Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

This tangy, creamy chicken Caesar Pasta Salad is light and filling with all kinds of tasty fixings like chicken, lettuce, pasta noodles, tomatoes, and cheese. 

With romaine lettuce and rotini, this dish is both a green salad AND a pasta salad. It makes for a stand alone meal, or a substantial side dish.

Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad in a white bowl

A Pasta Twist on a Classic Salad

It wasn’t until a few years ago that I fell in love with Caesar salad. I think it was the anchovies that weirded me out (you’ve probably noticed the lack of seafood here on LMS). But then I actually ordered it one day and it’s been a favorite ever since.

This version, Caesar Pasta Salad, makes a great meal or side dish. It’s loaded with crisp romaine, pasta, herbed chicken, ripe cherry tomatoes and lots of cheese!

At first I was a little unsure of the salad/pasta combo, but I have to say, I love it! We make this salad all of the time and it always gets devoured. 

Chicken breasts to add to caesar pasta salad recipe

How to Make It

FIXINGS. To start, you’re going to need 6 cups of chopped romaine, a full pound of pasta cooked and cooled (I generally use fusilli, mini penne or bowties), a handful of cherry tomatoes, lots of parmesan cheese and chopped grilled chicken.

CHICKEN. For the chicken, we usually season ours with herbes de Provence, salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika. Then we pan-sear it in olive oil until it comes to temperature, which usually leaves it with a nice crisp golden crust. It’s absolutely delicious!

Here are some more ideas for seasonings to use on the chicken:

  • Paprika
  • Cumin
  • Garlic
  • Coriander 
  • Pepper 
  • Salt

DRESSING. For the the dressing, in a small food processor, combine low-fat mayo, freshly squeezed lemon juice, olive oil, dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, grated parmesan, garlic cloves, salt and pepper. If you really like the anchovy flavor you can add one to it, but the Worcestershire is enough for me ๐Ÿ™‚ Pulse until emulsified- when it gets thick and creamy you know it’s done!

COMBINE. Toss everything together and garnish with additional cheese and black pepper.

Pouring Caesar dressing over pasta salad

Make Ahead

You can make the dressing ahead of time, but we donโ€™t recommend putting the salad together completely until 1 hour before serving.

If you assemble the salad with the dressing too far ahead of time the lettuce will wilt.

You’ll be surprised by how filling and flavorful this salad is. It’s great for parties, BBQ’s, lunch or dinner. We’re totally obsessed, and I think you’ll be too!

Chicken Caesar pasta salad in a glass serving bowl

For more pasta salad recipes, try:

Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad Recipe

This tangy, creamy chicken Caesar Pasta Salad is light and filling with all kinds of tasty fixings like chicken, lettuce, pasta noodles, tomatoes, and cheese.
5 from 6 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Salads & Sides
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 384kcal
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Ingredients

For the Dressing
  • 1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice - fresh
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese - grated
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
For the Recipe
  • 1 lb pasta - cooked and cooled
  • 1 1/2 cup chicken - cooked, cubed, and cooled
  • 1 cup ripe cherry tomatoes - halved
  • 6 cup romaine lettuce - chopped
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese - grated
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese - shaved
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Instructions

  • In a small food processor, combine all of the ingredients for the dressing. Process until smooth and creamy.
  • To make the salad, in a large mixing bowl, combine the pasta, chicken, tomato halves, lettuce, parmesan, salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the top and toss to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Video

Notes

-I personally prefer a less prominent anchovy flavor, but if you want it a little stronger, add a rinsed and dried anchovy fillet to the food processor when making the dressing.
-This salad keeps best for 1-2 days in the refrigerator.

Nutrition

Serving: 8g | Calories: 384kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 522mg | Potassium: 310mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 3332IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 251mg | Iron: 2mg

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About the Author

Natalie

Wife, mother, baker and photographer. Recipe developer & author of Life Made Simple. A self-professed peanut butter lover and fond of anything that involves pumpkin, cookie dough, or sprinkles

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Comments:

  1. Am making this for the second time. Everyone loved it first time through I don’t even care that it is fall and chilly. This is yummy!! Thanks for creating it for all to enjoy!! I use rotisserie chicken to be quicker!!!

  2. I made this today for a friend coming by for lunch. I followed the recipe including measuring, and only adding a small amount of onion. I did use store bought chicken because it is really good
    at my store and I needed to save some time. This is a keeper. My husband, my friend, and myself ate seconds. Hubby had more for dinner and I will finish it tomorrow!

  3. I just made this for my lunches this week – yum! The dressing did not disappoint ?? I have been lazily looking for a homemade caesar dressing, for months, that doesn’t include anchovy. So thankful I found this!!

    Question: I will be adding the dressing daily rather than putting it all together for the week. How long do you suspect the dressing to last? Thank you, Natalie!

  4. 5 stars
    The idea of adding pasta to a caesar salad, makes me so hungry!! Makes it more filling! Love this!