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This grilled chicken Caesar salad with creamy dressing and garlicky grilled croutons is a modernized version of the classic Caesar salad.
With grilled marinated chicken, garlicky grilled sliced baguette croutons, hearts of romaine lettuce, and lots of shaved Parmesan cheese, this grilled chicken Caesar salad is the perfect summer dinner.
I’ve been in love with grilled chicken salads ever since I made this Grilled Chicken Chopped Salad. I’m always on a quest for great “dinner in a salad” recipe.
Now that we are enjoying grilling weather, you definitely need to try this grilled chicken Caesar salad. With hearts of romaine, olive oil, garlic, and lemon marinated chicken, and lots of shaved Parmesan, this salad is loaded with flavor.
Toss this salad with a creamy dressing with anchovies, mustard, lemon juice, more Parmesan, Worcestershire sauce, and olive oil, and garnish it with big garlicky croutons made from baguette slices for a wonderful summer dinner.
Did you know that the Caesar salad was invented by a San Diego restaurateur of Italian heritage who owned restaurants across the border in Tijuana to avoid Prohibition? The salad, without chicken, was prepared by waiters in ill-fitting vests at your table.
There are disputes as to whether or not anchovies and garlic were included in the dressing. Regardless, if the addition of came along later, it was worth the wait.
Shopping list for grilled chicken Caesar salad:
- romaine lettuce
- boneless skinless chicken breasts
- French baguette, store bought or homemade
- olive oil packed anchovies or anchovy paste
- wedge of Parmesan cheese
- fresh garlic
- fresh lemons
- Worcestershire sauce
- Dijon mustard
- olive oil
- canola oil
- Sherry vinegar
- salt and pepper
Classic Caesar salad dressing also includes a raw egg yolk. While it’s more than likely safe, I left it out of this recipe to make this recipe friendly for small children and folks who are sensitive to raw ingredients.
This dressing is super creamy as is so you won’t miss the egg. This salad is loaded with Parmesan cheese and is emulsified in an instant in the mini food processor or blender.
How to Make This Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad:
- First, you marinate the chicken in a mixture of olive oil, lemon zest, garlic, salt, and pepper for 20 minutes to 24 hours.
- While the chicken is marinating, you prepare the dressing, wash and dry the lettuce, shave the Parmesan cheese, and make the baguette croutons.
- To make the croutons, slice half of a day old baguette on and angle and brush the slices on both sides with olive oil. Grill the baguette slices on both sides and then rub the slices with raw garlic.
- After that, you grill the chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
- Finally, you toss the lettuce, chicken, shaved Parmesan, and dressing together and divide the salad among four bowls. Garnish with the baguette croutons.
Chicken Caesar Salad Recipe Variations
Traditional Caesar dressing calls for a raw egg yolk, which I left out. If you want to be totally authentic, you can add a raw egg for extra creaminess. You can also “coddle” the egg yolk by dropping an egg in bowling water for a couple of minutes.
Another option is to add a tablespoon of mayonnaise in the place of the egg for extra creaminess.
While I’ve never tried doing this myself, some folks like to fully grill their Caesar salad, including the hearts of romaine. If you want to try this, cut the hearts of romaine in half lengthwise, brush the cut sides with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and place them on the grill, cut side down and grill for 1 to 2 minutes until just slightly charred.
What to do with Leftovers
If you’ve made more salad that you can use in one sitting, toss just the amount of lettuce and chicken you will be using in the dressing.
You can store the leftover lettuce, undressed, in your crisper. Store the leftover chicken separately in the refrigerator, along with the dressing.
Making Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad:
With this amazing dressing, grilled baguette slices, and juicy grilled chicken, you will be able to serve a delicious and refreshing summer dinner salad.
If you enjoy this recipe, I’d love for you to give it 5 stars!
Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad
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For the Grilled Garlic Croutons
- 1/2 French baguette sliced on an angle
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 large garlic cloves peeled and cut in half
For the Grilled Chicken
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the Dressing
- 1 2 ounce can anchovies rinsed
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 3 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 1/4 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons Finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup olive oil
For the Salad
- 3 Hearts of romaine lettuce leaves separated and washed and dried
- 1/2 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
To Make the Garlic Croutons
- Brush both sides of the baguette slices with olive oil
- Grill the slices on a hot grill or grill pan until you have grill marks on both sides.
- Remove from the grill and immediately rub both sides of the bread slices with the cut sides of the garlic to infuse the croutons with the flavor of garlic.
To Make the Chicken
- Slice the chicken breasts into 1 inch thick slices.
- Whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest, salt, and pepper and toss with the chicken pieces.
- Place the mixture in a plastic bag and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- In the meantime, set aside about 1/4 of the Caesar dressing.
- Heat the grill and brush the chicken pieces with the set aside Caesar dressing.
- Grill the chicken about 3 to 5 minutes per side, until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Set aside.
To Make the Dressing
- In the bowl of a mini food processor or a blender, blend the anchovies, garlic, lemon juice, sherry vinegar, mustard, sugar, finely grated Parmesan, and the Worcestershire sauce until smooth.
- With the food processor or blender running, slowly stream in the olive oil until the dressing is emulsified and thick. Set aside about 1/4 for brushing the chicken before grilling.
To Make the Salad
- You can serve the salad with the romaine leaves left whole or torn into pieces. Toss the leaves with the chicken and the dressing to taste.
- Garnish with the shaved Parmesan and garlic baguette croutons.
More Delicious Grilling Recipes
- Grilled Chicken Wings with Carrot Habanero Hot Sauce
- Grilled Pineapple and Red Onion Salsa
- Barbecue Pork Ribs
About the Author: Karen Kerr has been posting delicious recipes on her website, Karen’s Kitchen Stories for over 7 years. She lives in Southern California, where she has maintained a sourdough starter for over 10 years. Her favorite pastime is baking artisan bread.