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Chicken Caesar Salad & Homemade (Anchovy-Free) Caesar Dressing

If you’re anything like me, lunch ideas that are quick, easy, and healthy are at the top of your priority list when it comes to food.

Oh, and it has to taste good too! Am I right? Absolutely!

While ease and health are my top goals when it comes to food, for the five guys living in my house, it’s all about the taste!

Today, I’d like to share a quick and easy lunch recipe with you that is a family favorite here in the Visser home — Chicken Caesar Salad and Homemade (Anchovy-Free) Caesar Dressing.

This recipe can be made completely from scratch in the healthiest of ways, or you can make some quick and easy substitutes to it to make it more convenient without sacrificing too much health.

From Scratch or Quick & Easy: It’s Your Choice!

chicken Caesar salad and homemade (anchovy-free) dressing on kitchen counter

You can whip this recipe up in 15 minutes flat, and it doesn’t call for too many ingredients (none of which are expensive).

Now, if you want to go the from-scratch route, you’re going to have to do a little planning ahead.

First, you’re going to need chicken meat. That means you can cook a whole chicken for dinner one night and save some of the leftover meat in the fridge, or you can put some frozen chicken breasts or tenderloins in the Instant Pot and cook them up before assembling the salad (or the night before). The choice is completely up to you.

Next, you’re going to want some Caesar or Italian flavored croutons. You can also make these from scratch the day before using old bread if you want to go the 100% homemade route. It’s totally up to you.

Lastly, if you want to make your Caesar dressing from scratch, you’re going to need to prep that ahead of time as well. If so, I’ve got a homemade (anchovy-free) dressing recipe for you below that’s super easy to pull together. If not, you can always buy a healthy version of Caesar dressing online or from your favorite grocery store.

However, if you’re all about quick and easy these days, as I am most of the time, you can find some healthy options when it comes to canned chicken, croutons, and Caesar dressing in most grocery stores or on Amazon.

I do a bit of all of the above depending on what other meals I’ve planned for the week, what ingredients I have in the fridge, and how much time I have available to cook.

Okay, so let’s get to the recipes. They’re so simple!

The following recipes will feed a family of six. If you need more or less, tweak the measurements as needed to suit your family.

Chicken Caesar Salad

chicken Caesar salad and homemade (anchovy-free) dressing on kitchen counter

Ingredients:

  • 2 heads of romain lettuce
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken breast, shredded (1 12-ounce can of chicken)
  • Parmesean cheese
  • 1 bag of Caesar croutons (2 cups of homemade croutons)

Directions:

  1. Begin by washing the romaine lettuce to remove all dirt. Chop it into bite sized pieces and distribute it evenly across six plates.
  2. Divide up the shredded chicken evenly over the lettuce. Remember, a little goes a long way, but if you have someone who likes more chicken on their salad, you’ll want to make allowances for that.
  3. Next, grate some parmesean cheese over each salad, evenly covering the chicken and lettuce. You can also use shredded parmesean cheese if you wish, but keep in mind that most shredded cheeses contain anticaking agents that aren’t great for your health.
  4. Lastly, sprinkle with croutons, and you’re ready for the dressing!

Homemade (Anchovy-Free) Caesar Dressing

adding homemade (anchovy-free) dressing to chicken Caesar salad

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise 
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice (1/2 a large lemon) 
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard 
  • 1 medium clove of garlic, minced 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup avacado or grapeseed oil 
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Combine mayonnaise, lemon juice, dijon mustard, garlish, salt and pepper, and worcestershire sauce together in a glass bowl and whisk to combine. Slowly drizzle in the oil while whisking to incorporate the fats together. Finish by adding the parmesan cheese and whisk once more before drizzling over your salad.

Seasonal Healthy Meals That Please

As summer comes to a close and we begin to shift our meals toward those more suited for cooler weather (hello, soup season!), we’re making the most of the last of the summer salads, especially this Chicken Caesar Salad as it’s one of our favorites!

It seems to make its way on our lunch menu every couple of weeks with no complaints.

It’s quick, easy, healthy, and tasty, and you can’t beat that when it comes to making good food for your family!

Enjoy, friends!

Love and light,
Meagan

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