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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.

Caesar salad with chicken, bacon and pasta in a blue serving bowl.
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I love a hearty salad, especially during the summer.

This salad is chock full of delicious ingredients and is perfect as a complete meal.

It starts with traditional Caesar salad ingredients of romaine lettuce, caesar dressing, parmesan cheese and croutons. Then we add tender chicken breast, crispy bacon and pasta.

This makes a great salad for potlucks and gatherings, or just to feed the family when you don’t want a hot meal.

Because you can have all the components ready ahead of time, this salad can be assembled in minutes. To make things easy use leftover chicken.

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

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

Ingredients

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. My favourite is lemon herb grilled chicken.

Cooked pasta – Almost any pasta will work. Penne is my favourite, but bow-tie and rotini work well too.

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.

Shredded parmesan – 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 bread.

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

Romain lettuce – I prefer to wash and chop my own, but pre-bagged will work as well.

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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.

Instructions

Cook the pasta according to package directions, then drain and rinse with cold water until it is no longer hot.

Wash and chop the lettuce, then dice the cooked chicken and bacon.

Shred the parmesan cheese, then add the lettuce, pasta, chicken, bacon, parmesan cheese and croutons to a large bowl.

Just before serving add the 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, make sure the pasta, chicken and bacon are all cooled before assembling the salad.

Serving Suggestions

This salad is so loaded with delicious ingredients that it works well as a complete meal all on its own. We also like to serve it in wraps.

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.

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

FAQS

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

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

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

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  • 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.
  • 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.

Notes

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.

Nutrition

Calories: 1026kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 84g | Saturated Fat: 30g | Cholesterol: 147mg | Sodium: 933mg | Potassium: 428mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 6381IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 335mg | Iron: 3mg
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