Kicking off spring with this delicious chicken and avocado bacon Caesar salad. Well seasoned chicken fillets tossed together with fresh romaine lettuce, rocket, sliced avocado, crispy bacon and garlicky herby croutons. Drizzle with a creamy Caesar dressing and parmesan for what is by far the best Caesar salad you will ever have. You can have it as a starter, a side dish or for lunch or dinner.
As a child I wasn’t really a big fan of salads, especially if the lettuce was cut into big chunks. To be honest, I still don’t like chunky pieces of vegetables. It’s almost as if my brain sees these large pieces of vegetables and sends a signal to my mouth not to engage. Now, I just cut my leafy greens into little bite-size pieces before making a salad.
For the purposes of aesthetics , I left some large pieces of lettuce in the salad, however these will be sliced before eating. 🤣
So what goes in the Caesar Salad
Crisp romaine lettuce: This forms the base of the salad. They are an excellent choice because they do not wilt when combined with the Caesar dressing.
Rocket: Called arugula in the US & Canada, this adds a great peppery fresh flavour to the salad.
Avocado: Adds a creamy texture to the salad.
Chicken Breasts: Season with paprika, garlic granules or powder, onion powder, basil, black pepper and salt. Cook on a grill pan for 5 minutes each side, leave to rest for another 5 minutes before cutting.
Homemade Caesar dressing: The creamy luscious dressing is packed with bold umami flavours. Anchovies ( which cannot be missed), raw garlic, mustard, parmesan cheese, freshly squeezed lemon juice and black pepper. This can be made a day in advance.
Homemade crispy garlic croutons: Trust me, you want to make this. Grab your favourite crusty , white or brown bread, toss in olive oil, garlic and Italian seasoning. Bake for 15 minutes. Sandwich breads take up to 7 minutes, whilst sourdough bread take up to 15 minutes to crisp up.
Bacon: You can use streaky bacon, lardons or whichever type you like. Grill until crispy.
Parmesan: Definitely can’t be missed. To get lovely shavings, use a potato peeler to shave a block of parmesan.
Homemade Caesar Dressing
The key to the best Caesar salad is the dressing. It’s what gives the salad it’s ”zhuzh”. If you have never tried homemade Caesar dressing then you are in for a treat. You will never ever go back to the shop stuff once you try this. It has an array of ingredients, but it’s totally worth it. To make it you will need:
- minced garlic
- chopped anchovies
- lemon juice
- olive oil
- grated parmesan cheese
How to Make the Salad
- Make the Caesar dressing. This can be done by hand or with a blender. Blend all the ingredients except the olive oil. With the blender still running gradually stream in the olive oil until the dressing is completely blended and smooth. Adjust the consistency by adding in a few teaspoons of milk. Add in some black pepper. Store in the fridge until ready to use.
- Season the chicken breasts with paprika, black pepper, garlic, onion powder, dry basil and salt. These spices flavour the chicken perfectly. Drizzle over some olive oil and massage in the spices. Cook on a heated grill pan for 10 minutes.
3. Make the homemade croutons. Cut 3 slices crusty bread, drizzle over oil and toss with garlic granules, Italian seasoning , black pepper and then bake until crispy.
Now toss the salad. In a large mixing bowl, add your chopped romaine letter, layer over the rocket, sliced avocado, croutons, bacon and sliced chicken. Add some shavings of parmesan cheese, drizzle Caesar dressing and enjoy!!
For more salad recipes, check these out:
Chicken Bacon Avocado Caesar Salad
- 2 heads romaine lettuce, washed, chopped & dried
- 20 grams rocket or arugula
- 3 strips bacon, cooked and chopped
- 1 avocado
- 3 slices bread, cut into cubes
- 1 -2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon garlic granules or powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 4 mini chicken breasts fillets (300 grams)
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic granules or powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- salt to taste
- 250 millilitres (1 cup) mayonnaise
- 2 small garlic cloves, minced
- 2 anchovy fillets, drained
- 2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon Worcester sauce
- 21 grams (¾ ounce) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Add all the ingredients except the olive oil and milk to a blender or food processor and whizz until smooth. With the blender still running gradually stream in the olive oil until the dressing is completely blended and smooth.
- Taste and adjust salt and pepper as desired. Adjust consistency by adding milk if needed.
- Pour into a jar and store in the fridge until ready to use.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan . Line a baking tray with parchment or baking paper and set aside
- Cut bread slices into chunks. In a large bowl, drizzle the olive oil over the bread chunks. Sprinkle Italian seasoning, garlic powder and black pepper over the bread. Toss gently until well combined.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden, turning once halfway through cooking. Cooking times may vary depending on the type of bread and thickness of cube.
- Combine all the dry seasonings in a small bowl. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of oil over the chicken and season the chicken with the dry seasoning mix.
- Heat a grill or frying pan with a small amount on oil on medium to high heat.
- Add the chicken breasts to pan and cook for 10-12 minutes until cooked through. The internal temperature of the chicken should be 165°F.
- Place bacon on a cold skillet with no oil, then turn onto medium high. Cook bacon golden, turn, cook other side until golden. Place on paper towels, cool, then chop.
- Remove from the stove immediately and allow chicken breasts to rest for 5 minutes. Slice chicken into think slices.
- In a large bowl, combine romaine lettuce, rocket and avocado. Top with, chicken, bacon, croutons and parmesan shavings. Pour over dressing, mix well and enjoy.