Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
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. 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.
This recipe is sponsored by DeLallo.
Ben’s parents live on a lake and, dutiful son and daughter-in-law that we are, we mooch off of their prime location as many warm weekends as we can.
In addition to the whole being-related thing, I also try to maintain our permanent invite status by ensuring that we don’t show up empty handed. We are rarely the only guests, so an extra side dish is never unwelcome, especially when it is as universally appealing as this easy Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad.
Through the years of blogging, weekends on the lake have become one of my most valuable recipe testing grounds.
I slide my dish onto the table, then silently sit back and observe how the other guests react. Second helpings, recipe requests, and 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.
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 dish that’s tailor made for lazy weekend days and light weeknight dinners.
This tasty chicken caesar pasta salad is jam-packed with flavor, and its pleasing contrast of textures makes it satisfying and addictive.
To keep the recipe healthy without sacrificing flavor, I use my Homemade Caesar Dressing, which is Greek-yogurt based. I also swap regular white pasta for DeLallo Biodynamic Whole Wheat Pasta, which is higher in protein and fiber than traditional white pasta.
ATTENTION whole wheat pasta skeptics! I beg you to try DeLallo’s whole wheat pasta. Its flavor and texture are outstanding. Unlike other brands of whole wheat pasta I’ve tried, it cooks up truly al dente, it isn’t heavy, mushy, or “wheaty,” and its taste is a dead ringer for regular white pasta.
If whole wheat pasta could walk on water, it would be this pasta.
I’ve been buying DeLallo whole wheat pasta for years, even before I started blogging. I was excited to learn about their new biodynamic line of pasta that came out recently. The wheat used for the pasta is sustainably grown and harvested, and the pasta is made the same way that it’s been done in southern Italy for generations.
Plus, did I mention it is delicious?
I opted for the fusilli shape of pasta because I love the way the Caesar dressing clings to its spirals. If you’d prefer a chicken Caesar bowtie pasta salad or penne pasta salad with Caesar dressing, DeLallo offers both shapes in its regular whole wheat pasta line.
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.
For the chicken, I recommend my easy method for How to Cook 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.
Let the summer sun shine and the days of Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad begin!
Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
- 8 ounces DeLallo Biodynamic Whole-Wheat Fusilli Pasta
- 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
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain and 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
Nutrition InformationAmount per serving (1 (of 6), about 2 cups) — Calories: 417, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 44mg, Carbohydrates: 50g, Fiber: 9g, Sugar: 4g, Protein: 28g
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