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Cheese/ Chicken/ Hearty Dinners

EXTRA Crispy Chicken Caesar Salad

January 23, 2023 (Last Updated: May 12, 2023) by Chris Collins

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…

overhead shot of chicken caesar salad in large white bowl on marble backdrop with silver fork

Parmesan Croutons

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).

5 step by step photos showing how to make parmesan croutons

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.

Panko Breadcrumbs

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).

5 step by step photos showing how to bread chicken

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).

2 step by step photos showing how to shallow fry chicken

Caesar Salad

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).

6 step by step photos showing how to make caesar salad

overhead shot of crispy chicken caesar salad in large white dish with silver fork on marble background

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!

For more caesar salad goodness check out my Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad and Caesar Salad Parmesan Cups!

Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this crispy chicken caesar salad shall we?!

close up shot of fried chicken caesar salad with dressing drizzled over the top in large white dish

How to make Crispy Chicken Caesar Salad (Full Recipe & Video)

overhead shot of chicken caesar salad in large white bowl on marble backdrop with silver fork

EXTRA Crispy Chicken Caesar Salad

Crispy chicken, crunchy parmesan croutons and a mouthwatering homemade dressing - this chicken caesar salad has it all!
Print Pin Rate
Servings (click & slide): 4
Course: Dinner / Main Course
Cuisine: American / Italian
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Calories per serving: 1038kcal
Cost per serving: £3.50 / $4


  • 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!


a) Dressing - You can make this ahead of time and tightly store it in the fridge until needed (3-4days). I find 2 tbsp milk gives you the perfect consistency, but you can reduce or increase depending on how thin/thick you want the dressing. You can also use store-bought dressing if you'd prefer. For reference, the recipe will make around 1.5 cups (which I don't usually use all of).
b) Can I bake the chicken? - If you'd prefer to bake the chicken instead of fry you can. You need to toast the breadcrumbs either in the oven or in a frying pan beforehand though. I recommend following my Baked Pesto Chicken Recipe for guidance on how to bake the chicken.
c) Bacon - I typically bake this at the same time the croutons go in, but you can pan-fry if you'd prefer. I use unsmoked streaky bacon.
d) Calories - Overestimate as it assumes all of the dressing is used, and all of the flour/egg/Panko attaches to the chicken.

Your Private Notes:


Nutrition Facts
EXTRA Crispy Chicken Caesar Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1038 Calories from Fat 657
% Daily Value*
Fat 73.02g112%
Saturated Fat 21.218g106%
Trans Fat 0.322g
Polyunsaturated Fat 28.26g
Monounsaturated Fat 18.956g
Cholesterol 229mg76%
Sodium 2002mg83%
Potassium 1457mg42%
Carbohydrates 45.08g15%
Fiber 8.3g33%
Sugar 7.51g8%
Protein 51.56g103%
Vitamin A 27676IU554%
Vitamin C 17.4mg21%
Calcium 392mg39%
Iron 6.57mg37%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
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Recipe Rating


  • Reply
    April 27, 2023 at 11:44 pm

    Hi there! How long will the croutons stay crispy?
    I’d like to make a big batch, just wondering how long they’d last.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      April 28, 2023 at 6:08 pm

      Hi Tammie! If you let them completely cool and tightly store at room temp, I imagine they’ll last AT LEAST a couple of days, if not longer. Although I haven’t tried it, I imagine you could also freeze them too. Let me know how you get on! C.

  • Reply
    March 28, 2023 at 1:49 am

    I have a tube of anchovy paste. Roughly how many teaspoons should I use for your Crispy Chicken Caesar Salad? Thanks

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      March 28, 2023 at 10:41 am

      Hi Nadine! I’d stay on the side of caution and start with 1/2 tsp, then work your way up. C.

      • Reply
        March 29, 2023 at 2:29 am

        Thank you. I’m making the salad this weekend. I can’t seem to get a Caesar dressing I like as much as my favorite restaurant’s recipe, but I have confidence in yours.