What Is Grilled Caesar Salad?
We bet you never thought that you could cook or even grill lettuce, but let us tell you: it’s a delicious way to surprise your guests — and yourself — with how a little heat can change the flavor of a dish. This grilled Caesar salad recipe is a loaded salad that won’t leave you hungry. It’s got smoky bacon and crunchy garlicky croutons but it also has grilled chicken to give this dish weight.
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How to Serve Grilled Caesar Salad
This may be just a salad but it’s heartier than your regular Caesar salad, all thanks to the grilled chicken. If you want to know how else you can serve it, here are other ways to enjoy this dish:
Add a boiled egg: The chicken may be enough for most to make this salad feel like a hearty meal. However, you may want to add more to the salad such as a soft or even a hard-boiled egg to boost its heartiness level.
Use other lettuce: Romaine lettuce is the classic lettuce for a Caesar salad but you can use other leafy greens. Try frilly lollo rosso, cabbage-like iceberg, or the classic leafy green ice lettuce.
Make your own Caesar dressing: We know how to make an awesome Caesar salad dressing. However, not everyone has the patience to make it from scratch so don’t feel guilty about reaching for a bottle of prepared caesar salad dressing. There are many salad dressings available so choose your favorite and make this salad easier to make.
How To Cook Grilled Caesar Salad
The keys to making an awesome grilled Caesar salad are the grilling, the toppings, and the dressing. If you’re not making a Caesar salad dressing from scratch, you have one job done.
The next is the toppings which include the bacon, croutons, and the grilled chicken that make this salad heartier. The croutons are made fresh and are more flavorful because it’s tossed with garlic, salt, olive oil, and bacon fat.
The chicken fillets and the lettuce wedges are both simply seasoned with salt and pepper. The fillets are grilled first so when it’s time to serve, the lettuce can be simply added to the already hot grills and charred. This lets the chicken rest off the heat, so it’s juicy when ready to add to the salad.
When ready to plate, pile on the lettuce wedges on a platter, drizzle with the caesar salad dressing, and top with your bacon, chicken, and crunchy croutons.
You might never make another kind of caesar salad again when you have a taste of this!
Tips To Make The Best Grilled Caesar Salad
1 Make your own Caesar salad dressing.
We don’t — and won’t — judge: there are some delicious Caesar salad dressings available already premade that are delicious. This is the no-hassle way to ensure you have a great-tasting salad with little effort. Choose your favorite and use that and you can focus on other things such as other dishes that might make up your Noche Buena table.
2 Use high heat.
The grill is a great appliance to use when you want the taste of summer despite not being outside and the weather is far from sunny. The electric grill is easy to use and for this recipe, use high heat to completely cook the chicken fillets so it’s charred and delicious. The lettuce benefits from the high heat as well because the grill chars the parts touching it without charring other parts.
Grill the lettuce for a short time, a few minutes only, just until the lettuce starts to brown. The centers of the lettuce should still be fresh and green.
Grilled Caesar Salad Storage Tips
1 Refrigerate the salad components separately.
Salads are really not meant to be stored for long. The fresh ingredients aka the lettuce don’t hold up well once it’s been tossed with the dressing. So, if you’re seeing leftovers, best to consume these immediately.
If you have salad components that are not yet tossed together, these can be stored in separate containers until ready to toss together the next time you’re hungry for salad.
2 Freeze only the chicken or croutons.
The only two components that can hold up well to freezing is the chicken and the croutons. Cooked or uncooked, you can store the chicken in the freezer until ready to eat it again.
The croutons which are chunks of bread can also be frozen, too. Croutons are best stored in a container, separately of course, and frozen, too. Just note that these will emerge more stale than when it went in.
Grilled Caesar Salad Recipe with Grilled Chicken and Garlic Croutons
For Garlic Croutons:
- 5 strips bacon
- 6 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1 mini baguette torn into bite-sized pieces
For Grilled Chicken:
- 3 pieces chicken thigh fillets
For Caesar Salad
- 2 heads Romaine lettuce washed dried, and cut in half lengthwise
- Salt to taste
- Ground black pepper to taste
- prepared caesar salad dressing
Make the Garlic Croutons:
- In a large frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil and add bacon. Cook on both sides until completely crispy. Remove from the pan and reserve oil. Chop roughly and set aside.
- In a large bowl, toss 2 tablespoons bacon fat and oil, garlic, salt, and the baguette pieces until just coated. Place in a toaster oven and toast until crisp. Remove from the toaster oven and set aside.
Make the Grilled Chicken:
- Heat an electric grill on High heat and lightly brush grills with oil. Season chicken fillets on all sides with salt and pepper and place skin side down on the grills. Sear until almost cooked through and flip over. Cook until cooked through and remove from the grill. Let rest before chopping into bite-sized pieces. Set aside. If using a grill pan, preheat over medium heat and lightly brush with oil as needed.
Make the Lettuce:
- Brush the cut sides of the lettuce with oil and lightly season with salt and pepper. Place on the hot grill and sear for about 30 seconds or until the lettuce develops light grill marks.
- When ready to plate, place lettuce on a platter, top with chicken, croutons, bacon, and drizzle with caesar salad dressing.