Soft bow-tie pasta mixed with crisp romaine lettuce, homemade croutons, and parmesan cheese; tossed with the best ever caesar dressing and topped with smoky grilled chicken. Whether you make this grilled chicken caesar pasta salad for dinner or a poolside lunch (my favorite), you will forever put this on your summer menu rotation.
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Grilled Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
This recipe makes enough pasta salad for a crowd. I was planning on delivering this recipe to you halved, but I am deciding that you need to make enough for a crowd. Only two of you? Four? Doesn't matter. You will want the leftovers for the next day or two.
We had this for dinner and it was like the best Caesar salad ever but satisfying as a dinner. I'm not a salad-for-dinner girl, I need food; and this totally worked. The next day we still had a huge bowl in the refrigerator and we took it down to the pool for lunch. It was a really great pool lunch, and the kids loved it (rare).
Today is day three since I made this pasta salad and one day since we finished it and I am still wishing we had some hanging out in the frig.
MY BEST CAESAR TIPS:
- After it's done let it sit in the refrigerator for one to three hours. The dressing soaks into the mushrooms and the whole thing gets way better.
- Squeeze extra lemon over the top before serving.
- Garnish with a nice layer of shredded parmesan cheese (I use whole parm grated on a microplane zester)
- Make the croutons at home, it only takes 10 minutes and the flavor is so yum.
WHAT INGREDIENTS GO IN THIS FRESH SUMMER DINNER?
- Bow Ties (Farfalle): you can use your favorite but I think that bow-ties are the cutest in pasta salad.
- Romaine lettuce: chop it into one inch pieces.
- Chicken: Perfectly grilled strips
- Fresh Mushrooms: no substitute, they soak up that amazing caesar dressing.
- Homemade Croutons: the best ever. You can substitute your favorite store-bought croutons if needed.
- Green Onions: Add a little something.
- My Caesar dressing: Olive oil, anchovy paste *see recipe notes, garlic, lemon juice, parmesan.
- Fresh Lemon Juice: Squeezed over the top.
- Grated Parmesan: In the dressing on garnish on top.
- Salt optional
HOW DO YOU MAKE PASTA SALAD WITH HOMEMADE CAESAR DRESSING?
- Prep the chicken for grilling: combine chicken strips with olive oil, brown sugar, salt, pepper, olive oil.
- Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and allow to cool.
- Prep the romaine lettuce.
- Make the caesar dressing. I use a Magic Bullet to make this in two minutes.
- Grill the chicken. This only takes about 15 minutes depending on the type of grill you are using (me: charcoal)
- Put it all together on a platter and squeeze fresh lemon juice on top.
THIS GOES GREAT WITH:
- 30 Minute Sheet Pan Pesto Chicken
- Instant Pot Panera Creamy Tomato Soup
- Asiago Roasted Asparagus
- Easy Fruit And Cheese Charcuterie Board
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. Whether you make this for dinner or a poolside lunch (my favorite), you will forever put this on your summer menu rotation.
1 box (16oz.) Farfalle pasta (Bow-ties), prepared
2 heads romaine lettuce cut into bite sized pieces
4 cups chopped fresh mushrooms
4 green onions, thinly sliced
3 cups homemade or store-bought croutons
1 cup olive oil
1 tube (2oz) anchovy paste
3 lemons, juiced + 1 lemon to squeeze on at the end
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese + more for garnish
12 cloves of garlic
3 cups of cubed bread
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1.5 lb grilled chicken, cut into strips
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp brown sugar
11/2 tsp sea salt
⅛ tsp pepper
- Prepare bow-tie pasta, drain, set aside and allow to cool (add a tsp olive oil and stir to prevent sticking)
- Combine chicken, olive oil, brown sugar, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Let stand 15 minutes
- Combine olive oil, anchovy paste, garlic, lemon juice, and parmesan in a Magic Bullet, food processor, or blender. Process until smooth.
- Grill Chicken* until fully cooked
- Throw the croutons in the oven if you making them homemade**
- Toss pasta, lettuce, croutons, chicken, green onions, and dressing until evenly coated***
- Squeeze fresh lemon juice and grated parmesan cheese over the top.
- Refrigerate for at least one hour.
* I use a charcoal grill. For chicken strips I use a grilling basket and cook for 8 minutes, flip the chicken strips, and 8 more minutes. The grill is between 300°-350°.
** Use this recipe for homemade croutons.
*** I had to toss this in two batches because it was a large amount of pasta salad. Pictured is half the recipe.
Keywords: pasta salad, chicken caesar salad, chicken pasta salad, chicken caesar pasta salad, grilled chicken strips, what goes in pasta salad, how to make cold pasta salad