We’re taking a classic chicken caesar salad recipe and a panzanella salad recipe and combining them into one amazing salad that’s satisfying and full of flavor.
And did I mention the bread? I love panzanella salads because they take crusty and stale bread and turn ripe summer tomatoes and a hefty drizzle of olive oil into a salad you can’t stop eating.
So when it came time to make a caesar salad for the Weeknight Dinner Club…I knew what I needed to do!
And if you’re trying to get your kids to eat more salad? Always go panzanella!
What is Panzanella Salad?
Panzanella salad is a bread salad made of veggies and stale bread that is all soaked with a dressing of olive oil and vinegar.
This chicken panzanella salad recipe has a caesar twist to it. And we’re basically adding WAY more crunchy, homemade croutons to a classic chicken caesar salad recipe.
Is Chicken Caesar Salad Healthy?
Yes, this chicken caesar salad recipe is healthy. And yes, I actually hate that question because I feel strongly that food is food is energy is food. No good, no bad, just food!
Chicken Caesar Salad Ingredients:
This easy chicken caesar salad recipe is made with just 13 ingredients (many of which are pantry and kitchen staples!):
- Chicken breast – Can also use chicken thighs, salmon, or shrimp for this panzanella salad recipe.
- Caesar salad dressing – This dressing isn’t for the salad, but is used as the chicken marinade for caesar salad.
- Romaine lettuce – Crunchy and crisp, perfect for healthy chicken caesar salad.
- Baguette – This is what turns chicken caesar salad into Italian panzanella salad! We’re taking the croutons up a notch and adding lots of bread to this salad.
- Seasonings – Garlic, garlic powder, lemon juice, and dijon mustard all help to give flavor to the caesar dressing.
- Oils – A mix of olive oil and canola oil. Using a mix of oils works well for Caesar dressing so that the olive oil isn’t to overpowering for the chicken caesar salad recipe.
- Anchovies – A must for classic and traditional Caesar salad dressing. Even if you think you don’t like anchovies, the flavor can’t be beat for caesar dressing!
- Egg yolk – This helps give the dressing body and emulsify (mix together) the dressing.
How to Make Chicken Caesar Salad
This easy panzanella salad recipe is made in a few simple steps:
- Marinate chicken. Toss chicken breast with pre-made caesar salad dressing and marinate for 15-30 minutes.
- Bake chicken. I recommend using a digital cooking thermometer to check your chicken so that you don’t overcook it!
- Prep the remaining panzanella ingredients. Bake panzanella croutons. Wash and slice romaine lettuce. Whisk together caesar salad dressing ingredients until smooth.
- Assemble best chicken caesar salad. Toss romaine lettuce in caesar dressing, top with chicken,
How to Cook Chicken for Caesar Salad
There are a few options for how to cook chicken for caesar salad. I’ve included directions for baking, but you can also:
- Grill chicken breasts for about 5-7 minutes per side, or until cooked through.
- Saute chicken breasts over medium high heat for about 5 minutes per side, or until cooked through.
Caesar Panzanella Salad Recipe Nutrition + Substitutes:
If you want to swap out any of the ingredients and toppings, here are a few ways you can add even more nutrition into this meal. (Neither are traditional to caesar salad recipes, but are still tasty additions!)
- Spinach – Add thinly sliced spinach for some extra green goodness.
- Tomatoes – Top panzanella bread salad
with halved grape tomatoes.
We’re combining a classic chicken caesar salad recipe with a panzanella salad recipe for a delicious combo of caesar flavors and TONS of homemade croutons.
- 1 lb. chicken breasts, skinless and boneless
- 1/4 cup caesar salad dressing (not creamy)
- 2 heads romaine lettuce
- 1 baguette
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 Tbsp anchovy
- paste pinch of salt
- 1 egg yolk
- 4 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. canola oil
- grated parmesan cheese for serving
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Toss chicken with caesar dressing and marinate for 15-30 minutes.
- Line a baking dish with foil, or lightly grease so that the chicken doesn’t stick to the pan. Bake for about 25-35 minutes, or until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Cooking time will depend on the size. Let them rest for 5 minutes before serving. Slice 2-3 of the breasts for the salads and set the rest aside in the refrigerator for later in the week.
- Meanwhile, prepare salad, croutons, and dressing. Wash and dry romaine lettuce. Thinly slice and divide between plates.
- Make croutons. Tear bread into small pieces. Toss with olive oil and season with garlic powder. Bake for about 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Mince garlic and anchovy so that it forms a paste. Add a pinch of salt and use the side of your knife to scrape this together so that you don’t have big chunks of garlic. Place into a jar. Add egg yolk, lemon juice, dijon, and oil to jar. Shake until emulsified.
- Top romaine with chicken and croutons. Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
- Get your kids involved! They can: pour the dressing over the chicken, sprinkle their salads with croutons and parmesan cheese.
- If your kids don’t like food mixed, simply serve the salad components separately!
- You can use a pasteurized egg for the dressing and make sure to store it in the fridge and eat within a day.
Keywords: chicken caesar salad recipe, panzanella salad recipe