This post was written in a paid partnership with Manitoba Chicken Producers. As always, all opinions are my own and I only promote products and services that I use and love.
When dining out, you’re almost guaranteed to find a chicken Caesar salad on the menu. This classic is the perfect meal for lunch or dinner and is my personal favorite for easy meal planning, due to its versatility.
You can make this salad with mostly store-bought ingredients, or you can take it up a notch and make a more elaborate homemade version. Let’s take a look at all of the components.
Traditionally, Caesar salad is made with romaine lettuce. You can use a pre-washed bagged romaine from the grocery store, romaine hearts, romaine from your garden and even kale.
Serve torn lettuce, halved romaine hearts, or try grilling halved romaine hearts brushed with a bit of olive oil and seasoned with salt & pepper, like Manitoba Chicken Producers did here in this Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad recipe. I personally love grilling the lettuce because the smokiness from the grill adds another dimension of flavor. If it’s your first time grilling lettuce, watch this 60-Second video to see how it’s done.
Use boneless skinless chicken breasts for your salad. You can take some shortcuts and meal prep the chicken for an easy meal. Here are a few different ways to prepare the chicken.
- Pre-cook boneless skinless chicken breasts and slice them for quick and easy lunches or dinners
- Season chicken breasts with lemon pepper
- Crush croutons and use as a coating for a crispy baked chicken breast
- Marinate chicken breasts in caesar vinaigrette
- Use slow-cooked shredded chicken
- Use frozen popcorn chicken or chicken fingers
- Serve homemade Crispy Parmesan Chicken Strips on or with your Caesar salad
Toppings for your chicken Caesar salad
Typically, chicken Caesar salads are adorned with bacon bits and croutons, but you can up the ante by making your own croutons from a loaf of crusty bread or topping your salad with pancetta, prosciutto or capers.
Meal Prep Tips for Chicken Caesar Salad
If you’re making chicken Caesar salad for dinner, it’s never a bad idea to make an extra one for lunch the next day. I like to use mini mason jars (125 mL) to portion out the dressing. Alternatively, use large mason jars (1L) and do a salad in a jar, by layering the dressing, chicken, lettuce and bacon bits, then add the croutons just before serving. You could also use a tortilla, naan or pita to serve your chicken Caesar salad as a wrap.
Tearing the lettuce by hand versus cutting it with a knife will prevent it from browning and it will last about two days longer than it would if you cut it.
Finally, I’ve already mentioned ways to meal prep the chicken, but to elaborate on that, batch cooking several chicken breasts and freezing them, guarantees that you will have cooked chicken available for a quick meal anytime, even if it’s not Caesar salad. Use your cooked chicken in any of these recipes from manitobachicken.ca.