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Grilled Caesar Salad [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

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This grilled caesar salad is charred to perfection, drizzled with a creamy and tangy dressing, and topped with vegan bacon bits, seasoned croutons, and thinly sliced red onion. It's sure to be a hit at any dinner party.

Grilled Caesar Salad [Vegan, Gluten-Free]


For the Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked in boiling water
  • 1/4-1/2 cup reserved soaking water
  • 2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 heaping tablespoon vegan parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 nori seaweed sheet, very finely ground (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons capers, rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Kosher salt to taste

For the Bacon Bits:

  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 3/4 cup textured vegetable protein (TVP)
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons liquid smoke
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (tamari if gluten-free)
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5-8 tablespoons canola oil

For the Salad:

  • 3 heads of romaine lettuce, cut in half lengthwise
  • Vegan croutons
  • Red onion, thinly sliced
  • TVP Bacon


To Make The Dressing:

  1. Soak the cashews for 4-6 hours or overnight.
  2. In a high-speed blender, place all the ingredients, except for water, and pulse them until they’re very smooth with no remnants of cashews. If the dressing is too thick, add 1/4 of reserved soaking water and blend it again.
  3. Add the water until dressing is to the consistency of your liking.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste before setting it aside.

To Make the Bacon Bits:

  1. In a mixing bowl, add the dry TVP.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat the water and bouillon cube until it comes to a boil.
  3. Add boiling seasoned water to the TVP and let it rehydrate for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Once it’s rehydrated, add liquid smoke, soy sauce, and salt and mix it thoroughly.
  5. In a pan on medium heat, add TVP mixture and simmer it until the remaining liquid has cooked out.
  6. Slowly add 1 tablespoon of oil at a time while you continue to mix TVP mixture.
  7. If mixture becomes dry, add another tablespoon of oil.
  8. Continue to mix this until the TVP bits become dark brown and crispy – about 20 minutes.
  9. Transfer this to a paper towel-lined plate and set it aside.

To Make the Salad:

  1. Grill romaine lettuce on each side until it’s charred, but still cool on the inside, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  2. Transfer the grilled lettuce back into the refrigerator to cool for 10-15 minutes before you assemble your salad.





Vegan recipes with a focus on good feelin’, sometimes, but not always healthy, scrumptious comfort food. Most people don’t think of delicious comfort food when they hear the word vegan and I’m here to change all that! My name is Ashley, a vegan food blogger and recipe developer. While my wife and I develop recipes that range from quick and healthy, to deep-fried and salted, we specifically focus on good feelin’, sometimes not always healthy, scrumptious comfort food. Grab a drink and let’s have some fun in the kitchen!



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