Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

5 from 49 votes

This Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad is a fun twist on the classic caesar salad made with lettuce, pasta, croutons, chicken in a homemade dressing

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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.

Chicken Caesar pasta salad in a large bowl with homemade croutons

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.
Ingredients to make the recipe

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.
2 image collage to show how to make the dressing in a blender

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.
Pouring the homemade caesar dressing over the pasta salad

Tips for making the caesar salad

  1. Cook the pasta al dente. If it is overcooked, it will be too soft and will break apart when mixed with the other ingredients.
  2. 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.
  3. Feel free to add in other salad ingredients. Red bell pepper, celery or diced cucumber will add a nice crunchy texture.
  4. 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

Can you make it ahead of time?

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.

How long will it keep?

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.

What do you serve it with?

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.

Bite taking bite of chicken caesar pasta salad

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:

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Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

This Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad is a fun twist on the classic caesar salad made with lettuce, pasta, croutons, chicken in a homemade dressing
5 from 49 votes
Servings 4 servings
Course Main Course, Salad
Calories 626
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins

Ingredients
  

For the Dressing

  • cup avocado mayonnaise
  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

Make ahead: You can cook the chicken ad croutons and make the dressing ahead of time.
Storage: Undressed, the salad will keep well covered in the fridge for around 3 days. Don’t dress the salad until you are ready to serve it.
Nutritional Data: Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.

Nutrition

Calories: 626kcal, Carbohydrates: 73g, Protein: 33g, Fat: 22g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 58mg, Sodium: 619mg, Potassium: 398mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 708IU, Vitamin C: 15mg, Calcium: 155mg, Iron: 3mg

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Chicken Caesar pasta salad in a large bowl with homemade croutons

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Comments

  1. I would definitely add celery, mini sweet colored peppers and cucumbers to this delicious salad.
    Yummy yummy yummy 😋

  2. I never would have thought of adding lettuce to pasta, but it was delicious. Did not use croutons in order tocut down on carbs, & it was still delicious . Thanks for a great idea.