Whip up a 20-minute meal in-a-bowl with a refreshing recipe for Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad starring DIY dressing.

A top down view of a bowl containing the best Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

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.

Top down view of Caesar pasta salad with chicken and croutons

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.

Bowl containing homemade caesar dressing ingredients

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.

Glass bowl containing caesar salad dressing, parmesan cheese and a whisk

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.

Chopped romaine on cutting board with knife next to three bowls containing chicken, pasta and croutons

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.

Glass bowl containing the best Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad ingredients

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!

A top down view of a large bowl and a small bowl containing Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

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Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

Whip up a 20-minute meal in-a-bowl with a refreshing recipe for Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad starring DIY dressing.
5 from 62 votes
A top down view of a bowl containing the best Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Servings 10 servings


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. 
  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to give it a star rating below!


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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.

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Calories: 277kcal, Carbohydrates: 18g, Protein: 15g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 39mg, Sodium: 231mg, Potassium: 208mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 2015IU, Vitamin C: 2.4mg, Calcium: 59mg, Iron: 1mg

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  1. 5 stars
    Excellent! But I would double the dressing for sure! I did because I also used more than 8oz of pasta. The dressing is amazing!

  2. 5 stars
    Fantastic salad. I just can’t get enough of it!
    Made it for friends as an entree salad lunch. They LOVED it! I’ve made it many times since then too. The homemade dressing is so good, perfect proportions for this salad.
    All of Kelly’s recipes are amazing but this salad is a “go to” many times over. This salad and others are in her outstanding cook book.

    1. WOWZA! Thank you so, so much for your kind comment! I’m thrilled you’ve been enjoying Just a Taste and The Secret Ingredient Cookbook :)

  3. 5 stars
    Very easy and delicious. I went exactly by the recipe. The dressing is truly out of this world. You will want to make extra to put on any vegetable…or it just occurred to me – any kind of POTATO. Omg would that be crazy good. Used chicken thighs since that’s what I had, baked in olive oil, salt, pep, smoked paprika for 35 minutes at 350. There is only me and my husband so lots left over. Tip: only add as much romaine as you think you’ll eat and add it to in another day to always have your greens fresh. Thank you for a great healthy and fresh springtime meal!

    1. You are so welcome, Lydia! I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe and a great tip about adding just enough romaine!

      1. 5 stars
        I really enjoy this recipe and it’s quite versatile. I used all fresh ingredients the first time around and it turned out really well. The second time I had to use garlic powder since I didn’t have any fresh garlic around so just used less garlic powder. The anchovies I mash up to make a paste drove my husband out of the kitchen so not so bad of a technique with added benefits LOL! Thank you for this recipe which I’ll definitely use time and again.

      2. You are so welcome, Julie! I’m thrilled you’ve been enjoying the recipe!

  4. 5 stars
    QUICK, easy and everything worked as listed. A wonderful summer dish for lunch or dinner. I used rotisserie chicken cut up and adjusted everything to own taste (more cheese, less pepper). This dish taste GREAT!

  5. 5 stars
    This Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad is now my #1 salad to make. The dressing is restaurant quality and I’m in love. I definitely will be making this again. Thank you

  6. 5 stars
    I made this for our Louisiana Day at school. I doubled the recipe and it was all gone we just didn’t put chicken in the salad.

  7. 5 stars
    This was really good. It was a last minute dinner, so I did not make the dressing. It was very good. I will try the dressing when I plan ahead next time.

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Sharon! Looking forward to reading your results next time, too!

  8. 5 stars
    I brought this to a retirement party and it was a BIG HIT! The homemade dressing was seriously fabulous! I added dried cranberries because a local deli in town does it and it just works. Thank you!!

  9. 5 stars
    Delicious recipe! I was trying to mimic a pasta salad I found at my local store, so I left out the romaine and the chicken, but used 12oz of pasta (small shells) and 7 strips of chopped cooked bacon to make up for the extra dressing. I also substituted fish sauce for the anchovy paste, since I didn’t have any.

  10. 5 stars
    This was fantastic-everything about it, dressing was outstanding. Took some to my mom, she loved it. Thank you so much for this recipe. :)

  11. This was AMAZING. I didn’t do homemade dressing because I had an unopened container of store-bought dressing on hand, and I also had shredded parmesan on hand so I used that instead of shaved. I marinated my chicken in Italian dressing, and then cut it into cubes when it was done. Everything was delicious!

  12. 5 stars
    Excellent recipe that I have made several times already. I just posted it to my FB account. I roast boneless, skinless chicken breasts in place of the rotisserie chicken but that is our preference. I skip the croutons and the anchovy paste…mostly the latter because I don’t ever have that on hand but will definitely add it to my shopping list as I think that would take the salad to the next level. Thank you for sharing this very fast and delicious recipe!

  13. Hi Kelly,
    I received your cookbook as a birthday gift from my daughter, I follow you on IG which I enjoy

    I’m a little confused on the delicious chicken Caesar salad, on my cookbook it says to use avocado in preparing dressing, but on your website it does not mention avocados, before I had received my cookbook I had prepared salad from recipe on your website and loved it, the other I was using my cookbook and my dressing was not working out, please help?

    1. Hi there! The recipe in the cookbook is a different variation of this recipe. They are similar but not quite the same!

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