Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

I have discussed my love of Caesar salad before.  This is nothing new.  Similar to my penchant for any double/triple chocolate overdose anything, I’ll try almost any variation of Caesar salad, and chances are I’ll be happy with it.  This isn’t the first Caesar recipe I’ve posted, and it probably won’t be the last, but I must say this is my current favorite.  I think Caesar dressings I’ve had in restaurants all lay somewhere on a spectrum.  Some are more of a lighter, oil-based dressing similar to a vinaigrette, while others are creamier (what I consider a more traditional Caesar).

This one is on the creamy side of things, with mayo taking the place of the raw eggs used in a more traditional Caesar dressing.  I’m not against using raw eggs, but I love this version because I can make a batch or two of the dressing and keep it stored in the fridge with no worries.  Making your own croutons is a must – they are so easy, and so delicious.  You can play around with the seasonings to suit your tastes.  I’m embarrassed to admit how often I used to buy the bagged Caesar salad kits, but I’m proud to say I haven’t bought one since discovering this recipe.  This will definitely help save some money in the grocery budget!  This recipe makes plenty of dressing and croutons so you have them leftover for a quick side dish, or another main dish if you add some chicken.

Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad
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For the croutons:
6 slices sandwich bread (or an equivalent amount of baguette slices, about 12-15)
3 tbsp. olive oil OR 3 tbsp. butter, melted
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried parsley
Kosher salt

For the dressing:
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup water
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1-2 anchovies, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the salad:
Romaine lettuce
2-4 chicken breast halves
Shaved Parmesan cheese

To make the croutons, preheat the oven to 300˚ F.  Cut the bread into 3/4-inch cubes and place in a medium-large bowl.  (Trim the crusts off if you wish – I prefer to leave them on.)  Combine the olive oil or butter, garlic powder and dried parsley in a small bowl.  Stir together to blend well.  Pour the mixture over the bread cubes and toss gently until evenly coated.

Transfer the bread cubes to a baking sheet, spreading them out into an even layer.  Sprinkle with kosher salt.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Check to see if the croutons are golden and crisp.  If not, toss lightly and bake up to 15 minutes more.  Remove from the oven and let cool.  Transfer to an airtight container until ready to use.

To make the dressing, combine the lemon juice, water, garlic, mayonnaise, Parmesan, anchovies and pepper in the bowl of a food processor or blender.  Blend until well combined and completely smooth.  Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.

Wash and dry the lettuce leaves, removing the greener leafy portions if desired.  Chop or tear the lettuce into bite size pieces and place it in a large bowl.  Season both sides of the chicken breast halves with salt and pepper. Cook the chicken on a grill or grill pan, until golden and cooked through.  Remove the chicken pieces to a plate, tent with foil and let rest for 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, add salad dressing to the lettuce (a couple tablespoons at a time) and toss to coat.  Add more dressing as desired.  Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and slice diagonally into long pieces.

Portion the dressed salad into serving dishes.  Top with homemade croutons, grilled chicken pieces, and Parmesan shavings.  Serve immediately.

Source: salad adapted from The Parsley Thief, croutons from Savory Sweet Life

16 Responses

  1. I’m a big fan of the Caesar salad as well and this sounds marvelous!

  2. The salad looks gorgeous! I have not made my own croutons in a long time. I know they are best when homemade so I will try this. I will be looking at the rest of your Caesar recipes! Thanks for the recipe!

  3. Mmm, grilled chicken makes me long for summer! The salad looks delicious and I love that you used mayo instead of eggs. I’ve avoided making Caesar dressing just because I didn’t want to use raw eggs.

  4. The default salad for all…this is what i usually order or make at home…love a caesar salad any day any time 🙂 i never tried it with anchovies thou..nice recipe 🙂

  5. Gorgeous pictures! I haven’t had Caesar salad in ages, now I’m craving one 🙂

  6. Interesting sub with the mayo. I am a Caesar salad fanatic and I’m glad to see that you used anchovies. You’re right– homemade croutons are a must and so easy to make. I’ll have to try this recipe. Thanks:)

  7. Mmmm your croutons look so delightfully crisp and crunchy – gorgeous! Love this salad – a true savoury treat.

  8. I love the look of this salad! That looks so delicious and healthy! Yum!

  9. Ceasar salad i my all time fave salad. Lovely recipe

  10. Can’t wait to try this one, Annie! I am a purchaser of the bagged kits as well, simply because I like the dressing so much. I think Andrew and I will be trying this for lunch one day this week!

  11. YUM-this sounds and looks delicious! I ordered chicken caesar salads in restaurants all the time but it’s nice to know I can make it at home now! That recipe for the caesar dressing sounds fantastic!

  12. this was delicious! I made it this weekend but without the chicken for a vegetarian version! thanks

  13. This looks so good, I’m thinking about making it for a Mother’s Day lunch. About how many servings does this make? Thanks!

    • Melanie,
      That entirely depends on how many chicken breasts you cook and how much lettuce you use.

  14. I was a little hesitant to try this dressing recipe, because i usually prefer a more mustardy-y ceasar dressing, but i’m so glad i made this! it was fantastic, and incredibly easy. i will probably never buy ceasar dressing from a bottle again. also, the croutons were great too, and that’s another thing i’ll probably make myself rather than buy from now on.

    i’m so glad i stumbled across your blog! your food looks delicious, and the photos are great!

  15. My husband would LOVE this!!! He’s a Caesar salad fanatic. I can’t wait to try to make it for him. Thanks!!

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