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Chicken Pasta Caesar Salad

Take your favourite Caesar salad to the next level by adding chicken, bacon, and tender pasta. With crisp, fresh Romaine lettuce, parmesan cheese, bacon and crunchy croutons all tossed in a creamy Caesar dressing, this salad can be served as a side or as a delicious meal.  

Easy to make and full of tasty ingredients, it will become one of your favorite salads. 

Caesar salad with chicken, bacon and pasta in a blue serving bowl.
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This chicken Caesar pasta salad recipe comes together quickly with minimal effort. It is perfect as a side dish for your next backyard BBQ, potluck lunch, or light summer meal.

What we love about this recipe:

  • Quick – This salad comes together quickly using pre-cooked chicken and store-bought dressing.
  • Easy to adjust serving size – You don’t need to be precise with any of the ingredients and can easily adjust the number of servings from 1 to a crowd.
  • Easily customizable – You can easily customize this salad by adding additional ingredients or making substitutions. Add some fresh cherry tomatoes or diced red onion, substitute penne for rotini pasta, or use a grocery store rotisserie chicken instead of grilling your own.

If you are anything like me, you love a hearty salad, especially during the summer months when it’s too hot to cook.

This salad is one of my favorites. It is chock full of delicious ingredients and perfect for a meal.

It starts with traditional Caesar salad ingredients of crisp romaine lettuce, creamy Caesar salad dressing, parmesan cheese, and croutons; we love making our own croutons from leftover hamburger buns.

Then we add tender chicken breast, crispy bacon and pasta. We love it with our favorite Blackened Chicken Recipe.

Chicken pasta salad in a serving bowl garnished with lemon wedges.

This makes a great salad for potlucks and gatherings, or just to feed the family when you don’t want a hot meal. I’ve made it several times for lunch with friends and family and it always disappears quickly.

What I love about this salad is that you can have all the components ready ahead of time, meaning this salad can be assembled in minutes when it’s time to serve.

To make things easy you can use leftover chicken from the night before, or if you are on a real time crunch, store-bought rotisserie chicken works well.

The pasta and bacon can both be cooked ahead of time and stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator.

I usually keep things simple and use our favourite store-bought dressing, but if you have the time, you can never beat the flavour of Homemade Creamy Caesar Dressing.

Close up of dressed salad showing diced chicken breast, cooked pasta and sliced cooked bacon.

Ingredients & Substitutions for Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

For a full list of ingredients and measurements, see the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.

To make chicken pasta Caesar salad you will need:

Cooked chicken – You can use any cooked chicken you like, but it works especially well with grilled chicken breasts. My favourite is lemon herb grilled chicken.  Store-bought rotisserie chicken is also a great choice if you don’t want to take the time to cook your own.

Cooked pasta – Almost any pasta will work. Penne pasta is my favourite, but bow-tie and rotini work well too.  If you like the nutty flavor of whole wheat pasta, you can use that if you like. Or to keep it gluten-free, you can use your favorite gluten-free pasta.

Cooked bacon – I like to use thick cut bacon, but you can use whatever you like. Store bought bacon bits will work as well if you don’t want to cook your own, just make sure you are using real bacon bits, not imitation.

Shredded parmesan cheese – You could also use asiago or Romano if you prefer.

Croutons – You can use store bought croutons, but it is super easy to make your own homemade croutons with leftover sourdough bread, or you can make delicious garlic croutons using leftover hamburger buns.

Caesar dressing – Choose your favourite creamy caesar dressing or make your own homemade Caesar Dressing if you have a recipe you love.

Romain lettuce – I prefer to wash and chop my own, but pre-bagged will also work. This salad is also great with mixed lettuce greens, baby kale, or spinach.


Pro Tip – Pasta can be cooked ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. Cook according to package directions, then drain and rinse well with cold water. You can store it in an airtight container or ziplock bag in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Step by Step Instructions

Cook the pasta according to package directions in a large pot of salted water, then drain and rinse with cold water until it is no longer hot.

Wash and chop the lettuce, dice the cooked chicken and bacon, and shred the parmesan cheese. 

Add the lettuce, pasta, chicken, bacon, parmesan cheese and croutons to a large mixing bowl.

Just before serving, add the creamy dressing and toss well to coat everything. 

Serve immediately.

Ingredients for chicken salad in a bowl with caesar dressing on the side.

Pro Tip – For best results and to prevent wilting, make sure the pasta, chicken and bacon are cooled before assembling the salad.

Serving Suggestions for Chicken Pasta Salad

This salad is so loaded with delicious ingredients that it is a great meal all on its own, you can serve it in a bowl or in wraps if you want something handheld.

You could also serve this salad as a side dish. It is a great dish to serve at a BBQ along with grilled corn on the cob or simple vegetable skewers.

It is also delicious with a crispy slice of delicious Blackstone Griddle Garlic Bread!

An individual serving of salad in a small bowl with lemon wedges on the side.
Graphic of a mixing bowl.

Top Tips & Tricks

  • To make things quick, have all the ingredients prepped and chopped ahead of time. When it’s time to serve, just add the dressing and serve.
  • Ensure all of the cooked ingredients are cool before assembling the salad to keep the lettuce crispy and prevent wilting.
  • Don’t make this salad too far ahead of time, and make just as much as you need. The assembled and dressed salad is best served within a few hours and will not store well in the refrigerator without becoming soggy.


Can you store leftover Caesar salad?

Unfortunately, this salad will not keep very well and is best consumed the same day it is prepared. The leftovers will become soggy fairly quickly.

Can you make Caesar salad ahead of time?

Because the lettuce will start to wilt after a few hours, I don’t recommend making this salad ahead of time. However, you can have all of the components chopped and ready so you can quickly assemble it right before serving.

More salads & sides

If you like this recipe for Chicken pasta salad, you may like these:

More full meal salads

Caprese pasta salad – by It’s Not Complicated
Cobb salad – by Little House Big Alaska
Grilled chicken pesto salad – by Fresh Coast Eats

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Printable Recipe

Caesar salad with chicken, bacon and pasta in a blue serving bowl.

Chicken Pasta Caesar Salad

Chicken, pasta, and bacon are combined with crisp romaine lettuce, crunchy croutons and parmesan cheese. Tossed in a creamy caesar dressing this salad can be served as a side or as a complete meal.
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Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 Meal size servings
Calories: 1026kcal
Author: Deanna


  • 6 Cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 2 Cups cooked pasta penne, bow-tie, rotini (1 cup uncooked)
  • 2 Cups cooked chicken breast diced
  • ½ pound bacon cooked and sliced
  • 1 Cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 Cup croutons
  • ½ Cup creamy caesar dressing your favourite brand or recipe

Optional Add-Ins

  • sliced cherry tomatoes
  • diced red onion
  • sliced green onion
  • diced avocado


  • Cook the pasta according to package directions then drain and rinse with cold water until no longer hot.
  • Dice the cooked chicken breast and bacon and chop the romaine lettuce.
  • Place the lettuce, chicken, bacon, pasta, parmesan cheese and croutons in a large bowl. Add any additional ingredients as desired.
  • Just before serving add the caesar dressing and toss well to coat everything. You can add more dressing depending how much you like.
  • Serve immediately.


You can cook your own chicken breasts or use store bough rotisserie chicken to keep things simple.  
If you don’t want to cook bacon you can use 1 cup of pre-cooked bacon bits. (real bacon bits)
This salad is best eaten within a couple of hours, otherwise the lettuce tends to wilt and become soggy.
*Nutrition information for this recipe will vary greatly depending on brands chosen, how lean the bacon is and how the chicken is cooked.


Estimated Nutrition Facts
Chicken Pasta Caesar Salad
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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