Whip up a 20-minute meal in-a-bowl with a refreshing recipe for Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad starring DIY dressing.
Chicken Caesar salad, meet pasta salad. Pasta salad, meet chicken Caesar salad.
Now that everyone’s acquainted, allow me to introduce you to the greatest matrimony since peanut butter and jelly: Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad.
Look at all that goodness in a bowl!
Crisp Romaine lettuce, store-bought rotisserie chicken (time-saver of the century!), crunchy croutons, Parmesan cheese shavings and rotini noodles, all tossed in a creamy homemade Caesar salad dressing.
The anchovy paste is totally optional, although it does give this Caesar its characteristic flavor oomph. But the real secret to the best DIY Caesar salad is the addition of grated Parmesan cheese whisked right into the dressing.
I love dicing up a store-bought rotisserie chicken to make this a complete meal, but you could easily leave out the poultry to make this the ultimate side salad for potlucks, casual weeknight spreads or weekend bashes.
Roasted salmon, grilled shrimp or my personal fave, skirt steak, would also be welcome additions.
To save a few more minutes (from this 20-minute dish!), whip up the dressing and salad separately then stash them in the fridge. When ready to serve, toss ’em together and grab the forks.
I’m no stranger to stellar pasta salads, but this one just gave my Greek Pasta Salad a run for its money on my list of all-time faves!
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For the dressing:
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
- 1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
For the pasta salad:
- 8 oz. uncooked pasta, such as rotini or penne
- 2 hearts of Romaine
- Shredded rotisserie chicken or chopped chicken breasts
- Croutons (optional)
- Parmesan cheese, for serving
Make the dressing:
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the Dijon mustard, lemon juice, Worcestershire, mayonnaise, minced garlic and anchovy paste until well combined. Stir in the grated Parmesan cheese and ¼ teaspoon pepper then set the dressing aside while you make the salad.
Make the pasta salad:
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain the pasta and transfer it to a large serving bowl.
- Cut the Romaine hearts into 1-inch pieces then add them and your protein of choice to the bowl with the pasta.
- Add the prepared dressing and toss to combine. Add the croutons (optional) and garnish with Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately or refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve.
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Recipe by Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste. Please do not reprint this recipe without my permission. If you'd like to feature this recipe on your site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link to this post as the original source.
So simple and so delicious. I made it for a party and it was a huge hit.
I’m so happy to read this, Jan!
Made this last night! Hands down the best thing I’ve made in months! It’s starting to get warmer here in GA, so wanted to find some lighter evening meals. I’ve never made salad dressing before, well, I’ll never go back! Thank you for the post!
Woohoo! This is what I love to read, Brandall! I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe :)
Making this favorite of ours for Easter Sunday! So good and like so many of Just a Taste recipes, so easy!
This is what I love to read! I’m so thrilled you’ve been enjoying Just a Taste, Ruth Ann!
I’m making this tonight for my family of 8. Will this taste okay without a chive paste?
Absolutely, Brittany! :)
I love your recipes. They are healthy quick and delicious. Keep up the great work!
I’m thrilled you’ve been enjoying Just a Taste, Pauline!
Love this recipe!! I make it for my meal prep. Follow the instructions but, I wait to add the dressing right before I go to lunch. Very simple and tastes amazing!!
Love reading this, Breana! I’m thrilled you’ve been enjoying the recipe!
Do we leave the noodles warm and the protein warm. Or rinse the noodles in cold water and use (let’s say) leftover cubed chicken that’s in the fridge and make it a cold salad?
Either way is great, Faith! I switch it up depending on my mood and what protein leftovers I have stashed in my fridge.
I’ve made lots of Pinterest recipes…this is by far my favorite. Will def be making this again. (I was lazy and used Ken’s Caesar dressing) I would imagine your homemade dressing would make it that much better! 10/10 recommend.
Woohoo! I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Faith!
Spectacular. My husband and toddlers love this every time I make it! The homemade dressing is to die for!
SO happy to read this, Chelsea! I’m thrilled your family has been enjoying the recipe!
I absolutely love this recipe. I don’t add the salad or anchovy paste and it is phenomenal. I just don’t like soggy salad. So I just call it chicken Caesar pasta and it’s a hit in my home.
I’m thrilled you’ve been enjoying the recipe, Crystal!
This recipe was yummy . I didn’t make my own Caesar dressing , but found a spread . We made this Gluten free with the noodles .
I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Nicole!
I made a few changes, mainly to make this vegetarian. I used a can of chickpeas instead of chicken, and used an additional tsp of worcestershire instead of anchovy paste. I also used whole wheat pasta, and added chopped red onion.
YUM! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Caitlin!
Did I miss where it said how much chicken/protein pairs well with 8 oz of pasta & lettuce? TIA! Gonna give this a go this week!!!
Hi Lori! It totally depends on your protein needs/desires. I usually buy a rotisserie chicken and shred all the meat for 4 medium servings.
Great weeknight meal. Even my husband enjoyed it and he is not big on salad as a meal! Will absolutely make this again.
Woohoo! I’m so thrilled you and your husband enjoyed the recipe, Tiffany!
So you have a recommendation for a substitute for the anchovy paste? I could not find in any stores!
No worries, Lindsay! You can just omit it :)
My store did not have Romaine so I bought a couple Caesar salad kits instead. Really a lot easier that way! Includes the croutons, Parmesan and dressing. Rally good and simple!
This is a great salad, going to have more of it tomorrow as I had leftover lettuce, chicken and dressing!!
I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Sarah!
This salad is Amazing! I have made it twice so far for my husband and myself. I am going to make it this weekend for a get together with with friends. So simple and delicious..OMG!!!
Love reading this, Lisa! I’m so thrilled you’ve been enjoying the recipe!
I made this for a little get-together with neighbors and a couple of their grandkids. Everyone loved this! The kids (8 and 7 years old) even took seconds. And my husband is still raving about the dressing 3 days later. Bottom line: This one’s a keeper!!
Love reading this, LC! I’m so glad everyone enjoyed the pasta salad!
OMG!!!!!! Five stars is definitely not enough stars. It’s my whole families new favorite.
AMAZING! I’m so glad your family enjoyed the recipe, Carole!
We absolutely love this. To keep leftovers from getting soggy, we keep the lettuce and croutons separate and everyone just adds it to their own bowl.
Amazing! I’m so thrilled you’ve been enjoying the recipe, Aimee!
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