A Caesar Salad is delicious and it would be a real shame to miss out due to health concerns. Well, good news, it CAN be healthy! This post will show you how to whip up a Healthy Chicken Caesar Salad…in just 30 minutes.
After coming back from our mini-vacation to Arkansas, Dustin and I have been feeling a little "heavier" than we'd like (which is pretty common after some R&R).
True story: It's really difficult to start eating healthy again when coming back from an unhealthy stint. Do you feel that same? This is why we wanted to create a midway between something tasty yet healthy.
I've said this before and I'll say it again; you can have the best of both worlds. You just have to find the right recipes ( AKA, A Sweet Pea Chef recipes).
This is the best healthy chicken caesar salad I have ever made. Even my kids who had the initial reaction of "Ewww! Anchovy paste!" are now asking me when I'm whipping this baby again.
So enough babbling, let's get cooking!
Are Chicken Caesar Salads Healthy?
Generally, no. Caesar salads are not the heathiest choice. But you know me...I'm prepared to do the impossible and have discovered how to make a healthy Caesar salad without sacrificing taste.
Truth is, just because something is called a salad doesn't mean you're eating healthy. I know, total bummer. Caeser salads in particular are known to have high-calorie content (due to the dressing and the added cheese). Double bummer!
A traditional chicken Caesar salad from a supermarket (who I will not name) is loaded with croutons, creamy dressing, cheese, bacon and whatnot. It will set you back by 1,010 calories and 76 grams of fat.
I mean, you might as well just eat a burger instead? I suggest avoiding store made salads in general and making them at home.
Because not all salads are made equally. This healthy chicken Caesar salad, in particular, is considered healthy because of the great ingredients I use.
How Do You Make A Chicken Caesar Salad Healthy?
You can make a Caesar salad healthy with a few smart modifications. Like anything, it's really just a sum of it's parts. Here's where to start:
- Use chicken breast: While chicken is a great source of protein, some cuts are leaner than others. If you're trying to eat clean-ish, swap out parts with extra fat (such as thighs, drumsticks, and wings), with the breast instead. It has the lowest calorie amount and the most protein!
- Swap out mayo with greek yogurt: As much as mayo appears in creamy dressings, it's not exactly the best choice when you're trying to shed some pounds. Swap it with greek yogurt instead. It has a silky texture which will contribute the same (well, almost) creaminess as mayo.
- Ditch the eggs: Yes, it's true, traditional Caesar salad dressing has egg in it, raw at that. As I'm not very keen on adding raw eggs to my diet, I tend to ditch this ingredient. If you're worried about not getting the same consistency, don't worry, the greek yogurt already has that area covered.
- Grate your own cheese: The bottled up parmesan cheese is not the healthiest. In fact, the FDA released a warning that cheese labeled as "100% parmesan" may be filled with cheese substitutes such as wood pulp. Ah! Yep, so for better health and flavor, buy a block of Parmigiano and grate it yourself. Pure parmesan is always greater than wood pulp.
How to Store Your Healthy Chicken Caesar Salad
The best way to store your delish healthy chicken caesar salad is to store the ingredients separately. As you know salads get soggy especially when it's mixed up with all the other toppings.
Here's a kitchen hack: If you want to keep your romaine lettuce fresh, pack it in a storage bag and place a paper towel on the top so that the moisture doesn't settle on the leaves.
As for the rest of the ingredients, just pack them up in separate containers.
But if by chance you only have one container, arrange the ingredients in a way that doesn't leave you with a soggy and sad salad. Make sure to put the chicken on the bottom, the cheese next, and lastly the lettuce and croutons at the very top.
This is one tasty salad, folks! Gotta love an easy, delicious, fast, and homemade option. And please try these croutons on top, too. Because yum!
More Healthy Salad Recipes
Variety is the spice of life - or, um - the dressing of your journey! Here are a few more yummy and healthy salad recipes that are 100% Sweet Pea approved:
- 16 Best Salad Recipes (That Are Healthy And Filling)
- Mason Jar Salad for Meal Prep
- Healthy Broccoli Salad with Greek Yogurt Dressing
- Strawberry Salad with Chia Seed Vinaigrette
- Healthy Taco Salad Recipe
Healthy Chicken Caesar Salad
*This post may contain affiliate links for products I use often and highly recommend.
FOR THE CAESAR DRESSING:
- ¼ cup full fat greek yogurt
- ½ teaspoon anchovy paste
- 2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoon shaved parmesan
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 head romaine lettuce
FOR THE CHICKEN:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon fresh black pepper
- In a small bowl, combine the greek yogurt, anchovy paste, lemon juice, grated parmesan and ground black pepper to make the dressing. Mix until smooth and then place in the refrigerator while you prepare the chicken.
- Rinse and dry the lettuce leaves very well. Cut the lettuce into large bite-size pieces and then place into a large mixing bowl.
- In a small, nonstick frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Liberally coat the chicken with the kosher salt and pepper. Sauté the chicken until thoroughly browned on each side, approximately 4-6 minutes per side. When it's cooked through, the chicken will release a clear liquid when poked with a fork (as opposed to a pinkish liquid). Remove the chicken from pan and set aside.
- Add the dressing to the lettuce and toss well to combine. Transfer to a serving bowl or platter. Cube the chicken and then toss it with the salad along with some whole wheat croutons, if desired.
- Garnish with additional parmesan.
This post contains affiliate links for products I use regularly and highly recommend.