Chicken Caesar Salad – lighten up your average Caesar salad by using Greek yogurt! Add chicken and you have a great meal that will get your family excited about salads!
Salads are a go-to dinner at our house. They are so easy to throw together and have everyone top with whatever they like, and then everyone is happy. And the thing that makes salads special and delicious is homemade dressing.
If it were socially acceptable, my husband would probably just drink the salad dressing. But seeing as how that is frowned upon, he will suffer through some lettuce in order to get the dressing. And this homemade Caesar dressing is just so darn easy to make, we can have it on hand any time.
Why Do They Call It Caesar Salad?
Contrary to popular belief, they do not call this recipe Caesar Salad because it was Julius Caesar’s favorite dish. Well, not this exact recipe, but I would almost guarantee that he would love this rendition if he was still around to try it.
It was actually named after the Italian Chef Caesar Cardini that created the dish in 1924.
If your family is used to eating salads on a regular basis, the odds are pretty good that you have most of the ingredients you’ll need to make this in your kitchen already. Below is what you’ll need for both the salad and the dressing.
For The Salad
- Romaine lettuce– This is the “body” of your salad. While it’s certainly not the star, it is just as critical in making a successful salad as the dressing is. Other types of leafy greens can be used in a pinch.
- Chicken– I love to use grilled chicken for this recipe because it’s both healthy and flavorful. However, rotisserie chicken is a great timesaver and way to use up leftover chicken. Shrimp, scallops and salmon are also good bets.
- Parmesan cheese– Freshly grated is best, but as long as it is shredded parmesan cheese and not that stuff that comes in the green shaker can, you’re sure to devour this salad.
- Croutons– What salad is complete without croutons? They add an additional crispy texture to your salad and helps cure any of those carb cravings you may be having.
For The Dressing
- Plain Greek yogurt– Plain Greek yogurt makes this dressing super creamy and gives it that classic tanginess you know and love from Caesar dressing.
- Lemon juice– Adds a little bit of acidity to balance the flavors.
- Olive oil– Did you know that olive oil aids in absorbing some of the nutrients in vegetables? Since you’re serving your family a plate full of veggies, you may as well make sure they get all of the benefits from it as possible.
- Red wine vinegar– Cut through the more fatty elements of this dressing with the tangy flavor of vinegar.
- Worcestershire sauce– Adds a salty and umami element to give your dressing a unique depth of flavor.
- Parmesan Cheese – A little grated Parmesan cheese makes the dressing creamy and gives it great flavor.
- Anchovy paste– While not everyone will be an anchovy lover, this ingredient is largely to add saltiness and some healthy fats to the dish. It is used in traditional Caesar recipes. If can be omitted, but I promise no one will turn around and say “are there anchovies in here?”- it blends in well.
- Dijon mustard– With just a hint of spice and tanginess, Dijon mustard adds another tasty layer of flavor to this Caesar dressing.
- Fresh black pepper– Fresh ground black pepper is leaps and bounds better than the pre-ground variety. Unfortunately there are fillers in the shaker bottles and they tend to be a tad flavorless. Use fresh cracked peppercorns if at all possible.
- Garlic– You will want to ensure that the garlic cloves are fresh and very finely grated. While the flavor of garlic is quite delicious, for the perfect balance in each bite of your salad, you will want to avoid biting in to a large piece of a garlic clove.
How To Make This Caesar Salad Recipe
The dressing for this Caesar salad was so easy. I like to use a blender or food processor to really get all of the ingredients incorporated together. But if you don’t have one, you can add everything into a mason jar, screw on the lid, and shake until it is creamy and everything is well combined.
It couldn’t be any easier. It is even a yogurt-based dressing, so it is healthier than some of the alternatives. Let’s be honest, if I am going to eat a salad, I want it to be good for me.
- Add all of the ingredients for the dressing into a blender or food processor. Process until it is super creamy and smooth.
- Next, assemble the salad by adding the lettuce to a large bowl. Generously pour over about half of the dressing and toss vigorously to coat. Don’t be afraid to add more dressing if necessary. That’s what makes this Caesar salad so flavorsome.
- Place the lettuce evenly onto the plates and top with the chicken, parmesan cheese, and croutons.
Tips And Tricks
- Wait to add the croutons. Wait until you’re ready to serve before you add the croutons to the top of this salad. This will keep them crispy, crunchy, and delicious.
- Serve the chicken warm or cold. Many people prefer their chicken to be chilled when added to their salad so that it doesn’t make the lettuce warm. However, if you grill fresh chicken or use warm rotisserie chicken, simply wait until you’re ready to serve the salad before you add it and it shouldn’t add any unwanted heat to the salad.
- Double the dressing recipe. Trust me, you’re going to fall in love with this salad dressing. It doubles as a great dipping sauce, and if you have a family that loves a heavily dressed salad, having a little extra to drizzle over the top is never a bad idea. I use it as a dipping sauce for grilled veggies, slather it on sandwiches and wraps and even sometimes use it to dip fries.
- Make your croutons. Making your own Homemade Croutons is so easy to do, and they take the salad from good to over the top delicious!
What To Serve With It
What to serve with this Caesar Salad all depends on how filling of a meal you want it to be. For instance, if you plan on eating this as a quick lunch, you honestly don’t need to serve anything else. Between the crisp lettuce, flavorful parmesan cheese, crunchy croutons, and tangy dressing, you have a meal that won’t leave you disappointed.
However, if you’re eating this as a hearty family dinner, you may want to beef it up a little bit. While most people reach for the traditional breadsticks or garlic bread to eat with this salad, I like to serve it alongside some of my favorite pasta dishes for a fresh bite and to ensure I don’t go overboard with the more calorie-rich foods.
I love to use this dressing on my Caesar Pasta Salad as well!
Make Ahead And Storage
Caesar Salad is a great option for make-ahead lunches and dinner for nights that you’re short on time. The only thing you need to remember is to keep your ingredients separate until you’re ready to eat. If you add the dressing to the lettuce too long before you eat it, the acidity in the dressing will start to break down the lettuce, leaving you with a less than desirable texture.
To store my salad for meal prep, I like to portion out the lettuce, chicken, and parmesan cheese and place them in one container, add my croutons in a separate container, and finally keep my dressing separate from everything. This may sound like a lot of work, but there are many reusable storage containers that have three or more compartments that are perfect for prepping salads and other meals that need to be kept separate.
Once you’re ready to dive in, just mix all of the ingredients together well and enjoy!
The homemade dressing lasts up to a week in an airtight container in the refrigerator, so don’t be afraid to double up the recipe and keep extra in your refrigerator for dipping or unplanned busy days.
Want More Simple Salad Recipes?
If your family loves this Caesar Salad recipe as much as mine does, make sure you share the recipe with your friends so they can try it too! Don’t forget to Pin it so you can make it again soon.
Chicken Caesar Salad
Chicken Caesar Salad - lighten up your average Caesar salad by using Greek yogurt! Add chicken and you have a great meal that will get your family excited about salads!
Creamy Caesar Dressing
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh black pepper
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- 8 cups Romain lettuce, chopped
- 4 cups grilled chicken
- 1/2 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
- 2 cups croutons
- Combine all of the ingredients for the dressing in a food processor or blender.
- Process until smooth and creamy.
- Store in an air tight container for up to a week until you are ready to use.
- To assemble add the lettuce to a large bowl. Pour over about 1/2 of the dressing, tossing to coat. Add more dressing if necessary. Divide the lettuce among 4 plates.
- Top each salad with grilled chicken, shaved Parmesan cheese and croutons.
- Serve with the rest of the dressing on the side to add more if necessary.
Caesar Dressing Recipe From Cooking Light
Amount Per Serving Calories 580Total Fat 21gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 12gCholesterol 260mgSodium 1254mgCarbohydrates 21gFiber 3gSugar 3gProtein 79g
Nutrition Disclaimer: All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information shared on dinnersdishesanddesserts.com should only be used as a general guideline.
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Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie says
Caesar salad was the first salad I ever liked, probably because it took me a long time to like vegetables and it was the simplest salad out there. I enjoy this lightened up version as I am a fan of substituting with yogurt everywhere I can!
Carol at Wild Goose Tea says
I love Caesar salad and I love chicken. Funny story about your husband. I too like the lighter dressing. I eat a LOT of salad. This works for me.
It’s one of my favorite salads.. and I have never tried making it!
Nice salad. Thank you Erin.
The homemade dressing is to die for. I want to dip everything in it!
This is such a great salad. I’ve bookmarked this recipe and made it several times.
katerina @ diethood.com says
This is my kind of salad!! It sounds incredibly delicious!
Beti | easyweeknightrecipes says
I love Chicken Caesar Salad!! I can’t wait to make this for lunch!
Allyson Zea says
Been looking for a great recipe for this – thank you!
I love that this salad is so rich and delicious. And it’s perfect for any occasion!