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!
Craving more? Subscribe to Just a Taste to get new recipes, meal plans and a newsletter delivered straight to your inbox! And stay in touch on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for all of the latest updates.
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!
Did you try this recipe?
Share it with the world! Mention @justataste or tag #justatasterecipes!
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.
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!
This is a wonderful recipe! Somehow it is light but also filling. Delicious and easy!
I’m so thrilled you enjoyed it, Sarah!
Exactly what I was looking for in a quick summer lunch. Love this recipe and will make this often!
I’m so happy you enjoyed the recipe, Kristen!
Excellent! But I would double the dressing for sure! I did because I also used more than 8oz of pasta. The dressing is amazing!
So glad you enjoyed it, Marianne!
I made your chicken past caesar salad tonight, and my husband and I both enjoyed it.
I’m so happy to read this, Jill!
Calorie info if possible please!
Hi Malik! You can find the estimated nutritional info by clicking on the purple button below the recipe that says ESTIMATED NUTRITION INFORMATION. :)
This was really good!
I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Stacey!
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.
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 :)
So yummy! My large family gathering devoured it! Thank you!!
You are so welcome, Ann! I’m thrilled your family enjoyed the recipe!
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!
You are so welcome, Lydia! I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe and a great tip about adding just enough romaine!
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.
You are so welcome, Julie! I’m thrilled you’ve been enjoying the recipe!
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!
Amazing! I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Gloria!
Excellent! A new favorite go-to for a quick meal with left-over chicken. The dressing is phenomenal!
Woohoo! I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Carrie!
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
You are so welcome, Kyra! I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe!
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.
Awesome! I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Jennifer!
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.
I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Sharon! Looking forward to reading your results next time, too!
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!!
YUM! I’m so glad everyone enjoyed the recipe, Ilea!
I’m definitely making this next weekend!
I hope you enjoy the recipe, Maria!
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.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Josh!
This was fantastic-everything about it, dressing was outstanding. Took some to my mom, she loved it. Thank you so much for this recipe. :)
You are so welcome, Darlene! I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe!
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!
I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Morgan!
I can’t find anchovy paste but I have found sardine and tomato paste do you think that would still work ?
You can just leave it out! :)
I really enjoyed this.
Very tasty. Thnx.
So glad you enjoyed the recipe, Shauna!
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!
You are so welcome, Rita! I’m thrilled you’ve been enjoying the recipe!
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?
Hi there! The recipe in the cookbook is a different variation of this recipe. They are similar but not quite the same!
This was absolutely delicious. . Enjoyed every bite. The dressing was so creamy.
I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Patty!
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.
You are so welcome, Elaine! I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe!
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
Woohoo! I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Skyler!
Was a huge hit with everyone who tried it.
I’m thrilled to read this, Michelle!
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!
You are so welcome, Lauri! I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe!
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.
Woohoo! I’m so thrilled to read this, Karen!
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.
Hi Kelli! This recipe yields 10 servings :) Looking forward to reading your results!
I would love to serve this for a large family gathering, do you have any suggestions for a side dish to accompany this salad?
Hi Theresa! My Secret Ingredient Cheesy Garlic Bread would be excellent served alongside this pasta salad! Here’s the link to the recipe: https://www.justataste.com/cheesy-garlic-bread/ Looking forward to reading your results!
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.
You can absolutely omit the anchovy paste, Bev! I hope you enjoy the pasta salad!
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
Amazing! I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Lana!
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.
I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Ariel!
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!
Yay! This is what I love to read, Kris!
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.
I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Patricia!
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! :)
You are so welcome! I’m thrilled you enjoyed it!
Wonderful! My husband said it’s the best salad he’s ever had : )
Thank you so much for this recipe!
You are so welcome, Shelley! I’m thrilled to read this!
Delicious and so quick to make! Soooo satisfying!
I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Sally!
So easy, simple, and delicious! Thanks for sharing!!
You are so welcome, Hayley! I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe!
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!
I’m thrilled you’ve been enjoying the recipe, Catherine!
Made for the first time and it was delicious and quick to put together! Thanks for the recipe!
I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Stormi!
I bet this will be good
I hope you enjoy it!
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!
Woohoo! This is what I love to read, Tamara!
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
YUM! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Michelle!
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!!
You can just skip it! :)
I love this recipe. It’s my go to for any event. Fast, easy and tasty. My family loves it
I’m so thrilled to read this, Robin!
Forgot to give it a 5 star rating and more.. So good!
Thank you! :)
This salad is amazing. Just the right amount of everything. Thank you so much for sharing. :)
You are so welcome, Elizabeth! I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe!
I love Caesar salad. This will fit very well in my taste bud folder. Smile.
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!
Awesome! I’m so thrilled you’ve been enjoying the recipe, Jeni!
We love this. It is great to make on Sunday for lunches all week.
I’m thrilled you’ve been enjoying the recipe, Michele!
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!
I’m thrilled to read this, Denise!
Family raved about it and has been asking me to make it again!
I’m thrilled you and your family enjoyed the recipe, Andrea!
My daughter and I loved this salad!!! Delicious!!
So glad you’re enjoying it, Kathy!
Do you rinse off the pasta with cold water before adding it in with the lettuce?
You can but it isn’t necessary. :)
Love this recipe! So delicious my whole family including kids devoured it. Next time I’ll make with a little more pasta. Thank you!
I’m so glad you and your family enjoyed the recipe, Tara!
This looks yummo!!! Talk about a perfect summer meal!!..THANKS…TOM
HUGE hit with my picky eaters! Definitely on the keep list!
Woohoo! I’m so thrilled to hear this, Cathy!
how long will the dressing last in the fridge?
Hi Tara! Because it has fresh garlic in it, I’d keep it no longer than 2 weeks in the fridge.
This was great! Very easy to make. I added some cherry tomatoes.
Love your addition of cherry tomatoes, Jenn! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe!
Hi, can I skip the anchovy paste or it is necessary?
btw I love your recipes!
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!
This salad is awesome and the dressing is fabulous. Really really delicious.
I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Melissa!
I love this salad. Dressing is easy to make but tastes so good! I make it all the time.
I’m so thrilled you’ve been enjoying the recipe, Robin!
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.
I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Melissa!
This salad is amazing. I left out anchovy paste. Served it for luncheon. All the ladies wanted the recipe. Thank you so much.
You are so welcome, Suzi! I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe!
Is this really 10 servings?
How far in advance can I make the dressing?
Hi Dianne! Because it has fresh garlic in it, I’d keep it no longer than 2 weeks in the fridge.
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.
You are so welcome, Mikko! I’m thrilled you enjoyed it the recipe, it’s one of my all-time faves!
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!
Woohoo! You are so welcome, Amanda! I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe :)
Love love love this.
I’m making a quadruple batch of the dressing to just use as Caesar dressing on our salads!
YES!! So thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Kent!
Absolutely delicious! My son wants this every week. Today is the 3rd time I made this.
So thrilled you’re enjoying the recipe, Pam!
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.
Woohoo! Love hearing this, Sue! So glad the recipe was enjoyed by all :)
Easy and delicious!! Thanks, this was a wonderful idea!!
You are so welcome, Lori! I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe!
So yummy. I did not have anchovies so I minced up a few green olives. This might be my new crack lol
Ha! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Susan!
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.
Love the idea of using whole wheat pasta, Erin! I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying the recipe!
Delicious and perfect dinner for a hot summer day. I omitted the anchovy paste and really enjoyed the dressing.
I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe!
This was awesome! Used shrimp and a different pasta.
Nice! I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Lynne!
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
Yes indeed! Because it has fresh garlic in it, I’d keep it no longer than 2 weeks in the fridge.
I don’t usually post comments but this was so delicious!!!! Thank you for putting this recipe together! The dressing was perfect
Woohoo! I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Vanessa!
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!
Love hearing this, Lisa! I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe!
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”.
Love hearing this, Anne!
This was a family success! Kids loved it and it was so easy, thank you for the recipe!
Woohoo! I’m so thrilled to hear this, Evelyn!
Made this for dinner tonight! Everyone from hubs to the 1 year old enjoyed it thanks for another great weeknight dinner!
So glad you enjoyed the recipe, Carly! XOXO
I saw this on your Instagram feed and thought, gosh I think I’ll make that tonight!
I did and it is delicious.
AMAZING! I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Nancy!