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Perfect pasta salad coming your way! Grilled chicken, a dairy-free caesar dressing, crisp romaine lettuce, bacon, and ripe summer tomatoes come together perfectly in this Gluten-Free Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad! The perfect make-ahead lunch, BBQ side, or dinner for any night of the week!
Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad Recipe
I’ve always love a good caesar salad, since I was a kid! It’s really all about that amazing creamy caesar dressing, in my opinion! Paired up with crispy romaine, salty and crunch bacon, sweet summer tomatoes and PERFECTLY grilled chicken and you’ve got yourself dinner! Or a crowd pleasing side dish to bring to your next BBQ or potluck. And clearly I’m a fan of all things Caesar Salad. Previously I’ve done Chicken Caesar Burgers and Grilled Romaine Caesar Salad with Blackened Shrimp!
Is Caesar Dressing Gluten Free?
Some store-bought caesar dressings can contain gluten. This salad uses a homemade version that is naturally gluten-free. The recipe comes from my cookbook and is my all-time favorite. It’s made dairy-free but doesn’t skimp on the creaminess and the flavor.
What’s in it?
- Olive Oil
- Apple cider vinegar
- Dijon mustard
- Anchovy paste
- Bacon, cooked
- Romaine lettuce
- Cherry tomatoe
Tips for Making this Grilled Chicken Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad:
This salad can be made ahead of time, but you have to keep the dressing and the lettuce separate. You can assemble it up to 24 hours ahead of time, and add the romaine and dressing right before you are ready to serve. I typically love brown rice pasta as my go-to, but when I’m making pasta salads I find that the brown rice tends to get hard when refrigerated. I’d recommend making this the same day if you are using brown rice pasta.
It tastes great slightly warm or at room temperature. While the anchovy flavor is quintessential caesar, if you are really opposed to it you could omit, but it wouldn’t taste the same.
If you were looking to make this dish even easier, you could grab a rotisserie chicken and substitute that in for the grilled chicken.
If you like this summer side recipe, check out these others:
- Instant Pot Corn on the Cob with Southern Spicy Butter
- Sweet & Crunchy Thai Slaw with Chicken
- Chipotle Slaw
- Chia Honey Lime Fruit Salad
If you like this pasta salad recipe, check out these others:
GLUTEN-FREE CHICKEN CAESAR PASTA SALAD
- 1/2 cup mayo homemade or store-bought
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice divided
- 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- 4 pieces of bacon cooked
- 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast
- 1 head romaine lettuce cleaned and roughly chopped
- 1 16- ounce package gluten-free pasta
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Make the dressing: In a high-speed blender combine mayo, olive oil, vinegar, dijon, lemon juice, anchovy paste, garlic and big pinch salt and pepper. Pulse once or twice just until blended. Taste and adjust seasoning and set aside.
- Season chicken with salt and pepper and grill for 8-10 minutes on each side until no pink remains. Cut into cubes and set aside.
- Make pasta as instructed on package. Rinse with cool water and drain and place into a large bowl.
- Assemble: To the large bowl, add pasta, bacon, tomatoes, lettuce, and chicken. Pour over dressing and mix to combine. Season to taste with salt, pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Serve warm or room temperature.
- If you want it creamier, making extra dressing!
- You can use rotisserie chicken, too!
Made this for a lunch meal prep – it was amazing! Because I’m using it for multiple days, I saved the dressing on the side and it seems to keep all the lettuce crisp over multiple days! Absolutely delicious! Thanks for the recipe! Will be making again
I am SO glad you loved it!
Everyone LOVED this recipe! I can’t wait to make it again for a crowd!
This was soooo good!!
Going to have to try your homemade dressing. I love ceasar salads. And I have tried may store bought and just do not like them, they do not compare to restaurants. I did find a recipe online and made it and it was very good. But would like to see what yours taste like.
Looks amazing! Definitely going to make this.
Does it keep overnight in the fridge? Specifically curious if the GF pasta holds up.
I like Jovial if serving the next day!
Good flavor. jThe only thing I didn’t add was the anchovy paste. Did anyone else need to double the dressing? There seemed to be a lot of pasta & lettuce to dress with what I made so I ended up making another batch.
Also, I wouldn’t dirty a blender, it mixed up well with a whisk!
My kids are not interested in eating vegetables they just want fast food, now I decide to put something spicy at home. I follow your recipes.
Oh yes please. that dressing alone makes me hungry. Do you deliver? LOL!
LOL come on over!!!!! 🙂
This looks SOOOOO good Lexi!
Looks so delicious! Perfect weeknight food 🙂
Love this pasta salad!
So good for parties…I bet it goes fast!
Perfect for bbq’s and p0t lucks! Love the flavors Lexi!!
Can’t get recipe for the Caesar sauce. Will you email that recipe to me.
It’s written in the recipe!
Craving this RIGHT NOW! Looks like the perfect dinner for a warm night!
Can Greek yogurt substitute the mayo?