Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad is an easy side dish with all the flavors in a classic Caesar salad. Best of all, with a lightened up mayo-free dressing and ready in less than 30 minutes! Perfect for summer potlucks, barbecues and cookouts. Plus recipe video.
It’s a simple side dish that comes together in under 30 minutes. I shared it back in 2015 and thought it was time to give the photos a facelift as well as republish the post for any new set of eyes.
My husband is a big Caesar salad fan and the addition of pasta and chicken help to make this a heartier side dish or alone as a complete meal.
One thing that’s great about any salad is that you can easily customize them with whatever you have on hand.
How to make this Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
I used bow-tie pasta here but feel free to swap with penne or any other pasta you like.Whole wheat or gluten free would both work great here as well.
To keep this entirely gluten free, you can leave out the croutons or make your own croutons using gluten free bread.
You can use your favorite Caesar dressing here but if you have a few extra minutes, the homemade dressing will be well worth the effort.
It’s lightened up with Greek yogurt in place of mayo and blended it up with a few essential ingredients to create that popular signature Caesar flavor.
A healthy mayo-free homemade Caesar dressing with the same creamy and decadent effect.
Finally, toss in some grilled or rotisserie chicken for a complete meal. Or keep it meatless with chopped nuts or roasted chickpeas instead.
Either way you serve it, this Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad is a summertime classic and makes an easy, picnic-ready favorite.
And it also works great if you want to make it ahead:
- cook the pasta ahead of time and store in a large zip-top bag in the fridge
- wash and chop the lettuce and tomatoes in advance and store in an airtight container or large zip-top bag in the fridge
- make the dressing in advance and store in a resealable jar
- for Sunday Meal prep, divide the pasta salad into lunchboxes. Or make all four pasta salads and bring a different one to work every day.
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt a thicker Greek yogurt brand works best - I use Skyr or Siggy's non-fat
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 teaspoons anchovy paste or 2 anchovy fillets highly recommended
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 3 cups pasta cooked according to package directions and cooled (I used farfalle)
- 4 cups romaine lettuce chopped
- 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes cut into halves
- 1 green onion thinly sliced
- 1 Tablespoons fresh basil leaves thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus more for topping
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1-2 cups cooked chicken breasts diced (grilled, roasted or rotisserie would work great)
- 1 cup croutons
- To make the dressing: In a small food processor or a high-speed blender, add all the dressing ingredients and puree until creamy and smooth. Or alternatively, you may add all ingredients to a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake vigorously until mixture is well-blended. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed, and add 1-2 teaspoons milk or water if needed to thin out the dressing to your desired consistency.
- To assemble the salad: In a large bowl, mix the pasta with enough dressing to coat evenly. Cover and chill in the fridge for 10 minutes. Toss in the rest of the ingredients, except for the croutons. Pour the remainder of the dressing on top of the salad and gently toss to combine. Season with additional salt and pepper, as needed.
Sprinkle with grated Parmesan and croutons. Serve immediately or cover and chill in the fridge for up to 3 hours.
You can prep the dressing and coat the pasta up to 2 days ahead before assembling with the rest of the salad ingredients. Just keep in an airtight covered container.
Looking for more 30 minute meals? Don’t forget to check out these other great recipes:
Creamy Sausage and Mushroom Rigatoni by Pumpkin ‘N Spice
Grilled Balsamic Chicken Salad Pizza with Fresh Strawberry Salsa by Floating Kitchen
Blackened Fish Taco Bowls with Corn Salsa by Bake Eat Repeat
One Pot Creamy Vegan Caprese Pasta by She Likes Food
Vegetarian Portobello Mushroom Fajitas by Kristine’s Kitchen
One Pot BBQ Chicken Pasta by The Recipe Rebel
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