Gimme Some Oven

Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

As much as I love to plan a big dinner party on the weekend or invite friends over for an epic happy hour after work, I have learned over the years that so many of my favorite meals with friends end up being the totally spontaneous ones. You know, those that begin with the last-minute text, or the impromptu knock on the door. The unexpected, “Hey, I’m in the neighborhood and wondered about stopping by!” Or, “Are you free? I really need to someone to talk to.” Or, “Hollaaaaaaaa, it’s wine-o-clock!!!”

I’ve gotten much better about being the spontaneous texter myself over the past few years. But I’ll admit — the super-planner in me still hesitates for a split second in those moments when I’m the one on the receiving end, especially since I have this crazy habit of trying to squeeze 7.1 million things into my days and always have a very clear idea of how I’d like to spend my next hour or two. But when spontaneity literally comes a-knockin’, experience has taught me again and again to keep an open mind and let my heart make the call. And more often than not, the choice is a no-brainer:

“Come on over!”

I may or may not have ingredients on hand to whip up a gourmet meal. But my friends all know that there’s always a box of Bota in the fridge, and plenty of popcorn in the pantry. And on a lucky day, there just might be enough random ingredients on hand to cobble together some semblance of a meal…like I did last week with this yummy Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad. :)

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x


This chicken Caesar pasta salad recipe is tossed with my favorite dressing, al dente pasta, garlicky breadcrumbs and loads of Parmesan cheese.



Pasta Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • fine sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound uncooked pasta (I used farfalle)
  • 3 Romaine lettuce hearts (12 ounces), roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups Caesar dressing*
  • Parmesan cheese, for topping

Garlic Breadcrumbs Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • fine sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper


  1. Prep the pasta water. Bring a large pot of generously-salted water to a boil over high heat.
  2. Cook the garlic breadcrumbs. Meanwhile, melt the butter over medium heat in a large sauté pan. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add the breadcrumbs along with a generous pinch of salt and pepper and sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until golden. Transfer the breadcrumbs to a bowl and set aside. Wipe down the sauté pan briefly until clean.
  3. Cook the chicken. Season the chicken generously on both sides with salt and pepper. Using the same sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the chicken and cook for 4-5 minutes per side until cooked through and no longer pink inside. Transfer the chicken to a clean cutting board and let it rest for 5-10 minutes, then thinly slice it into bite-sized pieces.
  4. Cook the pasta. Cook the pasta in the salted water until just al dente. Strain the pasta through a colander, then rinse it with cold water until chilled.
  5. Toss the pasta salad. Add the pasta, lettuce, chicken and Caesar dressing to a large mixing bowl and gently toss until evenly combined. 
  6. Serve. Serve immediately, garnished with the garlic breadcrumbs, lots of Parmesan cheese, and a few extra twists of black pepper. Or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 4 hours and then serve chilled.


Caesar dressing amount: If using my homemade Caesar dressing recipe, please note that you’ll need to make a 1.5 batch to yield 1.5 cups.


Share this Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

20 comments on “Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad”

  1. Yum! Two of my favorite things combined into one dish. 

    Josh | The Kentucky Gent

  2. This looks perfect for a warm summer night! I need to try Bota too :)

  3. Looks colorful and delicious!

  4. Can I drop in for this salad soon?

  5. I have been on a boxed wine kick lately – I usually only want a glass or two a night and it’s hard to open a bottle just for that. Cue: boxed wine solution. I’ve never heard of Bota – I’ll have to look for it!

  6. I agree, sometimes the best dinners are the last-minute ones! Or recipes. Sometimes those happen fast. This doesn’t look last minute though, bonus!

  7. Where can I find the nutritional table

    • Hi Su! We’re sorry but we currently are not publishing nutrition facts on the site. The nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. But many of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate!

  8. I made this last week!  Yum!  

    About the chicken:  I do think the seasoning ratio needs to be a little higher though.  I cut the recipe in half and barely had enough seasoning for the two chicken breasts.  And I think I need to add more paprika.  Mine chicken didn’t come out as colorful.  But everything else was spot on.

    About the dressing:  I was lazy and went with bottled creamy Caesar and store bought croutons.  Don’t judge! :) Some days there isn’t enough time.  

    This may be dinner again one night this week.

    • Thank you for sharing this feedback Cat, we’re glad you enjoyed the recipe overall! And we’re totally not judging you on the store-bought dressing, we totally hear you! :)

  9. Wow,I must try. I do it with trofie, with some pesto… buon appetito!

  10. We LOVE this meal!  My two daughters can’t get enough…love the dressing too…a must to complete the meal :)  Thank You for all your yummy recipes!

  11. An interesting twist on a classic. My family’s new favorite. Thanks for sharing

  12. I wonder. If I wait to add the romaine or spinach leaves, I could probably keep longer & just add the leaves each day before work, maybe I could have it at after day. THANK you! Your recipe is inspiring my lunchbox!

  13. It’s an excellent pasta salad, I used shop-bought caesar dressing though and it was delicious!