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close-up of chicken caesar pasta salad

Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

This Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad recipe is loaded with tender chicken, bacon, croutons, penne pasta, and the most delicious easy homemade Caesar dressing.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 514 kcal
Author Natasha Bull

Ingredients

  • 1 pound uncooked pasta
  • 6 strips bacon cut into small pieces
  • 2 large chicken breasts cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 4 cups romaine lettuce chopped or torn
  • 2 cups croutons
  • 3/4 cup Caesar dressing or to taste
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese finely grated or shaved
  • Lemon juice (optional, to taste)

Instructions

  1. If you are making my Caesar dressing and/or croutons, I suggest prepping those first prior to starting this recipe. For this recipe, I prep as I go along (like while the pasta, bacon, and chicken are cooking) to save time.

  2. Boil a salted pot for the pasta. Cook it al dente according to package directions. Once it's done, drain it and rinse it with cold water. Let it sit in a colander/sieve so it drains thoroughly while you're doing other steps in the recipe.

  3. Meanwhile, cut the bacon into bite-size pieces (I use kitchen shears to make this easy), and cook it over medium-high heat until crispy (about 10 minutes). Once it's finished, take the pan off the heat and remove the bacon to a paper towel lined plate, and leave the fat in the pan.

  4. Cut your chicken in half lengthwise and season both sides with the garlic powder and salt & pepper. Return the skillet to the heat (medium high), and when the fat is hot, fry the chicken for about 5 minutes/side or until it's golden and cooked through. Remove the chicken to a plate and let it cool a bit prior to slicing it into strips.

  5. Once your pasta, bacon, and chicken are all ready, it's time to assemble the salad in a large bowl. Toss it with the dressing (feel free to add more if needed). I like to squeeze a little bit of lemon juice on top of the salad prior to serving. I suggest eating this salad as soon as you've added the dressing.

Recipe Notes

  • You can easily halve this recipe (or halve it and keep the chicken the same) if you don't need a big batch.
  • This recipe is very forgiving, so you don't need to stick to the ingredient quantities I suggest. I encourage you to add more/less of something to suit your tastes. And feel free to swap the chicken with rotisserie chicken!
  • Prep time will be longer if you make the Caesar dressing and/or croutons from scratch. I count some of the prep time in the cook time since you can multi-task pretty easily in this recipe.
  • Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.
Nutrition Facts
Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 514 Calories from Fat 207
% Daily Value*
Fat 23g35%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 58mg19%
Sodium 566mg25%
Potassium 442mg13%
Carbohydrates 50g17%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 25g50%
Vitamin A 2104IU42%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 88mg9%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.