This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.
Deliciously creamy and full of flavor, this chicken Caesar pasta salad recipe is quick and easy to make and is a delicious summer lunch or dinner. Tossed in a homemade Caesar dressing, it’s full of texture and will leave you feeling full and satisfied.
Ingredients & substitutions
- Chicken: Cooked chicken breast cut into cubes provides the protein in this meal. You can use shredded but cubes add a nice texture and heartiness. You can use chicken thighs if you prefer.
- Lettuce: Romaine lettuce is nice and crisp and provides the base of this pasta salad. Other crisp lettuce, like iceberg, will work well.
- Pasta: You can use any shaped pasta you like. Fusilli or rotini are top choices, but bow tie or penne will work nicely too. You can use whole wheat of gluten-free pasta too.
- Bread: Sourdough makes for great homemade croutons that have a nice crunchy bite to them. They are simply seasoned with oil and salt before being baked in the oven. You can also use store-bought croutons.
- Dressing: The Caesar dressing for this pasta salad is made with mayonnaise, parmesan, garlic, capers (to add saltiness instead of anchovies!), mustard, lemon and black pepper. Everything is combined together quickly in a food processor.
How to make chicken caesar pasta salad
make the dressing
- Add the ingredients for the dressing to a food processor or blender.
- Blend until smooth.
toss the salad
- Add all of the ingredients for the pasta salad in a large bowl. Pour over the dressing right before you’re ready to serve and toss to combine.
Tips for making the caesar salad
- Cook the pasta al dente. If it is overcooked, it will be too soft and will break apart when mixed with the other ingredients.
- Let the pasta cool before mixing with the other ingredients. Because the dressing contains mayonnaise, the pasta needs to be at room temperature or it can separate and become oily. The heat from the pasta can also wilt the romaine lettuce.
- Feel free to add in other salad ingredients. Red bell pepper, celery or diced cucumber will add a nice crunchy texture.
- Make it quicker. To save on time, you can use store bought croutons and use a rotisserie chicken to make this recipe in minutes. It just needs assembly. Don’t skip the homemade Caesar dressing though…it’s a game changer!!
Frequently asked questions
The salad is best served as soon as you make it so that the dressing doesn’t wilt the lettuce or make the croutons soggy. However, you can easily get ahead of things by cooking the chicken, making the dressing and baking the croutons in advance.
Baked croutons will keep well in an airtight container for up to a week, cooked chicken breast will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days and the Caesar dressing will stay fresh in the fridge for around 5 days in a sealed jar or bottle.
Once tossed with the dressing, this salad is best eaten on the same day. The undressed salad can be kept covered and refrigerated and it will keep well for around 3 days. Because the dressing contains mayonnaise, once dressed, the salad shouldn’t sit at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
This chicken Caesar pasta salad is a great meal all by itself, with a good mix of portions, carbs and fats, for a fuller meal, it’s great served alongside some garlic bread. Smaller portions can be served as a sit down appetizer, or as a side at cookouts and picnics.
This chicken Caesar pasta salad is so easy to toss together, and is perfectly creamy, hearty and filling. So simple, but always a real crowd pleaser!
More pasta salads:
- Caprese Pasta Salad
- Greek Pasta Salad
- Spinach Pasta Salad
- Mediterranean Pasta Salad
- Sun Dried Tomato Pasta Salad
If you try this healthy-ish feel good Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad recipe or any other recipe on Feel Good Foodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below! It helps others who are thinking of making the recipe. We would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots, share it on Instagram so we can repost on Stories!
Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
For the Dressing
- ⅓ cup avocado mayonnaise
- ⅓ cup shaved Parmesan cheese plus more for serving
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon drained capers
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 lemon zested and juiced
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the salad
- 8 ounces fusilli or rotini pasta
- 3 slices sourdough cubed
- Kosher salt to taste
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 head of romaine chopped, about 4 cups
- 1 ½-2 cups cooked chopped chicken breasts
- Make the dressing. In a small blender or food processor, blend the mayonnaise, parmesan, garlic, capers, mustard, lemon zest, lemon juice and black pepper.
- Cook the pasta. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions and drain.
- Make the croutons. Preheat oven to 400°F. On a baking sheet, toss cut sourdough bread with oil and kosher salt. Bake until golden brown, 15 minutes.
- Assemble salad. In a large bowl, mix pasta, croutons, romaine lettuce, chicken, and dressing. Season to taste and serve immediately.