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:
- Classic Macaroni Salad
- Gluten-Free BLT Pasta Salad
- Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad
- Antipasto ‘PASTA’ Salad
Batch Caesar Dressing from page 320 of the Lexi's Clean Kitchen Cookbook
- 1/2 cup homemade mayo, homemade or store-bought
- 2 teaspoons avocado oil or extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1. Make the dressing: In a high-speed blender combine all caesar salad ingredients. Pulse once or twice just until blended. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired and set aside.
2. 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.
3. Make pasta as instructed on package then drain and place into a large bowl.
4. Assemble: In a large bowl, add pasta, bacon, tomatoes, lettuce, and chicken. Pour over dressing and mix to combine. Add 1/2 lemon juiced, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve and enjoy!
- If you want it creamier, making extra dressing!
- You can use rotisserie chicken, too!