Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

5 from 7 votes

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If you like Caesar Salad, and you also like pasta salad this is your lucky day. This Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad recipe is the best of both worlds.

Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

If you like Caesar Salad, and you like chicken, and you also like pasta salad this is your lucky day. It was my lucky day a few months back when I first made this, and it has been my family’s many lucky days as I make it again and again. If you start with cooked chicken (rotisserie is fine!) you can be eating this salad in half an hour.

I know that seeing lettuce in a pasta salad isn’t all that common — and my boys were surely skeptical when they first laid eyes on this — but it works, and really, why not? It turns out, in fact, that the crunch of lettuce paired up with the toothsomeness of cooked pasta really, really works! And then you add chunks of tender chicken, and it is all bound together with a Caesar dressing, it just seems to make sense.

Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad on a green plate with a blue glass of water.

If you like Caesar Salad, and you also like pasta salad this is your lucky day. This Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad is the best of both worlds.

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Ingredients

  • Pasta – I used penne rigate, but you can use any chunky pasta shape.
  • Shredded cooked chicken – Any simply cooked chicken works here. Try slow cooker shredded chicken, or just use a rotisserie chicken!

For the Caesar Dressing

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Mayonnaise – I like regular mayo, but you can use reduced fat if you like.
  • Fresh lemon juice – Adds a citrusy brightness.
  • Dijon mustard – A generous amount adds a nice spark to this dressing.
  • Worcestershire sauce – Secret ingredient!
  • Minced garlic – Chop the garlic very finely so it blends into the dressing.
  • Anchovy – This is optional but adds such a great umami oomph to the dish. Use 1 finely minced anchovy filet or 1/4 teaspoon anchovy paste.
  • Finely grated Parmesan cheese – Freshly grated will offer the best flavor, always!
  • Hearts of romaine – Chopped into bite-sized pieces.
  • Red onion – Chopped pretty small, adds nice color.
Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad being served with two spoons.

Tips

  • You can use bottled Caesar dressing if you like.
  • You can use any plain shredded cooked chicken in this salad, whether it is homemade or from a rotisserie chicken. If you are making the chicken from scratch and want to hit the Caesar note hard, you could use chicken marinated in Caesar dressing.
  • Use any chunky pasta shape, like penne, rigatoni, or rotini.
  • Adding the dressing to the pasta while it is still warm allows the pasta to absorb the flavors better.
  • You could use cooked shrimp or even chunks of cooked salmon or tuna instead of the chicken.
Shredded chicken on a cutting board.

Learn how to make shredded chicken in the slow cooker. The recipe includes info about the easiest way to shred chicken (hint: while it’s warm).

How to Make Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

  1. Cook the pasta.
  2. Make the dressing: Combine the olive oil, mayonnaise, lemon juice, Dijon, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, anchovy (if using), salt, and pepper. Add half the Parmesan and mix well.
  3. Make the salad: Combine the cooked pasta and dressing. Allow the pasta to cool to room temperature. Add the chicken, romaine, red onion, and remaining Parmesan and toss again.

Here it is, all plated up with Tomato Mozzarella and Basil Salad. That was one fine summer lunch, I will surely say that.

A serving bowl Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad with a bowl of tomato mozzarella salad and a plate of both.

What to Serve With Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad in a serving bowl with forks and knives on a napkin.

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5 from 7 votes

Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

If you like Caesar Salad, and you also like pasta salad this is your lucky day. This Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad recipe is the best of both worlds.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 People
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Ingredients 

  • 1 pound penne, rigate, or ziti
  • 4 cups shredded cooked chicken

For the Caesar Dressing

Instructions 

  • Cook the pasta in a big pot of salted water according to package directions.
  • Meanwhile, make the Caesar dressing: In a container with a lid (or the food processor), add the olive oil, mayonnaise, lemon juice, Dijon, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, anchovy (if using), salt, and pepper. Cover tightly and shake to combine well, or process to blend. Add half the Parmesan and shake or pulse again to combine.
  • When the pasta is cooked, drain it well, then place it into a large bowl. Add the Caesar dressing and toss to coat well. Allow the pasta to cool to room temperature. Add the chicken, romaine, and red onion to the bowl with the remaining Parmesan and toss again.

Notes

  • You can use bottled Caesar dressing if you like.
  • Use any chunky pasta shape, like penne, rigatoni, or rotini.
  • Adding the dressing to the pasta while it is still warm allows the pasta to absorb the flavors better.
  • You could use cooked shrimp or even chunks of cooked salmon or tuna instead of the chicken.
  • You can use any plain shredded cooked chicken in this salad, whether it’s homemade or from a rotisserie chicken.

Nutrition

Calories: 361.56kcal, Carbohydrates: 21.48g, Protein: 24.11g, Fat: 19.48g, Saturated Fat: 4.3g, Cholesterol: 62.08mg, Sodium: 275.3mg, Potassium: 309.21mg, Fiber: 2.08g, Sugar: 2.01g, Vitamin A: 2543.34IU, Vitamin C: 4.37mg, Calcium: 99.38mg, Iron: 2.11mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Katie Workman

Katie Workman is a cook, a writer, a mother of two, an activist in hunger issues, and an enthusiastic advocate for family meals, which is the inspiration behind her two beloved cookbooks, Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook.

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6 Comments

  1. Jessica Cabrera says:

    I love how easy these recipes are and how you organized it with the sections of recipe, ingredients and how to prepare. Love love love love love.

  2. Swathi says:

    I have tried this chicken casesar pasta salad. Perfect summer salad.

  3. Kim Beaulieu says:

    My new favorite pasta salad. This recipe is incredible. We gobbled it up so fast and everyone already asked for me to make it again.

  4. Melinda says:

    What a great way to enjoy the flavor combination of Caesar salad but with so much more to it! The chewy pasta is delicious in this salad, especial after it soaks up all the salad dressing flavors. I don’t use anchovy in too many recipes, but a little minced anchovy in this is a game changer, and I highly recommend it. Delicious recipe!

  5. Nicole says:

    This pasta salad is beautiful and delicious! I’m adding it to the menu for memorial day weekend for sure!

  6. Krystel says:

    I tried this Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad recipe and it was a total hit! Combining the flavors of a classic Caesar salad with pasta was a game changer. It was super easy to make, and the chicken added a nice protein boost. Perfect for a quick lunch or a light dinner. Highly recommend giving it a go!