Better-for-You Caesar Salad With Lemon-Parmesan Croutons


A Caesar salad doesn’t have to be indulgent, it just needs that familiar zing and irresistible flavor, and it's possible that it can have healthful properties. This creamy dressing is made with good-for-your-gut yogurt. Look for yogurt that contains live and active cultures (it should say so on the label). These are the probiotics—read, friendly bacteria—that may improve gut health. You’ll get some protein from the yogurt as well, but this salad will go great alongside or topped with seared tofu, grilled chicken or salmon.

Hands On Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
15 mins
4 (serving size: 1½ cups)


  • 1 (8-oz.) baguette, torn into bite-size pieces (about 3 cups)

  • 1 ½ teaspoon lemon zest, plus 2½ Tbsp. fresh juice (from 1 lemon), divided

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • 2 ounces (about ½ cup), plus 1 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese, divided, plus more for serving

  • ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt, divided

  • 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt

  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

  • 1 small garlic clove, grated (about ¼ tsp.)

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 large (about 1 lb.) head romaine lettuce, trimmed and chopped (about 7 packed cups)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Toss baguette pieces with lemon zest, 1 tablespoon each of the oil and Parmesan, and ¼ teaspoon of the salt on a parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheet. Spread in a single layer. Bake in preheated oven until golden and crispy, 14 to 16 minutes, tossing halfway through.

  2. Whisk together yogurt, Dijon, garlic, lemon juice, and remaining 1 tablespoon oil and ½ cup Parmesan in a large bowl. Season with remaining ½ teaspoon salt and several grinds black pepper.

  3. Toss lettuce with ½ cup of the dressing, adding more to taste. Divide among 4 plates, and top with croutons and more Parmesan. Reserve any remaining dressing as a dip for crudités or chips.

    Caesar Salad With Yogurt-Parmesan Dressing
    This Caesar salad’s dressing is made with yogurt, which packs probiotics for a healthy gut. It’s cheesy, delicious, and doubles as a dip for cut up veggies or chips. Get the recipe:Caesar Salad With Yogurt-Parmesan Dressing. Alison Miksch

Chef's Notes

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)

312 Calories
13g Fat
37g Carbs
12g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Calories 312
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13g 17%
Saturated Fat 4g 22%
Cholesterol 18mg 6%
Sodium 1184mg 51%
Total Carbohydrate 37g 13%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 12g

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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