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

      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

      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)

    struth42's picture

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

    sizzleoflove's picture

    Great recipe, I sprayed olive oil on croutons whic hopefully uses less oil and they were very crispy.

    dovilita's picture

    Nothing to die for really. Although I did everything according to instructions the sauce tasted too much like mustard. There will be no 2nd time for this

    vulpitza's picture

    Excellent!!! Easy and fast to do it! You can even cut corners if you like - buy the croutons, grill the chicken with salt and pepper, buy the salad already washed and cut.

    I don't cut corners, I do my own croutons with a little bit of garlic powder and herbs on them. I don't use mustard or chilli.

    Please, try it!!! You'll love this recipe!

    kimblebeebum's picture

    I was shocked when my boyfriend actually continued eating it once all of the chicken was gone! he usually just picks all the meat out of things like this and leaves anything green! Not only that he has requested it again for tomorrow! Thank you angela for creating something so delicious even he will eat!

    hannahspruijt's picture

    Didn't use anchovies or chilli flakes and still made a yummy dressing! Very nice, you have to like garlic though...

    dnursten's picture

    Absolutely brilliant! Who needs to go to a restaurant again!!!!!!!!!!

    sarah-jane101's picture

    Made this a few times, and every time it's been successful. Great tasting dressing.

    pjwallace's picture

    Just made this today for my wife, daughter and her partner. Everybody raved about it. The only complaint was that they could have eaten more. Best Caesar salad I've had. Only change I made was to use full-fat Greek yoghurt.

    cakeanyone's picture

    My husband's a huge caesar salad lover and says this is the best he's had and has requested it at least once a week!

    vulpitza's picture

    Quick to do, very tasty.

    caroline-50's picture

    substitued quorn fillets cut lenth ways and did exactly as the recipe says, left out the anchovies being vegetarian. Very good recipe .

    ak2's picture

    Lovely, used low-fast mayo but still so rich, creamy and tasty

    understandingmoon's picture

    I added avocado and a few raw snow peas to enhance the flavour. Also, I didn't have thyme leaves handy so used fresh coriander as a replacement. Scrumptious!

    ellecantere's picture

    We all adore chicken caesar - have made this several times now - and will return to it again and again.

    briansm's picture

    I made this for the whole family. Enjoyed by everyone. So easy to make.

    andy94's picture

    I use this recipe as a starter instead of a main course. The chicken marinade is lovely.

    adlazi's picture

    Esmee, I find the best way to 'shave' paremesan is by using a potato peeler.

    Hope you find this useful!


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