hands holding a bowl of chicken caesar salad, dressing, croutons, and more chicken in the background

HOW TO MAKE A CAESAR SALAD WITH CHICKEN

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Ever wondered how to make a Caesar salad with chicken that’s both delicious and easy? Look no further, because I’ve got a recipe that’s going to turn your salad game up a notch with juicy chicken, crispy romaine, and the best homemade dressing!

What could possibly be better than a homemade Caesar salad with crispy croutons, crumbled bacon, freshly grated parmesan cheese, and the perfect homemade caesar dressing? I know, I know. I had to think for a minute there myself. Alllllmost nothing. Am I right?!

Well, if you’re a lover of chicken – whether it be juicy grilled chicken on the BBQ or tender, perfect-every-time chicken breast in the air fryer – then you already knoooow what I’m going to say. Chicken Caesar salads, baby! Adding chicken takes this classic to the next level, making it heartier and even more satisfying. It’s the upgrade you didn’t know you needed but won’t be able to live without!

bowl of chicken caesar salad, more chicken on a plate in the background

You know what’s great about this Chicken Caesar Salad recipe? It’s versatile! Don’t have chicken on hand? No problem! Swap it out for some shrimp, steak, or even tofu for a tasty vegetarian option. The beauty of homemade salads is that you can customize them to your heart’s content, making them perfect for any occasion or dietary preference.

And let’s talk about that dressing for a minute. Sure, you could use store-bought, but where’s the fun in that? Making your own Caesar dressing is easier than you think, and the flavor is out of this world! With just a few simple ingredients like egg yolk, Dijon mustard, garlic, and olive oil, you can create a creamy, tangy dressing that will have everyone coming back for seconds.

Let’s take a moment to appreciate the simplicity of this Chicken Caesar Salad recipe. With just a handful of ingredients and a few easy steps, you can create a restaurant-quality salad right in your own kitchen. It’s proof that sometimes, the most delicious meals are also the simplest. So next time you’re craving something satisfying yet effortless, give this Chicken Caesar Salad a try. Your taste buds are already thanking you!

INGREDIENTS FOR A CHICKEN CAESAR SALAD

ingredients for how to make a caesar salad with chicken - chicken breasts, romaine lettuce, olive oil, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt, pepper, parmesan, bacon bits, croutons, caesar dressing
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.

If you’ve ever wondered how to make a Caesar salad with chicken from scratch, then you’d be happy to know that it’s not only super easy to do but you only need a few simple ingredients to do it. Let’s discuss them in a little bit more detail down below:

  • Romaine Lettuce: Crisp and refreshing, romaine lettuce forms the base of a classic Caesar salad. It has a sturdy texture and slightly bitter taste that holds up well to creamy dressings. Choose fresh, vibrant green romaine heads with no wilting or browning. Of course, if you don’t have any on hand, you can always substitute a different leafy green. Iceberg lettuce, leaf lettuce, spinach, kale, or arugula all make great alternatives.

  • Croutons: Crunchy, seasoned bread cubes that add texture and flavour. Homemade croutons are the best as they can be customized to your taste (and they’re super easy to make!).

  • Parmesan Cheese: A hard, aged cheese with a sharp, nutty flavour that’s essential for authentic Caesar salad. Use freshly grated or shaved Parmesan cheese for the best flavour and texture. Avoid pre-grated cheese, which often contains additives.

  • Bacon Bits: Adds a savoury, smoky crunch to the salad. Use high-quality bacon for the best flavour and results. PRO TIP: Try my oven broiling bacon method and once the bacon is fully cooked, chop or crumble it into small pieces.

  • Caesar Dressing: The heart of a Caesar salad, made from a rich blend of egg yolk, Dijon mustard, fresh lemon juice, anchovy fillets, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and olive oil. This creamy and tangy dressing is whisked together to create a smooth, luscious sauce that perfectly coats the romaine lettuce. Freshly ground black pepper and a touch of salt enhance the flavours, creating a balanced and delicious dressing that ties the salad together. You can use a good quality store-bought Caesar dressing. Or you can easily make your own Caesar dressing from scratch by following this easy recipe.

  • Olive Oil: Helps the spices adhere to the chicken, keeps the chicken moist during cooking, and promotes even browning and juiciness during grilling or air-frying. Use extra virgin olive oil for the best flavor.

  • Garlic Powder: Provides a concentrated garlic flavour without the texture of fresh garlic. It’s used to season the chicken, adding a savoury depth.

  • Onion Powder: Adds a subtle sweetness and umami flavour, enhancing the overall taste of the chicken.

  • Paprika: Brings a mild, sweet pepper flavour with a vibrant red color, adding both taste and visual appeal to the chicken. Try using smoked paprika for an extra umph of flavour.

  • Salt: Essential for bringing out the natural flavours of the chicken and other spices.

  • Pepper: Adds a sharp, pungent flavour and a bit of heat to both the chicken and the salad itself. Freshly cracked pepper works best in this recipe and really gives it that restaurant quality look and taste.
bowl of caesar salad, plate of chicken in the background

HOW TO MAKE A CAESAR SALAD WITH CHICKEN (KEY TIPS)

piece of chicken, bacon, and a crouton on a fork over a bowl of cesar salad

You can find full instructions for how to make this chicken Caesar salad in the recipe card down below, but here are a few quick tips to keep in mind:

  • Use fresh, high-quality ingredients. Opt for fresh, crisp romaine lettuce and high-quality Parmesan cheese for the best flavour and texture. Fresh ingredients make a significant difference in the overall taste of the salad.

  • Chop the romaine lettuce into even bite-sized pieces for a consistent eating experience. This helps ensure that every bite has a perfect balance of lettuce, dressing, and toppings.

  • Dry the salad thoroughly (I can’t stress this enough!!!) After washing the romaine lettuce, ensure it’s COMPLETELY dry. Excess water can dilute the dressing and make the salad soggy. Use a salad spinner (the best way!) or pat the leaves dry with paper towels.

  • Making croutons from scratch gives you control over the seasoning and ensures they’re extra crunchy. Use day-old bread for the best texture and bake until golden brown. Find my easy recipe for homemade croutons HERE. EXTRA TIP: Cut the croutons into small, uniform bite-size cubes so you can evenly distribute them throughout the salad.

  • When making the Caesar dressing, slowly add the olive oil while whisking continuously to create a smooth emulsion. This will ensure a creamy and well-blended dressing. Taste the dressing and adjust the seasoning as needed. Add more lemon juice for acidity, more anchovy for umami, or more garlic for a pungent kick.

  • Whether grilling or air-frying the chicken, season it well and cook until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (75°C). Let the chicken rest before slicing to retain its juices. EXTRA TIP: Cut the cooked chicken into even bite-sized pieces so you can evenly distribute it throughout the salad.

  • Let the chicken cool a bit before adding it to the salad. The heat/steam from the hot chicken will wilt the lettuce if you add it on too soon.

  • Use freshly grated parmesan cheese that you grate yourself for the best flavour and results. Freshly grated Parmesan cheese has a superior flavour compared to pre-grated varieties. Use a microplane or fine grater for a light, fluffy texture that blends well with the salad. You can also shave it using a vegetable peeler.

  • Assemble just before serving. Combine the dressing and salad ingredients just before serving to keep the lettuce crisp. Toss gently to ensure the dressing coats the lettuce evenly without wilting it. EXTRA TIP: Add a final touch of freshly cracked black pepper before serving for an extra burst of flavour and a slight heat that complements the creamy dressing.
bowl of caesar salad with two forks next to a plate of sliced cooked chicken
FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

IS EATING A CHICKEN CAESAR SALAD HEALTHY?

Eating a Chicken Caesar Salad can be a healthy choice, especially when everything is homemade, as in this recipe. Here’s why:

Lean Protein: The grilled or air-fried chicken breast adds a substantial amount of lean protein, which is essential for muscle maintenance and repair.

Healthy Fats: Using extra virgin olive oil in the dressing provides healthy monounsaturated fats, which are beneficial for heart health.

Fresh Vegetables: Romaine lettuce is low in calories and high in essential nutrients like fiber, vitamins A and K, and folate, contributing to overall health.

Controlled Ingredients: Making the dressing and croutons from scratch allows you to control the quality and quantity of ingredients, reducing the amount of added sugars, unhealthy fats, and preservatives often found in store-bought versions.

Considerations:

Portion Control: While the ingredients are healthy, portion control is important. The dressing, although homemade, is calorie-dense due to the olive oil and cheese. Using a moderate amount ensures you get the flavor without excessive calories.

Balanced Meal: Adding chicken to the salad makes it a more balanced meal with a good mix of protein, healthy fats, and vegetables, which can help keep you fuller for longer.

Nutrient Density: The inclusion of fresh ingredients like lemon juice, garlic, and high-quality Parmesan cheese enhances the nutrient density of the salad, providing vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

HOW LONG DOES CHICKEN CAESAR SALAD LAST IN THE FRIDGE?

Chicken Caesar Salad is best enjoyed fresh, but if you have leftovers, they can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. To maintain optimal freshness, it’s a good idea to store the components separately: keep the salad greens, chicken, croutons, and dressing in individual airtight containers. This prevents the lettuce from becoming soggy and the croutons from losing their crunch.

When you’re ready to eat, simply combine the ingredients. If the salad has already been dressed, it may become soggy more quickly, so it’s best to consume it within a day. Always ensure that the chicken is properly refrigerated and hasn’t been left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours to prevent any risk of foodborne illness.

WHAT CAN I PUT IN MY SALAD INSTEAD OF CHICKEN?

If you’re looking for alternatives to chicken in your Caesar salad, there are plenty of options to consider. One popular substitution is shrimp or prawns or grilled tuna steaks, which add a delightful seafood twist to the dish. Alternatively, you can use tofu or tempeh for a vegetarian-friendly option, marinating and grilling them to add flavour and texture.

For a heartier salad, consider adding slices of steak or pork skewers. Additionally, you can experiment with different vegetables such as roasted vegetables, avocado slices, or even hard-boiled eggs for added protein. Whatever alternative you choose, be sure to season and prepare it to complement the flavours of the salad dressing and other ingredients.

bowl of caesar salad next to a plate of sliced cooked chicken

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hands holding a bowl of chicken caesar salad, dressing, croutons, and more chicken in the background

HOW TO MAKE A CAESAR SALAD WITH CHICKEN

Yield: 2 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Ever wondered how to make a Caesar salad with chicken that's both delicious and easy? Look no further, because I've got a recipe that's going to turn your salad game up a notch with juicy chicken, crispy romaine, and the best homemade dressing!

Ingredients

FOR THE SALAD

FOR THE CHICKEN

  • 2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Rub this mixture evenly over the chicken breasts.
    seasonings in a bowl with olive oil
    bowl of red sauce
    two seasoned raw chicken breasts in a bowl
  2. Cook chicken by following this grilling method or this air frying method.
    Alternatively, you can cook it in a skillet: Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken breasts for 6-7 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C). Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
    bowl of sliced cooked chicken
  3. In a large salad bowl, add the romaine lettuce. Drizzle with the prepared Caesar dressing and toss gently to coat the leaves evenly.
    bowl of chopped romaine lettuce drizzled with a creamy dressing
    bowl of chopped romaine lettuce tossed in caesar dressing
  4. Add the croutons, crumbled bacon, and sliced chicken. Toss lightly again to combine. Sprinkle the freshly grated Parmesan cheese over the salad. Add freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.
    bowl of caesar salad with sliced grilled chicken, croutons, dressing, and more chicken in the background

Notes

Try my oven broiled bacon for this recipe. When it's cooked, chop or crumble it into small pieces.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 661Total Fat: 38gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 158mgSodium: 1297mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 8gSugar: 5gProtein: 61g

Nutrition is only an estimate and calculated using Nutritionix.

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