Sweet Cooking

Shortcut Chicken Caesar Salad

In Just Good Food on May 7, 2010 at 6:20 am

My mom makes great meals for crowds. She hosts Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, various random holidays and family birthday parties on a regular basis. This is a great, easy salad for summer gatherings! I named it “shortcut” because there isn’t a lot of cooking involved. Enjoy!

LaVon has asked that I share my recipe for Chicken Pasta Caesar Salad.   I’ve served it for luncheons or for dinner on warm summer  nights. I serve hot french bread with it and a dessert afterwards.  The dessert can be rich because you’ve  “only had a salad”.

Very pretty!

Shortcut Chicken Caesar Salad

This recipe serves 6-8 adults.

One pound of cooked shaped pasta

Approximately 12-16 fried chicken fingers

2-3 packages of Fresh Express Lite Caesar Salad mix ( Caesar dressing included)

1 to 1 1/2 cups of shredded Parmesan

Tomatoes (if desired)

Croutons of your choice (if desired)

Here are the ingredients.

1. Cook the pasta  according to package directions, but use chicken broth instead of water.  I  add 1 Tbsp of oil and 1-2 teaspoons of salt to the boiling broth. After the pasta has cooked, rinse in cool water and  drain. Place the pasta in a zip lock bag and refrigerate until ready to make the salad (this can be done a day or two ahead ).

2. Slice  the cooked chicken fingers across the grain into bite size pieces.

3. When ready to serve the salad, place the salad mixes into a large serving bowl and  toss the lettuce with the dressing. Add the pasta and Parmesan cheese and  toss again. Add the croutons and toss.

4. The chicken can be added and tossed, or it can be placed on top of the salad.  Cherry tomatoes can be added and tossed or whole tomatoes can be cut into wedges and arranged around the edge of the salad. Salt the cut tomatoes if you desire.

5. Serve immediately.

This is a very flexible recipe. I love farfalle (bow tie) pasta, but shell or tube pasta could be used.  The chicken does not have to be fried.  It can be baked or grilled and seasoned however you prefer. It can be added still warm or chilled.  Chicken breasts can be used instead of the fingers. Shrimp can be used instead of chicken. Obviously you can use fresh Romaine lettuce and a homemade Caesar dressing instead of the mix. Hot rolls would be just as good as french bread.  So, pick your ingredients and invite a crowd over!

Try this meal when you're entertaining this summer. It's a crowd pleaser!

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