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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

Summer is coming, and I really dislike heating up the house with my oven and other appliances, so I have decided to make some lighter fare this year. So I told the Hubs to be prepared for lots of salads and sandwiches for the warmer months. And I started with one of my favorites...Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad. This salad pulls in the fresh green Romaine lettuce with cooked pasta and chicken with the distinct flavor of a good Caesar dressing. It is a fantastic entrée, but could easily be served as a side dish as well.
Now, I made this salad the other evening for our dinner, and we had leftovers FOR DAYS!! I mean, this salad makes ALOT!  So be prepared....or you may want to cut the recipe in half. However, it would be the perfect salad to take along to a picnic or get together where there will be many to feed.
I will say to make sure you use a Caesar dressing that would be a good stand-alone dressing. My favorite is Brianna's Caesar Dressing. (not advertising at all, but if anyone has the contact....) I fell in love with this dressing when the bakery was open and it was the dressing for The Nook's Caesar Salad. It's got a fantastic balance of garlic and parmesan flavor with black pepper. I highly recommend it! But, any creamy Caesar dressing will work, but it does need to be creamy so it will "hang on" to the different pieces of the salad. If you use an oil-based Caesar, the oil and seasoning will simply sink to the bottom of the bowl, removing the opportunity for that garlicy-parmesan flavor in every bite.
This salad is also very versatile as well. I have a cousin who made the same salad with chopped up breaded chicken tenders and cooked mini cheese tortellini. You could also add 1/2 cup or so of real bacon bits, or 1/2 cup of a vegetable like sliced cucumber moons, sliced fresh mushrooms or fully cooked and cooled peas. The possibilities are as endless as your imagination! 
So try it and see what you think. Happy cooking!!!
CHICKEN CEASAR PASTA SALAD
Ingredients
• 8 ounces bow tie pasta
• 3 hearts of Romaine, chopped (I used pre-chopped hearts of Romaine)
• 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded*
• 5 ounce bag Caesar croutons
• 12 ounces creamy Caesar dressing (my favorite is Brianna's)
• 6 ounces parmesan cheese, shredded
*I purchased pre-shredded rotisserie chicken from my local grocery store.
Instructions
1)Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain pasta, rinse with cold water, and set aside in a large bowl and chill.
2) Cut hearts of Romaine into 1 inch pieces and shred rotisserie chicken then add to the large bowl with pasta.
3) Pour dressing over salad and toss to fully coat noodles and lettuce.
4) Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and bacon and top with croutons. Toss to combine.
Monica Rorick
Monica Rorick was raised in Enid, graduating from EHS in 1988. As a young girl, Monica's love for cooking began and she enjoyed being in the kitchen, cooking alongside her mom, grandmother and great-grandmother when she could. She began baking cakes, her first one for her oldest niece's 1st birthday in the summer of 1993. In 1998, she moved to Reading, PA, where she had the opportunity to work with and learn pastry work from a master pastry chef. Monica moved back to Enid in 2010, starting her own business, The Queen of Cake (and all other sweets), which bloomed into The Pastry Nook bakery & bistro. Retiring from the business in January 2022, Monica now enjoys cooking and baking for her husband and family from her own kitchen and is excited to share some of those recipes with you.

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