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Chicken Caesar Salad

This chicken Caesar salad is the best for an easy lunch or light dinner. Adding chicken to the traditional salad turns it into a meal complete with homemade croutons, creamy dressing and Parmesan cheese.

Caesar salad with chicken in a white bowl.
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Chicken Caesar Salad Recipe

There is nothing complicated about a Caesar salad and I think that’s part of its charm. You can turn just a few ingredients into one of the most classic salad recipes that will forever be one of the best.

This chicken Caesar salad comes together easily with fresh, crisp Romaine lettuce, a creamy briny homemade Caesar salad dressing, and light, and crunchy homemade croutons. The addition of chicken takes it from a side salad to a complete meal perfect for lunch or dinner.

Sometimes I’ll turn it into a chicken Caesar wrap for something a little more portable.

Recipe Ingredients

Chicken caesar salad ingredients on a marble counter.

Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.

  • Chicken: I typically use rotisserie chicken, but you can make this your own by adding freshly cooked chicken breasts.
  • Lettuce: Romaine lettuce leaves that are fresh, cold, washed, rinsed, and chopped! No wilted leaves, no brown leaves, and no warm leaves, please.
  • Croutons: If you have some day-old bread and a bit of extra time, I recommend making homemade croutons. If not, store-bought crunchy croutons can certainly work too.
  • Parmesan cheese: Shaved or shredded, for the top of the salad. I love big chunks of shaved cheese on mine!
  • Dressing: It’s easy to make the homemade dressing with garlic, anchovy paste, lemon juicy, Dijon, Worcestershire, Mayo and fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano. Your favorite store-bought dressing works, too!

Substitutions and Variations

  • Add some cooked bacon bits in there as well for a bit of salty smokiness!
  • Throw on some cherry tomatoes and sliced avocado for a healthy and heartier meal.
  • Meal prep this salad by preparing the lettuce, croutons, and chicken ahead of time. Then assemble just before eating.
  • Toss in some extra veggies like cucumbers or bell peppers.
  • A jammy egg will add an extra dose of protein and cream texture.
  • Last, sometimes I’ll turn it into chicken Caesar pasta salad by adding bowtie pasta into the mix. It’s a great summertime meal!

How to Make Chicken Caesar Salad

Showing how to make chicken caesar salad in a 4 step collage.
  • Add lettuce to the bowl. Make sure to wash your lettuce leaves and dry them well. You can wash and dry them in advance and keep them cold in the fridge to save time. Chop them up into bite-sized pieces and add them to a large salad bowl.
  • Make croutons. If you plan to make your own croutons, now’s a great time to do that. These are great make-ahead recipes too because they keep for days.
  • Combine dressing. In a medium bowl, whisk together the garlic, anchovy paste, lemon juice, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce until the anchovy paste is combined. Then, continue whisking in the mayo, Parmigiano-Reggiano, salt, and pepper until smooth. Season to combine.
  • Assemble the chicken Caesar salad. Add the shredded chicken to the bowl of lettuce, sprinkle with Parmesan and croutons, then drizzle with Caesar dressing. Toss gently to combine until the lettuce is evenly coated. Enjoy!

Expert Tips

  • Type of chicken. Use oven baked chicken breast, grilled chicken or shredded chicken. If you’ve got an oven roasted chicken you want to shred apart, you can use that too.
  • Do not add hot chicken to the salad. The heat will make the lettuce soggy and the dressing a little too runny. Allow it to cool a bit first.
  • Chicken caesar salad is best served right away. The longer it sits, the soggier it will get. Plus, warm chicken caesar salad is weird.
  • Make a vegetarian version by skipping the meat and serving it with chickpeas or a hard-boiled egg for protein instead.
Chicken caesar salad in a white bowl.

Recipe FAQs

What does chicken Caesar salad contain?

Simple ingredients make up this hearty salad. It contains a combination of romaine lettuce, a homemade Caesar dressing, shredded chicken, croutons and fresh Parmesan cheese.

Is eating a chicken Caesar salad healthy?

It’s safe to say a chicken Caesar salad is enjoyed more for flavor and crunch than for the nutrients, but that’s not to say there aren’t things you can do to increase the nutritional value.

First off, it does deliver fiber and vitamins thanks to the lettuce, and lean protein from the chicken. If you want to make some substitutions to make it a little healthier start with using kale or baby spinach instead of Romaine lettuce. Next, use a homemade dressing so you can control the amount of sodium. Finally, add some more veggies and good fats with things like avocado and tomatoes!

How long will the dressing keep in the fridge?

Cover it with an airtight lid and keep it fresh for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

What can I substitute to lower the calories?

You can swap half the mayo for Greek yogurt or low-fat sour cream. Using real whole egg mayo is the best way to get the creamiest dressing, but with that comes a higher calorie content.

Caesar salad with chicken and tomatoes in a bowl.

Want more salad recipes that eat like a meal? Try an easy cobb salad, Asian chicken salad, or steak salad with balsamic dressing.

More Salad Recipes with Chicken

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Chicken caesar salad in a white bowl.

Chicken Caesar Salad Recipe

5 from 5 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
Ramp up the protein in your traditional caesar salad by adding flavorful chunks of chicken and turning it into chicken caesar salad for a quick and easy lunch or light dinner. Level it up with homemade croutons, a creamy homemade dressing, and shaved Parmigiano!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 as a side



Caesar Dressing

  • 1-2 garlic cloves , minced
  • ½ teaspoon anchovy paste 
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
  • ¾ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • freshly cracked pepper

Caesar Salad

  • 2 heads romaine lettuce , rinsed, chilled, and chopped into bite-sized pieces (6-8 cups)
  • 1- 2 cups croutons
  • cup parmesan cheese , shredded or shaved
  • 2 cups shredded chicken , I used rotisserie


Caesar Dressing

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the garlic, anchovy paste, lemon juice, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce until anchovy paste is combined.
  • Whisk in the the mayonnaise, Parmigiano-Reggiano, salt, and pepper until smooth and combined. Season to taste, if needed. Chill until ready to use.

Caesar Salad

  • In a large serving bowl, add lettuce and chicken. Sprinkle with parmesan and croutons. Drizzle with Caesar dressing and toss gently until lettuce is evenly coated.


Croutons: Use my homemade croutons recipe for optimal flavor. 
Variation: Add in sliced cherry tomatoes and diced avocado to make it even heartier. 
Storage: Store dressing in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 5 days. Toss with salad just before serving. 


Calories: 373kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 17g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 694mg | Potassium: 315mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 9223IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 216mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American

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