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 50 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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Recipe Rating


  1. 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!!

  2. 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.

  3. 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. :)

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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!

  10. 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!

  11. 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.

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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!

  17. 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.

  18. 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!

  19. 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!

  20. 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!!

  21. 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!

  22. 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!

  23. 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!

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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!

  28. 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.

  29. 5 stars
    So yummy. I did not have anchovies so I minced up a few green olives. This might be my new crack lol

  30. 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!

  31. 5 stars
    Delicious and perfect dinner for a hot summer day. I omitted the anchovy paste and really enjoyed the dressing.

  32. 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.

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

  34. 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!

  35. 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”.

  36. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner tonight! Everyone from hubs to the 1 year old enjoyed it thanks for another great weeknight dinner!

  37. 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.