This classic chicken Caesar salad is dressed up by grilling romaine, chicken, and lemons. Then it's tossed with bacon, cucumber, tomatoes, and homemade croutons for a hearty summer salad! The romaine is charred to add a sweet, smoky flavor that will change the way you eat salads forever!
Why This Recipe Works
I love classic Caesar salad, but let's be honest it can be pretty boring! That's why this chicken Caesar salad has fun additions like grilled romaine, bacon, cucumber, and tomatoes!
All the different flavors and textures pair beautifully for a simple and indulgent salad!
You only need a few basic ingredients to make the best chicken Caesar salad!
- Grilled chicken - You can use your favorite grilled chicken or leftover rotisserie chicken.
- Bacon - This is optional but definitely one of the best parts! I just love the crunch it adds to the salad!
- Tomatoes and cucumber - I know classic Caesar salad doesn't have many additions, but adding extra veggies never hurt anybody.
- Caesar dressing - I always make homemade Caesar dressing if I have the time but I also love this Briannas asiago Caesar dressing!
- Homemade croutons - You can use store-bought if you must, but making your own croutons is super easy and so much yummier!
- Grilled lemons - I just love the way that grilling lemons enhances their flavor!
- Grilled romaine - You don't have to grill the lettuce, but I dare you to try it at least once! More on that below.
How to Grill Romaine Lettuce
If you've never grilled lettuce, you don't know what you're missing! It's incredibly simple and adds a slightly sweet, smoky depth of flavor to your salad!
Slice the heads of romaine lengthwise so that the leaves remain connect to the core and won't come apart on the grill.
Brush lightly with olive oil and grill on a very hot grill for just 1-2 minutes! That's it!
You can then squeeze the juice from some grilled lemons over top for even more smoky flavor!
How to Make Homemade Croutons
There is nothing better than homemade croutons! The best part about them is you can customize the flavor however you like!
I like to use leftover sourdough bread (2-3 days old is best), lots of butter, garlic, and parmesan cheese! But you can also use olive oil and herbs, or even add some red pepper flakes. It's up to you!
Simply toss all the ingredients together, spread on a baking sheet, and bake until crispy! You can then store them in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks!
Homemade croutons are delicious in salads but can also be added to soups (like my favorite French onion soup) or made into stuffing!
No grill, no problem! You can also use a cast iron grill pan to get those grill marks and the slightly charred, smoky flavor!
Yes of course!! I've also made this chicken Caesar with grilled kale and it was to-die-for!
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Chicken Caesar Salad with Grilled Romaine
- 3 cups sourdough bread, diced (about ½ loaf)
- ¼ cup butter, melted
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, optional
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut the bread into 1 inch cubes and add to the bowl. Then drizzle with the melted butter and toss until all the pieces are coated.
- Sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, pepper, and parmesan and toss to combine.
- Spread into an even layer on the baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.
- Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Store in an air tight container for up to 2 weeks!
- Preheat your grill to 450°F. If using a grill pan, heat over medium-high heat until it just begins to smoke.
- Slice the romaine in half lengthwise so that the base is still intact. Slice the lemons in half. Lightly brush both the romaine and lemons with olive oil.
- Place lemons cut side down on a hot grill and grill without moving for 3-4 minutes. Once the lemons are slightly charred, remove from the heat and set aside.
- Place the romaine cut side down on the grill for 1-2 minutes until charred and just beginning to wilt. Remove from the grill and squeeze the grilled lemons over top.
- Chop the grilled romaine into large chunks and add to a large bowl. Add in the chicken, bacon, parmesan, cucumber, tomatoes, and about 1 cup of the croutons and toss to combine.
- Drizzle with the Caesar dressing (I like about ¼ cup but you can add as much or little as you prefer) and toss to coat.
- Serve immediately.