Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 8 servings

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This Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad is made with seasoned chicken breast, rotini pasta, Caesar dressing, Parmesan and garlic bread croutons. It’s a light but still hearty summer meal, perfect for picnics!

close up image of chicken caesar pasta salad in a bowl.

Pasta salad season is here, and this Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad is the perfect light summer meal!

It’s cold and creamy but still hearty enough to get you through a long day at the beach or at the park with the family.

The best part?

Those freshly made, extra crunchy garlic bread croutons, made with store bought garlic Texas toast for a quick recipe hack that you don’t need to tell anyone about 😉

Looking for more salads to add to your summer barbecue? Try this Easy Potato Salad Recipe, this Dill Pickle Pasta Salad, this Creamy Ranch Bowtie Pasta Salad Recipe or this Tortellini Pasta Salad.

overhead image of chicken caesar pasta salad in a glass bowl with croutons on top.

Why we love this pasta salad:

  • it’s not too heavy — in the summer we are rarely craving hot and heavy foods so this pasta salad really fits the bill!
  • it’s easy to prep ahead — all of the ingredients can be prepped ahead: the pasta, the chicken, the lettuce, the croutons, and then you can simply stir everything together before serving.
  • it’s a one-and-done portable meal — summer means picnic season which means we are often taking food on the go. I love that we get carbs, protein, veggies and crunch all in one tasty package!
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Ingredients Needed:

ingredients needed to make chicken caesar pasta salad.

How to make Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad:

This recipe is easy to make and perfect for prepping ahead! See the full recipe down in the recipe card.

  1. Season chicken and pan fry until cooked through. You can also use leftover Baked Chicken Breast, Shredded Chicken or Instant Pot Shredded Chicken.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Rinse under cold water to cool completely.
  1. Cut garlic bread into cubes and bake until golden and crispy. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  2. Combine pasta, lettuce, cubed chicken, dressing, Parmesan and add croutons just before serving.

Pasta Salad FAQs

Can I prep this ahead?

Absolutely! Here’s how:
– Cook and cool the pasta. Refrigerate.
– Cook and cool the chicken. Refrigerate.
– Chop the lettuce and store in the fridge with paper towel.
– Bake the croutons, cool and store in an airtight container on the counter for up to 1 day.

Can I use homemade Caesar salad dressing?

Yes! Unfortunately I do not have a homemade version, but feel free to check out this Caesar Salad Dressing recipe.

Can I make this vegetarian?

Definitely! Simply skip the chicken and choose a vegetarian or vegan Caesar dressing. You might also need to swap the Parmesan for a vegetarian hard cheese.

close up image of caesar pasta salad with chicken and rotini pasta in a bowl with croutons.

Tips and Variations:

  • Cool your pasta: always cool your pasta as soon as it’s done cooking for pasta salads — this will prevent it from being mushy as it sits and clumping together. Rinsing under cold water a couple of times and draining will do the trick.
  • Add some lemon: Add a squeeze of lemon or some zest to brighten the flavors if you prefer.
  • Don’t stir too soon: don’t stir the salad together too soon, as the lettuce and pasta can become soggy if the dressing sits on it for too long. An hour or two before serving is fine, but try not to do it sooner than that.
  • Add some bacon: it’s hard to go wrong with the smoky flavor of bacon, and it’s a great addition to this pasta salad recipe. Simply cook up a few slices in a skillet, chop and drain the fat. You can add the reserved bacon fat to the dressing for extra smoky flavor.
  • Add some heat: some freshly cracked pepper or a sprinkling of red pepper flakes is a great addition for those that like a little kick.

More summer salad recipes you’ll love:

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Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

5 from 1 vote
This Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad is made with seasoned chicken breast, rotini pasta, Caesar dressing, Parmesan and garlic bread croutons. It's a light but still hearty summer meal, perfect for picnics!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Main Course, Salad
Servings 8 servings
Calories 520cal


  • 6 slices Furlani garlic Texas toast
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • teaspoon paprika
  • 1 box box rotini pasta (400 grams or 6 cups)
  • 1 head romaine lettuce (roughly chopped)
  • 1 bottle good Caesar dressing (1 ¼ cup)
  • ½ cup large shredded parmesan or flakes


  • Heat oven to 425 and chop Texas toast into ½” inch cubes. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, turning once, until golden brown. Cool.
  • Meanwhile, put chicken on a cutting board and cover with plastic wrap. Pound the thick end so that it is all the same thickness.
  • Combine salt, garlic powder, paprika and pepper and sprinkle evenly over chicken.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add a drizzle of oil. Cook chicken for 5-8 minutes per side, until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Remove and allow to cool before cubing.
  • In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta just until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water to cool immediately.
  • In a large bowl, combine cooked pasta, cubed chicken, romaine, Parmesan and Caesar dressing. Add croutons on top or plate and add croutons to each serving.


Ingredients and Substitutions:

  • Garlic bread: sure you can use store bought croutons, but nothing compares to these freshly baked garlic bread croutons!
  • Pasta: any short variety of pasta will work, but I love rotini because the dressing adheres to it so well!
  • Chicken: you can swap the chicken breasts for Shredded Chicken or boneless skinless chicken thighs. You can also omit if you prefer this to be a meatless meal or a side dish.
  • Romaine lettuce: Any kind of lettuce will work here! I chose romaine because it is traditionally used in Caesar salad.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 520cal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 13g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 815mg | Potassium: 408mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 6916IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 151mg | Iron: 3mg
Keywords chicken caesar pasta salad

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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