Homemade Caesar Salad with Candied Yam Croutons-Gluten and Dairy free

Homemade Caesar Salad with Candied Yam Croutons-Gluten and Dairy free

Satisfy your Caesar craving without gluten and dairy with this variation.

Who doesn’t love a Caesar Salad? But have you ever ordered a Caesar at a restaurant excited to dive into all that garlicky goodness only to be overwhelmed with to much rich dressing, crouton inflicted gum injuries and cheap bacon bits?There are Caesar salads and then there are real Cesar salads! Having done years of bi-annual cleanses, my husband and I have worked out this recipe to enjoy our love for Cesar but without dairy or gluten and it is an absolute go to! The candied yams are little pockets of deliciousness, naturally sweet, and are a fun bread replacement. We add some red onion and roasted pumpkin seeds to up the nutrition and wholeness of the salad as well. Serve as a main with some grilled, roasted or baked chicken or add roasted or fresh garbanzo beans. Change up your add ins to suit your needs.

  • Gluten free
  • Dairy free
  • Refined sugar free
  • Nut free
  • Cleanse program friendly

Ingredients (for 2 people) 

Candied yams:

  • 1 medium yam, peeled and cubed into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • 2 medium cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 anchovy fillets or approximately 1/2 tsp paste
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • Twist of black pepper
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp nutritional yeast


  • Romaine, washed and torn into bite size pieces, enough for serving 2
  • Red onion, thinly sliced (optional), about 1/2 cup
  • Roasted pumpkin seeds (optional), about 1/3 cup. See note
  • 2 chicken breasts, Grilled, baked or sautéed if making this a main dish
  • Alternatively, omit chicken and add a different protein such as canned chickpeas or sautéed tempeh if desired.


Candied Yam Croutons:

  • Pre-heat oven to 425F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • Toss cubed yams in oil, just enough to coat, some salt and pepper to taste and spread out on sheet.
  • Bake in oven and give a stir every 10 minutes for 40 minutes of total baking time. Watch not to burn but you do want them coming out browned.
  • Let sit a cool about 10-15 minutes. They should harden up.


  • Place all ingredients, except for lemon juice and nutritional yeast, into the cup of an immersion blender small blender bowl and blend until smooth. Consistency should be fairly runny.
  • Add lemon juice and blend on the higher setting of your immersion blender until dressing becomes thick.
  • Add nutritional yeast and stir in by hand, do not blend with blender.


  • Wash and spin lettuce, tear into bite size pieces. Add red onions, cooled pumpkin seeds and cooled candied yam croutons. Add enough dressing to evenly coat your salad. You may have extra to use for another small side or as a dip for something else. Just use within a couple of days.
  • Top with chicken or preferred protein, or have as is as a side!

*Note: Pumpkin seeds can simply be tossed dry into a small fry pan and heated on medium high until they begin to sizzle and become aromatic. Don’t burn!

Want more salads?

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Refreshing Watermelon Summer Salad

Mexican Black Bean and Quinoa Salad

Creamy Tahini Brown Rice Salad

Cauliflower Tabouli

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Inner Vision Health and Wellness Karyn Lawson RMT INHC