Grilled Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

Grilled Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

The Spruce / Ali Redmond

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
383 Calories
25g Fat
22g Carbs
18g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 383
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 25g 32%
Saturated Fat 7g 36%
Cholesterol 140mg 47%
Sodium 599mg 26%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 18g
Vitamin C 4mg 21%
Calcium 155mg 12%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 366mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Take your salad game up a notch by firing up the grill. This dish might take a little longer than your average pasta salad, but the extra effort is definitely worth it. The distinct smoky char of grilled romaine adds an earthy dimension to the brilliant combination of Caesar dressing, chicken, and pasta. It turns the classic salad into a main dish fit for a dinner party but simple enough for a family meal.

Grilled romaine lettuce, freshly grilled skinless chicken thighs, and al dente stracci pasta (the kind of pasta that looks like little handkerchiefs) are tossed in homemade Caesar dressing and topped with toasted brioche croutons and grated cheese. The anchovy paste in the dressing is not optional—the flavor of anchovy is essential to proper Caesar dressing. That said, this pasta salad is secretly all about the cheese. Get real Parmigiano-Reggiano if you can.

Ingredients

For the Dressing:

  • 1 large clove garlic, grated or minced

  • 1 egg yolk

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste

  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1/3 cup olive oil

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

  • Salt (to taste)

  • Fresh ground pepper (to taste)

For the Salad:

  • 3 ounces brioche bread, torn into bite-size pieces

  • 8 ounces cooked stracci pasta, cooled

  • 8 ounces grilled boneless, skinless chicken thighs, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces

  • 2 grilled romaine hearts, halved and roughly chopped

  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven or toaster oven to 300 F.

    Grilled Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad ingredients

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  2. In a large bowl, combine the garlic, egg yolk, lemon juice, anchovy, mustard, and Worcestershire. Whisk to incorporate.

    combine the garlic, egg yolk, lemon juice, anchovy, mustard, and Worcestershire in a bowl

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  3. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle the olive oil into the yolk mixture to form an emulsion. Add the Parmigiano-Reggiano and combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

    add cheese, salt and pepper to the sauce mixture in the bowl

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  4. Arrange the torn brioche pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 300 F for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown and crunchy.

    croutons on a parchment paper lined baking sheet

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  5. Add the pasta, grilled chicken and romaine to the dressing bowl and toss to coat. Plate the dressed salad as desired, then top with brioche croutons and the remaining cheese. Serve immediately.

    Grilled Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad in a bowl

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

Raw Egg Warning

Consuming raw and lightly-cooked eggs poses a risk for food-borne illness.

Tip

Use extremely fresh eggs for the Caesar salad dressing. If you'd rather not use raw egg, use pasteurized eggs. Pregnant women should not consume raw eggs.

Recipe Variations

  • If you've got a little more time and want an even more scrumptious dish, try a marinade recipe for the chicken.
  • If you can’t fire up a grill, you could char the romaine quickly under the broiler or use a grill pan on the stovetop.
  • A rotisserie chicken from the store will also work in a pinch.
  • If you can't find stracci pasta, substitute with bowtie, cavatappi, or cut lasagna sheets.

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