This Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad is delicious. It could be served as just a pasta salad or just as a butter lettuce salad, but the two combined makes a dish that is both unique and visually interesting. It also takes a bit longer to make because there are several components and several of the components require cooking before they get incorporated into the final salad. The dressing is a cinch and can be used for a pasta or a Romaine salad at another time. If you are going to make this salad, you have to make it with intent and planning. It’s good and definitely worth the effort.
- 3/4 cup dry orecchiette or fussili pasta
- water for cooking
- 3-4 slices ciabatta bread cubed into 1" pieces
- olive oil for drizzling
- kosher salt
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tbsp capers drained
- 3 whole anchovies
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tspn Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tspn soy sauce
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 heart of Romaine lettuce cut in half
- vegetable spray
- 8-10 medium leaves of butter lettuce torn in half
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- drizzle of olive oil
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 cup rotisserie chicken cut into 1/2" cubes
Gather all ingredients before starting the recipe
- Bring water to a boil in a medium sized sauce pan, season with kosher salt.
- Add pasta and cook according to package description, drain, drizzle with a bit of olive oil to prevent sticking and set aside to cool.
- Cube rotisserie chicken into small cubes and add to cooled pasta.
- Heat a grill or a non-stick pan on high for 2-3 minutes.
- Lightly spray the Romaine on one side and place the lettuce on the grill or in the pan and until the lettuce has char marks on the first side, 2-3 minutes. Turn and repeat for the second side.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool. When cool, slice into 1/2" ribbons and add to cooled pasta and chicken.
- Pre heat oven to 375° °F
- Spread croutons on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil ans season with kosher salt. Toss to combine.
- Toast in a pe heated oven for about 10 minutes, or until the croutons have a golden color.
- Add all dressing ingredients except olive oil to a blender, pulse and then blend until the ingredients form a smooth paste.
- Add olive oil in a steady stream while the blender is on high, and blend until you have a smooth emulsion, about 3-4 minutes.
- Toss chicken, pasta and charred sliced Romaine with 2 to 3 tablespoons of dressing, taste and adjust if more dressing is required.
- Tear leaves into large pieces and add to a medium mixing bowl
- Squeeze the juice from 1/2 of a large lemon onto lettuce
- Drizzle lettuce with oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and toss to combine.
- Spoon a generous portion of pasta on the center of a plate, top the salad with the butter lettuce leaves and add croutons.
- Top with grated Parmesan cheese.