Classic Caesar Salad with Toasted Breadcrumbs

Let’s get this out of the way first. Classic Caesar dressing has raw egg yolks and anchovies. Let that sit. Take a breath. It’s going to be okay! If anchovies terrify you (sigh), you can always leave them out, but you’ll miss their funky, salty punch. If raw egg yolks terrify you, IDK. Cobb salads are good, try that. The key to a perfectly emulsified Caesar dressing is by adding your oil drop by drop in the beginning (seriously). Once it begins to emulsify, you can add the oil in a more generous stream, but make sure to go slow at first. Before you season your dressing, make sure to taste it. It’s going to be salty from the anchovies and Parm, so you won’t need as much salt as you think (if you need any at all).

Since everybody knows that croutons suck, these toasted breadcrumbs are my solution. This way, you get a starchy, crunchy forkful with every bite. You’ll probably have leftover breadcrumbs, so save them for salads and roasted veggies. Serve your Caesar with a creamy pasta, a cheesy pizza, or some chicken Parm!

Classic Caesar Salad with Toasted Breadcrumbs

Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
Total Time
25 min



For the dressing:

5 large anchovy fillets

2 large garlic cloves

1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

2 large egg yolks

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 lemon, zested and juiced

1/2 cup neutral oil (vegetable, canola, olive)

2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated, plus more for serving

For the toasted breadcrumbs:

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs

1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs

1 lemon, zested and juiced

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

To assemble:

2-3 large heads romaine lettuce, washed and chopped

Fresh lemon juice, for garnish

Flaky salt and freshly ground black pepper


Make the dressing. Mince the anchovies and cloves together. Holding the knife at an angle mash the anchovies and garlic together until a paste forms. Add 1 teaspoon salt and mix until combined.  In a separate bowl, whisk yolks until smooth. To eggs, add mustard, anchovy-garlic paste, lemon juice and zest. Pouring slowly, add oil while whisking constantly so that the mixture emulsifies.  Continue to whisk while the dressing thickens. Whisk in grated Parmesan and season with black pepper, plus more salt if needed.

Make the toasted breadcrumbs. In a large non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add breadcrumbs and toss in melted butter. Cook until fragrant and golden brown, tossing in pan occasionally, about 5 minutes (if your pan is too hot, they’ll burn, so keep a close eye). Add lemon juice and zest, salt, and black pepper to taste. Transfer to a bowl and let cool (you might have extra, save in an air tight container for future salad glory).

Assemble the salad. Toss lettuce in dressing. Spread on a platter and top with breadcrumbs, more Parm, a squeeze of lemon, and freshly grated black pepper. Serve immediately.