Best Mexican Caesar Salad and Healthy Creamy Dressing

This is the best-tasting Mexican Caesar Salad recipe with a creamy Caesar dressing with cottage cheese. This healthy Mexican salad puts a vibrant twist on the original Caesar salad with romaine lettuce, avocado, black beans, corn, cotija cheese, and pepitas. The unique dressing is packed with bold flavors but is easy on the spice. The…

Mexican Caesar Salad recipe with Caesar dressing on a plate.

This is the best-tasting Mexican Caesar Salad recipe with a creamy Caesar dressing with cottage cheese. This healthy Mexican salad puts a vibrant twist on the original Caesar salad with romaine lettuce, avocado, black beans, corn, cotija cheese, and pepitas. The unique dressing is packed with bold flavors but is easy on the spice. The dressing ingredients include whipped cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, and zesty lime juice, elevating this side salad to a new level.

Perfect as a side dish or a light meal, this Mexican Caesar Salad is topped with crispy tortilla strips, adding an irresistible crunch to every bite. Get ready to enjoy a refreshing salad dressing that will make this salad a new favorite in your recipe collection.

Bring Your Own Spice Mild Recipe logo

BYOS: Flavor Without the Fire!

Love bold flavors but not the heat? Spice things up on your own terms with this BYOS recipe bursting with deliciousness. All the ingredients are prepped for easy digestion and a heartburn-free experience. Adjust the spice level to your preference—no more burnt tongues or tears here! Now, everyone can enjoy this recipe regardless of their spice tolerance!

YouTube video

Why You’ll Love This Mexican Caesar Salad Recipe

  • You only need a few simple ingredients.
  • It is super easy to make for an impressive result.
  • It is full of delicious flavor!
  • All the ingredients are easily digestible for a gentle tummy.
Mexican Caesar Salad recipe with Caesar dressing on a plate.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Here is everything you need to make my easy Caesar Salad with Mexican flavors:

Salad:

Crisp Romaine Lettuce: Can be replaced with kale, spinach, or a mixed greens blend.

Avocado: If unavailable, use diced cucumber or bell peppers for a refreshing crunch.

Corn: Substitute corn kernels with cooked quinoa or roasted chickpeas for extra protein.

Black Beans: Can be replaced with pinto beans or kidney beans.

Cotija Cheese: You can also use feta cheese, queso fresco, Monterey cheese, or cheddar cheese.

Toasted Pepitas: Crunchy pepitas can be substituted with sunflower seeds or chopped almonds.

Tortilla Strips: Use crushed tortilla chips or omit for a lower-carb option.

Mexican Caesar Dressing:

Cottage Cheese: Greek yogurt or silken tofu can be used for a similar creamy texture.

Almond Milk: Any milk (cow’s, soy, oat, etc.) will work.

Light Olive Oil: Avocado oil or extra-virgin olive oil can be used instead.

Fresh Cilantro: If you’re not a fan of cilantro, use parsley or green onions.

Fresh Lime juice: You can also use lime juice concentrate, lemon juice or apple cider vinegar.

Parmesan Cheese: Nutritional yeast can be used for a dairy-free option.

Worcestershire Sauce: Soy sauce or tamari (gluten-free) with a dash of vinegar can mimic the flavor.

Dijon Mustard: Yellow mustard or whole grain mustard can be used.

Garlic Powder: Fresh minced garlic cloves or shallots can be used.

Cumin: Smoked paprika or chili powder can add a different but complementary flavor.

Oregano: Dried basil or thyme can be substituted.

Salt: Adjust to taste; sea salt or Himalayan pink salt can be used.

Pepper: Freshly ground black pepper for a more robust flavor.

Mexican Caesar Salad recipe with Caesar dressing on a plate.

How to Make My Mexican Caesar Salad and Dressing Recipe

Here are easy, detailed, step-by-step instructions for making the best-tasting Caesar salad with Mexican flavors. The simple ingredients are also repeated in the recipe card at the bottom of this blog post.

Step 1: Make the Mexican Caesar Dressing

In a blender, food processor, or chopper cup with an immersion blender, combine the cottage cheese, almond milk, light olive oil, lime juice, parmesan cheese, cilantro leaves, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper. 

Blend until all ingredients are well combined, and the dressing is smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

Adding caesar dressing ingredients to a chopper cup.
Mixing caesar dressing in a chopper cup.

Step 2: Assemble the Salad

Add all the lettuce, black beans, corn, cilantro, cotija cheese, avocado slices, pepitas, and tortilla strips to a bowl or plate. Drizzle with dressing.

Toss gently to ensure all ingredients are evenly coated with the dressing. Serve immediately and enjoy your fresh, flavorful, healthy Mexican Caesar Salad!

Mexican Caesar Salad recipe with Caesar dressing on a plate.

Helpful Recipe Notes

Prep Ahead: You can prepare the salad ingredients ahead of time and store them separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator. Assemble the salad and add the dressing just before serving to maintain freshness and texture.

Dressing Consistency: If the dressing is too thick, add a little more almond milk to reach your desired consistency. If it’s too thin, add a bit more cottage cheese or a small amount of Greek yogurt.

​Delicious Ways to Enjoy Mexican Caesar Salad

  • Turn it into a meal with added protein by making my Crispy Pork Carnitas in Slow Cooker with Orange and Lime or Easy Juicy Carne Asada in Cast Iron Skillet or Hexclad.
  • Add slices of creamy avocado across the top of the salad for a rich, buttery texture.
  • Sprinkle thinly sliced red onions to add a zesty crunch.
  • Use Mexican cheese, such as queso fresco, for an authentic flavor boost.
  • Include a handful of dehydrated onion for extra flavor.
  • Top with homemade tortilla strips for a fresh, crispy element.
  • Add Monterey Jack croutons for a cheesy, crunchy addition.
  • Scatter crispy tortilla strips for the perfect crunch.
  • Enhance the salad dressing with a dash of Mexican spice seasoning for added flavor.
  • Garnish with lots of cilantro for a fresh, aromatic touch.
  • Halve grape tomatoes and add for a burst of color and sweetness.
  • Include slices of green jalapeno pepper for a burst of heat.

How to Make this Easy Mexican Caesar Salad Recipe Spicier

  • Add Fresh Jalapenos: Include thinly sliced fresh jalapenos in the salad for a kick of heat.
  • Spicy Dressing: Mix a pinch of cayenne pepper or a few dashes of hot sauce into the salad dressing.
  • Chipotle Peppers: Incorporate chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce for a smoky, spicy flavor.
  • Hot Sauce Drizzle: Drizzle your favorite hot sauce over the salad before serving.
  • Spicy Cheese: Use a spicier cheese like pepper jack instead of Cotija or Parmesan.
  • Crushed Red Pepper: Sprinkle crushed red pepper flakes over the salad for extra heat.
  • Spicy Tortilla Strips: Toss tortilla strips with chili powder or cayenne pepper before baking or frying.
  • Spicy Pepitas: Use spicy roasted pepitas as a topping for an added crunch and heat.
  • Serrano Peppers: Substitute serrano peppers for jalapenos for a hotter option.
  • Chili Oil: Drizzle a bit of chili oil over the salad for an intense, spicy flavor.

Separate Components: Store lettuce, avocado, corn, black beans, Cotija cheese, pepitas, tortilla strips, and cilantro separately in airtight containers or bags in the refrigerator.

Avocado: To prevent browning, sprinkle with lime juice and store in an airtight container.

Dressing Storage: Keep the dressing in an airtight container or jar with a tight-fitting lid.

Refrigeration: Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Shake or stir well before using. If the salad is already assembled and dressed, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Consume within 1-2 days for the best quality.

Can I make this Mexican salad ahead of time?
Yes, you can prepare the individual salad components ahead of time and store them separately in the refrigerator. Assemble the salad and add the dressing just before serving to keep everything fresh and crunchy.

What can I use instead of cottage cheese in the Caesar dressing?
Greek yogurt or silken tofu can be used as a substitute for cottage cheese to maintain a creamy texture while keeping the dressing healthy and high in protein.

Is this salad gluten-free?
Yes, the salad is gluten-free as long as you use gluten-free Worcestershire sauce and ensure that the tortilla strips and other ingredients are certified gluten-free.

How can I make this Mexican Caesar salad dairy-free?
For a dairy-free version, use dairy-free cottage cheese and Parmesan cheese alternatives. Ensure that the Worcestershire sauce is also vegan and gluten-free.

How long does the dressing last in the refrigerator?
The Mexican Caesar dressing can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Shake or stir well before using, as ingredients may separate over time.

Can I add protein to this salad?
Absolutely! Grilled chicken, shrimp, or tofu would be great additions to this salad, making it a more filling meal.

How do I prevent the avocado from browning?
To prevent the avocado from browning, sprinkle it with lime juice and store it in an airtight container if you’re preparing it ahead of time.

How can I make the dressing spicier?
To add some heat to the dressing, include a pinch of cayenne pepper or a few dashes of hot sauce to taste.

Mexican Caesar Salad recipe with Caesar dressing on a plate.

Best Mexican Caesar Salad and Healthy Creamy Dressing

Gluten-Free diet-friendly recipe
This is the best-tasting Mexican Caesar Salad recipe, with a creamy Caesar dressing made with cottage cheese. This healthy Mexican salad includes romaine lettuce, avocado, black beans, corn, cotija cheese, and pepitas. It's easy on the spice but bold in flavor, and it's the perfect side salad for your favorite Mexican dishes.
5 from 4 votes
Servings 2
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients
  

Salad Ingredients:

  • 4 cup romaine lettuce (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup cooked corn
  • 1/4 cup cooked black beans
  • 1/4 cup cilantro (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup cotija cheese (crumbled)
  • 1/2 avocado (diced)
  • 2 tablespoons pepitas
  • 1/2 cup tortilla strips

Mexican Caesar Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/3 cup milk (any type)
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil (or light olive oil)
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard (or mustard powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • dash black pepper

Instructions
 

Mexican Caesar Dressing:

  • In a blender, food processor, or chopper cup with an immersion blender, combine the cottage cheese, almond milk, light olive oil, lime juice, parmesan cheese, cilantro leaves, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper. 
    Blend until all ingredients are well combined, and the dressing is smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

Salad Assembly:

  • Add all the lettuce, black beans, corn, cilantro, cotija cheese, avocado slices, pepitas, and tortilla strips to a bowl or plate. Drizzle with dressing.
    Toss gently to ensure all ingredients are evenly coated with the dressing.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

Prep Ahead: You can prepare the salad ingredients ahead of time and store them separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator. Assemble the salad and add the dressing just before serving to maintain freshness and texture.
Dressing Consistency: If the dressing is too thick, add a little more almond milk to reach your desired consistency. If it’s too thin, add a bit more cottage cheese or a small amount of Greek yogurt.

Nutrition

Calories: 400kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 14gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 813mgPotassium: 862mgFiber: 9gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 8693IUVitamin C: 25mgCalcium: 252mgIron: 4mg
Keyword avocado, black beans, caesar dressing, caesar salad, mexican salad
Did you make this recipe and love it?Please let me know in the comments below how it turned out 🙂

7 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is a delicious salad! I made it with your carne asada and it turned out so well. I love that it wasn’t too spicy but still had tons of flavor. Will make again!

  2. 5 stars
    I’m so excited to share this recipe with you! The dressing is creamy and cheesy and full of flavor.

5 from 4 votes

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