Crispy chicken, crunchy parmesan croutons and a mouthwatering homemade dressing – this chicken caesar salad has it all!
There’s a handful of salads I’d consider to be ‘dinnerworthy’, and this one probably comes out on top. Follow me…
The only thing better than homemade croutons? Homemade parmesan croutons. For two reasons:
- Flavour – parmesan adds heaps of flavour to the croutons.
- Texture – the parmesan creates an ultra-crisp exterior.
What kind of bread should I use?
I recommend using ciabatta, but French bread/sourdough also works just fine. In all cases, I recommend using bread that’s a day old so the croutons turn out more crisp/crunchy.
What kind of parmesan should I use?
Freshly grated works best here as it melts and crisps up really nicely. The packet/powdered stuff can sometimes be temper-mental.
Process shots: dice bread (photo 1), coat in oil and seasoning (photo 2), spread out parmesan on parchment paper (photo 3), add bread (photo 4), bake then leave to cool (photo 5).
Crispy Breaded Chicken
Now, you could make a grilled chicken caesar salad, but we’re going for ‘crispy’ here, and grilled chicken just doesn’t cut the mustard.
What cut of chicken to use?
I recommend using boneless skinless chicken breast. That way you can divide each breast in two to create 4 even-sized chicken breasts (1 per serving). This will also allow the chicken to cook faster and more evenly.
These are great because they’re fairly big and airy, meaning they crisp up beautifully. They’re Japanese breadcrumbs and can be found in most stores in the Asian section.
Process shots: add chicken to chopping board (photo 1), slice (photo 2), coat in flour (photo 3), coat in egg (photo 4), coat in breadcrumbs (photo 5).
For speed and crispiness, we’re going to shallow fry the chicken. This essentially just means pan-frying in enough oil to cover half of the chicken (much easier than deep frying with similar results!).
Can I bake the chicken instead?
You can, it just takes a little longer and requires an extra step of pre-toasting the breadcrumbs (more on this in the recipe card notes below).
Process shots: add chicken to hot oil (photo 1), fry both sides (photo 2).
Crispy croutons ✅
Crispy chicken ✅
Let’s talk salad…
For a classic caesar salad you’re looking for romaine lettuce, but baby gem lettuce also works just as well. Then we’re also going in with some bacon, because, well, bacon.
Homemade Caesar Dressing
Now you could use store-bought (no judgement here), but homemade is very satisfying to make. It’s a ‘cheats’ version as it uses mayonnaise as the base, but it’s delicious nevertheless.
Can I make the dressing ahead of time?
You sure can. Leaving it to rest will allow the flavours to mingle together. Just tightly store in the fridge until needed (3-4 days, longer at your discretion).
Process shots: add dressing ingredients to food processor (photo 1), blitz (photo 2), add lettuce & dressing to bowl (photo 3), toss (photo 4), add croutons and bacon (photo 5), toss (photo 6).
Serving Crispy Chicken Caesar Salad
Once you’ve made the salad, serve up individual portions with the crispy chicken sliced on top. You can also drizzle over a little extra dressing if you fancy!
Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this crispy chicken caesar salad shall we?!
How to make Crispy Chicken Caesar Salad (Full Recipe & Video)
EXTRA Crispy Chicken Caesar Salad
- Food Processor (for dressing)
- Baking Tray & Parchment Paper (for croutons)
- 3 Large Shallow Dishes (for coating chicken)
- Large Heavy Bottom Pan & Tongs (for frying chicken)
- Large Mixing Bowl & Salad Tossers (for salad)
- Fine Cheese Grater (for parmesan)
- Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
Ingredients (check list):
- 1 cup / 240g full fat Mayo
- 1/3 cup / 30g freshly grated Parmesan
- 2 Anchovy Fillets
- 2 tbsp Milk (preferably whole milk)
- 1 Lemon, juice only
- 1 tsp EACH: Dijon Mustard, Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 small clove of Garlic
- 1/4 tsp EACH: Salt, Black Pepper (or to taste)
- 2x 7-9oz/200-250g Chicken Breasts
- 1 cup / 65g Panko Breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup / 40g Flour
- 2 Eggs, beaten
- 1 tsp EACH: Salt, Garlic Powder
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 cup / 240ml Vegetable Oil, for frying
- 2 large heads of Romaine Lettuce, chopped (approx 8oz/220g EACH)
- 6 slices of Bacon, cooked, cooled & diced
- 4oz / 120g Ciabatta (preferably day old)
- 1/2 cup / 40g freshly grated Parmesan
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- Salt, Garlic Powder & Black Pepper (for croutons)
- Dressing: In a food processor blitz the dressing ingredients until smooth.
- Prep Croutons: Dice bread into small bite-sized pieces. Toss with 1 tbsp olive oil, 2 pinches of garlic powder & black pepper and 1 pinch of salt.
- Bake Croutons: Add parchment paper to a tray (roughly 12" x 8") and spread over grated parmesan. Spread out the croutons on top then bake in the oven at 180C/350F for 10mins, or until both the croutons and parmesan are deeply golden. Allow to cool (they'll crisp as they cool) then break up just before serving.
- Prep Chicken: In a small pot combine 1 tsp salt & garlic powder with 1/2 tsp black pepper. Slice the chicken breasts horizontally through the centre to make 4 even-sized breasts.
- Dredge Chicken: Line up 3 large shallow dishes - the first with flour and half of the seasoning mix, the second with beaten eggs and the third with breadcrumbs and the rest of the seasoning. One by one dredge the chicken breasts through the flour, into the egg, then finish in the breadcrumbs, making sure you thoroughly coat at each stage (namely the breadcrumbs).
- Fry Chicken: Heat up 1 cup of oil in a heavy-based pan over medium heat until a breadcrumb rapidly sizzles (approx 180C/350F). Two at a time, fry the chicken for 3-4mins each side, or until deep golden, visibly crispy and white/piping hot right through the centre. Place on a wire rack once cooked. Slice into strips once cooled.
- Salad: In a large mixing bowl toss the lettuce with your preferred amount of dressing (start off with less than you think then work up). Toss in the bacon and croutons, then serve up individual portions with the sliced chicken on top. Drizzle over more dressing if desired.
Quick 1 min demo!
Your Private Notes:
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