Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

By Rena |

With vegetables, chicken, and homemade dressing, this Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad is the perfect cross between your favorite Caesar salad and traditional pasta salad. Perfect for everyone to enjoy and great for those who meal prep.

top view of chicken pasta salad in a bowl

One of our favorite things to do in the kitchen combines two of our favorite dishes in one. In this case, a light and zesty chicken caesar salad with an easy pasta salad. Just perfect! With pasta noodles, romaine lettuce, chicken, freshly grated parmesan, and tomatoes, all topped with a homemade Caesar dressing, this healthy pasta salad is great as a light lunch or a side dish for the next family potluck.

It comes together quickly – by the time the pasta is finished cooking, all other ingredients are ready – and stores well, making it ideal for meal prep. Not a huge fan of Caesar dressing? No worries – just swap it out for Homemade Ranch!

Why You’ll Love This Healthy Chicken Pasta Salad

  • It’s easy! This chicken pasta salad comes together with a handful of ingredients in just under half an hour.
  • It’s versatile. Use this recipe as a base and add your favorite veggies if you’d like!
  • Great for meal prep. Since this healthy pasta salad can be enjoyed cold, it’s ideal for packed lunches all week long.
  • Healthy & balanced meal. With veggies, lean protein, and homemade dressing, this pasta salad can be enjoyed guilt-free!
side view of chicken pasta salad

Ingredients You Will Need

These are just a list of ingredients you will need to make this Chicken pasta salad. Full measurements are listed further down below.

  • Pasta
  • Olive Oil
  • Kosher salt & pepper
  • Chicken breast
  • Romaine lettuce – chopped
  • Cherry tomatoes – or substitute grape tomatoes
  • Freshly grated or shaved Parmesan cheese
  • homemade Caesar or Ranch dressing
ingredients to make the chicken pasta salad

How to Make Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad from scratch

  • First, cook the pasta according to the package direction. Once the pasta is done, drain well in a colander and run under cold water to stop the cooking process.
cooked pasta in colander
  • Season the chicken breast with some salt and pepper.
  • Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and heat until shimmering.
  • Then, place the chicken breast into the hot pan and sear each side until nicely golden brown, about 4 to 6 minutes per side.
cooked chicken in skillet for chicken pasta salad
  • Chop the lettuce into bite-size pieces and cut the tomatoes in half.
  • Next, slice the cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces.
  • Place the cooked pasta, sliced chicken, lettuce, and tomatoes in a large salad bowl.
  • Drizzle dressing on top and toss well to combine.
  • Garnish with grated parmesan cheese.
  • Finally, serve the salad cold or at room temperature.
top view chicken pasta

Recipes Notes & Tips

  • Use cold leftover chicken or you may use rotisserie chicken which works great in this pasta salad recipe.
  • Be sure not to overcook the pasta. Al dente pasta is ideal. Also, make sure you drain and rinse the pasta to stop the pasta from cooking further.
  • Use a high-quality and freshly grated parmesan cheese. It will be able to taste the difference!
  • Use any Pasta of choice. Whole wheat, gluten-free, or lentil pasta will work just fine.
  • To make this pasta salad vegetarian, skip the chicken.
  • Enjoy this chicken pasta salad at room temperate or chill in the fridge for 30-60 minutes.
close up chicken pasta salad

Frequently Asked Questions

What to put in pasta salad?

The great thing about making this easy pasta salad is that you get to control the ingredients! We stayed with traditional chicken caesar salad ingredients but feel free to get creative! Add on more of your favorites veggies. Corn and Olives will be great additions to consider.

Is pasta salad healthy?

Whether or not pasta salad is healthy really depends on what you’re putting in it! In this case, yes, pasta salad is healthy. We’re loading it up with lots of veggies and lean protein, topped with a homemade dressing, to make it a balanced meal. The main reason we recommend homemade dressing is to control the ingredients and keep this creamy pasta salad healthy! Also, use a healthier pasta like lentil of chickpea pasta.

Whats in homemade Caesar Dressing?

Caesar salad dressing is a creamy, zesty dressing. Authentic, homemade versions are made with anchovies or anchovy paste, garlic, and either raw eggs and olive oil or mayonnaise. Our Chicken Caesar Salad has a healthy homemade Caesar Dressing recipe you can check out.

Can i use Store bought dressing?

While we recommend using homemade Caesar or Ranch, you can use your preferred bottled dressing as well. The reason we recommend homemade is that you often get a lighter, more flavorful dressing. Also, you’re able to control the ingredients 100% versus the artificial ingredients you may find in a bottle of Caesar or ranch.

Can I freeze Pasta Salad?

You can freeze pasta salad but you must freeze the solid ingredients and the dressing separately. In this case, you could freeze the pasta with the chicken and tomatoes in one container and the dressing in another. That said, freezing creamy dressing can often change their consistency. Also, we would suggest freezing just the chicken and pasta (cooked al dente) and preparing the rest of the ingredients fresh.

close up top view of pasta in a bowl

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top view of chicken pasta salad in brown bowl

Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

Easy pasta salad with chicken, loaded with tomatoes, lettuce, and tossed with a homemade caesar dressing.
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Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Diet: Low Fat
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 583kcal
Author: Rena

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces pasta
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • kosher salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 lb. chicken breast
  • 1 romaine lettuce chopped
  • 1- pint cherry tomatoes – or grape tomatoes halved
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated or shaved Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 cup homemade Caesar or Ranch dressing

Instructions

  • Cook pasta according to the package direction.
  • Once the pasta is done, drain well in a colander and run under cold water to stop the cooking process.
  • Season the chicken breast with some salt and pepper. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and heat until shimmering.
  • Place the chicken breast into the hot pan and sear each side until nicely golden-brown about 4 to 6 minutes per side.
  • While the chicken is cooking, chop the lettuce into bite-size pieces and cut the tomatoes in half.
  • Once the chicken is done, place it on a cutting board and then slice it into bite-size pieces.
  • Next, place the cooked pasta, sliced chicken, lettuce, and tomatoes in a large salad bowl.
  • Drizzle dressing on top and toss well to combine. Garnish with grated parmesan cheese.
  • Serve the salad cold or at room temperature.

Notes

  • Use cold leftover chicken or you may use rotisserie chicken which works great in this pasta salad recipe.
  • Be sure not to overcook the pasta. Al dente pasta is ideal. Also, make sure you drain and rinse the pasta to stop the pasta from cooking further.
  • Use a high-quality and freshly grated parmesan cheese. It will be able to taste the difference!
  • Use any Pasta of choice. Whole wheat, gluten-free, or lentil pasta will work just fine.
  • To make this pasta salad vegetarian, skip the chicken.
  • Enjoy this chicken pasta salad at room temperate or chill in the fridge for 30-60 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 583kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 75mg | Sodium: 896mg | Potassium: 485mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 878IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 108mg | Iron: 2mg
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