Is Caesar Dressing Keto?

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Written by Brenda Peralta, Registered Dietitian and medically reviewed by Abby Courtenay

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Dressings are a good way to increase your fat intake on a keto diet. 

However, one of the potential problems with these condiments is that sometimes they are high in sugar, making them unsuitable for a ketogenic diet. 

So, is Caesar salad dressing good for keto? Are there any ingredients that should be swapped out? And what does it go well with on a ketogenic eating plan? 

In this article, we will explore everything related to this dressing and how you can include it on a ketogenic diet. How many carbs does it have? Is it high in sodium? And much more!


What is Caesar dressing?

It is one of the most common condiments on the market, typically used to make a Caesar salad. 

This creamy, fat-based dressing typically uses the following ingredients: 

  • mayo
  • olive oil
  • lemon juice
  • anchovy paste
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Garlic
  • Parmesan cheese

Once you gather all the ingredients, you whisk them together until they are fully combined. Finally, season it with salt and pepper to taste. 

When you have the dressing, mix it with lettuce and parmesan cheese. 

Normally, croutons are added to the salad, but since they are high in carbs, keto followers should skip them. For an extra crunch, you can add sunflower seeds or sliced almonds.


Caesar dressing nutrition facts

There are different versions of this dressing. You can get regular, low-fat, or fat-free. In this case, we are going to analyze the regular version. 

Serving size: 1 tablespoon

  • Calories: 80 
  • Fat: 8.5 g
  • Net carbs: 0.4 g
  • Total carbs: 0.5 g
  • Fiber: 0.1 g
  • Protein: 0.3 g

This data is for the store-bought version. You can also make your own at home!

As you can see, Caesar dressing is very low in carbs. It has less than 1 gram of net carbs (0.4 g) per tablespoon, making it a great option for those following a ketogenic diet. 

It is high in fat, helping you achieve your fat intake. Remember that on keto, a good fat intake is important so your body can get enough energy. 

Finally, one of the problems with this dressing is that it is low in protein. Protein plays a crucial role in weight loss since it helps preserve muscle mass and increase satiety levels. Thus, it’s a good idea to add some protein when eating this food, like chicken, meat, fish, seafood, or tofu.




Are you allowed to eat Caesar dressing on keto?

Yes, Caesar dressing is keto-friendly.

It is low in carbs and high in fats, making it a good option to help you reach your fat requirements. 

A typical ketogenic diet has 70-80% of calories coming from fat. While you may think that’s easy to accomplish, some people have difficulty reaching it. Including high-fat foods like this dressing can be beneficial in these cases. 

Make sure to track your portion size by measuring out how many tablespoons you want to use, rather than squeezing the bottle directly over your food. 


How much Caesar dressing can you have on a keto diet? 

Since mayonnaise should be eaten in moderation and is typically a main ingredient,you don’t want to eat unlimited amounts of Caesar on keto, even though it is low in carbs.

As a recommendation, consuming 1 to 3 tablespoons per meal is a reasonable amount. How much to have also depends on your daily caloric intake and the amount of fat you need. 


What kind of Caesar dressing can you have on keto? 

While doing keto, you can have store-bought or homemade versions. 
To make it at home you need:

  • Garlic
  • Anchovy paste
  • Lemon juice
  • Dijon mustard
  • Mayo
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Worcestershire sauce 

Combine all the ingredients in a blender.

You can buy it from a store if you don’t want to make it at home. Here are some brands of Caesar dressing that are low in carbs (serving size is 2 tablespoons):

  • Primal Kitchen. It’s a very good option since it only has 1g of net carb per serving. 
  • Gourmet Natural Classic. It only has 1 g of net carbs. However, it is a bit high in sodium since it has 210 mg per serving. 
  • Wish-Bone Light Creamy. 2 g net carbs and less calories than others. A great option for those looking to cut back on their calories. 
  • 365 Organic. For those looking for an organic option, this brand has the best one. It also has less than one net carb per serving, making it an ideal organic keto option. 
  • Kraft. While it is high in sodium (320 mg per serving), it is ok for keto since it has 2 g of net carbs. However, since it is high sodium, make sure you are careful with your salt consumption and other processed foods. 




What can you eat with Caesar dressing on keto?

The most common way to have it is with a salad. You mix lettuce, the dressing, parmesan cheese, and low-carb croutons. 

The benefit of Caesar salad is that you can use it as a base for all sorts of toppings.

For example, if you want to increase your protein intake, you can add some grilled shrimp, chicken, or tofu

To increase fat, you can add olives, nuts, or seeds.

To get some extra nutrients, add tomatoes, spinach, bell peppers, or any number of vegetables.

Not in the mood for salad?

Drizzle the dressing directly over chicken, meat, or grilled vegetables. Or why not use it as a marinade or dipping sauce!


Keto-friendly Caesar alternatives

No matter how much you love this dressing, it’s best not to eat it every day. Having a variety of dressings and condiments allows you to prevent boredom with your food options, so try ketogenic versions of these favorites:

You can have any of your choice as long as it’s low in carbs. Make sure to read the nutrition label to check how many grams of carbs it has. You’ll probably want to avoid those with more than 3 grams of net carbs per serving.

And remember, you can always make your own dressing at home and experiment with adding new flavors, herbs, and spices. 

FAQ about using this condiment on a keto diet 

Are you still having questions related to this dressing and the keto diet? Here are the most frequently asked questions to help you!

Most types have less than 1 gram of carbs per tablespoon, making this an ideal option for people following a ketogenic diet. Still, it’s a good idea to always check the nutrition label just in case.

It is only high in carbs if you include regular croutons in the salad since lettuce, parmesan, and the dressing are all low-carb. 

You can lower the carbohydrates by removing the croutons and replacing them with cheese crisps, sunflower seeds, almonds, or walnuts.

Store-bought, bottled versions of Caesar do not contain raw eggs because they are not shelf stable. 

However, when freshly made, this dressing often may include raw or partially cooked egg yolks. It is possible to make a delicious version without using eggs, so If you’re eating at a restaurant, you can ask the server if they use a recipe with raw eggs.

No, it’s better to have the regular version. 

Products that are advertised as fat-free may contain more sugar to boost the taste. 

Thus, the best option is the regular version since it’s high in fat and low in sugar, while the reduced version is the other way around. 

You can absolutely make a low-carb vegan Caesar sauce using ingredients like mustard, lemon juice, garlic, and capers (including the brine). Other possible ingredients to experiment with are tahini, nutritional yeast, and miso paste. 

Some recipes call for cashews, which are a bit high in carbs for keto, but should be okay as long as you watch your serving size.

Yes, if you don’t like the taste of anchovies you can leave them out. 

It might affect the flavor of the recipe, but you will get the same nutritional value (high fat and low in carbs).