Step up your salad game with Healthy Chicken Caesar Salad. It’s the ultimate protein-rich dish that features Greek yogurt, fresh French bread, and lots of parmesan!
The best salad with healthy caesar dressing
When life hands you chicken, pair it with fresh French bread and Greek yogurt and create a healthy chicken caesar salad! From the chicken and dressing to the salad and croutons, we’re making it all from scratch – the healthy way!
This healthy chicken caesar salad recipe uses real, flavorful ingredients. It all comes together as a juicy, refreshing salad that’s equally as filling and satisfying as it is yummy! Between the carefully (and simply) seasoned chicken and the totally loaded dressing, we’re pulling out all the stops to make this dish.
It’s perfect as an appetizer, side, or main course!
Ingredients in healthy caesar salad
Since we’re making this dish from scratch in all areas, we’re working with four sections of ingredients: the chicken, croutons, dressing, and salad. We’ll prepare everything in that order.
- Chicken breasts: First up, you’ll need 3 large chicken breasts, butterflied and cut in half through the middle. This will amount to 6 thin pieces.
- Salt & pepper: A dash of salt and pepper goes a very long way!
- Avocado oil: 2 tbsp of avocado oil will be used to cook the chicken.
- French bread: To make croutons, start with 1/2 a loaf of French bread, and cut it into cubes.
- Avocado oil: 2 tbsp of avocado oil will be drizzled over the bread pieces to help them bake to golden perfection.
- Garlic: Include 2 cloves of minced garlic for flavor.
- Salt & pepper: Last but not least, include a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Greek yogurt: 1/3 cup of plain Greek yogurt will serve as the base of our dressing.
- Mayonnaise: This will be followed by 1/3 cup of mayo, our other base ingredient.
- Parmesan: Next up, use 3 tbsp of parmesan cheese for flavor (and always appreciated cheesiness).
- Garlic: Include 2 cloves of minced garlic.
- Lemon juice: 1 tbsp of lemon juice will add zest. Though only 1 tbsp, this ingredient adds so much to the dish!
- Worcestershire sauce: Next, include 1 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce.
- Dijon mustard: 2 tsp of dijon mustard adds a tangy but slightly spicy taste.
- Anchovy paste: 2 tsp anchovy paste provides that classic caesar dressing flavor!
- Avocado oil: Include 1 tbsp of avocado oil for texture.
- Salt and Pepper: Last but not least, add 1/2 tsp of salt and pepper (each).
- Romaine: For the salad, start with 3 whole hearts of romaine, chopped into small pieces.
- Parmesan: Finish things off with 1/3 cup of parmesan cheese! You can never have too much of this ingredient.
Tools needed to make this dish
Standard tools are needed to create caesar salad, in addition to 4 measuring cups. I like to gather all of my tools beforehand so everything is right where I need it when I’m ready for it.
- Cutting board
- Chopping knife
- Baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Cast iron skillet
- Spatula or tongs
You’ll need the following measuring cups to measure out your ingredients: 1/2 tsp, 1 tsp, 1 tbsp, and 1/3 cup.
How to make healthy chicken caesar salad
Consisting of four parts, healthy caesar chicken salad comes together much easier than you may expect. We’ll start by cooking the chicken on the stove, followed by baking the croutons and mixing the dressing. Finally, we’ll assemble the salad!
First up is the chicken. Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a cast iron skillet, heat 2 tbsp of avocado oil.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides.
Cook the chicken in the skillet until completely cooked, flipping halfway. Remove from the heat when the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
While the chicken is cooking, mix the bread cubes in a bowl with avocado oil, garlic, salt, and pepper.
Pour the tossed bread onto the parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Toss halfway through.
Then, to make the dressing, whisk all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Taste and adjust to your seasoning needs.
Prep the salad by adding the lettuce to a big bowl and tossing with 2/3 of the dressing.
Add the sliced chicken, croutons, parmesan cheese, and remaining dressing on top.
Here are some quick tips for making homemade chicken caesar salad.
Chicken should reach an internal temperature of at least 165°F before being removed from the heat.
Store bought caesar dressing
You can most definitely use your favorite store-bought dressing for this recipe if that’s easier for you! The dressing is a big part of the healthy twist that this recipe provides, but whatever you prefer totally works.
Skipping the anchovy paste
Not a fan of anchovies, or just prefer the dressing without? Skip the paste! This simple swap won’t alter the flavor too extremely. In fact, the lemon juice should hide the fact that it’s missing!
Healthy caesar salad benefits
To make this caesar salad healthier than what you’d find in a restaurant or grab-and-go container, I paid special attention to the dressing. The dressing in caesar salad is where you get the bulk of the calories (as is the case with most salads), so this was a main focus!
To achieve a healthier result, I went with a Greek yogurt and mayonnaise combo versus using solely mayo. This cut the mayo in half and snuck in extra protein at the same time! I stuck with the dijon, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce because you can never go wrong with too many flavorings.
In total, this salad provides a lot of benefits. Protein is a big one, with grams flowing in from the chicken, Greek yogurt, and even the parmesan! Other nutrients that this dish provides include calcium, fiber, and Vitamin C.
Storing leftover caesar salad
Have extras? You can keep them for about 2-4 days. I recommend storing all parts (chicken, salad, croutons, dressing) separately to prevent soggy croutons or dressing-drenched lettuce! If stored this way, your leftovers should stay crunchy.
If you liked this recipe, you’ll want to try these!
Chicken recipes are great for filling bellies and providing lean, healthy protein. Here are some more of my chicken favorites, complete with a classic (but healthy) chicken parmesan and a creamy buffalo chicken soup!
- Cranberry Chicken Casserole
- Healthy Baked Chicken Parmesan
- Creamy Buffalo Chicken Soup
- Buffalo Chicken Sweet Potato Casserole
If you make this recipe, be sure to comment below and let me know how it was! Also tag @erinliveswhole on Instagram and use the hashtag #erinliveswhole so I can see it and feature you!
Recipe by Erin Morrissey and Photos by The Mindful Hapa
- 3 large chicken breasts, butterflied and cut in half through the middle to make thinner and make 6 pieces.
- salt + pepper
- 2 tbsp avocado oil
- 1/2 loaf French bread, cut into cubes
- 2 tbsp avocado oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- salt + pepper
- 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/3 cup mayo
- 3 tbsp parmesan cheese
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 2 tsp anchovy paste
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 3 whole hearts of romaine, chopped
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 375F and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a cast iron skillet or skillet, heat 2 tbsp avocado oil.
- Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Cook in skillet until completely cooked, flipping half way. Take off when internal temp reaches 165F.
- Meanwhile, mix bread cubes in bowl with avocado oil, garlic, salt, and pepper.
- Pour onto parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown, tossing halfway through.
- Make dressing by whisking all of the dressing ingredients together in a bowl. Taste and adjust to seasoning needs.
- Prep salad by adding lettuce to a big bowl and tossing with 2/3 of the dressing.
- Add sliced chicken, croutons, parmesan cheese and remaining dressing on top.
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