Recipes » Dinner » BEST Chicken Caesar Salad

BEST Chicken Caesar Salad

Jump to Recipe
5 from 14 votes

A staple recipe in your household should be this chicken Caesar salad! Juicy grilled or baked chicken, garlicky Caesar dressing, lots of parmesan cheese, and crazy good homemade croutons: it’s seriously the best.

If I had one final meal to choose, this just might be it. There’s a lot of chicken Caesar salad recipes out there but here’s why this one’s the best!

Why This Chicken Caesar Salad Is the Best

  • Grilled or baked chicken? I’ll show you both. You choose. Either is awesome.
  • The dressing is light, lemony and garlicky (AKA perfection).
  • Parmesan cheese…we won’t be skimping.
  • Homemade croutons that you’ll want on your salad (and right into your mouth).
  • It’s a “whole meal” salad! No side dishes needed.

Ingredients

  • Romaine lettuce – romaine is the classic lettuce in Caesar salad. It’s crunchy and crisp.
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (or parmesan cheese) – Parmigiano-Reggiano is the absolute best cheese for Caesar salad, but regular parmesan cheese works well too! I like to use the coarse setting of a box grater to grate my cheese. Coarsely grated cheese can’t be beaten in Caesar salad!
  • Chicken breasts – chicken breasts can be grilled or baked. I’ll show you both methods.
  • Extra virgin olive oil – olive oil is used as the base for our Caesar dressing and to help toast homemade croutons.
  • Tabasco sauce – tabasco adds tanginess. Don’t worry…the dressing doesn’t taste like tabasco.
  • Garlic – lots of garlic is key to an awesome Caesar dressing and deliciously garlicky croutons.
  • Worcestershire sauce – Worcestershire sauce is a great blend of flavor, made from vinegar, spices, garlic, onions, and anchovies.
  • Grainy Dijon mustard – Dijon mustard adds peppery tang without being mustard-forward.
  • Lemon – lemon adds brightness and astringency.
  • Balsamic vinegar – balsamic is a delicious, easy marinade for the chicken.
  • Soft sandwich bread – regular sandwich bread from the bread aisle is the best for homemade croutons. I like oatmeal or pumpernickel bread. I usually use Pepperidge Farm Oat Bread (this is not an ad).
chicken caesar salad ingredients

How to Make Chicken Caesar Salad

Full instructions in the recipe card; this is just an outline!

  1. Cook chicken.

    Marinate chicken in balsamic, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and salt and pepper. For grilled chicken, preheat grill to high heat, and grill each side for 6 minutes (total 12 minutes) until chicken register at least 165 degrees. For baked chicken, bake at 425 degrees for 17-21 minutes. Set aside.

  2. Prep romaine.

    Stack romaine leaves, and chop them into bite-sized pieces. Place romaine in a large bowl.

  3. Make dressing.

    In a medium bowl, whisk together ¾ cup olive oil, minced garlic, lemon, tabasco, Worcestershire, mustard, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

  4. Make croutons.

    For croutons, stack sandwich bread slices. Cut off crusts. Cut bread into roughly ½ inch cubes. In a large skillet, add ¼ cup olive oil, sliced garlic, and salt to taste. Preheat pan over medium-high heat until garlic starts to sizzle. Add cubed bread. Toast for 7-14 minutes, tossing often, until croutons are golden. Remove pan from burner, and remove toasted garlic slices if desired.

  5. Toss salad.

    Toss in three-quarters of the dressing to the romaine. Lettuce should look shiny and well-dressed. Add more dressing if needed. Then mix in coarsely grated cheese.

  6. Slice chicken.

    Slice chicken. Either toss in chicken slices, or plate salad and top with chicken.

  7. Serve.

    Plate, finishing with croutons, a little more grated cheese, and black pepper.
    serve chicken caesar salad with more cheese, croutons and black pepper

Tips & Tricks

  • Make sure to rinse and dry romaine well unless it’s pre-washed.
  • I recommend using the coarse setting of a box grater to grate parmesan cheese.
  • Parmigiano-reggiano cheese is the best (it’s aged and more complex than regular parmesan), but regular parmesan cheese also works and is less expensive.
  • The best bread for croutons is regular, soft sandwich bread from the bread aisle in the grocery store! I love Pepperidge Farm Oat Bread (this is not an ad).
  • If you like a lot of chicken, I recommend 1 ½ pounds instead of 1 pound of breasts.
  • You might want to grate extra cheese to garnish!

Chicken Caesar Salad Variations

Looking for a substitution or variation on this chicken Caesar salad? Here are some ideas:

  • Anchovies or anchovy paste: Worcestershire sauce includes anchovies, but if you prefer a more anchovy-forward dressing, add in some anchovy paste or anchovy fillets to the dressing.
  • No croutons or store-bought croutons: although homemade croutons are amazing, if you’re looking for less carbs, you can opt out of the croutons. If you want croutons in a pinch, opt for store-bought ones.
  • Other proteins: other protein options include sliced avocado, crispy bacon bits, hard-boiled eggs, Baked Salmon (Best Method) or Simple Poached Salmon.
  • Other greens: try arugula or baby kale.
  • Parmesan crisp bowls: elevate your Caesar salad with these Parmesan Crisp Salad Bowls!
  • Chicken thighs: Chicken Thighs are extra juicy and tender if you prefer dark meat!

Make Ahead & Storage

To make chicken Caesar salad ahead, you can chop lettuce, make the dressing (minus adding the olive oil), cube the bread for croutons, and grill or bake your chicken. When ready to serve, add olive oil to dressing, whisk and toss into romaine along with parmesan. Toast the croutons, and top with chilled chicken.

Store leftover salad in the fridge. Dressed salad will get a bit soggy the next day. Croutons are best enjoyed same-day.

More Salad Recipes You’ll Love!

BEST Chicken Caesar Salad

A staple recipe in your household should be this chicken Caesar salad! Juicy grilled or baked chicken, garlicky Caesar dressing, lots of parmesan cheese, and crazy good homemade croutons: it’s seriously the best.
5 from 14 votes
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Course: Appetizer, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: spring, summer
Servings: 4 medium salads
Calories: 919kcal
Author: Tastefully Grace

Ingredients

  • 14 ounces romaine lettuce
  • 1 ½ cups coarsely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese or parmesan cheese
  • 1 pound chicken breasts
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil plus 1 tablespoon to marinate chicken
  • 8 dashes tabasco sauce
  • 3 large garlic cloves minced
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons grainy Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar to marinate chicken
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Homemade Croutons

  • 8 slices soft sandwich bread I like oatmeal or pumpernickel bread
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove thinly sliced
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  • Marinate chicken in balsamic, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and salt and pepper. For grilled chicken, preheat grill to high heat, and grill each side for 6 minutes (total 12 minutes) until chicken register at least 165 degrees. For baked chicken, bake at 425°F for 17-21 minutes. Set chicken aside.
  • Stack romaine leaves, and chop them into bite-sized pieces (see video for visual instructions). Place romaine in a large salad bowl.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together ¾ cup olive oil, minced garlic, lemon, tabasco, Worcestershire, mustard, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  • For croutons, stack sandwich bread slices. Cut off crusts. Cut bread into roughly ½ inch cubes. In a large skillet, add ¼ cup olive oil, sliced garlic, and salt to taste. Preheat pan over medium-high heat until garlic starts to sizzle. Add cubed bread. Toast for 7-14 minutes, tossing often, until croutons are golden. Remove pan from burner, and remove toasted garlic slices if desired.
  • Toss in three-quarters of the dressing to the romaine. Lettuce should look shiny and well-dressed. Add more dressing if needed. Then mix in coarsely grated cheese.
  • Slice chicken. Either toss in chicken slices, or plate salad and top with chicken.
  • Plate, finishing with croutons, a little more grated cheese, and black pepper.

Video

Notes

  • Make sure to rinse and dry romaine well (if it’s not pre-washed).
  • Use the coarse setting of a box grater to grate cheese.
  • The best bread for croutons is regular, soft sandwich bread from the bread aisle in the grocery store! I love Pepperidge Farm Oat Bread (this is not an ad).
  • If bread slices are small, use 12 slices.
  • If you like a lot of chicken, I recommend 1 ½ pounds instead of 1 pound of breasts.
  • You might want to grate extra cheese to garnish!

Nutrition

Serving: 1salad | Calories: 919kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 69g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 44g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 1101mg | Potassium: 813mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 8978IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 600mg | Iron: 4mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
picture of grace eating

Never Miss A Recipe?

FREE SUBSCRIPTION: SIGN UP TO RECEIVE THE LATEST RECIPES FROM GRACE, PLUS SOME EXCLUSIVE UPDATES ONLY SHARED WITH SUBSCRIBERS!

We don’t spam! Read our Privacy Policy for more info.

Follow:
Share:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




Featured On:


Looking for Something?