Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad is a crisp Caesar Salad loaded with chopped romaine, tender pasta, salty bits of Parmesan cheese, crunchy croutons, savory chicken and an easy homemade Caesar salad dressing with all that signature savory Caesar flavor you crave! Perfect for tailgates, cookouts, potlucks, parties and for dinner any night of the week.
What Are The Traditional Ingredients Of Caesar Salad?
The original Caesar Salads were made with full stalks of Romaine lettuce and crunchy croutons dressed with lemon juice, olive oil, egg, croutons and Parmesan cheese… not quite the salads we know and enjoy today, but close!
The original Caesar was made by a man named Caesar Cardini, an Italian immigrant who lived in Mexico and owned a restaurant. The story has it that he ran out of ingredients one day, threw this salad together and made it special by having it tossed table side. It became a hit!
What’s So Special About This Recipe?
Modern Caesar salads are still made with Romaine, croutons and parmesan, but the flavors of its signature dressing have been developed quite a bit. We’ve come to love Caesar salad dressings that are full of umami flavor created by Worcestershire sauce, garlic, dijon mustard and anchovies. And let’s be honest, it’s the dressing that makes the Caesar salad what it is!
This pasta salad twist on the classic Caesar salad recipe pairs velvety pasta and savory chicken with fresh romaine, plenty of salty Parmesan cheese and crunchy croutons all bathed in a simple, creamy homemade dressing that has all that Caesar salad dressing flavor we love!
Talk about pasta salad heaven! This green salad meets pasta salad + homemade dressing is a sure fire favorite every time it’s served!
Caesar Pasta Salad & Dressing Ingredients
I’ll walk through an overview of ingredients & steps in this section along with helpful tips!
Look for specifics at the end of the post in the recipe card.
- Rotini pasta
- hearts of Romaine lettuce
- shredded rotisserie chicken (2 cooked chicken breasts)
- shaved Parmesan cheese
- cracked black pepper
Easy Caesar Dressing
- real mayonnaise
- dijon mustard
- lemon juice
- anchovy paste
- Worcestershire sauce
- grated Parmesan
- minced garlic
- salt & pepper
How To Make Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
Make The Salad Dressing. In 2 cup measuring cup, whisk together all of the salad dressing ingredients before making the salad. This allows the flavors in the dressing a little time to get together and become something special!
Cooke the Pasta. In a pot of generously salted water, cook the pasta just until al dente (still slightly firm, but not chewy). Drain pasta and rinse it with cool water to stop the cooking process and to cool the pasta so it can be added to the salad without wilting the lettuce.
Toss the Salad Together. While the pasta is cooling and draining, chop the Romain lettuce hearts into 1-2 inch pieces. Toss lettuce, chicken, drained pasta, shaved Parmesan cheese in a large bowl. Drizzle with all of the salad dressing and toss again.
Top & Serve. Add croutons, extra Parmesan cheese (if desired) and a sprinkle of cracked black pepper to serve.
Recipe Variations & Substitutions
- Instead of chicken, keep the full meal vibe with real bacon pieces, grilled or baked shrimp or salmon.
- Chopped boiled eggs and/or halved grape tomatoes can be added for extra yum.
- Don’t want to make your own dressing? Use your favorite store bought brand. The key to the deliciousness of any Caesar salad is the dressing, so make sure it’s a good one!
- Can’t find anchovy paste? Try using mashed capers in some of their briny water for a workable substitute. (Anchovy paste is the BEST way to render that authentic Caesar flavor we all love. It can usually be found in your grocery store next to the canned tuna, salmon, sardines, etc.)
Can You Make This Pasta Caesar Salad in Advance?
You can! The dressing can be made up to 5 days in advance and does get better over time. Simply cover it tightly and refrigerate it to keep.
To make this Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad for potlucks, tailgates, parties and cookouts, toss the salad together without the dressing, cover and store for travel. Add the dressing, croutons, extra parm and black pepper and toss right before serving.
More Pasta Salad Recipes To Love
- Artichoke Pesto Pasta Salad
- Waldorf Chicken Pasta Salad
- Bacon Tomato Pasta Salad
- Taco Pasta Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing
- Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad
- Tuscan Tortellini Pasta Salad
If You Love Delicious Pasta Salad & Have Made This Recipe, Give It All The Stars & Leave A Fun Comment! Or Tag Me @SouthernDiscourse On Instagram To Be Featured. I Love Hearing From You!
Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad with Easy Homemade Dressing
Easy Caesar Salad Dressing
- 1 cup real mayonnaise
- ⅓ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 ¼ teaspoons anchovy paste
- ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Caesar Pasta Salad
- 8 ounce uncooked Rotini pasta
- 2 hearts Romaine lettuce
- shredded rotisserie chicken breasts (or 2 grilled chicken breasts)
- ⅓ cup shaved Parmesan cheese
- croutons (as desired)
- In 2 cup measuring cup, whisk together all salad dressing ingredients. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate (to allow flavors to marry) while preparing the rest of the salad.
- Cook pasta just until al dente in a pot of generously salted water. Drain pasta and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking process and to cool the pasta so it can be added to the salad without wilting the lettuce.
- While the pasta is draining, chop the Romain lettuce hearts into 1-2 inch pieces.
- Toss lettuce, chicken, drained pasta, shaved Parmesan cheese in a large bowl. Drizzle with all of the salad dressing. Toss again. Add croutons, extra Parmesan cheese (if desired) and a sprinkle of cracked black pepper to serve.