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.
- 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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
Calories: 514kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 58mg | Sodium: 566mg | Potassium: 442mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 2104IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 88mg | Iron: 2mg