Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad is a refreshing dish made with chicken, bow tie pasta, Parmesan cheese, grape tomatoes, and bacon, all tossed in a creamy Caesar dressing. A perfect weeknight family meal ready in about 2o minutes.
This is a great dish to enjoy during any day of the week, any time of the year. It is a complete meal on itself and very satisfying. You can also combine it with Taco Tortilla Roll-Ups, Bacon Wrapped Smokies, or One-Pot Taco Mac and Cheese Pasta.
Easy Caesar Salad Pasta
This Chicken Caesar Salad Pasta is a must-try dish. If you are looking for a quick and easy meal for lunch or dinner, then this is the right dish for you. It combines veggies, grains, and meat, all covered in a delicious and creamy dressing. It is one of those recipes that you can enjoy year-round.
Also, it is refreshing and has plenty of protein to satisfy your hunger. I mostly enjoy it as a complete meal. However, you can pair it with other dishes, especially if you decide to omit the chicken. Whichever way you decide to go, it is guaranteed to make everyone happy and satisfied!
In addition, I love that it can be made ahead, and stored in the fridge for later use. Bacon elevates the flavor in this salad to a different level, and I am not shy of using it. However, if you are not a fan, feel free to skip it.
This is the perfect recipe to make ahead and take to a potluck party!
What do I need to make Chicken Caesar Salad Pasta?
This simple recipe requires the following ingredients:
- Caesar Dressing – feel free to use your favorite type. Any store-bought version will work just fine.
- Box bow tie pasta
- Grape tomatoes
- Red onion
- Grilled chicken breasts
- Parmesan cheese
- Cooked and crumbled bacon
- Romaine lettuce
How to make Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad?
- Boil the pasta: In a large boiling pot of water, add some salt and pepper. Then, add the pasta and cook according to the package directions, until cooked al dente. Drain and transfer to a separate bowl.
- Cook the Chicken: In a large skillet, season chicken breasts with olive oil and seasoning to taste. Then, cook over medium heat for about 4-5 minutes per side or until juices run clear. (The internal temperature should be about 160 to 165 degrees F). Once cooked, let it rest for about 10 minutes, then cut into smaller cubbed pieces.
- Or use Cooked Chicken: simple use rotisserie chicken or leftover grilled chicken.
- Assemble the salad: In a bowl, add the remaining ingredients together. Then, combined them with cooked pasta and cubbed chicken. Lastly, toss them together with the desired amount of dressing.
- This is a very versatile dish, and can be adjusted based on what you have on hand, or use various other ingredients. Some of my favorite variations of it are:
- Use other meats: If you are short on time, feel free to use rotisserie chicken. This way you will save about 1o minutes on cooking the poultry. Also, you can use shrimp, cooked turkey, cubbed steak, or even ham.
- Avocado Caesar Pasta Salad: Avocado complements this dish perfectly. So, do not hesitate to slice one and add it to the mix.
- Anchovy or capers: Some people love anchovy. It is a great addition to the salad and can be added to it as well. Also, you can use blended capers.
- Croutons: For a crunchier texture, add some croutons on top.
How to make homemade caesar dressing?
If you do not want to buy the dressing from the store, you can easily make it at home. You will need the following ingredients:
1 large garlic clove, chopped
¾ teaspoon (or more) kosher salt
1 large egg yolk
1.5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons Parmesan, finely grated
Once you have all the ingredients ready, simply whisk together in a bowl. That is it! You are ready to enjoy a quick and delicious homemade caesar dressing from scratch!
Can I make it in advance?
Absolutely. You could make it in advance and simply properly store the dish in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. However, please do not refrigerate with the dressing, so that the salad does not get soggy. Just add it prior to serving.
- I have used bow ties pasta in this recipe because I like the look and texture of it. However, you can use any other type. I would just stick to medium shape variety.
- Also, this dish with the addition of bacon and poultry is a complete meal on its own. Therefore, if you want to enjoy it as a side dish, I would recommend leaving out the chicken.
- For a citrusy flavor, squeeze some lemon.
Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
- 1 box (16 ounce) bow tie pasta
- 10 ounces grape tomatoes cut in half
- 1/2 medium red onion chopped
- 3 grilled chicken breasts chopped into bite-sized pieces or use rotisserie chicken
- 1 cup Parmesan shredded
- 1 pound bacon cooked and crumbled
- 3 cups Caesar dressing more if needed
- 2 cups romaine lettuce sliced into 1/4 pieces
Cook the pasta according to package instructions, just until al dente. Rinse pasta under running cold water and drain well. Add it to a large bowl.
Add the rest of the salad ingredients, except the romaine lettuce and dressing, to the bowl and gently toss together to combine.
Add the dressing and toss until evenly coated.
If serving the salad immediately, gently stir in the lettuce as well. But for best results, keep out the lettuce, cover and refrigerate the salad for at least 6 hours, or better overnight.
When ready to serve, taste and adjust for salt and pepper and gently mix in romaine lettuce, and a little more Caesar dressing if needed.
Serve and enjoy!