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This grilled chicken caesar salad combines crisp romaine, marinated grilled chicken and homemade sourdough croutons all tossed in a creamy, healthy caesar dressing.
When I was testing my grilled chicken breast recipe I ended up making a chicken caesar salad one day with the leftover chicken and that’s the recipe I’m sharing with you today!
For this recipe I decided to go the more traditional route and use romaine lettuce as the base of this salad, which is then topped with a creamy homemade dressing, sourdough croutons and grilled chicken. The combo is so good!
I love making this salad for lunch or a light dinner. And the best part is that it’s great for meal-prep because you can prep the croutons, dressing and chicken ahead of time for quicker assembly.
Why You’ll Love This Salad
- It tastes like a restaurant-quality caesar salad at home, but is healthier!
- It comes together quickly, especially if you prep some of the components ahead of time!
- Can be served as a side salad or main dish for lunch or dinner.
- It’s totally customizable. Feel free to swap and add any ingredients.
- grilled chicken – for the chicken we’re following my recipe for grilled chicken breasts.
- sourdough croutons – I love making my sourdough croutons for this salad. They’re packed with flavor and add crunch and texture to this salad.
- caesar dressing – my homemade caesar dressing is made healthier with Greek yogurt instead of mayo and without processed oils, but it still has all the classic flavors you’d expect in a caesar dressing. It’s creamy and so delicious!
- romaine lettuce – the traditional base for a caesar salad, which provides plenty of crunch.
- parmesan cheese – finish off the salad with some freshly shaved parmesan slices for an authentic Caesar salad feel. Use a vegetable peeler for thin, delicate shavings.
How to Make
Cook chicken: Marinate and cook chicken according to the instructions below.
Make croutons: Bake sourdough croutons in the oven, following the recipe below.
Make dressing: Blend together dressing ingredients, until smooth and creamy.
Assemble + serve: Chop romaine into bite-sized pieces and add to two bowls. Top with sliced chicken breast, sourdough croutons and shaved parmesan. Drizzle with caesar dressing and serve!
Substitutions & Notes
- Grilled chicken – if you don’t want to grill your chicken, feel free to bake it in the oven or cook it on the stovetop. If you want to cook your chicken in an air fryer follow my air fryer chicken breast recipe. For a short cut use shredded rotisserie chicken or follow my recipe for slow cooker shredded chicken.
- Swap the protein – feel free to swap the chicken with another protein of choice like salmon, tuna or shrimp. This blackened salmon would pair perfectly with this caesar salad. For shrimp, follow my recipe for caesar salad with shrimp and for tuna, just add in some drained canned tuna.
- Romaine – want to amp up the nutritional value of this salad? Swap the romaine for kale, arugula or spinach. I love this kale caesar salad!
- Dressing – want to skip the homemade caesar dressing? Feel free to use your favorite store-bought caesar dressing. Some healthier options include this Primal Kitchen Caesar Salad Dressing or Tessemae’s Organic Creamy Caesar.
- Add veggies – want to add more veggies to this salad? Go for it! Broccoli, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, avocado or cucumbers would all be great additions!
- Add grains – want to bulk up this salad? Feel free to add in some cooked quinoa or pasta to this salad!
- Vegetarian – use a vegan caesar dressing that doesn’t have anchovies or eggs like this Primal Kitchen Plant Based Caesar Dressing or Gotham Greens Vegan Caesar Dressing. And swap the protein with a vegetarian option like tempeh, tofu, hard-boiled eggs or roasted chickpeas (these air fryer chickpeas would be perfect).
Do You Have to Use Grilled Chicken?
Nope, not at all. If grilling isn’t an option, you can still prepare this chicken using your stovetop or oven. While these methods won’t have the smoky flavor of grilling, they’ll still yield a tasty chicken dish.
- Stove Top: On the stovetop, heat a skillet and cook the chicken, adjusting the cooking time as necessary.
- Oven: In the oven, preheat to 425°F, place the chicken on a baking sheet, and bake for 20-25 minutes until it reaches 165°F.
How to Prep in Advance
If you want the real deal but don’t have time to make everything for these chicken caesar salads in one night, you can prep all of the components in advance for faster assembly. Here’s what I would prep in advance:
- Chicken – you can either make the marinade the night before you want to make this salad and let the chicken sit overnight and then cook it when you’re ready to make dinner. Or you can cook the chicken 1-3 days prior for quick assembly on the night of.
- Sourdough croutons – so simple to whip up in advance! These croutons store well for up to 1 week.
- Caesar dressing – another simple component to prep in advance!
How to Store Leftovers
This chicken caesar salad recipe is great because everything stores so well in the fridge! I recommend storing each component in separate containers. Everything should last 5 days in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to eat, assemble your salad and enjoy! The chicken can be served cold or warm.
More Chicken Salads to Try
- Blackened Chicken Cobb Salad
- Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad
- Grilled Chicken Salad
- Thai Curry Chicken Salad
- BBQ Chicken Salad
- Blueberry Corn Chicken Salad
- Chicken Fajita Pasta Salad
- Poppy Seed Chicken Pasta Salad
- Chicken Avocado Club Mason Jar Salad
More Meal-Sized Salads to Try
- Ranch Pasta Salad
- Cheeseburger Salad
- Grilled Salmon Salad with Peaches and Corn
- Kale Caesar Salad with Grilled Lemon Pepper Shrimp
- Superfood Salmon Salad
- Pistachio Salmon Salad
- Mediterranean Salmon Salad
Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad
- 1- 1 ¼ lb boneless chicken breasts
- 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar or lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Whisk vinegar, oil, garlic powder, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper in a small bowl until well combined.
- Place chicken in a shallow dish or 1-gallon sealable plastic bag. Add the marinade, toss to coat and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 12 hours.
- While chicken is marinating, bake sourdough croutons.
- While croutons are baking, make dressing by blending all the ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
- Remove chicken from the marinade, shake off excess and discard leftover marinade. Heat a grill or grill pan. Once hot, place the chicken on the grill and cook for about 5 minutes per side, or until cooked through and no longer pink. You want the internal chicken temperature to be 165°F.
- Assemble salad by adding a bed of romaine lettuce to two bowls. Add sliced chicken breast, sourdough croutons and shaved parmesan. Drizzle with caesar dressing and enjoy!
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.