Chicken Caesar Salads are perfect for packing for lunch or enjoying as a light dinner, especially when topped with this creamy, homemade Caesar dressing.
The other day a group of us were out to lunch. The kids were all ordering what they wanted as the moms fitzed and fudged, trying to pry their angels from their culinary comfort zones with more interesting suggestions in lieu of the standard kiddo fare of chicken nuggets, hot dogs and grilled cheese.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I mean, I’m a kid at heart too.
And then there’s my daughter. “I’d like a Caesar salad with chicken, please.” I almost had to pick up one mom’s jaw from the floor who could not believe my Smudge not only would eat something so avant garde, (really?) but to order it for herself without her mama coaxing her, too?
I love to freak the moms out that way. And apparently, so does my daughter.
I have to admit, I was sort of surprised she ordered it too. And pleasantly so.
Since then we’ve been making Caesar salads at home a lot this summer. And since school is about to start soon (WAY.TOO.SOON!) and because Caesar salads are one of the best packable salads around, I don’t see this trend ending any time soon.
This salad is easy to make because so much of it can be prepped ahead of time. Or, you can always make it on the fly. But for most of us, having everything on hand makes cooking so much simpler, don’t you say?
Which Chicken to Use in This Chicken Salad?
My thing lately has been cooking a whole chicken or chicken breasts on Sunday or Monday to eat throughout the week. I’ve grilled it (this is my secret to making it THE BEST), put it on the rotisserie (yes! you can rotisserie at home) and popped it in the crock pot to stew, (seriously, this recipe is so SO easy) then shred the meat to be used for just about anything.
My latest chicken cooking foray has been with my Instant Pot, where it takes just 8 minutes, yes, I said 8 MINUTES, to cook an incredible tasting bounty of chicken breast for whatever your heart desires. So if you don’t have an Instant Pot, you need one NOW.
- The Best Baked Chicken Breast
- How To Cook Instant Pot Chicken Breasts (From Fresh Or Frozen)
- 5 Easy Tips for Juicy Roast Chicken
- How to Make a Great Rotisserie Chicken
- Slow Cooker Whole Chicken
- The Best Greek Chicken Marinade
How to Make This Caesar Salad Dressing
I always judge a Caesar salad by it’s dressing and homemade dressing is what makes this simple salad shine. This recipe is from my mom and dad’s friend Jack, with a few adaptations.
Unless you’re allergic to anchovies, I suggest you give them a try. They give the salad an incredibly, mellow salty umami flavoring you won’t get any other way, and they do not leave the dressing tasting like fish. I’m just saying, give them a try. It’s worth it. If you absolutely cannot fathom the idea of anchovies, double the amount of Worcestershire sauce instead.
I make the dressing ahead and keep it in the refrigerator for weeks. Or until it’s all gone. And obviously at our house, it’s usually the latter.
How to Make Coddled Eggs
The dressing is made with a coddled egg. What’s that you ask? It’s simply an egg that’s been immersed in boiling water just long enough to very gently cook it.
If you can’t do coddled eggs, try this Caesar salad dressing made with mayonnaise and sour cream instead.
Try one of these methods for coddling eggs:
Always use the freshest eggs you can find for this dressing or choose pasteurized eggs.
1) Separate the yolks from the whites and save the whites for another use. Place the egg yolks in a microwave safe dish and microwave on HIGH for about 12 seconds. Remove and whisk.
Or, 2) Placing whole eggs in shell into warm water. Boil enough water in a pan to cover eggs completely. Immerse the eggs in the boiling water with a slotted spoon then remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 30 seconds, then plunge into cold water to prevent further cooking. Divide the yolks from the whites.
What Else Is In This Salad
Crunchy veggies make up the bulk of this super tasty, bright and fresh but totally hearty salad.
Choose a sturdy romaine lettuce as your main crunch. I prefer to buy romaine hearts. Then I don’t mess around with limp outer leaves and instead get to the “heart” of the matter. Yes, I just did do that bad pun.
To that, we always add cucumbers, because, well, we love cucumbers. Sometimes tomatoes, but only if they’re roasted into super sweet little jewels like I did in this Kale Caesar Pasta Salad.
Then it’s time to let the spunk of the Parmesan cheese and the crunch of the croutons take over. Making homemade croutons is seriously easy, and requires just 20 minutes or so of planning ahead. These homemade Garlic Croutons are my fave.
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment below or take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
Chicken Caesar Salad Recipe
- 2 large eggs coddled (directions below)
- 1 clove garlic pressed
- 4 anchovy filets in oil roughly chopped, or 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 10 cups romaine lettuce chopped into 1/2 inch pieces (about 2 heads of romaine)
- 4 cups cooked shredded chicken breast
- 1 cucumber sliced into coins
- 1 cup croutons
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Try one of these methods for coddling eggs. 1) Separate the yolks from the whites and save the whites for another use. Place the egg yolks in a microwave safe dish and microwave on HIGH for about 12 seconds. Remove and whisk. Or, 2) Placing whole eggs in shell into warm water. Boil enough water in a pan to cover eggs completely. Immerse the eggs in the boiling water with a slotted spoon then remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 30 seconds, then plunge into cold water to prevent further cooking. Divide the yolks from the whites.
Place the eggs in a blender. Add the pressed garlic, anchovy filets or paste, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, salt and pepper to the blender. Blend on high until combined. Slowly drizzle the olive oil into the blender until the dressing is emulsified. Pour into a small jar and set aside or refrigerate until ready to use.
In a large bowl, add the romaine lettuce, chicken breast and cucumber. Add about 2/3 of the dressing and toss to coat. Add the croutons and Parmesan cheese, toss lightly and season with more salt and pepper to taste.
More Salad Recipe Ideas That Make a Meal
- Greek Salad with Chicken
- Ahi Tuna Poke and Mango Salad
- Autumn Cobb Salad
- Chinese Chicken Salad with Sesame Dressing
- Citrus Shrimp and Avocado Salad
- Crab and Shrimp Seafood Cobb Salad
- 30 Days of Healthier Salads That Make a Meal
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