The ultimate makeover: Chicken Caesar salad

The ultimate makeover: Chicken Caesar salad

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(35 ratings)

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Cooking time

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 25 mins

Skill level

Easy

Servings

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

Additional info

  • Easily halved
  • Healthy
Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

kcalories
430
protein
43g
carbs
15g
fat
23g
saturates
4g
fibre
3g
sugar
4g
salt
1.37g

Ingredients

For the chicken

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

For the croutons

  • 100g rustic granary bread
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

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 anchovies fillets, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp good-quality mayonnaise (we used Hellman's)
  • 4 tbsp fat-free yogurt
  • 1 head romaine or Cos lettuce, leaves separated, washed and dried
  • 100g bag rocket or watercress
  • 25g piece parmesan, shaved with a potato peeler

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Method

  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.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, June 2008

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Comments

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lizleicester's picture
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Nice salad but nothing special. Liked the dressing.

lizleicester's picture
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Nice salad but nothing special. Liked the dressing.

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

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

racheybabes31's picture
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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.

racheybabes31's picture
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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
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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
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lovely dressing, restaurant quality

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

kiwiinlux's picture
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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.

struth42's picture

Any ideas of what to use instead of yoghourt to keep it dairy-free? More mayo?

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