Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

This Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad recipe is tossed with my favorite Caesar dressing, lots of Parm, and the yummiest garlicky breadcrumbs.  A good Caesar salad will forever and always be one of my favorite foods. But I’m also just as happy this time of year to whip up a delicious batch of its carb-y cousin, […]

This Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad recipe is tossed with my favorite Caesar dressing, lots of Parm, and the yummiest garlicky breadcrumbs. 

Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad recipe

A good Caesar salad will forever and always be one of my favorite foods. But I’m also just as happy this time of year to whip up a delicious batch of its carb-y cousin, a chicken Caesar pasta salad. ♡

It’s basically everything we all love about a good chicken Caesar — perfectly-seasoned chicken, crisp Romaine leaves, a bold and tangy Caesar dressing and a generous shower of freshly-grated Parmesan — tossed with chilled and chewy al dente pasta. Then in lieu of traditional croutons, I like to whip up a quick batch of crunchy, salty, garlicky breadcrumbs to sprinkle on top. It’s a classic pasta salad recipe that’s always so satisfying and comes together easily too!

Of course, if chicken isn’t your thing, feel free to sub any other protein in here that you prefer (shrimp, salmon, bacon, Italian sausage, or even roasted chickpeas would be great options). And if you happen to have any roasted veggies on hand, they would always be welcome here too. I do just have to say that I’m partial to my favorite homemade Caesar dressing, but totally get it if you’d like to save some time and use a bottle of store-bought (in which case, Ken’s or Marzetti are two brands I always recommend).

However you make it, I promise that this classic Caesar pasta salad recipe is always a winner!

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Niçoise Salad

Niçoise salad is protein-packed, crunchy, and oh-so-satisfying– perfect for meal prep to keep you full all week long.

The post Niçoise Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Springtime is salad season, and boy, do I have the perfect hearty salad for you! Niçoise salad is protein-packed, crunchy, and oh-so-satisfying. It’s perfect for meal prep and will keep you full all week long. I love the mixture of textures and flavors in this salad, and while it takes a bit of work to make, it is so worth it! The hard-boiled eggs, protein-packed tuna, crispy green beans and creamy potatoes are the defining ingredients of this salad, in my opinion. The unique-yet-familiar ingredients are what make this salad a classic– and for good reason! This is one of the recipes I always whip out whenever I have a friend who could use a little meal prep TLC when they are super busy. Trust me, it’s a winner!

close-up overhead view of nicoise salad in a white bowl.

What is Niçoise Salad?

Niçoise salad is a filling and flavorful salad that traces its origins to Nice, France. The term “Niçoise” literally means, “in the style of Nice”. This tasty salad is chock full of tomatoes, onions, hard-boiled eggs, tuna, green beans, and roasted potatoes and is tossed in a light dressing. It makes a great meal prep lunch for the long week ahead! It’s a classic!

Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make Niçoise salad:

  • Romaine Lettuce: This classic crunchy lettuce is the perfect base for our salad. Buy whole heads rather than pre-chopped bagged lettuce to save some dough! Whole heads of romaine will keep longer in the fridge, too.
  • Grape Tomatoes: Add a pop of juicy acidity to this salad.
  • Red Onion: Adds a bit of bite to the recipe and a wonderful crunchy texture.
  • Hard-Boiled Eggs: Have a creamy, mild flavor and add a boost of protein! Check out our fool-proof process to make your hard-boiled eggs perfect every time.
  • Chunk Light Tuna: The main protein in this dish. Using canned is a great budget-saving tip! I prefer to use tuna packed in water.
  • Green Beans: Add a vegetal flavor, a pop of color, and delightful crunch.
  • Baby Potatoes: Add creaminess and richness to the salad. Thanks to the potatoes, this salad will keep you feeling full! You can use any variety of mini potatoes. I used fingerling for this recipe. Our air fryer potatoes are done in no time.
  • Olive Oil: Helps the seasonings stick to the potatoes and adds a subtle Mediterranean flavor to the dish.
  • Cucumber: Gives this salad crisp, hydrating, and aromatic characteristics.
  • Radishes: Add a little spicy kick to every bite and add beautiful color. After all, we eat with our eyes!
  • Olives: Any olives you love will do, but the briny and easy-to-find kalamata always does the trick!
  • Seasonings: Garlic powder, onion powder, and dried dill along with salt and pepper make the hearty potatoes so flavorful!

What Kind of Dressing Should I Use?

Niçoise salad is pretty flavorful on its own, so I recommend a light dressing like a lemon vinaigrette that helps cut the richness and elevates the flavors. For something a little creamier, try our favorite lemon dill tahini dressing! Our honey mustard sauce pairs well, too!

What Else Can I Add?

Niçoise salad is a great vehicle to use up those veggies taking up space in the fridge (or pantry!). I like to add:

  • Kalamata olives
  • Halved radishes
  • Chopped cucumbers
  • Capers
  • Artichoke hearts

How to Store Leftovers

I recommend storing the salad separately from the dressing for the best results. The components will keep in separate air-tight containers for up to 3 days in the refrigerator and can be tossed together before serving. If you’re meal prepping, add a bit of everything to your airtight containers and keep the dressing on the side. Then, just grab and go!

servings of nicoise salad in white bowls.
nicoise salad in a white bowl.
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Niçoise Salad

Niçoise salad is protein-packed, crunchy, and oh-so-satisfying– perfect for meal prep to keep you full all week long.
Course Salad
Cuisine French
Total Cost ($10.64 recipe / $1.77 serving)
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 (about 2 cups salad)
Calories 231kcal
Cost $2.16 per serving

Ingredients

  • salad dressing* see note
  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil $0.09
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill $0.07
  • 1/2 lb. baby potatoes, quartered $1.08
  • 1 cup green beans, stems removed $1.50
  • 4 cups water $0.00
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, halved $0.76
  • 2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped $2.25
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved $2.29
  • 1/2 red onion, julienned $0.40
  • 7 radishes, halved or sliced $0.69
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped $0.64
  • 1/4 cup olives, strained $1.04
  • 2 5oz. cans chunk light tuna $2.00
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper, to taste $0.10

Instructions

  • Choose your favorite salad dressing. (see note)
  • Combine olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder and dried dill in a small bowl. Whisk to combine.
  • Quarter the baby potatoes and toss them in the olive oil spice blend.
  • Air fry quartered potatoes at 400°F for 15 minutes, shaking halfway through (OR roast the potatoes at 400°F until golden and tender, about 30 minutes.)
  • Bring 4 cups of water to a rolling boil in a medium pot or large saucepan.
  • Remove any stems from green beens. Blanch the green beans by tossing them into the boiling water and then turning off the heat. Allow them to sit in the hot water for a very brief period of time, about 3 minutes, until they are bright green. Quickly, transfer them to an ice bath to stop them from cooking any further. Set aside.
  • Hard boil, peel, and halve the eggs. Chop the romaine lettuce, halve the grape tomatoes, julienne the onion, halve or quarter radishes, peel and chop cucumber, and strain olives.
  • Strain the canned tuna and break it apart with a fork.
  • Toss all ingredients together and lightly dress your salad. Finish with a crank of freshly ground pepper and sea salt.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

*I recommend something light like a lemon vinaigrette (or try our lemon dill tahini dressing or honey mustard sauce) that won’t compete with all of the bold flavors in this salad.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 231kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 10g | Sodium: 368mg | Fiber: 6g
nicoise salad in a white bowl with wooden salad spoons.

how to make Niçoise Salad – step by step photos

yellow dressing in a white bowl.

Choose your favorite salad dressing.

seasoned halved baby potatoes in a white bowl.

Combine 1/2 Tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp onion powder and 1/2 tsp dried dill in a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Quarter the 1/2 lb baby potatoes, toss in the olive oil and herbs.

roasted halved baby potatoes in a white bowl.

Air fry 1/2 lb quartered potatoes at 400°F for 15 minutes, shaking halfway through (OR roast the potatoes at 400°F until golden and tender, about 30 minutes.)

blanched green beans being transferred to ice water.

Bring 4 cups of water to a rolling boil in a medium pot or large saucepan. Remove any stems from green beens. Blanch 1 cup green beans by tossing them into the boiling water and then turning off the heat. Allow them to sit in the hot water for a very brief period of time, about 3 minutes, until they are bright green. Quickly, transfer them to an ice bath to stop them from cooking any further. Set aside.

overhead view of prepped ingredients for nicoise salad on a cutting board.

Hard boil, peel, and halve 4 eggs. Chop 2 heads of romaine lettuce, halve 1 cup of grape tomatoes, julienne 1/2 a red onion, halve or quarter 7 radishes, peel and chop 1 cucumber, and strain 1/4 cup of olives.

drained tuna in a white bowl.

Strain the 2 cans of tuna and break it apart with a fork.

nicoise salad in a white bowl.

Toss all ingredients together and lightly dress your salad. Finish with a crank of freshly ground pepper and sea salt.

The post Niçoise Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Santa Fe Salad

This Santa Fe salad is the ultimate Southwestern salad. It’s loaded with tender, juicy chicken, fresh veggies, and creamy black beans.

The post Santa Fe Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I have a major weakness for Southwestern flavors, and this Santa Fe salad is the ultimate combination. It’s loaded with tender, juicy chicken, fresh veggies, and creamy black beans. I love it tossed in our creamy avocado dressing. It’s a great hearty entrée-sized salad that’ll keep you full for hours. If you are plant-baseed, this flavor bomb of a salad still packs the same punch without the chicken. This salad is a true crowd pleaser.

creamy avocado dressing drizzled over santa fe salad in a large white bowl.

What Is A Santa Fe Salad?

This tasty Santa Fe salad recipe starts with a bed of romaine lettuce topped with Southwestern favorites, like corn, black beans, bell pepper, cheese, and tortilla chips. Top it off with our favorite creamy avocado dressing, some fresh pico de gallo, and a dollop of homemade guacamole for a filling salad that’s bursting with flavor!

Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make a Santa Fe salad:

  • Chicken Breasts: Tender, juicy chicken breasts are a great source of protein on this hearty salad. For a budget-saving option, chicken thighs work well. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, substitute the chicken with extra-firm tofu (seasonings and all) or go heavier on the black beans. Mmm!
  • Olive Oil: Helps the spices stick to the chicken and helps the chicken sear in the pan.
  • Seasonings: Chili powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, ground cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper add Southwestern flair to the chicken.
  • Romaine Lettuce: The perfect crunchy base for this salad. Buy whole heads rather than the pre-chopped bagged stuff to save money.
  • Bell Pepper: I like to use a green bell pepper, but any color works well to add some crunch!
  • Frozen Corn: You can also use fresh or canned corn– just be sure to drain and rinse first if you use canned.
  • Canned Black Beans: Add creaminess and extra protein to this salad.
  • Cheddar Cheese: Adds a hint of saltiness. Mexican blend also works well.
  • Tortilla Chips: I like to crumble some on top for extra crunch.
  • Creamy Avocado Dressing: Pulls the whole salad together. If you’re short on time, use a store-bought chipotle or Southwest ranch dressing.
  • Pico de Gallo: Adds a hit of freshness and acidity.
  • Guacamole: This is totally optional but ups the creaminess of this salad!

What Else Can I Add?

This Southwestern salad is a great fridge clean-out recipe. Here are some other things I love to add when I have them on hand:

How To Store Leftovers

As with most salads, I recommend storing the veggie components separately from the chicken and dressing and tossing everything together just before serving. This helps protect the lettuce from wilting. Stored correctly, this salad should keep well in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, making it great for meal prep!

tossing santa fe salad in a large white bowl with wooden spoons.
creamy avocado dressing drizzled over santa fe salad in a large white bowl.
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Santa Fe Salad

This Santa Fe salad is the ultimate Southwestern salad. It's loaded with tender, juicy chicken, fresh veggies, and creamy black beans.
Course Salad
Cuisine American, texmex
Total Cost ($17.21 recipe / $2.95 serving)
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 516kcal

Ingredients

For the Dressing

  • 1 avocado $0.89
  • 1/2 cup sour cream $0.24
  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.08
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 2 tbsp lime juice $0.50
  • 1/4 bunch fresh cilantro $0.20
  • 1/4 cup water $0.00

For the Salad

  • 2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped into bite-size pieces $2.98
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced $0.89
  • 5 radishes, sliced thin $0.49
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed and rinsed $0.47
  • 1 15oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained $0.89
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese $0.83
  • 1/2 cup pico de gallo $0.44
  • 1 cup crushed tortilla chips $0.50

For the Chicken

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts $5.69
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided $0.08
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder $0.30
  • 2 tsp paprika $0.20
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper $0.06
  • 1 tsp ground cumin $0.10
  • 1 tsp garlic powder $0.05
  • 1 tsp onion powder $0.05
  • 1 tsp salt $0.05
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper $0.05

Instructions

  • Add the avocado, sour cream, minced garlic, salt, lime juice, and cilantro to a food processor or blender. Puré until smooth. Cover and set aside in the refrigerator.
  • Chop romaine lettuce into bite-sized pieces and transfer to a large salad bowl.
  • Dice bell peppers, slice radishes, thaw frozen corn, and rinse and strain canned black beans. Add this and 1/2 cup of pico de gallo to the large salad bowl on top of chopped romaine lettuce. Cover and keep in the refrigerator while you prepare the chicken.
  • Place the chicken breasts inside a heavy duty food storage bag and flatten with a rolling pin or a tenderizing mallet until the breasts are consistently about 3/4 inch thick. Start in the middle at the thickest part of each breast for more even cooking. This step helps the chicken cook more evenly.
  • Prepare the Santa Fe Chicken seasoning blend by combining chili, paprika, cayenne, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper.
  • Rub chicken breasts with 1 Tbsp olive oil and divide the seasoning blend between the them, making sure to thoroughly coat the entire surface of each chicken breast with seasoning.
  • In a large skillet, add 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is glistening and hot, add the chicken breasts. Cook your chicken for a total of 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway. While the chicken cooks, do not wiggle or disturb it except for flipping. Remove the chicken from the heat when it reaches an internal temperature of 160°F. Allow chicken to rest on a cutting board for 5-10 minutes before slicing into strips. After resting, the chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165°F. 
  • Fan out the sliced chicken on top of the salad and drizzle creamy avocado dressing over the top. Toss and serve!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Notes

Nutritional information does not include the guacamole. Click the recipe link to view nutritional information.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 516kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 21g | Sodium: 1791mg | Fiber: 14g
overhead view of a santa fe salad in a white bowl.

how to make a Santa Fe Salad – step by step photos

ingredients for avocado dressing in food processor

Add 1 avocado, ½ cup sour cream, 1 clove of garlic (minced), ¼ tsp salt, 2 Tbsp lime juice, and ¼ bunch cilantro to a food processor or blender.

creamy avocado dressing in food processor

Puré until smooth. Cover and set aside in the refrigerator.

chopping lettuce

Chop 2 heads of romaine lettuce into bite-sized pieces and transfer to a large salad bowl.

ingredients for santa fe salad in a white bowl

Dice 1 bell pepper, slice 5 radishes, thaw 1 cup frozen corn, and rinse and strain 1 can of black beans. Add this and 1/2 cup of pico de gallo to the large salad bowl on top of chopped romaine lettuce. Cover and keep in the refrigerator while you prepare the chicken.

pounding chicken

Place the chicken breasts inside a heavy duty food storage bag and flatten with a rolling pin or a tenderizing mallet until the breasts are consistently about 3/4 inch thick. Start in the middle at the thickest part of each breast for more even cooking. This step helps the chicken cook more evenly.

spice rub for chicken

Prepare the Santa Fe Chicken seasoning blend by combining 1 Tbsp chili, 2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp cayenne, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp black pepper together.

chicken coated with spice rub

Rub chicken breasts with 1 Tbsp olive oil and divide the seasoning blend between the them, making sure to thoroughly coat the entire surface of each chicken breast with seasoning.

chicken in skillet

In a large skillet, add 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is glistening and hot, add the chicken breasts. Cook your chicken for a total of 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway. While the chicken cooks, do not wiggle or disturb it except for flipping. Remove the chicken from the heat when it reaches an internal temperature of 160°F. Allow chicken to rest on a cutting board for 5-10 minutes before slicing into strips. After resting, the chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165°F. 

completed santa fe salad

Fan out the sliced chicken on top of the salad and drizzle Creamy Avocado Dressing over the top. Toss and serve!

The post Santa Fe Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Our Perfect Caesar Salad

This Caesar salad recipe is a flavor explosion with creamy dressing, crunchy croutons, and salty Parmesan cheese. It’s perfect as…

This Caesar salad recipe is a flavor explosion with creamy dressing, crunchy croutons, and salty Parmesan cheese. It’s perfect as a side dish, or make it an easy lunch or dinner by adding protein!

Caesar Salad recipe on plates with Caesar dressing and lemon.

Some foods are classic for a reason, like frosty vanilla bean ice cream or hot crispy French fries. This classic salad is another basic, but truly one of our favorite recipes ever. Meet the perfect Caesar salad! Of course you can buy a packaged store-bought version, but make it homemade there’s absolutely no comparison.

Why we love this recipe: We’ve perfected all the elements to a great homemade Caesar salad. The savory, creamy Caesar dressing will become a household favorite. Those crunchy garlicky croutons—well, you’ll be eating them off the baking sheet. Alex and I have made this recipe more times than we can count, often topped with protein for an easy dinner. We hope you’ve love it just as much!

Ingredients in a great Caesar salad

From the first bite of this homemade Caesar salad, you’ll be singing its praises! Here are the ingredients to make this classic salad:

  • Croutons: It’s best with homemade croutons, but you can use store-bought in a pinch. For homemade, tearing the the bread into uneven pieces before baking makes fluffy, crunchy orbs.
  • Caesar dressing: This homemade Caesar dressing recipe is so good, you won’t want to buy it again. It’s made primarily of mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, Dijon mustard, garlic, and lemon juice. We’ve also got a lightened-up spin on it using Greek yogurt (keep reading).
  • Romaine hearts: Romaine hearts, the sweet and crunchy portion of a head of romaine, are best for a Caesar salad. These are sold usually in packs of 3 in the grocery. You can also use a large head of romaine lettuce, but the leafier dark green portions of the lettuce don’t taste as good.
  • Parmesan cheese shavings: You need grated Parmesan cheese for the dressing and shredded for the salad. If you don’t want to buy two separate types, grab a large block at the store.
Caesar Salad Ingredients: Mayo, garlic, Parmesan cheese, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, anchovy paste or Worcestershire sauce, croutons, Romaine lettuce.

Tips for homemade Caesar dressing

This Caesar dressing recipe is our favorite that we’ve been making for years! It’s easily made vegetarian using vegan Worcestershire sauce and vegetarian Parmesan cheese. Here are a few tips for this Caesar dressing:

  • Anchovy paste is optional, but adds great flavor. Traditional Caesar dressing gets its savory flavor from anchovies, and it adds a nice sharp flavor that’s the signature of the classic. A vegetarian Caesar dressing with vegan Worcestershire sauce (or this Worcestershire sauce substitute) tastes just as good.
  • Try our lighter version with Greek yogurt. Swap out the ¾ cup mayonnaise in this recipe for ¼ cup mayonnaise, ½ cup Greek yogurt, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. It helps reduce calories and makes the salad taste lighter and fresher. We like it even better!
Caesar Dressing in bowl with spoon.

Storing leftovers and make-ahead tips

Once you’ve got your creamy dressing and crunchy croutons, all you need is romaine hearts and Parmesan cheese shavings to bring together that perfect Caesar salad. Want a few time savers for putting it together? Here’s how to make it ahead:

  • Make the dressing up to 1 week in advance. The flavor tastes just as good made in advance.
  • Make the croutons 2 days in advance. Make the croutons and let them cool completely. Then store in a sealed container for up to 2 days. The flavor gets gradually staler over time, so the closer to fresh they are, the better.

Protein adders to make it a main dish

If you take all this time to make Caesar salad…why not turn it into a main dish meal? If you serve it topped with protein, it makes about 4 servings. Here are a few ideas:

Chicken Caesar Salad

Vegan variation

Want a plant-based or vegan variation? Whip up this Vegan Caesar Dressing! You’ll use a blender to mix chickpeas with Dijon mustard, garlic, olive oil and more. It might sound odd, but trust us. We think this Vegan Caesar Salad is just as tasty!

More variations: grilled and kale Caesar

Here are a few more variations on Caesar salad that put a fun spin on this classic salad:

  • Make it with kale: Our Kale Caesar Salad features leafy green kale and a showering of breadcrumbs. To die for!
  • Make it grilled: This Grilled Caesar Salad features grilled romaine lettuce and grilled avocado to bring big flavor.

Dietary notes

This Caesar salad recipe is vegetarian without anchovy paste. For gluten free, use gluten-free bread for the croutons. For vegan, use Vegan Caesar Dressing and omit the Parmesan cheese, or go to Vegan Caesar Salad.

Frequently asked questions

What type of lettuce is best for Caesar salad?

The classic Caesar salad uses romaine lettuce. Its sturdy leaves hold up well to the dressing and croutons without getting soggy. However, you can experiment with other lettuces like butter lettuce or even chopped kale for a different texture.

Can I make my own croutons for Caesar salad?

Yes, and we recommend it! Making homemade croutons is a great way to customize the flavor and texture. Simply cube bread, toss with olive oil and garlic powder, and bake until golden brown.

Do I need to use anchovies in Caesar dressing?

Anchovies are a traditional ingredient in Caesar dressing, but they mainly add a savory umami flavor that’s not overpowering. If you’re not a fan of anchovies, you can omit them or use a substitute like Worcestershire sauce or miso paste.

What if I don’t have Parmesan cheese?

You can substitute another hard cheese like Pecorino Romano or Grana Padano for the Parmesan cheese.

Can I make Caesar salad dressing ahead of time?

Yes, you can! Homemade Caesar dressing will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week in an airtight container.

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Caesar Salad recipe

Caesar Salad Recipe


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6

Description

This Caesar salad recipe is a flavor explosion with creamy dressing, crunchy croutons, and salty Parmesan cheese. It’s perfect as a side dish, or make it an easy lunch or dinner by adding protein!


Ingredients

For the Caesar dressing (makes 1 cup)

  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced or grated
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (1/2 lemon)
  • ¾ cup high quality mayonnaise (or ¼ cup mayonnaise, ½ cup Greek yogurt, and 1 tablespoon olive oil*)
  • ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon anchovy paste or Worcestershire sauce (or omit)
  • ¼ teaspoon each kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

For the Caesar salad


Instructions

  1. Make the croutons: Make the Homemade Croutons, tearing the bread into pieces instead of slicing it into cubes. (This makes the best Caesar salad, but homemade croutons are optional). 
  2. Make the dressing: Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a bowl. Store leftovers refrigerated in a covered jar for up to 1 week.
  3. Make the salad: Tear or chop the romaine leaves into bite-sized pieces. Top each salad with Parmesan cheese shavings, croutons, and dressing.

Notes

*Make a lighter version of the dressing by swapping in Greek yogurt and olive oil for part of the mayo. We like it even better!

**Romaine hearts are easy to find packaged separately in the produce aisle.

  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Caesar salad, Caesar salad recipe

Caesar Salad

This easy Caesar Salad recipe is made with homemade croutons and a rich & flavorful Caesar salad dressing. It’s simple enough to make any day of the week!

The post Caesar Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

If you’ve never made a homemade Caesar salad, then you might be surprised by just how easy it is to whip up. Our version includes fresh homemade croutons and a rich and tangy homemade Caesar salad dressing. The simplicity of a Caesar salad is unmatched. It’s simple enough to make during the week and pairs well with lots of main dishes. It’s always my go-to whenever I’m eating out at a nice restaurant, but the truth is…this homemade Caesar salad recipe is wayyy better than any restaurant version. Let me show you just how easy it is to make!

Overhead view of a plate of caesar salad with a gold fork on the side.

Ingredients For Caesar Salad

All it takes are a few simple ingredients to make this fresh Caesar Salad recipe:

  • Romaine Lettuce: Fresh, crisp romaine lettuce is the base of this salad.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Since this salad is relatively simple to make with simple ingredients, we spent extra using fresh Parmesan from a Parmesan cheese wedge.
  • Homemade Croutons: Homemade croutons are a must friends! They are so easy to make and taste way better than those store-bought ones. Trust me!
  • Caesar Salad Dressing: A fresh batch of homemade Caesar salad dressing can be made in hardly no time. But if you are really short on time, you can also use store-bought dressing instead.

Caesar Salad Dressing

Our creamy homemade caesar salad dressing is rich, tangy, super flavorful, and really easy to whip up! And our version is simple thanks to the use of mayonnaise instead of making your own egg and oil emulsion. It includes a combination of lemon, garlic, anchovy filets, Dijon mustard, mayonnaise, Parmesan, and freshly cracked black pepper. It has lots of complex flavors and tastes absolutely delicious with this Caesar salad!

Easy Homemade Croutons

The real key to any great Caesar salad, imo, are homemade croutons! Ok, second to the dressing of course :) They’re crispy, crunchy, and oh-so-flavorful! And the best part is…they’re super easy to make! We made a quick batch of our Easy Homemade Croutons recipe with some crusty bread, olive oil, and seasoning. That’s it! Trust me, it will take your salad to the next level, so don’t skip it!

What To SErve with Caesar Salad?

One of the best ways to enjoy this simple caesar salad is by adding some grilled chicken, Pan Seared Chicken, or Air Fryer Chicken on top for a quick and easy chicken caesar salad. Salmon and shrimp also taste great with this salad! Or simply add this salad as a side dish along side your favorite dinner recipes like Homemade Lasagna or Creamy Garlic Chicken.

Overhead view of a serving bowl of caesar salad with a napkin, croutons, caesar dressing, and parmesan cheese on the side.
Overhead view of a plate of caesar salad with a gold fork on the side.
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Caesar Salad

This easy Caesar Salad recipe is made with homemade croutons and a rich & flavorful Caesar salad dressing. It’s simple enough to make any day of the week!
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Total Cost $8.50 recipe / $1.42 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 240kcal

Ingredients

Caesar Salad Dressing

Salad

  • 8 cups chopped romaine lettuce $3.73
  • 2 cups croutons $0.71
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan $0.89

Instructions

  • Start by making the Caesar salad dressing. Zest and juice the lemon. You'll need about 3 Tbsp juice and 1 tsp lemon zest. Finely mince the garlic and anchovy filets. Reserve about ½ tsp of the oil from the anchovy container.
  • In a medium bowl add the lemon juice, zest, minced garlic, minced anchovies, anchovy oil, and pepper. Whisk to combine.
  • Add the Dijon mustard, mayonnaise, and grated Parmesan to the bowl and whisk to combine again. Taste the dressing and adjust the ingredients to your liking.
  • Next chop, wash, and dry the Romaine lettuce. Add the lettuce to a large bowl.
  • Top the lettuce with the croutons, shredded Parmesan, and half of the Caesar salad dressing (start with half the dressing and add more as needed). Toss the salad until everything is coated in the dressing. Serve with extra Parmesan cheese and freshly cracked black pepper on top. Enjoy!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 240kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 19g | Sodium: 529mg | Fiber: 2g
Overhead view of a plate of Caesar salad with a hand holding a fork eating a bite on the side.

How to Make A Caesar Salad – Step by Step Photos

Caesar dressing ingredients in a bowl.

Start by making the Caesar salad dressing. Zest and juice 1 lemon. You’ll need about 3 Tbsp juice and 1 tsp lemon zest. Finely mince 3 cloves of garlic and 3 anchovy filets. Reserve about ½ tsp of the oil from the anchovy container.

In a medium bowl add the lemon juice, zest, minced garlic, minced anchovies, anchovy oil, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Whisk to combine.

Parmesan and mayo added to Caesar dressing in a bowl.

Add 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard, 1/2 cup mayonnaise, and 1/4 cup grated Parmesan and whisk to combine again.

Fully mixed Caesar dressing in a bowl.

Taste the dressing and adjust the ingredients to your liking.

Chopped romaine lettuce on a cutting board.

Next chop, wash, and dry 8 cups of Romaine lettuce. Add the lettuce to a large bowl.

Romaine lettuce, parmesan cheese, croutons, and Caesar dressing added to a serving bowl.

Top the lettuce with 2 cups croutons, 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan, and half of the Caesar salad dressing (start with half the dressing and add more as needed).

Caesar salad being tossed in a serving bowl.

Toss the salad until everything is coated in the dressing.

Overhead view of a serving bowl of caesar salad with a napkin, croutons, caesar dressing, and parmesan cheese on the side.

Serve with extra Parmesan cheese and freshly cracked black pepper on top. Enjoy!

Overhead view of Caesar salad plated with creamy garlic chicken.

*Pictured with our Creamy Garlic Chicken

The post Caesar Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Vegan BLT Salad with Avocado & Tempeh Bacon

Say hello to one seriously satisfying salad: the vegan BLT! Think all the flavor of your favorite sandwich with salty tempeh bacon, tangy tomatoes, and crunchy lettuce tossed in a creamy ranch dressing. She’s nourishing and DREAMY!
Just 7 ingredients r…

Vegan BLT Salad with Avocado & Tempeh Bacon

Say hello to one seriously satisfying salad: the vegan BLT! Think all the flavor of your favorite sandwich with salty tempeh bacon, tangy tomatoes, and crunchy lettuce tossed in a creamy ranch dressing. She’s nourishing and DREAMY!

Just 7 ingredients required for this EASY, veggie-packed, plant-based twist on a classic. Let’s make BLTs in a bowl!

This bountiful salad begins with a mix of fresh veggies including crunchy romaine, sweet cherry tomatoes, hydrating cucumber, satisfying avocado, and peppery red onion.

Vegan BLT Salad with Avocado & Tempeh Bacon from Minimalist Baker →

Chicken Caesar Wrap

Homemade Chicken Caesar Wraps are a breeze to make, are big on flavor, and make a deliciously light and refreshing lunch.

The post Chicken Caesar Wrap appeared first on Budget Bytes.

The weather is getting warmer, the sun is shining, and I’m starting to crave light, crisp, and fresh foods! These Chicken Caesar Wraps are light and refreshing, but still big on flavor and filling. These tasty wraps are pretty easy to make, even when you make them all from scratch like we did, but we’ve got some shortcuts you can take too, for when you’re low on time or energy!

Front view of a chicken Caesar wrap cut in half and stacked on a cutting board.

What’s in a Chicken Caesar Wrap?

A chicken Caesar wrap has all the fixin’s of a classic chicken Caesar salad (Romaine lettuce, Caesar dressing, chicken, Parmesan, and tomatoes) all wrapped up into a soft flour tortilla. Chicken Caesar salads typically contain croutons as well, but croutons can be large and sharp to bite into in a wrap, so we substituted them with some buttery seasoned breadcrumbs so our wraps would have crunch without the cuts. The combo is absolutely divine!

Low on Time? Use These Shortcuts

I get it, life gets hectic sometimes, so when you’re short on time or energy, use these shortcuts to make these homemade chicken Caesar wraps in less time:

  • Instead of using homemade Caesar dressing, use your favorite bottled dressing (I like Ken’s Steakhouse brand or Girard’s).
  • Use pre-cooked chicken instead of cooking your own. You can use chopped rotisserie chicken (toss with a little Italian dressing for more flavor), or you can chop some baked breaded chicken breasts.
  • If cooking your own chicken, try marinating in more of the Caesar dressing instead of measuring all of the spices below.
  • If you have pre-made croutons on hand, crush them slightly and use in place of the buttered breadcrumbs below.

How to Make Chicken Caesar Wraps Ahead

Premade Chicken Caesar Wraps will stay good for about 4-6 hours before they begin to get a bit soft, so if you plan to pack your Chicken Caesar Wraps for lunch, take the following steps to ensure they don’t get soggy along the way:

  1. Store the chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, and breadcrumbs in separate containers until the day of serving.
  2. The morning of, combine the ingredients and toss with the Caesar dressing, then wrap in the tortilla. Wrap the entire sandwich in plastic wrap or waxed paper, and keep refrigerated until ready to eat.
Chicken Caesar wraps cut and stacked together on a wooden cutting board.
Side view of a chicken Caesar wrap cut in half and stacked on a cutting board.
Print

Chicken Caesar Wraps

Homemade Chicken Caesar Wraps are a breeze to make, big on flavor, and make a deliciously light and refreshing lunch.
Course Lunch
Cuisine American
Total Cost $8.17 recipe / $2.04 each
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 1 wrap each
Calories 450kcal

Ingredients

Parmesan Chicken

  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast (about ⅔ lb.) $2.66
  • 2 Tbsps olive oil, divided $0.32
  • 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan $0.10
  • 1/4 tsp Italian seasoning $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper $0.02

Buttered Breadcrumbs

  • 1 Tbsp butter $0.13
  • 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs $0.13
  • 1/4 tsp Italian seasoning $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper $0.02

Wraps

  • 2 cups chopped Romaine lettuce $1.50
  • 1/2 cup grape tomatoes $0.50
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan (grated or shredded) $0.80
  • 1/3 cup Caesar dressing $0.90
  • 4 large flour tortillas $2.15

Instructions

  • Cut the chicken breast into small ½-inch pieces. Place the chicken in a bowl and add 1 Tbsp olive oil, the Parmesan, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Toss until the chicken is evenly coated in oil and seasoning.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium. Once hot, add an additional 1 Tbsp olive oil and swirl to coat. Add the seasoned chicken and cook until browned and cooked through (about 5 minutes). If needed, add a couple tablespoons of water to the skillet to loosen the chicken before flipping. Set the chicken aside to cool.
  • Next, prepare the buttered breadcrumbs. Add the butter, panko breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to a small skillet. Cook over medium until everything is evenly mixed and the breadcrumbs are golden brown (about 3 minutes). Set the breadcrumbs aside to cool.
  • Wash, drain, and chop the Romaine lettuce. Slice the grape tomatoes in half. Add the lettuce, tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, cooled chicken, breadcrumbs, and Caesar dressing to a bowl. Toss until everything is evenly mixed.
  • Divide the salad mixture between 4 large flour tortillas. Fold and roll the tortillas up like a burrito (bottom first, fold in the sides, then continue to roll to the top). Use a toothpick to hold them closed, slice in half, then serve.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1wrap | Calories: 450kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 29g | Sodium: 1112mg | Fiber: 2g
Close up of a hand holding a chicken Caesar wrap cut in half.

How to Make Chicken Caesar Wraps – Step by Step Photos

Raw seasoned chicken breast in a bowl.

Cut one chicken breast (about ⅔ lb.) into ½-inch pieces. Toss with 1 Tbsp olive oil, then add 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan, ¼ tsp Italian seasoning, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp black pepper. Toss until the chicken is evenly coated in cheese and spices.

Cooked chicken in a skillet.

Heat a large skillet over medium. Once hot, add another tablespoon of olive oil and swirl to coat the surface. Add the chicken and cook until browned and cooked through (about 5 minutes). If needed, add a couple of tablespoons of water to loosen the chicken before flipping it to brown on the second side. The water will quickly evaporate, allowing the chicken to brown again.

Wrap filling ingredients in a bowl.

Allow the chicken to cool while you prepare the remaining ingredients. Wash, drain, and chop 2 cups of Romaine lettuce. Slice ½ cup cherry tomatoes in half. Combine the lettuce, tomatoes, ½ cup Parmesan cheese, the cooled chicken, and ⅓ cup Caesar dressing in a bowl. Toss until everything is evenly combined.

Buttered Breadcrumbs being added to the salad bowl.

Add 1 Tbsp butter, ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs, ¼ tsp Italian seasoning, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp black pepper to a small skillet. Heat over medium while stirring until the butter has melted and the breadcrumbs have toasted slightly. Add the buttered breadcrumbs to the bowl with the other ingredients.

Finished Caesar wrap filling in a bowl.

Toss the filling once again until everything is evenly mixed.

Chicken caesar wraps filled but not rolled on a wooden cutting board.

To soften the tortillas slightly and make them more pliable, stack them and heat in the microwave for about 15 seconds. Divide the salad mix between two large tortillas.

Chicken Caesar wraps being folded and wrapped.

To fold the chicken Caesar wraps, start by folding the bottom side up and over the filling. Fold in each side to close up the ends, then continue to roll up over the folded sides until you have a burrito-shaped wrap.

Stacked chicken Caesar wraps on a cutting board with chips in the background.

Place a toothpick in the wrap to keep it closed, or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or waxed paper. Enjoy within a few hours for the most crunch!

The post Chicken Caesar Wrap appeared first on Budget Bytes.