How many calories are in a serving of Caesar Salad Dressing?

Caesar salad dressing is a popular salad topping made with oil, egg yolks, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, anchovies, Parmesan cheese, and other ingredients. It has a rich, tangy flavor that complements romaine lettuce and croutons in a classic Caesar salad.

But like many creamy dressings and sauces, Caesar salad dressing can be high in calories, especially if generous amounts are used. So how many calories are actually in a serving?

What Is Considered a Serving Size of Caesar Salad Dressing?

The standard serving size of prepared Caesar salad dressing, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is 2 tablespoons or 30 ml.

This is the reference amount that you’ll see listed on the Nutrition Facts panel of bottled Caesar dressings. All the calorie and nutrient information is based on 2 tablespoons.

Some other common serving sizes for Caesar dressing include:

– 1 tablespoon or 15 ml
– 1 fluid ounce or 30 ml
– 1/4 cup or 60 ml

So check the label carefully for serving size details if you want to determine calories and nutrients. Don’t just estimate – measure out the dressing.

Calories in 2 Tablespoons of Caesar Salad Dressing

The number of calories in 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of Caesar dressing can range widely between brands:

– Regular Caesar dressing: 70–160 calories
– Light Caesar dressing: 40–70 calories
– Fat-free Caesar dressing: 15–40 calories

As you can see, the type of Caesar dressing makes a big difference in calories.

Here are some examples of calories for specific, popular brands in a 2 tablespoon serving:

Regular Caesar Dressing (Per 2 Tablespoons)

– Kraft Classic Caesar: 80 calories
– Ken’s Steak House Creamy Caesar: 160 calories
– Girard’s Caesar Dressing: 140 calories
– Newman’s Own Caesar Dressing: 90 calories
– Brianna’s Asiago Caesar: 130 calories

Light Caesar Dressing (Per 2 Tablespoons)

– Kraft Light Caesar Dressing: 60 calories
– Ken’s Light Caesar with Olive Oil: 60 calories
– Girard’s Light Caesar Dressing: 60 calories
– Newman’s Own Lighten Up Caesar Dressing: 45 calories
– Brianna’s Lite Asiago Caesar: 35 calories

Fat-Free Caesar Dressing (Per 2 Tablespoons)

– Kraft Free Fat Free Caesar: 15 calories
– Ken’s Steak House Fat Free Caesar: 15 calories
– Girard’s Fat Free Caesar Dressing: 15 calories
– Newman’s Own Lighten Up Fat Free Caesar: 20 calories
– Brianna’s Fat Free Asiago Caesar: 25 calories

As you can see, regular Caesar dressings contain around 80–160 calories per serving, while light Caesars range from 35–70 calories, and fat-free options are lowest at 15–40 calories.

What Affects the Number of Calories in Caesar Salad Dressing?

Several factors influence the calorie content in Caesar salad dressings:

1. Type and Amount of Oil

Caesar dressing gets its rich texture and flavor from oil, which is also a major source of calories. Regular dressings use full-fat oils like olive, canola, soybean, or sunflower oil.

Light Caesars use less oil or lower-calorie oils like olive oil. Fat-free dressings use no oil.

2. Egg Yolks

Traditional Caesar dressings are emulsified with egg yolks, which contributes extra fat and calories. Light and fat-free versions often use whole eggs or egg substitutes instead.

3. Cheese

Grated Parmesan cheese is another key ingredient in Caesar dressing, providing a salty, tangy accent. More cheese means more calories.

4. Other Ingredients

Ingredients like Worcestershire sauce, mustard, garlic, anchovies, and lemon juice add plenty of flavor without substantially increasing calories.

But dressings with higher-calorie additions like cream or bacon will have more calories per serving.

How Much Caesar Salad Dressing Should You Use?

Two tablespoons or 30 ml is an appropriate portion of Caesar dressing for 2-4 cups of salad greens. This keeps the salad light and refreshing rather than too heavy.

If you’re watching calories, stick with a light or fat-free dressing and measure carefully. You can always add more if needed.

Or limit thick dressings to around 1 tablespoon (15 ml) per serving. Thin vinegar-based dressings can be used more liberally.

Another tip is to dip the fork tines into dressing before spearing salad rather than pouring it over the top. This provides plenty of flavor without excess calories.

Calories in Other Common Serving Sizes of Caesar Dressing

Here are some calorie estimates for other typical serving sizes of regular, light, and fat-free bottled Caesar dressings:

Regular Caesar Dressing

Serving Size Calories
1 tablespoon 40-80
1 fluid ounce 80-160
1/4 cup 160-320

Light Caesar Dressing

Serving Size Calories
1 tablespoon 20-35
1 fluid ounce 35-70
1/4 cup 70-140

Fat-Free Caesar Dressing

Serving Size Calories
1 tablespoon 5-10
1 fluid ounce 10-20
1/4 cup 20-40

As you can see, the calories add up rapidly if you use large amounts of creamy Caesar dressing. Stick with a measured serving to keep calories under control.

Tips for Making Low-Calorie Caesar Salad

Here are some tips for lightening up a classic Caesar salad:

– Use romaine lettuce rather than heavy croutons for crunch.

– Go easy on the cheese. A sprinkle of Parmesan goes a long way.

– Choose a light or fat-free dressing. Measure out a tablespoon or two.

– Enhance flavor with lemon juice, black pepper, and herbs.

– Grill or bake chicken breast, shrimp, or salmon for lean protein.

– Add other vegetables like shredded carrots, cucumbers, or cherry tomatoes.

– Drizzle dressing over ingredients instead of drowning the salad.

– If making your own dressing, use low-fat ingredients like Greek yogurt.

Simple Lower-Calorie Caesar Dressing Recipes

Looking for some lighter Caesar dressing recipes to make at home? Here are a few tasty options:

Yogurt Caesar Dressing

– 1/4 cup plain 2% Greek yogurt
– 1 tablespoon lemon juice
– 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
– 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
– 1 small garlic clove, minced
– 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– Salt and pepper to taste

Lightened-Up Caesar with Greek Yogurt

– 3 tablespoons fat-free plain Greek yogurt
– 3 tablespoons light mayonnaise
– 2 teaspoons lemon juice
– 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
– 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
– 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
– 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
– Salt and pepper to taste

Easy Low-Fat Caesar Dressing

– 3 tablespoons fat-free sour cream
– 1 tablespoon lemon juice
– 1 tablespoon water
– 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
– 1 small garlic clove, minced
– 2 teaspoons olive oil
– 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
– Salt and pepper to taste

Nutritional Benefits of Caesar Salad

While creamy Caesar dressings can be high in fat and calories, Caesar salads also contain nutritious ingredients. The base of crisp romaine lettuce provides:

– Vitamin A – Important for immune function and vision.

– Vitamin K – Essential for proper blood clotting.

– Folate – Key for new cell and DNA formation.

– Potassium – Helps lower blood pressure.

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese adds:

– Calcium – Vital for healthy bones and teeth.

– Protein – Required for muscle growth and repair.

– Phosphorus – Supports bone mineralization.

So enjoy Caesar salad in moderation as part of a healthy diet. Just stick to sensible portions of dressing.

Should You Avoid Caesar Dressing Due to Raw Eggs?

Traditional Caesar dressings made from raw eggs pose a slight risk of salmonella infection. To reduce this risk:

– Use pasteurized eggs when making homemade dressing.

– Look for commercially made dressings labeled “made with pasteurized eggs.”

– Consider egg-free Caesar dressings if you have immune disorders.

The anchovies in Caesar dressing are also salted and cured, eliminating any raw fish pathogens.

So for most healthy people, there’s minimal risk from eating Caesar dressings in moderation, especially from major commercial brands. Those at higher risk can take precautions.

Healthier Substitutes for Caesar Dressing

If you want to lighten up your Caesar salads, consider using these lower-calorie dressing ideas:

– Olive oil and lemon juice or balsamic vinegar

– Red wine vinegar mixed with Dijon mustard

– Plain Greek yogurt seasoned with lemon and herbs

– Hummus thinned with lemon juice and water

– Oil-free vinaigrettes made with vinegar or lemon juice

– Low-fat ranch, buttermilk, or avocado dressing

– Pesto made with basil, Parmesan, garlic, and olive oil

– Olive or avocado oil-based dressings like Green Goddess

You can also create your own healthy Caesar dressing substitutes. Blend Greek yogurt, citrus juice, seasonings, and just a touch of olive oil.

Should You Avoid Caesar Dressing If Pregnant?

Pregnant women don’t need to fully avoid Caesar dressing, but it’s smart to take some precautions:

– Use dressings made with pasteurized eggs to reduce any salmonella risk. This includes most major commercial brands.

– Check labels and select brands without any raw fish ingredients like anchovies. Some Caesar dressings are anchovy-free.

– Opt for light or fat-free versions to limit total fat, calories, and weight gain. Measure out servings.

– Make your own dressing with pasteurized eggs, olive oil, lemon juice, and no anchovies.

In moderation, most Caesar dressings are fine for pregnant women. But take care to choose safer brands and versions lower in fat and calories.

Storing Leftover Caesar Dressing

Like any creamy dressing, leftover Caesar dressing should be stored properly to prevent spoilage and food poisoning:

– Keep refrigerated at 40°F or below.

– Store in an airtight container to prevent contamination.

– Use within 3-5 days for best quality.

– Look for changes in texture, consistency, color, smell, or taste before using.

– Discard if mold appears or dressing separates.

– Don’t freeze Caesar dressing, as texture suffers.

With an unopened shelf-stable bottle, use by the expiration date. Once opened, use within 4-6 weeks.

Proper refrigeration and food handling helps prevent bacterial growth. Discard Caesar dressing if signs of spoilage appear.

Is it Safe to Use Expired Caesar Dressing?

It’s generally not recommended to use expired Caesar dressing. Once past its printed use-by or sell-by date, the risk increases of:

– Foodborne Illness – From microbial growth or bacterial contamination.

– Off-Flavors – Rancid tastes from degraded fats and oils.

– Separation – Poor texture from emulsifiers breaking down.

– Nutrient Loss – Vitamins and compounds degrade over time.

However, some Caesar dressings may retain quality for 1-2 weeks past printed date if continuously refrigerated. Examine closely before using:

– Verify normal color, consistency, smell and flavor. Discard if “off.”

– Check for mold growth, which can produce toxins. Never taste moldy dressing.

– Make sure raw eggs and fish were pasteurized or processed. This reduces pathogen risk.

For optimal food safety and quality, abide by “use-by” dates. But dressings in good condition may retain integrity slightly past label dates if refrigerated. Use caution.


Caesar salad dressing can be high in fat and calories, but its savory depth of flavor still makes it a popular choice. To lighten up, opt for measured servings of light or fat-free dressings, choose brands made with pasteurized eggs, and balance indulgence with nutritious salad ingredients. Savor the taste of Caesar in moderation as part of an overall healthy lifestyle.

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