This Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad is a delicious side dish or main course for barbecues, potlucks or a family dinner at home. A creamy pasta salad tossed with juicy chicken and crispy Romaine lettuce.
Our homemade creamy caesar salad dressing makes this pasta salad irresistible, but you can grab your favorite bottle from the store, too!
Why We Love This Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
There are honestly so many reasons that we love this Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad. So many. First of all, the flavor of this pasta salad is so cozy and comforting, it really can’t be beat.
Juicy chicken tossed with rotini pasta and crisp lettuce hits all the flavor and texture points. Combine that with our homemade, creamy Caesar dressing and crunchy sourdough croutons? What more can you want out of a salad?
This pasta salad can also be made ahead of time and tossed with the lettuce right before serving, so it also makes for an easy make ahead recipe.
Ingredients Needed For This Pasta Salad
Just a few simple ingredients, plus our Homemade Creamy Caesar Dressing is all you need to get this delicious pasta salad on the table!
- Rotini Pasta: Other types of pasta like penne or bow tie pasta can also be used.
- Romaine Lettuce: You need a hearty green like Romaine to stand up to this pasta salad. Iceberg lettuce would also be a great swap out.
- Shaved Parmesan Cheese: You can find shaved parmesan at the grocery store, or you can use a vegetable peeler or a box grater to create the same effect.
- Chicken: You’ll need 3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts for this salad. You can roast them in the oven, grill them or even grab a rotisserie chicken from the store.
- Sourdough Croutons: We LOVE making homemade sourdough croutons for this salad. You can also buy a good brand of packaged croutons from the store.
- Creamy Caesar Salad Dressing: Again, we think our homemade version of this dressing takes this pasta salad recipe over the top, but you can also buy a good bottle of dressing from the store.
How To Make Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
- Start by deciding how you want to cook the chicken: See the recipe card below for more detailed instructions. You can oven roast the chicken, grill it, or use leftover chicken or a rotisserie chicken. For this recipe you’ll need 3 cups of diced chicken.
- Boil the pasta: Boil 1 pound of rotini pasta, drain and rinse with cold water.
- Make the croutons: Grab a loaf of sliced sourdough bread, tear the slices into bite sized pieces and place onto a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and bake for 7-8 minutes at 400 degrees until crunchy and brown.
- Make the Caesar dressing: Follow the directions for making our delicious, 5 minute, homemade Caesar dressing or grab your favorite bottle from the store.
- Wash and chop the lettuce: Wash and chop 3 heads of Romaine lettuce or grab a bag from the store that’s already washed and chopped. You’ll need 4 cups of lettuce for the salad.
- Toss and serve: Toss the cooked pasta together with the lettuce, diced chicken, shaved parmesan cheese, the croutons and the dressing. Season with fresh black pepper, more salt if needed and serve immediately.
Can I Make This Pasta Salad Ahead Of Time?
Yes! This Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad is a great make ahead recipe. Perfect for potlucks, barbecues, holidays or just a delicious dinner at home.
We like to make and assemble all of the ingredients in a large bowl – except for the lettuce and croutons. Those we like to toss in at the last minute, right before serving, so they don’t get soggy or wilt.
The homemade dressing will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, so you can make that well in advance. Roast the chicken the day before and get the lettuce washed and chopped.
All that’s left to do the day of is make the croutons and boil the pasta!
What Else Can I Add To This Salad?
Instead of chicken, try adding sliced steak! Any type of steak will do but we love making this salad with leftover steak that we ate the night before.
It seems to lighten up the steak by adding some greens and other ingredients to it, you know what I mean???
Other options for the protein could include grilled shrimp, leftover turkey, even salmon. Pretty much anything you add to this dish is going to taste amazing.
If you’re looking to add more vegetables to this salad, try roasted red peppers, corn or chopped broccoli. Black or green olives would also be a great addition, as well as pickled red onions.
Get creative and add the ingredients that you like, making this pasta salad is a great way to empty out the fridge!
Looking For More Pasta Salad Recipes?Print
Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 7 minutes
- Total Time: 17 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
This Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad is bursting with flavor! Rotini pasta tossed with crisp lettuce and crunchy croutons, tossed in a creamy Caesar dressing. Perfect for potlucks, barbecues and family dinners!
- Homemade Creamy Caesar Dressing
- 3 cups cooked, diced chicken (see note*)
- 1 pound rotini pasta
- 2 heads of Romain lettuce, washed and chopped (you’ll need about 4 cups)
- 4 thick slices sourdough bread (for making croutons, if using store bought you’ll need 2 cups)
- 1/2 cup shaved parmesan cheese
- Kosher salt and fresh black pepper for seasoning
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. (If making homemade croutons)
- Boil the rotini according to the package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water and set aside.
- Tear the sourdough bread into bite sized pieces and add it to a baking sheet. Season the bread cubes with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Toss and bake for 7-8 minutes until the croutons are brown and crispy.
- Add the lettuce and cooked pasta to a large bowl. Add the diced chicken, parmesan cheese and cooled croutons. Pour in the dressing, starting with half and tossing, then adding more ass needed. We tend to use the whole batch for this pasta salad, but add as much as you like to your taste.
- Serve immediately.
For the chicken: You can roast chicken breasts in the oven, cook them on the grill or buy a rotisserie chicken, remove the skin and shred or dice.
To make ahead of time: Make and assemble all of the ingredients for the pasta salad (except for the croutons, pack them separately) and then toss with the dressing right before serving.
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: mantitlement, caesar salad dressing, pasta salad recipe, chicken caesar salad, potluck recipes, barbecue sides, holiday sides, salad recipes