spiked with a little chili powder, they are good enough that my husband Marc always tries to steal a few before I’m ready to serve.

A few tweaks on this classic recipe make a modern and light Caesar salad that’s also bursting with flavor... In fact, I always eat twice my share!


For the dressing

Place all of the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until well blended. Set aside.

For the croutons

Heat the oil in a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bread cubes and toss well. Sauté undisturbed until golden, about 1-2 minutes. Toss and continue to sauté until golden on all sides, about 2 more minutes. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl. Season with the salt, pepper, to taste, and chili powder. Toss well and let cool to room temperature.

For the salad

Place 3 romaine halves in the center of each plate. Drizzle with the dressing and top with the croutons. Garnish with the cheese and season with freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.


Calories per serving:

458 calories

Dietary restrictions:

High Fiber Vegetarian, Egg Free, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Soy Free, Fish Free, Shellfish Free, Pork Free, Alcohol Free, Kosher

Daily value:



  • Fat 29g 45%
  • Carbs 42g 14%
  • Saturated 5g 25%
  • Fiber 21g 84%
  • Trans 0g
  • Sugars 13g
  • Monounsaturated 18g
  • Polyunsaturated 4g
  • Protein 17g 33%
  • Cholesterol 5mg 2%
  • Sodium 536mg 22%
  • Calcium 429mg 43%
  • Magnesium 148mg 37%
  • Potassium 2,399mg 69%
  • Iron 10mg 57%
  • Zinc 3mg 18%
  • Phosphorus 368mg 53%
  • Vitamin A 4,124µg 458%
  • Vitamin C 39mg 65%
  • Thiamin (B1) 1mg 51%
  • Riboflavin (B2) 1mg 42%
  • Niacin (B3) 4mg 21%
  • Vitamin B6 1mg 38%
  • Folic Acid (B9) 1,295µg 324%
  • Vitamin B12 0µg 1%
  • Vitamin D 0µg 0%
  • Vitamin E 5mg 25%
  • Vitamin K 980µg 1,225%
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