Finally, A Healthier Chicken Caesar Salad Recipe for Your Meal Plan

Finally, A Healthier Chicken Caesar Salad Recipe for Your Meal Plan

In the century since the Caesar salad first hit the scene, few chefs have dared to alter the basics of this uncomplicated classic. But that’s not to say you can’t have a healthier version of it. We’ve concocted our own recipe, specifically for a more protein packed chicken Caesar salad, which includes all the quintessential flavors, while making a few smart substitutions to improve the salad’s nutrition profile.

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caesar salad with chicken
5 from 2 votes
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Caesar Salad with Chicken and Whole-Grain Croutons

You won’t believe how rich and luscious this light Greek yogurt based Caesar dressing is! Just add your favorite greens and some grilled chicken for a speedy satisfying lunch.

Course Salad
Cuisine Italian
Keyword chicken caesar salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 1 serving
Calories 357 kcal

Ingredients

For Dressing

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. Greek yogurt (plain 2%)
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp. anchovy paste optional
  • 1 Tbsp. shredded Parmesan cheese
  • ground black pepper to taste; optional

For Croutons

  • cooking oil spray
  • 1 slice sprouted 100% whole grain bread chopped into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/4 tsp. Italian seasoning

For Salad

  • 10 large leaves romaine lettuce or kale
  • 2 oz. cooked chicken breast, boneless, skinless
  • 1 Tbsp. shredded Parmesan

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350⁰ F. Coat medium baking sheet with cooking oil spray. Set aside.

  2. To make dressing, finely chop garlic and place in a small bowl. Add yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, anchovy paste, if desired, and 1 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Whisk until well-blended; set aside.

  3. To make croutons, cut bread into 1-inch cubes, arrange on prepared baking sheet. Coat bread lightly with cooking oil spray and sprinkle with Italian seasoning and pepper, if desired. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until toasted. Set aside to cool.

  4. To make salad, chop lettuce (or kale) and place in a serving bowl; drizzle dressing over lettuce and toss to coat.

  5. Top salad with chicken, remaining 1 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese, if desired, and croutons.

Recipe Notes

  • Imported, aged Parmesan Reggiano will give this dish the best flavor. Or skip the cheese if you prefer.
  • The Nutrition Facts box below provides estimated nutritional information for this recipe.

Nutrition Facts
Caesar Salad with Chicken and Whole-Grain Croutons
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 357 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 70mg23%
Sodium 497mg22%
Carbohydrates 33g11%
Fiber 13g54%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 34g68%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

caesar salad with chicken

Tips for a Healthier Caesar Salad

While traditional chicken Caesar salad calories can top the 500 mark, our recipe will lightens things up, while still making it plenty filling. It also doesn’t sacrifice any creaminess or flavor — we just subbed in Greek yogurt for some of the oil in the dressing. We also nixed the raw egg that’s used to thicken the dressing, as to avoid any risks that come along with that.

And instead of relying on a box of store-bought, flavorless croutons made from white bread, our recipe calls for 100-percent whole-grain bread (we promise homemade croutons are worth the effort!).

Since we cut back on the cheese for this healthier salad, make sure to choose an imported, aged Parmesan for the most robust flavor.

 

How to Make Chicken Caesar Salad

First, blend the dressing ingredients. (If you’re looking for the most authentic chicken Caesar salad, don’t forget the anchovy paste!) Then, bake the homemade croutons.

To assemble the salad, place the lettuce or kale into a serving bowl or meal-prep containers, then top with the chicken, croutons, and shredded cheese.

This easy chicken Caesar salad recipe makes for a relatively quick meal-prep lunch option since it doesn’t call for dozens of ingredients or a whole lot of time — just make sure to add your dressing when you’re ready to eat so the croutons and lettuce don’t get soggy.

 

History of the Caesar Salad

With a name like Caesar, this popular salad may conjure images of ancient Rome. But Julius Caesar has nothing to do with it.

The origin story of the caesar salad takes place in 1920s Mexico where Italian chef Caesar Cardini first whipped up a combination of lettuce, croutons, Parmesan cheese, raw egg, and Worcestershire sauce — all prepared table side and served as a finger food.

Curious where the anchovies come in? Legend has it that Caesar’s brother Alessandro created his own version of the salad, which included whole anchovies.

Nicole McDermott

About

After graduating from Syracuse where Nicole studied magazine journalism and nutrition, she moved to New York City to write for the health and fitness site Greatist. She currently edits full time for Ghergich & Co. Nicole's work has appeared on TIME Healthland, Shape, USA Today, Men's Fitness, The Huffington Post, Refinery29 and Lifehacker, among others. Follow her on LinkedIn.

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