Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

from 116 votes

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.
Author: Kelly Senyei
5 from 116 votes
A top down view of a bowl containing the best Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
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. 

Kelly’s Notes

  • For a delicious twist, use cheesy tortellini!
  • Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!


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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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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5 from 116 votes (25 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Just made this today and it was delicious and filling!! The homemade dressing makes a big difference. I served the croutons in a small bowl as I knew we would have leftovers and didn’t want them to get soggy. Will definitely make again. Thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    This recipe is a keeper. I’ve made it three times for three different groups of people and everyone has really liked it. I’ve also shared it with others.

  3. 5 stars
    I thought this was delicious. Great summer dish. I made this on the whim, had all the ingredients except the anchovies. Dressing was delicious but I do think the anchovies would give it that unique Unami flavor. it’s going in the summer dishes rotation!

  4. 5 stars
    I haven’t tried this yet, but I’m really excited after reading all the reviews! I was just wondering how different the recipe would be for 1-2 people instead of 10 servings?

  5. 5 stars
    When I first saw this, I was unsure about pasta and lettuce together. It is fantastic and a go to dish for all my pot lucks now. Yummy.

  6. 5 stars
    Omgeeeeee so darn delicious!
    I made it for lunch today but used grilled turkey breast instead of chicken.. yum yum for my tum tum!!

  7. I love this. My veggie hating husband loves this. We were having a lot of leftovers we had to toss b/c left over salad is not good. So now, I actually mix every thing together except the salad so we can have left overs without soggy salad. Just cut up some fresh romaine lettuce and and add the Ceasar pasta mix and bam! It’s fresh and as good as the night before!

  8. 5 stars
    The whole dish is really good! But if you do nothing else, make the dressing! It’s delicious and super easy!! Not sure I’ll buy caesar dressing again.

  9. Yes I made this recipe and it was absolutely delicious. Thanks for publishing it. I like md it so much that I was inspired to turn it around a little and make another version. The new version had mostly chopped romaine lettuce and a smaller portion of diced penne pasta. It was also delicious.

  10. 5 stars
    This is absolutely delicious!!!!! I had never had Caesar dressing before and now I am in Love I am making it again today..I can’t wait!,,,,

  11. This pasta salad is one of the best I have ever eaten!! The homemade Caesar dressing is SO much better than any bottled – and it’s not like it’s that hard to make !!
    I added chicken to mine to make a complete meal – so nice to eat when it’s sweltering outside
    Highly recommend ❤️❤️

      1. My mayo was expired so I combined 1/2 Greek yogurt (plain) and 1/2 cream cheese with a little milk. Worked really well!

  12. 5 stars
    I am a veggie lover so I added sweet onion, sugar snaps and radish . Also thinned the dressing a bit too. But it is a main stay on our menu now too. Thank you for sharing!

    1. You are so welcome, Tina! Love your additions, and I’m thrilled you’ve been enjoying the recipe!

  13. 5 stars
    I just made this salad, and am enjoying it while I type. It’s delicious, and cool and refreshing–I love it! I made it exactly as the recipe stated, with the small addition of two ingredients. My dressing seemed a bit thick, or “stiff”, so I added 2 Tablespoons of sour cream to the mixture. I love tomatoes, so to my own bowl, I added a handful of halved cherry tomatoes. I loved the idea of adding the shaved Parmesan cheese for interest,as well as flavor! It’s a hit, and I will definitely make this again!

    1. Hi Kandy – The estimated nutritional info is for one serving (it’s calculated by taking all of the ingredients’ nutritional info and dividing by ten, the total number of servings of this recipe). I hope that helps!

  14. 5 stars
    Made this to add to our Memorial Day feast and it was such a big hit! Everybody loved it and even though it makes a big salad they wiped it out in no time. I left the chicken out because it was a side dish but can’t wait to make it again with chicken for meal prep lunches. Thanks for sharing a great recipe.

  15. 5 stars
    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!

  16. 5 stars
    Making this favorite of ours for Easter Sunday! So good and like so many of Just a Taste recipes, so easy!

  17. 5 stars
    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!!

  18. 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?

    1. Either way is great, Faith! I switch it up depending on my mood and what protein leftovers I have stashed in my fridge.

      1. 5 stars
        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.

  19. 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.

    1. 5 stars
      This recipe was yummy . I didn’t make my own Caesar dressing , but found a spread . We made this Gluten free with the noodles .

  20. 5 stars
    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.

    Great recipe!!!

    1. I used miso paste instead of anchovy paste to keep it veggie and roasted my chickpeas in herbs. Delicious!

  21. 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!!!

    1. 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.

    2. 5 stars
      Great weeknight meal. Even my husband enjoyed it and he is not big on salad as a meal! Will absolutely make this again.

    1. Buy a tin of anchovy filets and smash a few with the side of your knife to make a paste, this is an ingredient not to miss.

  22. 5 stars
    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!

  23. 5 stars
    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!!!

  24. 5 stars
    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!!

      1. 5 stars
        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.

  25. 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!

      1. Hi Malik! You can find the estimated nutritional info by clicking on the purple button below the recipe that says ESTIMATED NUTRITION INFORMATION. :)

  26. 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 :)

  27. 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!

  28. 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!

  29. 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

  30. 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.

  31. 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!

  32. 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!!

  33. 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.

  34. 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. :)

  35. 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!

    1. I can’t find anchovy paste but I have found sardine and tomato paste do you think that would still work ?

  36. 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!

  37. 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!

  38. 5 stars
    Loved this. We’re in the middle of an historic heat wave so this hit the spot. Since we detest mayo I made the dressing with EVOO instead. Lots of anchovies (which make the salad). I’ve kept the pasta separate so it will taste fresh for a few days. I also used shrimp and chicken both. So utterly refreshing in the heat. Thank you.

  39. 5 stars
    Ummm holy cow!!! This recipe is so underrated! I didn’t have anchovy paste and my local grocery store didn’t supply it, so I used regular soy sauce as a substitute! Absolutely amazing! Thanks Kelly for the recipe

  40. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! I love the homemade dressing!!! I made this as-is with herb & garlic roasted chicken and shrimp. Perfect for the 90 degree I’m having in my area. I cooked the pasta first thing in the morning, cooled it, added some of the dressing and refrigerated it until ready to assemble everything for dinner. Thank you for the recipe!

  41. 5 stars
    If this 20-minute meal is all I have to do to get romaine and grilled chicken (and shrimp) into the teens, you got me!!!! Absolutely fabulous flavor and my hubs still kisses me when I add extra garlic.

    Another hit!

  42. This salad sounds so yummy! I’m trying to find a new go-to for camping, and I think I found it! How many would you say this feeds? I want to make the dressing ahead of time at home and throw the salad together at the camp when we are ready to eat. I would need to know if i have to double the dressing recipe as I won’t have the ingredients with to make more. Thanks for any suggestions!! I can’t wait to try this.

  43. I would love to serve this for a large family gathering, do you have any suggestions for a side dish to accompany this salad?

  44. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for sharing this yummy sounding salad recipe and I cannot wait to make it for my family. I have never used Anchovey paste and maybe I can get away without adding it judging some of the comments. I already gave you 5 stars as I am sure this recipe is easily going to get 5 stars in my book. I am using fresh cooked Prawns instead of chicken.

  45. 5 stars
    Love, love, love the Caesar Salad recipe. Absolutely delicious. Left out the chicken and served it with a grilled pork tenderloin roast and steamed broccoli for a low cal healthy dinner for friends. Rave reviews

  46. 5 stars
    I made it for Mother’s Day a day ahead and I’m trying it out now and OMG. So good! I can’t wait for everyone to taste it! Thank you for the recipe. I decided to not put the croutons on until tomorrow at my mom’s house as to not make the croutons soggy.

  47. This was delicious..went down a treat with my whole family. I used bow tie pasta, seasoned my chicken with Montreal Chicken seasoning and garlic powder… everyone reached for a second helping. Thank you!

  48. 5 stars
    This was great! I took to our family Easter dinner and everyone loved it. It was so easy.
    I doubled the recipe and used Penne for the pasta. Dropped my bottle of Worcestershire sauce before I was able to add it but it was great without it. Thank you for a new family favorite.

  49. 5 stars
    SO DELICIOUS!! Wonderful recipe! I will definitely be making this caesar dressing for other meals and telling my friends about this recipe. Thank you Kelly! :)

      1. Wonderful! My husband said it’s the best salad he’s ever had : )
        Thank you so much for this recipe!

  50. 5 stars
    Delicious! Made for dinner tonight. Quick and easy yet so tasty and satisfying! Have also made for a party and it got rave reviews! Thank you for a recipe that will definitely be made many times in this house!

  51. 5 stars
    SO DELICIOUS! Made it with salmon and it was perfect! Left out the anchovy paste for fear it would turn off my kids. They went crazy for it and have already asked me to make it again. Thank you!

    1. I went beef style. I think steak and Parmesan cheese go bomb together. Sliced Ribeye is what I used but skirt steak and tri tip chunks would be delish too

    2. Hi! Is it possible to substitute the anchovy paste with something else to still get the Caesar flavor? My husband is a Caesar salad addict and would love this!!

  52. 5 stars
    I love this salad! I like to meal prep it in portions, then just add the dressing at lunch time, shaking it all up. So yummy!

  53. 5 stars
    One of our favorites! The kids will request this for dinner. We do leave out the anchovy paste and it is perfect for our family!

  54. 5 stars
    Love this recipe! So delicious my whole family including kids devoured it. Next time I’ll make with a little more pasta. Thank you!

    1. Hi Tara! Because it has fresh garlic in it, I’d keep it no longer than 2 weeks in the fridge.

    1. You can skip it! It won’t drastically change the outcome, just the flavor a bit. :) And I’m thrilled you’re enjoying Just a Taste!

  55. 5 stars
    Love this salad! Super easy and fresh! I grilled my chicken on the Traeger and topped the salad off with fresh parm and pecorino/romano. I will definitely be making this again.

  56. 5 stars
    This salad is amazing. I left out anchovy paste. Served it for luncheon. All the ladies wanted the recipe. Thank you so much.

  57. 5 stars
    Killer recipe, thank you for bringing this salad (and especially the dressing) into my life. I didn’t have anchovy paste at hand, but same amount of fish sauce worked nicely.

  58. 5 stars
    This is SO good! I LOVE Caesar salad and the dressing made it incredible. My boyfriend raved about it. Will never buy Caesar dressing in a bottle ever again. Thank you!

  59. 5 stars
    Made this for supper and it was a hugh success …my children and grandkids loved it even my 5 year old gobbled it up and i have to force him eat most days…the tiny bit let was good the next day too.

  60. 5 stars
    So yummy. I did not have anchovies so I minced up a few green olives. This might be my new crack lol

  61. 5 stars
    Made this and loved it I used whole wheat pasta instead and just bought a low cal dressing. But it was delicious has become one of my favorite lunches.

    1. Love the idea of using whole wheat pasta, Erin! I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying the recipe!

  62. 5 stars
    Delicious and perfect dinner for a hot summer day. I omitted the anchovy paste and really enjoyed the dressing.

  63. Can you store the dressing in fridge? And how long does it keep if I were to make a couple jars of it? Thanks in advance

    1. Yes indeed! Because it has fresh garlic in it, I’d keep it no longer than 2 weeks in the fridge.

  64. I don’t usually post comments but this was so delicious!!!! Thank you for putting this recipe together! The dressing was perfect

  65. 5 stars
    This is sooo AMAZING!! I was hesitant with the anchovy paste but my husband always says to follow the recipe. I did and it was to die for. He works outdoors so in the summer he doesn’t want a big heavy/hot meal for dinner. This really hit the spot and will be a keeper!

  66. 5 stars
    A delicious meal. The salad dressing was so good I kept sampling it until I forced myself to stop. Everyone enjoyed it, definitely a keeper. I told my daughters friend she could take some home and she said “ you may want to check the bowl, it’s almost all gone”.

  67. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner tonight! Everyone from hubs to the 1 year old enjoyed it thanks for another great weeknight dinner!

  68. 5 stars
    I saw this on your Instagram feed and thought, gosh I think I’ll make that tonight!
    I did and it is delicious.