Turn a side dish into a main meal with ease! This Zesty Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad is packed with greens, protein, and carbohydrates to make a delicious and filling dinner the entire family will enjoy! Topped off with yummy parmesan, this dish will undoubtedly go fast!
Have you ever heard the phrase “I just need to church it up”? I hadn’t until recently. Someone explained that to ‘church it up’ meant to make something prettier, better, or more appealing. Well, that’s what I decided to do with this Caesar salad! I made a traditional salad so much better by adding zesty lemon juice to the dressing and throwing in delicious bow tie pasta! This salad is so much better like this in my opinions. I’m not a huge crouton fan <cue the gasps> so I was happy to leave those out! I also love that this feels light because the dressing is no long so thick!
Is this caesar salad healthier than normal caesar salads?
This particular caesar salad is reasonably healthy, but it is all based on prospective. What I mean by that is that this is meant to be a meal with adequate amounts of carbohydrates, greens, and protein. I make the traditionally heavy dressing much lighter with the infusion of lemon juice. We don’t use any croutons, but instead, use pasta for the carbohydrates. You can always decrease the amount of pasta and parmesan if you are being cautious of your carb and calorie intake.
Do I have to use chicken?
You absolutely do not need to use chicken. This dish is still delicious without adding any meat. I do enjoy a more balances meal and that usually includes a protein of sorts. If you are a vegetarian, sauté portobello mushrooms and use them instead – it would be delicious!
Ingredients for our Zesty Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad:
- Bow Tie Pasta
- Caesar Dressing
- Cooked Chicken
- Parmesan Cheese
- Romaine Lettuce
How to make our Zesty Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad:
First, cook the pasta according to directions. Drain and set aside.
Next, chop romaine lettuce into thin, bite-sized pieces. Place in a large bowl.
Measure out the caesar dressing and add on a mixing bowl. Add the fresh squeezed lemon juice to the bowl and stir completely.
Once dressing is made, set aside. Add the cooked, cooled pasta to the lettuce. Add the parmesan cheese. Stir and completely combine.
Last, add the chicken and the dressing. I don’t always have time to grill or bake my own chicken. Great go-to alternatives are prepackaged rotisserie chicken in your local grocer’s deli area or already cooked frozen chicken that just needs to be thawed. You can also grab a whole rotisserie chicken and use that as well!
Stir thoroughly and serve!
I adore a good salad! If you feel the same way, check out these awesome salad recipes below! They are perfect for a weeknight meal or a small gathering!
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- 1 Box of bowtie pasta, cooked
- 1 lb of chicken, cooked and diced
- 1 cup shreddedParmesan Cheese
- 1/2 cup Cesar Dressing
- 1 Lemon, Juiced (2Tablespoons of juice)
- 8 Cups Chopped Romaine Lettuce
- Cook pasta according to box directions and set aside to allow to cool. Place in refrigerator after cooking to cool quicker.
- In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup of caesar dressing with the juice of one lemon (about 2 tablespoons of juice). Mix completely.
- In a large bowl, place the diced romaine lettuce, chicken, parmesan cheese and cooled pasta. Stir.
- Last, pour the dressing over top and mix.
- Serve and enjoy!