Healthy Chicken Caesar Salad with Tahini Caesar Dressing

May 12, 2021

A light and healthy Chicken Caesar salad. I made homemade garlic croutons with sourdough bread, then tossed the salad in a creamy tahini Caesar dressing and topped it off with Parmesan cheese  for good measure. So good!

You guys, I made the most amazing Chicken Caesar Salad, and that’s because we are using my most favorite ingredient in the dressing: tahini. So yeah, this isn’t your traditional caesar dressing, but roll with it, this one will knock your socks off. 

I have a confession: I don’t like salads unless they are loaded with goodies – flavors, textures, fun ingredients, and of course a flavorful, decadent dressing. And when it comes to the dressing, I don’t skimp. I like to douse my salad with dressing, covering each piece of lettuce. Life is better that way, trust me. 

This Chicken Caesar salad is one of my best salad creations yet, and that’s because it involves my favorite ingredient: tahini. You might be thinking to yourself, what the heck is tahini doing in a caesar dressing? The answer? We are doing things a little different around here and expanding our taste palates. Life is better that way, too. 

And if you haven’t tried my Ultimate Kale Salad with Creamy Lemon Tahini Dressing yet, let that be the next salad recipe of mine that you make – it will change your life.

What you need to make this Healthy Chicken Caesar salad with Tahini Caesar dressing

When you look at the recipe card, you be thinking wow, that’s a lot of ingredients. But it’s really not!

  • Chicken: I like making my own, because nothing is more flavorful than warm, juicy chicken out of the oven, but you can totally save time by purchasing precooked chicken. Or you can leave it out all together.
  • Sourdough bread: If you are going to make the garlic croutons, I love using sourdough bread for this. Along with the bread, you just need some garlic powder, onion powder, and dried parsley.
  • Romaine lettuce: I like using romaine lettuce for this recipe, but you can also add some kale or your favorite greens.
  • Avocado: I love avocado in my Caesar salads, and if you do, add it. If not, you can just leave it out.
  • Tahini: The tahini is used in the dressing, and it’s the magic ingredient in this recipe.
  • Yogurt: You can use regular or dairy-free yogurt in this dressing.
  • Lemon juice: The lemon juice gives the dressing a tangy flavor – yee haw!
  • Garlic: I recommend using fresh garlic cloves!
  • Olive oil: Olive oil is my favorite oil to use in salad dressings because it tastes amazing and it’s such a great heart-healthy oil.
  • Parmesan cheese: I love a good parmesan cheese! Skip it if you are dairy-free.
  • Cayenne pepper: The cayenne pepper in the dressing gives it a little kick, but won’t make it spicy! 

Tips for making sure your sourdough garlic croutons turn out perfect

I feel like croutons get a bad rap sometimes – but I know why. It’s because unless you enjoy a Caesar salad with fresh croutons, they are too hard or stale or bland – no thank you. I promise if you take the extra few minutes and make a big batch of your own, you will never go back to store-bought croutons ever again. It makes a big difference.

  1. Make sure to cut your bread into even-size cubes. This is important, so that the croutons cook evenly. You don’t want some of them to turn out burned and some of them to be soft. They all need to be the same.
  2. Before you bake them, toss them lightly in olive oil. This will make them crunchy and ensure that they don’t get too dried out.
  3. Spread them out in a single layer on a baking sheet before baking. These babies need some space, so don’t pile them up on top of one another. Halfway through baking, take a pair of tongs and give everything a little flip on the baking sheet. This will help them cook evenly on all sides.
  4. Let them cool completely. After they are done baking, allow them to cool completely. This will allow them to harden up some more.

Storing your extra croutons

Store croutons a resealable plastic bag with as much air removed as possible. You can also keep them in an airtight container, either at room temperature or in the refrigerator. They will stay fresh for 1 week at room temperature or 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a rating and a comment below – this really helps others decide whether to make this recipe as well. And since I practically live on Instagram, be sure to tag me in your creations so I can see them and repost! Enjoy!

Healthy Chicken Caesar Salad with Tahini Caesar Dressing

Author: Nicole Modic of @KALEJUNKIE

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
SERVES 4
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A light and healthy Chicken Caesar salad. I made homemade garlic croutons with sourdough bread, then tossed the salad in a creamy tahini Caesar dressing and topped it off with Parmesan cheese  for good measure. So good!

Ingredients

Chicken:

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
  • salt & Pepper
  • avocado oil

Garlic Sourdough Croutons:

  • 1/2 loaf sourdough bread about 4 1/2 cups
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley

Tahini Caesar Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt or plain non-dairy yogurt
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice this is about 1 full lemon
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese + extra to garnish!
  • 1/4 cup water plus more, if needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Salad:

  • 3 hearts of romaine chopped into small pieces
  • 1 avocado cubed into small pieces

Instructions

To make the chicken:

  • In a cast iron skillet or regular skillet, add 2-3 teaspoons of avocado oil.
  • Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  • Cook the chicken in the skillet oven medium heat for about 5 minutes on each side, or until fully cooked through. Remove from the heat and slice the chicken into strips and set aside.

To make the garlic croutons:

  • Preheat oven to 325 F. Cut the bread into small cubes. Place them in a bowl and toss with the olive oil, making sure to coat everything well. Then add the seasonings and toss again. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and add the croutons, making sure they are in a single layer. Bake for 16 minutes, then give everything a stir, and bake for another 16 minutes. You might need to add a few extra minutes, depending on how fresh your bread was (fresher bread will take extra time in the oven! Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

To make the dressing:

  • Add all of the ingredients to a food processor and pulse until smooth. This dressing will be thick; but if you need to add a little more water to thin it out, feel free. Make sure to adjust the seasonings as needed, adding more salt/pepper/lemon juice.

To make the salad:

  • Chop the romaine into small pieces. Toss very well with the dressing, coating well. Add slices of the grilled chicken on top, along with the croutons, and some avocado cubes.

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