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Apr 24

Caesar Salad Parmesan Cups

Sometimes simple recipes can produce elegant results. That’s how I feel about these salad cups. Ever since I made Parmesan Crisps for my Roasted Tomato Basil Soup recipe, I’ve wanted to make them into cups (surprise, surprise…you know me and my muffin tins!). When I was thinking about what to put into the cups, Caesar salad was the first thing to pop into my head. I found a great light Caesar dressing recipe on Cooking Light and reduced the quantity and I think the tangy flavor works really well here. If you want to make these super easy you could always use your favorite light Caesar bottled dressing, but the one below is easy to throw together and really flavorful. These fancy little Caesar cups would be great as a first course at a dinner party, an appetizer, a side dish, or even just a fun snack. At only 47 calories each, you may want to eat them for all of the above!

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Caesar Salad Parmesan Cups

Yield: 10 cups


  • 3 oz Parmesan cheese, grated (freshly grated from a block, not the kind that comes in a can – use the small-hole side of a box cheese grater to grate your own)
  • 3 tablespoons fat free plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon anchovy paste (omit if making this vegetarian)
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 4 cups chopped Romaine lettuce


  1. Preheat the oven to 300. Lightly mist a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  2. Working in batches (I did 3-4 per baking sheet, so 3 batches) make 10 piles of 2 tablespoons of Parmesan each onto the parchment paper, leaving several inches in between. If there is extra Parmesan set it aside. With the back of a spoon, flatten each pile until evenly spread into a thin circle. Bake each tray on the middle rack in the oven for 3 - 3 ½ minutes until cheese is bubbly but not yet golden/crisp. Remove from oven and immediately life each cheese round off the sheet with a metal spatula and transfer it into a cup in the prepared muffin tin. Use your fingers to push the cheese into the cup to shape it. When all 10 piles have been transferred to the muffin tin, place the tin into the oven and back the cups for an additional 5 minutes or until the cups are golden and crispy. Allow the cups to cool for a minute and then remove them from the tin to cool.
  3. While the cups are baking, combine the yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, anchovy paste, Dijon mustard, pepper and garlic in a bowl and whisk together until thoroughly combined. In a large bowl, combine the dressing and lettuce together and toss to coat.
  4. When the Parmesan cups have cooled, fill each one with about ¼ cup of the dressed salad and sprinkle any remaining grated Parmesan over the tops of the cups. Serve immediately.

You can store the Parmesan cups in a Ziploc or airtight container in the refrigerator for several days. Only dress the portion of salad you plan to use and store any leftover dressing, lettuce and Parmesan cups separately. Assemble as needed.

Weight Watchers Points Plus:
1 per cup (P+ calculated using the recipe builder on

Nutrition Information:
47 calories, 1 g carbs, 3 g fat, 4 g protein, 0 g fiber (from

An Emily Bites Original, dressing adapted from Cooking Light


29 Responses to “Caesar Salad Parmesan Cups”

  1. #
    SamS. — April 24, 2012 @ 12:58 am

    Thanks for doing this… are the points for just the yummy cups?

    • emilybites replied: — April 24th, 2012 @ 12:59 am

      The Points and NI are for the salad and Parmesan cup.

  2. #
    Lauren — April 24, 2012 @ 2:25 am

    Emily – what I love about your recipes, particularly the muffin recipes, is that they work so well as a way to portion my food throughout the week but also they are the coolest and cutest idea for entertaining! I can totally use these caeser salad cups for a friends upcoming bridal shower and they would get tons of rave reviews both in presentation and taste! Always excited to try another one of your recipes!

    • emilybites replied: — April 27th, 2012 @ 12:17 am

      Aw, thanks, Lauren! These would be perfect for a bridal shower. I hope everyone loved them. Let me know! :)

  3. #
    Ariana — April 24, 2012 @ 1:26 pm

    These are adorable and so yummy looking!! They’d be PERFECT for a dinner party, so classy!

    • emilybites replied: — April 27th, 2012 @ 12:18 am

      Thanks, Ariana! I agree, they would be fab at a dinner party :)

  4. #
    reinidays — April 24, 2012 @ 3:32 pm

    These look great, and so tasty! Can’t wait to try them!

    • emilybites replied: — April 27th, 2012 @ 12:18 am

      I hope you like them!

  5. #
    Anonymous — April 24, 2012 @ 9:01 pm

    I can hardly wait to try this recipe; they look amazing!

    • emilybites replied: — April 27th, 2012 @ 12:18 am

      Hope you love them!

  6. #
    Anonymous — April 25, 2012 @ 12:21 am

    Trying this recipe tomorrow along with your philly cheesesteak recipe. Can’t wait

    • emilybites replied: — April 27th, 2012 @ 12:19 am

      Hope you loved them both!

  7. #
    Anonymous — April 25, 2012 @ 5:47 pm

    Love your receipes everything I have made turned out great. Really in love with the wonton cups. Thanks for all your time and effort. Suzaane

    • emilybites replied: — April 27th, 2012 @ 12:19 am

      Thank you! I’m so glad you’ve loved everything you’ve made :)

  8. #
    Anonymous — May 9, 2012 @ 11:48 pm

    So what am I doing wrong? My cheese just turned out a big blob!
    Went ahead and mixed the dressing (delicious) and ate the salad
    without the ‘bowl’.

    • emilybites replied: — May 11th, 2012 @ 1:55 am

      It’s hard for me to tell you what went wrong without being there, but I am guessing you didn’t spread the cheese out enough? If it’s still piled it will just become a blob, but it you spread it into a thin circle it should crisp right up! Hope that helps :)

  9. #
    Karyn McK — June 23, 2012 @ 5:26 pm

    These look fantastic and I cannot wait to try them. But just a heads up though–Worcestershire sauce has anchovies in it too. You would have to omit that as well to make it vegetarian.

  10. #
    Anonymous — July 31, 2012 @ 9:04 pm

    Are these with regular muffins tins or mini-muffin tins? Hard to tell. Thanks! Can’t wait to try!

    • emilybites replied: — July 31st, 2012 @ 10:59 pm

      Regular sized. Hope you like it!

  11. #
    OPENMIND — November 13, 2012 @ 12:38 am

    Hi Emily,
    I just had bypass surgery, and it’s all about portion control! High protein and low fat all in a little cupcake size portion. I just love it! Some people believe that WLS is the laziest way to lose weight but believe me this is no cake walk, this is the hardest thing I have ever done. If I didn’t have 150lbs to lose, weight watchers would be my choice. So why not do both! It is people like you who have offered a solution to portion control with a very healthy twist! Thanks for giving us the calorie and protein break down! I just love looking at your site. From the bottom of my heart Thank you Dorian

  12. #
    Anonymous — November 18, 2012 @ 6:37 pm

    So far I am loving all your recipes. My husband declared the french dip bites the best ever, in fact he called you a culinary genius. This recipe, however, did not turn out so good. During the final baking step, my cheese slid down the sides of the muffin tin and left me with a glob of crispy cheese at the bottom – no cup. What did I do wrong?

    • Kelli replied: — December 23rd, 2012 @ 9:04 pm

      I had the exact same problem with the cheese cups. I got them into the greased muffin tin with no problem, but after I let them crisp up for 5 minutes, they were a pile of cheese on the bottom. My husband suggested that next time, I turn the muffin tin over, spray that side w/ nonstick spray, and cook them on the outside of the cups.

  13. #
    Erin G. — January 13, 2013 @ 4:44 pm

    Hi Emily,

    Just a question on the amount of cheese. 3oz of grated parm would only equal 6 cheese cups that are made with 2tbsp of cheese each. 1 oz equals 2 tbsp, so I’m confused how 3 oz would produce 10 cups? If you were to make 10 cheese cups, you would need more than 3 oz of cheese, thus changing the point value of each cup. Please let me know if I’m reading something wrong. Thanks a bunch!

    • emilybites replied: — January 13th, 2013 @ 4:49 pm

      Hi Erin,
      3 oz is the weight…perhaps you’re thinking volume? When I grated my cheese as described above I had plenty of cheese for each cup. I’m not quite sure how you’re doing your calculations, but I weighed out a 3 oz block of Parmesan and then grated it with the small hole side of my box grater and then made 10 Parmesan cups with it and it worked perfectly.

  14. #
    Anonymous — February 9, 2013 @ 7:04 pm

    Hey, FYI Worcestershire sauce isn’t vegetarian. It contains anchovy paste, so vegetarians would need to omit that as well. I think there might be vegetarian/vegan brands of Worcestershire sauce, but they are probably a little harder to find. I like to use a combination of soy sauce and liquid smoke to substitute the smoky/salty flavor of the sauce… but that’s just me :)

  15. #
    Anonymous — May 18, 2013 @ 12:26 pm

    Just a thought–would it be easier to drape the cheese over the back of the muffin cups? Can’t wait to try to recipe.

  16. #
    Beth — November 27, 2014 @ 11:51 am

    Did you actually make these before posting this??? Baking them again once in the tin causes them to collapse on themselves and become a mushy mess. Should have gone with my gut instincts and just let them cool. DO NOT bake once in tin. You’ll ruin your recipe like I just did

    • Emily Bites replied: — December 2nd, 2014 @ 2:38 pm

      I did, but I’m sorry you had an issue!

  17. #
    Arlene — May 23, 2015 @ 10:49 pm

    These were an epic fail all around. Impossible to scoop from the parchment paper into the muffin tin. They all went in like a blob. Then you cannot spread them up the sides of the muffin tin after that. Very disappointing.

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