A chicken Caesar salad is one of the most popular salads out there. Many would go as far as to say it's the perfect lunch food. However, the one problem with it is that it's a little too light to serve as a full entree at dinnertime. Luckily, there's an easy way to fix this — add pasta.
Tasting Table's recipe for Caesar chicken pasta salad, developed by Jennine Rye, takes the classic salad to the next level by adding in al dente fusilli pasta to make it a more filling and satisfying meal. And because pasta doesn't have a super strong taste on its own, it doesn't distract from the flavors of the Caesar salad. The pasta also adds a new texture to the dish, making it more complex. Now, there's the chewy pasta to complement the crunch of the croutons and lettuce, as well as the firmness of the chicken.
After trying out this hearty meal, you'll be wondering why you didn't think to add pasta to a traditional salad recipe sooner — and dying to make it again.
How To Customize The Caesar Chicken Pasta Salad
Customizing the chicken Caesar salad doesn't need to stop with the addition of pasta. First and foremost, you can decide what type of pasta you want to include, if not fusilli why not go with penne, farfalle, or cavatappi.
If you want to add some extra nutrients to your Caesar chicken pasta salad, you can introduce kale into the mix. Or, to swap out some of the carbs — but keep the pasta — you can substitute the croutons for crispy chickpeas. You can also choose to use whole wheat pasta instead of regular pasta, which will provide some additional nutrients, such as fiber, protein, vitamin E, and vitamin B. Another way to lighten up the meal is to swap out the mayonnaise for Greek yogurt in the dressing.
Finally, to make the dish vegetarian, you can leave out the chicken altogether. The dish should be filling enough as is, thanks to the pasta, but you can also use a substitute, such as tofu, to make sure you don't lose any protein.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.