The ultimate makeover: Chicken Caesar salad

The ultimate makeover: Chicken Caesar salad

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(36 ratings)

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 25 mins


Serves 4
Angela Nilsen has been on a mission to make the not-so-innocent Caesar salad more honest. The result? A healthier and tastier version. So tuck in

Nutrition and extra info

  • Easily halved
  • Healthy

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal430
  • fat23g
  • saturates4g
  • carbs15g
  • sugars4g
  • fibre3g
  • protein43g
  • salt1.37g
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For the chicken

  • 1½ tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, plus a few sprigs
  • 1 garlic clove, bashed to bruise
  • 4 organic/free-range skinless boneless chicken breast fillet, about 140g/5oz each

For the croutons

  • 100g rustic granary bread
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

For the dressing and salad

  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice, plus extra for squeezing
  • good pinch chilli flakes
  • 4 anchovy fillets, finely chopped



    Silver, slender salty little fish found mainly around the Black Sea and the Pacific and Atlantic…

  • 3 tbsp good-quality mayonnaise (we used Hellman's)
  • 4 tbsp fat-free yogurt



    Yogurt is made by adding a number of types of harmless bacteria to milk, causing it to ferment.…

  • 1 head romaine or Cos lettuce, leaves separated, washed and dried
  • 100g bag rocket or watercress



    Rocket is a very 'English' leaf, and has been used in salads since Elizabethan times. It…

  • 25g piece Parmesan, shaved with a potato peeler



    Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…


  1. Marinate the chicken. Mix the lemon juice, oil, thyme and garlic in a shallow dish. Add the chicken and turn it over in the marinade to coat well. Season with freshly ground pepper and leave for up to 2 hrs.

  2. Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Slice, then cut the bread into big, rough cubes for the croutons. Spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet, then brush all over with the 2 tbsp oil. Bake for about 10 mins until golden and crisp.

  3. Meanwhile, put the garlic into a mini blender with the mustard, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, chilli and anchovies. Blend until smooth, add the mayonnaise and yogurt, then blend again – it should be the consistency of double cream. Adjust the taste with lemon juice and pepper. If necessary, thin with a couple of tsps of cold water to get the consistency right so it will coat the leaves.

  4. Heat a griddle pan until very hot. Lay the chicken on the griddle, on the side that had the skin on. Cook for 15-16 mins, turning once or twice, until cooked through. Remove, then let the meat sit for 5 mins before slicing.

  5. Keep any small inner lettuce leaves whole, tear the larger outer leaves into 2-3 pieces, then put them all into a large bowl with the rocket or watercress. Pour just under half the dressing over the leaves and carefully toss to coat – it’s gentler to use your hands. Either assemble in the bowl, or pile the leaves onto individual plates, tucking in the croutons, chicken and Parmesan. Drizzle the rest of the dressing over and around, then finish with an extra squeeze of lemon.

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Comments (47)

jillbrain's picture

Very nice. My wife doesn't like 'hairy fish' (anchovies) but she likes the taste when they are whizzed up in the dressing. Only one thing:- why heat up a whole oven just for the croutons? I use the grill pan, lined with foil and with no wire grill bit. Medium heat and toss them now and again, works fine.

lizleicester's picture

Nice salad but nothing special. Liked the dressing.

lizleicester's picture

Nice salad but nothing special. Liked the dressing.

susieone's picture

Just to follow from my previous post. This is a firm favourite and everyone who has tried it has said it's the best recipe. It is certainly mine. I make it exactly as written and I find no changes are required.

albionjen's picture

I've made this recipe so many times! It is really delicious and beats any Caesar salad I have had in a restaurant.

devilishdemento's picture

I make this recipe on a regular basis for my other half, who loves it. It's simple to make, and tastes so good that I wouldn't want to go back to full-fat caesar salads! I don't have a griddle pan so I grill the chicken instead (just as good) and when I'm feeling lazy I add ready-made croutons. I also add whole anchovies since we love them.

Melody Grace's picture

Wow ! This recipe is so easy to follow and the result is delicious. No compromising on taste by substituting part of the mayonnaise for yoghurt. The boys ate it all. It's a thumbs up !

Melody Grace's picture

A caesar salad where the calories don't shoot off the scale and land heavily in your jeans. This salad is perfect for me as it's so easy to follow, light and delicate on stomach and tastes very good. I love chilli kick in the dressing (!)

triciapatrick's picture

Sorry, I forgot to rate, this is my first time commenting on a recipe!

triciapatrick's picture

I only used two anchovies in the dressing as not everyone likes them but put some extra ones on the table for those who do to help themselves. I added half a cupful of grated parmesan to the dressing, which gave it a delicious flavour, and added leaves from two heads of chicory to the salad. I still added some shavings of parmesan before serving, and the dish received rave reviews from friends and family.

susieone's picture

This recipe is a delight. I made it on Monday when I had friends coming for lunch but we weren't sure of arrival time. A perfect choice and very tasty. The only change was to omit the final sqeeze of lemon. It didn't need any more. I shall be making this as a favourite for a long time to come!

bobz78's picture

Loved it! Especially croutons. Added pancetta to make it extra special's picture

Tried this the other night and it was amazing! The dressing tasted so much better than anything you can buy in a shop! Definitely recommended.'s picture

Tried this the other night and it was amazing! The dressing tasted so much better than anything you can buy in a shop! Definitely recommended.

peepod's picture

Made this for my husband and I.......he said it was the best salad he's ever had!

I also thought it was amazing.

Will definitely be making it again soon.

aticavo's picture

lovely dressing, restaurant quality

normainbhir's picture

If you use whole milk thick greek yogurt you can get away without using mayo and cut the fat further. Still tastes great.

kiwiinlux's picture

Brilliant recipe, yummy croutons and such a delicious dressing, good thing I doubled the recipe for the dressing! Definitely be making this again.

juliebahrain's picture

Never made a caesar salad before - this was easy to make and tasted great. I'll be making it again :-)

kiwiinlux's picture

Fabulous recipe, really delicious, and so, so easy to make. I left out the anchovies because I don't like them, and used 2 chicken breasts since I was cooking for only me and my partner. However, I didn't reduce the dressing ingredients at all and thank goodness I didn't because it was so delicious and there was not a drop left. Will definitely be making this again regularly.


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