Easy Chicken Caesar Salad

Today I’m bringing you an easy salad recipe! I’ve made it two or three times in the last few weeks, and it has not disappointed. I got the inspiration for this recipe here, but of course changed a few things up as I saw fit. This recipe is quick, with minimal clean up, and makes very tasty leftovers!

Easy Chicken Caesar Salad

Prep Time: 15 minutes         Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: less than 40 minutes        Servings: 3-4

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 pounds chicken tenders (or chicken cut of your choice)
  • 1-ish cup of your favorite Caesar dressing
  • 2-ish cups panko/bread crumbs
  • 1-ish cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated preferred (and more for the actual salad)
  • Croutons (the more, the better here)
  • 1 large head of Romaine lettuce (or salad mix of your choice)
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice*
  • Salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and spray with cooking spray.
  3. Get out two bowls. Pour a layer of dressing into one and add the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, salt, and lemon zest to the other.
  4. Wash and trim your chicken tenders.
  5. Using a fork or tongs, dredge the tenders through the dressing then roll in the bread crumb/cheese mixture. Place on baking sheet.
  6. Add more dressing and bread crumbs/Parmesan to your bowls as necessary. (This is why the amounts of the ingredients above are merely guidelines!)
  7. Pop the tenders into the oven for 15-20 minutes.
  8. After 20 minutes, remove the chicken to let rest. Prepare your dry salad ingredients (lettuce, Parmesan, croutons). Add 2-3 tenders and dressing on top and enjoy!

Caroline’s Tips and Tricks:

  1. I like using chicken tenders because it’s less work. You don’t have to slice or pound down. Just adjust your cooking time if you use bigger/thicker pieces.
  2. As you’ll see below, the dressing I used is actually Tessemae’s Creamy Ranch (i.e. not Caesar dressing). This dressing tastes AMAZING, and I want to use it on every salad I ever eat for the rest of my life. And the best part is… it’s Whole 30 complaint! I could eat it with a spoon.
  3. You can find Tessemae’s dressings in the pre-sliced fruits/veggies section in the produce aisle at the grocery store. I’ve bought it at Whole Foods and Kroger!
  4. *About the lemon zest and juice mentioned in the ingredients list: I don’t have a citrus zester, and zest is something you can’t really wing without the proper tool. So I decided to forego (forewent?) the zest and added lemon juice to the dressing bowl. Then another time I made this recipe, I didn’t have a lemon so just went without it. And honestly I couldn’t tell a difference, so I probably won’t stress over a dumb lemon the next time I make this.
  5. I haven’t measured exact amounts of dressing, bread crumbs, Parmesan, zest, or salt at all. I just dump the ingredients in their respective bowls and add when they’re empty. This also decreases the amount of items to wash when you clean up. #winwin
  6. I used a Dole Caesar Salad Kit at one point, and really liked its convenience. It included lettuce, dressing, Parmesan, and croutons. It was only for two servings though, and I didn’t use this dressing at all. I think I’ll just get all of the ingredients separately from here on out.
  7. I’ve also added a nuts trail mix to this salad a few times, and it’s a great topper!
Dressing and bread crumbs/Parmesan
Dole Caesar Salad Kit (pretty handy!)
The other ingredients
Chicken tenders breaded and ready to pop into the oven
Perfecto!
I could eat them just like this, but I will exercise restraint
My yummy little salad patiently waiting for the finale (aka chickennn)
Voila!

Let me know if you try it! Did you use lemon? How vital was it?

Happy eating!

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