If you’ve been out to lunch with a friend and each ordered a Caesar salad with a side of fries to share, then you are already part of this summer’s biggest TikTok trend.  

“The feminine urge to get a Caesar salad with a side of fries” is the slogan of several TikTok videos about the trend, which sometimes includes a beverage: either a dry martini or a diet Coke. 

The trend is akin to last year’s “Girl Dinner” (a dinner consisting of small snacks and appetizers with a quick prep time), with many TikTokers celebrating the combination as the epitome of a “fancy” meal. 

As people rave about the balanced flavors and textures—salty, tangy, and crispy—it’s clear this meal resonates on multiple levels. But for those embracing a plant-based lifestyle, transforming this classic into a vegan go-to meal is entirely possible. 

RELATED: No, You Don’t Need Anchovies in Your Caesar Salad Dressing

TikTok food trend goes vegan

Want to make this TikTok food trend into a staple vegan meal you will be having all summer long? Here’s the lowdown.

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The key to a delicious Caesar salad is a combination of briny, salty flavors carried by crisp lettuce and with a bready element such as croutons. The classic Caesar achieves this using animal-derived ingredients, none of which are necessary for a spot-on Caesar. Combine the below vegan ingredients for the perfect Caesar salad.

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1Caesar salad dressing

Traditional Caesar dressing is rich and creamy, often made with egg yolk, mayonnaise, anchovies, garlic, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and Parmesan cheese. This dressing is essential for giving the salad its distinctive briny taste. However, there are plenty of vegan alternatives that offer the same delicious experience.

Brands such as Follow Your Heart, Daiya, and Mother Raw have developed fantastic vegan Caesar dressings that perfectly replicate the creamy texture and tangy flavor of the traditional version. These store-bought options make it easy to enjoy a vegan Caesar salad without any hassle.

If you prefer to make your dressing at home, you can whip up a delicious vegan version using simple ingredients. Blending soaked cashews with water, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, capers, garlic, and nutritional yeast until smooth creates a dressing that provides the same creamy consistency and nuanced taste as the original.

Caesar-Salad-CupsFollow Your Heart

2Vegan Parmesan cheese

No Caesar salad is complete without a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Fortunately, there are many vegan options that deliver the same savory flavor. Nutritional yeast is a popular choice, often referred to as “nooch,” which can be sprinkled directly onto the salad. 

For a more traditional texture, try making cashew Parmesan by blending raw cashews, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and salt until you achieve a crumbly consistency. 

Or you can reach for a store-bought vegan cheese by Follow Your Heart, Good Planet, or Violife. The latter even comes in a grateable wedge for the full experience. 

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3Croutons and additional toppings

Croutons are a vital component, adding a crunchy texture to the salad. While most store-bought croutons are vegan, making your own is simple and allows for customization. Toss bread cubes with olive oil, garlic powder, and herbs, then bake until they are golden and crispy.

To enhance your vegan Caesar salad, consider adding some creative ingredients. Curly kale can be used instead of (or mixed with) romaine lettuce for a different texture and flavor. Smoky chickpeas or crispy tofu strips can add extra protein. 

You can even go one step further and create a vegan chicken Caesar with a crispy cutlet from Meati Foods, Gardein, Alpha Foods, or a number of other brands that make meatless chicken

And you don’t have to stick to the salad format to enjoy the trend, either. Make the salad into a burger like Instagrammer Hannah Kling by air-frying a vegan burger patty (she used Dr. Praeger’s), toasting a bun, and layering in plenty of homemade Caesar salad for a new way to do summer’s “it” meal. 

French fries

The second element of this trend is a bowl of shared fries. And because they are typically just fried potatoes, French fries are already vegan-friendly—but not always. 

If you’re crafting your TikTok meal from takeout, then steer clear of McDonald’s, Checkers, and Popeye’s, where the fries are made with animal products such as beef lard and/or milk powder.  

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Instead, you can choose Burger King, KFC, Wendy’s, or another one of these fast-food chains with vegan-friendly fries

To make your own, simply air-frying cut-up potatoes and then sprinkle them with a bit of salt. For something a little fancier, you can try our recipes for Supreme Vegan Nacho Fries With Tofu Bacon Crumbles or Poutine With Herby Gravy and Mozzarella.

The drink

The third component of the trend is a choice between two very specific drinks: one for the boozy ladies and another for the non-alcoholic queens. 

A perfect dry martini, which complements the brininess of the Caesar salad, is typically made with either vodka or gin, vermouth, and an olive (or three) as a garnish. 

While the spirits in this drink are typically vegan friendly, the vermouth is a type of fortified wine, that opens the door to animal products in the fining process such as albumin (an egg derivative), gelatin (derived from animal bones), or isinglass (which comes from fish bladders).  

MartiniTaryn Elliott/Pexels

To err on the vegan side, alcohol resource Barnivore can help determine which vermouths are made without animal products for your perfect martini

For a booze-free option, the trend calls for a Diet Coke, the sweetness of which cuts through some of the saltier elements of the meal. But is Coca-Cola vegan? It sure is and so is Pepsi, if that’s more your style. 

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Here at VegNews, we live and breathe the vegan lifestyle, and only recommend products we feel make our lives amazing. Occasionally, articles may include shopping links where we might earn a small commission. In no way does this effect the editorial integrity of VegNews.

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