Chicken Caesar Quinoa Salad

This Chicken Caesar Quinoa Salad is light yet refreshing, and is full of flavor and packed with protein. It makes for a perfect lunch or BBQ side dish!

Chicken Caesar Quinoa Salad Recipe

I love quinoa salad recipes and this one is a family favorite! It’s delicious, nutritious, with bursts or flavor and a crunch. Plus, my love for all things Caesar salad is real! I love making Baked Chicken Caesar Salad Burgers, this awesome Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad, and even a Grilled Caesar Salad With Blackened Shrimp which is so yummy!

Ingredients Needed:

This list includes ingredients for the salad and the dressing. The full list of ingredients and the recipe instructions are listed at the end of this post!

For The Salad:

  • Cooked Quinoa: A protein-packed base!
  • Chickenshredded, store-bought rotisserie, or chopped grilled chicken. I’ve made this with all three, and love the flavor the fresh grilled chicken adds!
  • Lettuce: I use romaine. Chop it fairly fine, or sub it for kale if you’d like!
  • Croutons: I make my own since it’s so easy, but you can totally use store-bought here.
  • Scallions: I love this flavor addition!
  • Grape Tomatoes: A great burst of flavor in this salad.
  • Cilantro: I love cilantro for all of the flavor it adds!
  • Fresh Parmesan Cheese: Optional, but the more the better in my opinion!
  • Lemon: Don’t skip this!
  • Caesar Salad Dressing: My Easy Caesar Salad Dressing comes together in 5 minutes and is so good!
  • Sea Salt and Cracked Black Pepper

Caesar Dressing

  • Homemade Mayo (or store-bought)
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Lemon Juice
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Anchovy Paste (optional)
  • Salt + Pepper
Ingredients for Chicken Caesar Quinoa Salad Recipe

How to Customize Your Chicken Caesar Quinoa Salad Recipe

Customize it with other add-ins/toppings

Substitution Ideas:

  • Sub out lettuce for kale
  • Sub out cilantro for another herb if you’d like!

The Creamy Caesar Salad Dressing… is Amazing!

This caesar salad dressing recipe is incredible and easy. This dressing can be prepared up to 2 days ahead of time and stored in a covered container in the refrigerator.

Quinoa in Your Quinoa Salad Recipe

Though it does pair well with grilled chicken, shrimp, or salmon, quinoa is a great source of a complete protein, so this salad is quite filling! Our in-house nutritionist Gabby says: Quinoa is tremendously healthy, especially for those following a vegan or vegetarian diet. Quinoa is one of the very few plant proteins that contains all nine essential amino acids that our body cannot make on its own, making it a complete protein. Not only is quinoa a rich source of protein, it is also naturally gluten-free and safe for those with celiac disease.

Our guide on how to cook quinoa is my go-to! I like to prep it ahead of time, so it’s cooled down for this salad! If you are making this all the day of, you can add it in a bit warm, or to speed up the cooling process, simply spread your cooked quinoa onto a baking sheet and let cool in the refrigerator.

How to Cook Quinoa on the Stove:

This is probably the most common way of cooking quinoa! You bring quinoa up to a boil and then simmer until all of the liquid has been absorbed! Finally, let it sit for a few minutes, and fluff with a fork. It takes about 20-25 minutes.

Bonus Short Cut: I’ve recently seen frozen organic quinoa in the freezer section at my local Whole Foods Market!

Homemade Croutons

Of course you can shortcut this step and uses store-bought. If you want to make your own or have bread to use up, you can read all about how to make them in this post on how to make croutons at home, it’s quite simple!

  1. Cut or tear the bread.
  2. Toss with olive oil and seasoning.
  3. Bake until lightly browned and toasted.

When you make croutons, you are baking and drying out the bread. So theoretically, the croutons themselves should be shelf-stable for about two weeks in an air-tight container. This is assuming you didn’t alter the recipe and add in any non-shelf stable ingredients.

If you make the croutons in bulk, or do not think you will use them up in the two-week time period, you can also freeze croutons for up 6 months at a time!

Spoonful of Chicken Caesar Quinoa Salad

Prepping Quinoa Salad Recipe Ahead For Meal Prep:

Quinoa salads do so well as meal prep. You can totally prep components of this hours in advance, or even the day before! Just make sure everything is prepped, and then dress just before serving. This does well dressed for a few days in the fridge as well, but I do love it best when served immediately!

Shredded or Grilled Chicken: You can prep this a day or two ahead!

Lettuce, Scallions, Tomatoes, Cilantro, and Cheese: You can chop these a day ahead and store in the refrigerator, but if you can chop these fresh before serving, that is ideal!

Homemade Croutons: Good for up to two weeks, and you can also freeze croutons for up 6 months at a time!

Quinoa: Our guide on how to cook quinoa is my go-to! I like to prep it ahead of time, so it’s cooled down for this salad! If you are making this all the day of, you can add it in a bit warm, or to speed up the cooling process, simply spread your cooked quinoa onto a baking sheet and let cool in the refrigerator.

Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing: You can make this a day or two ahead and store in the refrigerator. Dress the salad just before serving.

Storing: Everything else I’d prep the day of assembling and serving. Keeping all of this in mind, this salad will keep well for 3-5 days in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

A bowl of Chicken Caesar Quinoa Salad recipe

If You Love This Quinoa Recipe, Try These Others:

Watch The Video:

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Chicken Caesar Quinoa Salad

This Chicken Caesar Quinoa Salad is light yet refreshing, and is full of flavor and packed with protein. It makes for a perfect lunch or BBQ side dish!

  • Author: Lexi
  • Prep Time: 00:10
  • Cook Time: 00:20
  • Total Time: 00:30
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Salad

Ingredients

Scale

For the salad:

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (roughly 12 ounces)
  • 2 cups shredded chicken, diced store-bought rotisserie chicken, or chopped grilled chicken
  • 2 cups finely chopped lettuce (or kale)
  • 1 cup roughly chopped or small croutons
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
  • 1 cup chopped grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/3 cup shredded fresh parmesan cheese, more as desired
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/3 cup Caesar dressing, more to taste

For the dressing:

  • ½ cup mayo, homemade or store-bought
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon anchovy paste (optional)
  • Pine sea salt
  • Pinch ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Make the Croutons if making them homemade and set aside.
  2. Make the Caesar Dressing: Add all dressing ingredients to a small bowl or mason jar and whisk together. Taste and adjust seasoning. Set aside.
  3. Make the Quinoa: see posts for various notes!
  4. Chop the chicken, lettuce, scallions, tomatoes, cilantro, and shave the cheese.
  5. Assemble all the salad ingredients in a bowl. Season with salt, pepper, and lemon.
  6. Toss with dressing. Taste and add more dressing, salt, pepper, and lemon juice as desired!
  7. Serve immediately and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Notes

  • For the chicken: you can use shredded, store-bought rotisserie, or chopped grilled chicken. I’ve made this with all three, and love the flavor the fresh grilled chicken adds!

Keywords: Quinoa Salad Recipe

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May 25, 2022

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An orange skillet with an easy one pan taco filling.

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