Caesar salad dressing is a delicious creamy dressing made with olive oil, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, anchovies, egg yolks, Parmesan cheese, and other seasonings. It’s a popular topping for green salads and also often used as a dip for fresh vegetables. Homemade Caesar dressing can add freshness and flavor to salads, but like any perishable food it’s important to store it properly in the refrigerator to extend its shelf life.
Properly stored, homemade Caesar salad dressing will last 3-5 days in the refrigerator. To maximize freshness and shelf life, store the dressing in an airtight container to prevent it from absorbing fridge odors. Make sure your refrigerator temperature is at or below 40°F. Keep the dressing towards the back of the fridge where temperatures are cooler.
How can you tell if Caesar dressing has gone bad?
Here are some signs that homemade Caesar dressing has spoiled and should be discarded:
- Changes in consistency – Separates into watery and greasy layers or becomes thicker and gloopy
- Sour smell – Smells unpleasantly sour or tangy
- Mold growth – Any fuzzy mold spots on the surface
- Off colors – Unnatural colors like yellow, pink, blue, or green
As a general rule of thumb, trust your senses – if Caesar dressing develops an unpleasant odor, flavor, appearance or texture, it should not be consumed.
How to store Caesar salad dressing
Here are some tips for maximizing the refrigerator shelf life of homemade Caesar dressing:
- Store in an airtight container – Pour the dressing into an airtight container like a mason jar or storage container with an airtight lid. This prevents refrigerator odors from seeping in and altering the flavor.
- Refrigerate promptly – Refrigerate within 2 hours of making. Don’t leave the dressing sitting out at room temperature.
- Place towards the back of the fridge – Position the container towards the back of the top shelf where temperatures are cooler.
- Avoid cross-contamination – Use clean utensils each time you scoop out dressing. Don’t re-dip a spoon that has touched salad greens back into the dressing.
- Keep refrigerated until serving – Remove only as much dressing as needed and keep the remainder chilled until ready to use.
How long does homemade Caesar dressing last in the fridge?
Properly stored, homemade Caesar dressing will maintain quality and freshness in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. Here are some general guidelines for how long it keeps refrigerated:
|Freshly made Caesar dressing||3-5 days|
|Caesar dressing made with pasteurized eggs||5-7 days|
|Caesar dressing made with raw eggs||3-4 days|
The shelf life depends on several factors like quality of ingredients, storage method, and how frequently you open and dip into the container. Dressing made with pasteurized eggs can last a bit longer than dressing made with raw eggs.
How to tell if Caesar dressing has expired
Here are signs that Caesar dressing is no longer good:
- Sour, unpleasant smell
- Changed consistency – thinner, thicker, separation
- Mold growth
- Off colors
- Expired “use by” date (for store-bought dressing)
When in doubt, don’t risk it – you can’t judge Caesar dressing strictly by sight, smell or taste. Throw away the dressing if there are any signs of spoilage.
How to make Caesar dressing last longer
Here are some tips to extend the shelf life of homemade Caesar salad dressing:
- Use pasteurized eggs – Pasteurized eggs stay safe and fresh longer than raw eggs.
- Store in small batches – Divide into smaller containers. This minimizes contamination from repeated opening.
- Add vinegar – The acetic acid helps inhibit bacterial growth and acts as a preservative.
- Keep refrigerated – Refrigeration at 40°F or below is important for safety and freshness.
- Use clean utensils – Always use a clean spoon to scoop to avoid introducing bacteria.
- Freeze for longer storage – Freeze in an airtight container for 1-3 months.
How long can you freeze Caesar dressing?
Homemade Caesar dressing can be frozen for 1 to 3 months for longer term storage. To freeze:
- Make sure dressing is freshly made and chilled.
- Pour into a freezer-safe airtight container, leaving headspace.
- Seal and label container with date.
- Freeze for up to 3 months at 0°F or below.
- Thaw in refrigerator before using.
Freezing prevents bacterial growth by halting spoilage. Thawed dressing may have slightly different texture but will retain its flavor.
Homemade Caesar salad dressing can add fresh, delicious flavor to salads and vegetables. With proper refrigerated storage in an airtight container, it will keep for 3 to 5 days. Check for signs of spoilage before eating, and discard if it has an off smell, appearance, or texture. Follow the recipe carefully, and implement tips like using pasteurized eggs and vinegar to help extend the shelf life. Freeze for even longer storage. Following basic food safety practices will help your homemade Caesar dressing stay fresher longer.