Today we are going to tell you how to transform the humble salad into a full-fledged meal: the Chicken Caesar Salad. This dish has the lightness of a salad with the heartiness of a main course.
Crisp romaine lettuce along with savory parmesan cheese, and crunchy croutons lay the foundation. Adding perfectly seasoned and cooked chicken breast elevates this classic salad into a satisfying meal that’s both easy to make and a joy to eat.
The homemade dressing, rich and tangy, brings everything together making it ideal for those days when you crave something light yet fulfilling.
We have some great salad dinners here on GypsyPlate. Greek Steak Salad, Hawaiian Chicken Salad, and Farro Salad with Shrimp are just some of the many here. In line with our other lighter dinner ideas, here comes a very easy yet tasty chicken salad recipe.
Some time back we posted our version of the very famous and classic Caesar Salad. It’s a great side dish, and in just a matter of a few minutes you can turn it into hearty main.
Whether you’re looking for a quick lunch or a light dinner, this Chicken Caesar is the way to go for all salad lovers.
You Will Love This Salad For
- Flavorful Balance: The combination of juicy, seasoned chicken with crisp romaine lettuce and a creamy dressing offers a perfect balance of flavors and textures.
- Versatility: It’s great for a quick lunch, a light dinner, or as an impressive dish to serve to guests.
- Nutrition: This salad is a wholesome meal, offering a good mix of protein, greens, and healthy fats.
- Ease of Preparation: It’s straightforward to make and doesn’t require a lot of complicated steps or ingredients.
- Customizability: You can easily adjust the ingredients to suit your taste or dietary preferences.
Where Did Caesar Salads Originate?
The Caesar salad was first created in Tijuana, Mexico, by restaurateur Caesar Cardini in 1924.
So the story goes, during a big rush on 4th of July, the kitchen supplies were depleted. Cardini made due with what he had left, dramatically tossing his new creation together at the patrons’ tables.
His restaurant, Caesar’s, was visited by a young Julia Child. It is still open to this day, and the signature salads are still prepared tableside.
For the Chicken:
- Chicken: We are using boneless skinless breasts today, but you can also use thighs.
- Olive Oil: Regular olive oil for cooking.
- Seasonings: Salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, thyme. Adjust to taste.
For the Salad:
- Romaine Lettuce: Fresh, crisp leaves.
- Croutons: Homemade or store bought.
- Parmesan Cheese: Freshly grated for garnish.
For the Dressing:
- Olive Oil: Extra virgin for rich flavor.
- Egg Yolks: Can be substituted with mayonnaise if you prefer not to eat raw egg.
- Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed is always best.
- Dijon Mustard: For tanginess.
- Worcestershire Sauce: Adds depth.
- Garlic: Fresh, finely minced.
- Parmesan Cheese: Freshly grated.
- Anchovies: Essential for classic Caesar flavor.
- Salt and Pepper: Adjust according to taste
Chicken Caesar Salad Recipe
1. Cook the Chicken:
- Mix chicken breasts with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, and thyme. Rub the mixture over the chicken.
- Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook undisturbed for 3-5 minutes until browned on one side. Flip and cook for another 5-7 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Let it cool, then slice.
2. Whip up the Dressing:
- Blend olive oil, egg yolks, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, minced garlic cloves, shredded parmesan cheese, and anchovies until smooth.
- Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Assemble the Salad:
- Toss torn romaine lettuce with the dressing in a large bowl.
- Add croutons and garnish with extra shredded parmesan cheese and freshly cracked pepper.
- Place the sliced chicken on top of the salad and serve.
- Marinate the Chicken: For extra flavor, marinate the chicken in the olive oil and seasoning mixture for at least 30 minutes to a few hours before cooking.
- Perfectly Cooked Chicken: Use a meat thermometer to ensure the chicken reaches the safe internal temperature of 165°F without overcooking.
- Dressing Consistency: If the dressing is too thick, thin it with a little water or more lemon juice to reach your desired consistency.
- Salad Freshness: Dry the romaine lettuce thoroughly after washing to prevent the salad from becoming soggy.
- Anchovy Alternative: If you’re not a fan of anchovies, try capers for a similar salty, briny flavor.
- Let the Chicken Rest: Allow the cooked chicken to rest for a few minutes before slicing to keep it juicy.
- Serve Immediately: For the best texture and flavor, assemble and dress the salad right before serving.
1. Protein Variations: Swap the chicken for grilled shrimp, fish, or your favorite steak.
2. Greens Variations: Mix romaine with other greens like spinach or arugula for added flavor and texture. Use kale instead of romaine for a nutrient-packed version.
3. Avocado Caesar: Blend in some avocado with the dressing for a creamier version.
4. Yogurt-Based: Substitute part of the olive oil with Greek yogurt for a lighter dressing.
6. Cheese Variations: Experiment with different cheeses like feta or blue cheese for a unique flavor.
7. Add Veggies: Although Caesar salads are known for their simplicity, you can add other veggies if you like. We think cherry tomatoes, avocado, marinated artichokes and black olives would all go great.
Leftovers and Storage
We recommend only making as much salad as will be eaten fresh, as the lettuce will get soggy if stored coated with dressing. Avoid mixing all the components if you plan on storing leftovers. Combine the ingredients just before serving to enjoy the best texture and freshness.
Any leftover Caesar dressing should be immediately refrigerated in an airtight container. As it contains raw eggs, leftovers should be used within 2-3 days. If you use the mayonnaise substitute, it can be stretched to 5 days.
Keep the cooked chicken in a separate airtight container in the fridge. It should stay good for 3-4 days. If you have a bunch left over, take a look at our roundup of leftover chicken recipes for usage inspiration.
Wrapping it up, this Chicken Caesar Salad is not just tasty, but it’s also great for your health. It’s got lean chicken for protein, crisp lettuce for freshness, and a yummy dressing that brings it all together.
It’s a simple, satisfying meal that’s good for you, too. So, go ahead and enjoy this salad – it’s a delicious way to keep up with healthy eating!
Chicken Caesar Salad, in our Gypsy Bowl… enjoy!
- 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp oregano
- ¼ tsp thyme
- 2 chicken breasts
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- ¼ tsp worcestershire sauce
- 2 garlic cloves
- ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 2 anchovies
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 1 head romaine lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces
- shredded parmesan cheese, for garnish
- Combine the chicken breasts and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small bowl. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano and thyme. Rub it all over the chicken breasts.
- Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in skillet over medium high heat. Once oil is hot, add chicken and cook, undisturbed for 3-5 minutes, or until nicely browned on one side. Turn chicken over, Cook for approximately 5-7 more minutes (depending on thickness of chicken), or until chicken is cooked through and it has reached 165°F internally. Remove to a cutting board.
- Using a food processor or immersion blender, pulse together all dressing ingredients until smooth. Alternately, you can whisk together wet ingredients with a hand whisk, then add in garlic, anchovies and parmesan (see note 1). Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.
- In a large bowl, toss romaine lettuce with desired amount of dressing.
- Top with croutons and garnish with parmesan cheese and freshly cracked pepper.
- Top the prepared Caesar salad with chicken slices and serve immediately.
- If using a hand whisk, mice the garlic, finely chop the anchovies, and finely grate the parmesan cheese.
- If you're not a fan of anchovies, capers can be used as an alternative. Likewise, mayonnaise can be used in place of egg yolk.
- If making more than you will be immediately eating, store lettuce and dressing separately to avoid sogginess.
Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 425Total Fat 32gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 25gCholesterol 150mgSodium 1080mgCarbohydrates 10gFiber 4gSugar 2gProtein 26g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.
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