Chicken Caesar Salad is one of those classic dishes that I absolutely love!
The crunch of the croutons, the tender grilled chicken, crisp lettuce and that deliciously dreamy creamy dressing.
But that dressing? Well, the classic recipe makes the mayonnaise base from scratch, and that means buckets of olive oil, whisking for ages and opening tins just for a couple of anchovies. Such a lot of work and all that fat!
So what if I said that this salad is ready in 15 minutes with a homemade sauce that is lighter and way easier to do? A fab dinner is ready for you in just a few simple steps.
What are the ingredients?
This version has all the trademarks of a Caesar salad with chicken, croutons, romaine lettuce and a yummy sauce that is easy to make based on low fat mayonnaise.
Although the mayonnaise sauce is traditionally made from scratch, making it at home means lots of olive oil so it makes good sense to use a reduced fat mayonnaise that you can load with flavours.
Many homemade Caesar dressings call for anchovies to enrich the flavour but it seems a waste to open a tin for one or two, especially when they are coated in yet more oil, so instead I have used fish sauce. Fish sauce or nam pla, is normally made with anchovies and has a long shelf life so I always keep some in the cupboard. You could also use anchovy paste if you have it, but nam pla is a great seasoning for Thai dishes and I also use it in my Thai Fish Burgers
How to make the Chicken Caesar Salad
First make the croutons. Preheat the oven to 180 C, cut the crusts from 2 slices of crusty bread and cut into 1 cm cubes. Place on an oven sheet, drizzle with olive oil, turning the pieces over so they are all coated.
They will take about 10-15 minutes to turn golden brown but keep a watch on them and turn them over halfway through so they toast evenly.
To spead up the cooking bash two small chicken breasts with the flat side of a meat tenderiser to about 1 cm thick. It makes for easy cleanup if you do this between 2 sheets of cling film. Season with salt and pepper.
Brush a grill pan with olive oil and heat on medium high. Cook the chicken for 2 minutes each side.It should have light grill marks but check it is cooked through.
While the chicken and croutons are cooking make the Caesar dressing. Mix low fat mayonnaise, fish sauce, crushed garlic, lemon juice, grated Parmesan cheese and Dijon mustard together. If it's too thick add a few drops of milk or water.
Make a few shavings of Parmesan for a garnish with a potato peeler.
Prepare the lettuce . I find it's the right size if I cut a whole romaine lettuce into quarters lenghtways and then cut in 2 cm slices.
Now it's time to assemble. I like to toss half the dressing with the lettuce then pile on the chicken still warm and sliced. Pour over the remaining dressing and garnish with the croutons and Parmesan shavings if liked.
The whole point of this salad is that it's simple! But, it is absolutely delicious with some crisp cooked bacon pieces scattered over the chicken and some chunks of avocado added with the lettuce.
Get your favourite burger buns and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle on some grated Parmesan.
Place under a medium grill until toasted.
Cook the chicken as before. Fry over a medium heat for a couple of minutes each side until golden.
Finely slice some lettuce and assemble the burgers. Spread both bread sides with the dressing. Add a piece of chicken and lettuce and enjoy.
You may also like these burger and salad recipes...
Chicken Caesar Salad
- 300 g chicken breast 2 small
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 1 head Romaine lettuce
- 2 slices ciabatta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
For the dressing
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 minced garlic clove
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 15 g Parmesan grated
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- 2 tablespoon low fat mayonnaise
- Preheat the oven to 180 C, cut the crusts from 2 slices of crusty bread and cut into 1 cm cubes. Place on an oven sheet, drizzle with olive oil, turning the pieces over so they are all coated. Bake for 10-15 minutes, turning over half-way.
- Bash two small chicken breasts with the flat side of a meat tenderiser to about 1 cm thick.. Season with the salt and pepper.
- Brush a grill pan with olive oil and heat on medium high. Cook the chicken for 2 minutes each side.
- Mix all the dressing ingredients together and add a few drops of milk or water if it’s too thick.
- Cut a whole romaine lettuce into quarters lengthways and then cut in 2 cm slices.
- Toss half the dressing with the lettuce then pile on the chicken still warm and sliced. Pour over the remaining dressing and garnish with the croutons and extra Parmesan shavings if liked.
Barbecue the chicken instead and omit the flour.
We sometimes take for a granted that we have years (or decades) of cooking experience, that the average visitor may not. Add to, or remove from, the list below with health and safety tips.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove