Dear Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad, it’s time for your debut! This simple but splendid recipe has been my faithful barbecue, potluck, and easy lunch companion since the first summer we arrived in Wisconsin.

Healthy Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad with fresh veggies and Greek yogurt dressing in a bowl.

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It’s easy, healthy, and perfectly represents the magic that occurs when two classic, well-loved recipe concepts (chicken Caesar salad and pasta salad) meet to create a refreshing new experience.

Ben’s parents live on a lake and, being the dutiful son and daughter-in-law that we are, we mooch off of their prime location as many warm weekends as we can.

Through the years of blogging, weekends on the lake have become one of my most valuable recipe testing grounds. We’re rarely the only guests so an extra side dish (like this BLT Pasta Salad) to share is always a welcome contribution.

I slide my dish onto the table, then silently sit back and observe how the other guests react.

Second helpings, recipe requests, and the overall amount of leftovers (goal = none) each contribute to whether or not I decide if the recipe is a keeper.

This chicken Caesar pasta salad recipe? OFF THE CHARTS.

5 Star Review

“I made this for healthy lunches this week and I LOVE it. Thanks for a recipe that makes me look forward to mealtime!”

— Audra —

Why I Love This Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

This crowd-approved side combines the key ingredients of chicken Caesar salad—juicy chicken, crunchy greens, crispy croutons, salty Parmesan, and creamy Caesar dressing—with whole wheat pasta and fresh cherry tomatoes to create a dish that’s tailor-made for lazy weekend days and quick weeknight dinners.

Healthy Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad in a bowl on butcher block.

How Do You Make Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad?

This tasty chicken Caesar pasta salad is jam-packed with flavor, and its pleasing contrast of textures makes it satisfying and addictive.


The Ingredients

  • Whole Wheat Pasta. ATTENTION whole wheat pasta skeptics! I beg you to try it.

Tip!

If you’re new to the whole wheat pasta scene, look for a high-quality option that won’t be heavy, mushy, or “wheaty,” once cooked al dente. (I like DeLallo.)

Cooked whole wheat pasta in a colander.
  • Chicken. For the chicken, I recommend my easy method for How to Cook Shredded Chicken, Baked Chicken Breast, or Crock Pot Shredded Chicken. You can also use a rotisserie chicken for a fast, easy shredded chicken pasta recipe. Grilled chicken pieces would be wonderful here too.
  • Romaine Lettuce. For the greens, romaine is traditional for Caesar, though I’ve also done this recipe as a kale chicken caesar pasta salad and a caesar pasta salad with spinach. Romaine or kale would be my top recommendations, because they are hearty enough to stand up to the other ingredients and maintain their texture long after the pasta is made, a key qualification of a potluck-worthy dish.
  • Cherry Tomatoes. Bright, delicious little bursts of flavor! Plus, the red color is beautiful in the bowl.
  • Croutons. For a bit of crunch and added flavor.
  • Parmesan. Nutty, cheesy, and perfectly suited for Caesar dressing.
  • Dressing. I love using my delicious Homemade Caesar Dressing!

Directions

  1. Cook, drain and rinse the pasta. Transfer into a large serving bowl.
  2. If necessary, cook the chicken and cut into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Toss together the remaining ingredients with the cooked pasta and chicken until evenly coated with dressing. Enjoy!

How to Make Ahead and Store Caesar Salad

  • To Store. Chicken Caesar pasta salad tastes best the day it is made but will keep in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days and can be made 1 day in advance.
  • To Make Ahead. This salad can be made 1 day in advance.
  • If you know you will be serving leftovers, you can make a little extra dressing and set it aside to toss on the leftovers before serving to keep them from drying out. No extra dressing? Try reviving the leftovers with a big squeeze of lemon juice.
Healthy Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad made with whole wheat pasta in a serving bowl.

Let the summer sunshine and the days of Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad begin!

Healthy Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad. DELISH! Fresh, creamy, and packed with fresh veggies and juicy chicken. The dressing is made with Greek yogurt, so it's super creamy but much lighter. Perfect for parties, healthy lunches and dinners, and busy families. Use bowtie pasta or any shape you love.

Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

5 from 5 votes
A delicious and healthy Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad with whole wheat pasta, crisp veggies, juicy chicken, and simple, creamy homemade Greek yogurt Caesar Dressing. Perfect for healthy family meals, barbecues, and parties!

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 30 mins

Servings: 6 Servings

Ingredients
  

  • 8 ounces whole wheat fusilli pasta or your favorite pasta shape
  • 12 ounces chicken breast cooked and cut into bite-size pieces (about 1 very large or 2 small/medium breasts; see my easy method for cooking it here!)*
  • 1 romaine lettuce heart chopped (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 3/4 cup croutons
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 batch Homemade Caesar Dressing

Instructions
 

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain into a colander. Rinse under cold water, then shake off as much excess water as possible. Set aside to cool.
  • If necessary, cook the chicken breasts according to this method for how to cook shredded chicken. Cut into bite-size pieces.
  • Shake out the pasta once more, then add the pasta to a large serving bowl. Top with the chicken, romaine, tomatoes, croutons, and Parmesan. Drizzle with Caesar dressing and toss to combine. Enjoy cold or at room temperature.

Notes

  • *To cook the chicken in the Instant Pot, see this post for Instant Pot Chicken. To cook the chicken in the slow cooker, see this post for Crock Pot Shredded Chicken. To bake the chicken, see this post for Baked Chicken Breast.
  • To Make Ahead. This salad can be made 1 day in advance.
  • To Store. Chicken Caesar pasta salad tastes best the day it is made but will keep in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days and can be made 1 day in advance.
  • Tip for Leftovers. Make a little extra dressing and set it aside to toss on the leftovers before serving to keep them from drying out. No extra dressing? Try reviving the leftovers with a big squeeze of lemon juice.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 6), about 2 cupsCalories: 417kcalCarbohydrates: 50gProtein: 28gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 44mgFiber: 9gSugar: 4g

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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11 Comments

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  1. The Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad looks easy & delicious. Do you have a crouton preference? Not all croutons are created equal! I used to love the Pepperidge Farm Seasoned croutons, but I don’t believe they are available anymore. Some are way to big; some don’t have much flavor or overpower your recipe with salt. Without having to try tons of croutons, I would love some feedback on yours and your readers favorites.

    1. Linda, I totally feel you on the crouton struggle! To be honest, I am not a huge connoisseur. I usually try to look for whole wheat ones, and those options are more limited. The best I’ve tried though (whole wheat aside) are Chatham Village and Cardini. They are a decent size (so many are way too tiny) and have good flavor. The Cardini ones are a bit bigger, so if you like them to be easy to spear with a fork, those are the ones I’d go with. I hope that helps!

  2. I love food mashups and chicken caesar pasta salad is one of my favorites! Sometimes I even grill or slightly char the lettuce for a smoky taste.5 stars

  3. I am super picky about the pasta we consume and I can’t wait to check this one out. Looks delicious and healthy. Also, I added this recipe to my “I gotta veganize this” board because I can absolutely imagine some grilled tofu in place of chicken. 5 stars

  4. I made this for healthy lunches this week and I LOVE it. Thanks for a recipe that makes me look forward to meal time!5 stars

  5. This sounds delicious! I’m wondering what suggestions you have to make this vegetarian – would it be hearty enough to just omit the chicken, or maybe sub tofu instead? Thoughts? Thanks! :)

    1. Hi Samantha! The possibilities are endless on what you want to add or omit. Pasta in itself is hearty, and although I haven’t tried it and you would be experimenting, you could omit the chicken.