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Chicken Caesar Salad Recipe

Back in the day, I used to meet up with friends weekly for happy hour at Claim Jumper restaurant in Long Beach, Calif. My go-to dish was the Caesar salad. That one had no chicken, but the price was an unbelievable $1.50.

This recipe reminds me of those good old days. It’s creamy, salty, and earthy — with a satisfying crunch from homemade croutons. And, with the grilled chicken, this salad is hearty enough to make a meal.  

Top view of prepared chicken Caesar salad on blue plate.
©Blog Chef.

Chicken Caesar salad: What to expect

  • Taste: The salad has the classic Caesar flavor you expect. Saltiness, some sharpness, a slight garlic undertone are the key flavors.  
  • Texture: A good Caesar salad delivers on texture in more than one way. The croutons and some snappy Romaine pieces bring the crunch. The grilled chicken provides a tenderness, punctuated with its charred edges.   
  • Foolproof factor: The easiest fail point of this recipe is adding too much Dijon mustard to the dressing. Go easy at first and then add more to taste.
  • Timing: This recipe will probably take you 40 minutes to prepare.   

Chicken Caesar salad ingredients and how to use them

Ingredients for chicken Caesar salad on a cutting board.
©Blog Chef.

The ingredients below are for the salad, plus croutons and homemade dressing. The list may look long, but many are pantry items you probably already have.

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breast: You’ll season the chicken breasts lightly, then grill them — which you can do outside on a charcoal grill or inside with a grill pan or George Foreman. You could also swap in rotisserie chicken or any other chicken that’s already cooked.
  • Salt, brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder: This combo of seasonings adds flavor to the chicken. You’ll mix ¾ teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, and ½ teaspoon onion powder. That creates your rub which goes on the chicken before you grill it.
  • Romaine lettuce: I use an entire head of Romaine lettuce, but you can adjust the amount up or down as needed. I like to rinse the leaves one at a time, then hand-tear them into a salad spinner. Give the spinner a few turns and the lettuce is ready to go.
  • Parmesan cheese: A ½ cup Parmesan cheese finishes your salad. Don’t buy the powdered stuff if you can avoid it. Get a block of Parmesan and grate it yourself for a fresher flavor.
  • French bread: You’ll want about 2 cups of cubed French bread pieces for your croutons. This is probably about 1/4 of a standard French loaf, or four slices.
  • Olive oil, fresh garlic, salad: Before you toast the croutons, you’ll toss them in 3 tablespoons of olive oil, two crushed garlic cloves, and ¼ teaspoon salt.
  • Mayonnaise, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, olive oil: The Caesar dressing is made from 2 tablespoons mayo, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, scant ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard, ½ teaspoon Worcestershire, ¼ cup olive oil, plus the anchovy mentioned below. I prefer avocado mayo and extra-virgin olive oil. Also, go easy on the Dijon because it can overtake the flavor of the dressing. If you don’t want to use mayo, try the Caesar dressing that goes with my flatbreads recipe.
  • Oil-packed anchovy, minced: My husband ate Caesar dressing for years before he knew there was anchovy in it. This is the essential ingredient that creates that distinctive Caesar flavor. You can also use ½ teaspoon anchovy paste, which is a little easier to store than canned anchovies.  

Equipment needed

You will need:

  • Big bowl
  • Grill or grill pan
  • Baking sheet
  • Whisk

Optional kitchen tools that will make this recipe easier are:

  • Salad spinner
  • Mallet
  • Sharp knife

Tips for success

Top view of prepared chicken Caesar salad on blue plate.
©Blog Chef.

Give yourself time to wash, tear, and dry the Romaine. Soggy lettuce will dull the flavor of your dressing. If you don’t have a salad spinner, lay the Romaine leaves out on paper towels to dry. You can also blot them gently.

I also recommend hand-tearing lettuce. Taking a knife to lettuce often leaves wilted edges; I’ve even had this happen using a plastic lettuce knife. This won’t happen if you tear the pieces gently by hand.  

If that sounds too tedious — I get it — start with a bag of torn and washed Romaine pieces so you don’t feel rushed.

More Caesar salad recipes you’ll love  

Once you invest in a can of anchovies or anchovy paste, you might as well keep making Caesar salads, right? The good news is that you can mix it up with fun recipes like these:

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Top view of prepared chicken Caesar salad on blue plate.

Chicken Caesar Salad

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This is ultimate homemade chicken Caesar salad! Crisp romaine lettuce, tender grilled chicken, savory Parmesan cheese, and homemade Caesar dressing combine for a burst of flavor in every bite.

  • Total Time: 37 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


Units Scale
  • 2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, washed and torn into pieces
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese


  • 2 cups of white French bread (torn or cut into pieces)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Caesar salad dressing

  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 oil-packed anchovy, minced
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. Dressing: Whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice,  mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and minced anchovy. Then whisk in olive oil. Refrigerate until needed. It will need another whisk before you dress the salad.
  2. Croutons: Preheat the oven to 350°F or 177°C. Tear or cut bread into pieces and place into a large bowl. Mix crushed garlic, olive oil, and salt. Drizzle oil mixture over bread pieces and toss to coat. Lie out bread pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 7 minutes and then flip. Put the bread back in the oven, turn off the heat, and shut the door. The croutons will finish cooking in another 8 minutes or so. 
  3. Chicken: Between two sheets of wax paper pound chicken breasts with a mallet until they are an even thickness. Season chicken breasts on both sides with salt, sugar, garlic powder, and onion powder. Grill chicken on an outdoor grill or indoor grill pan for 5 minutes on each side or until no longer pink inside.
  4. Slice chicken into small strips.
  5. Salad: Wash, tear, and dry the romaine. Pour salad dressing into a large bowl. Add romaine, Parmesan cheese, croutons, and chicken. Toss gently and serve.
  • Author: Blog Chef
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Additional Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Category: Salad Recipes
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: LowCalorieDiet


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 805
  • Sugar: 6
  • Sodium: 1114
  • Fat: 44
  • Saturated Fat: 9
  • Unsaturated Fat: 33
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 21
  • Fiber: 4
  • Protein: 79
  • Cholesterol: 204


Thursday 14th of June 2012

Deborah McCoy - no, you could leave it out if you prefer.

Deborah McCoy

Thursday 14th of June 2012

Do you have to use anchovie paste?


Wednesday 25th of March 2009

this was OUTSTANDING!!!!!!! deeeeeeeeeeee-licious. thank you for taking the time to post the recipie!!!! love, love, loved it :)


Wednesday 8th of October 2008

This is sooo a favourite - i just can't resist if I see it on a menu. Yours looks scrummy!


Wednesday 8th of October 2008

Your salad looks absolutely delicious. I didn't know that they used raw egg in this salad but I agree with you.

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