This Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad Sandwich recipe is the best of both worlds


Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad Sandwich

Active time:30 minutes

Total time:45 minutes


Active time:30 minutes

Total time:45 minutes


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When I pull out the charcoal grill on a Sunday afternoon, I often cook up a variety of proteins and veggies for us to cook from for meals throughout the week. This lineup almost always includes chicken.

I love the smoky flavor the grill delivers and the poultry is so versatile. I can eat it hot. Or later in the week I can shred or slice it into a chicken salad and toss it with crunchy veggies or put it in a quesadilla for a quick meal.

Right now, this dish is my favorite way to eat fresh-off-the-grill chicken because it turns all the delicious bits of the popular Chicken Caesar Salad into a sandwich you can pick up and bite into.

Boneless, skinless chicken thighs — or breasts, if you prefer — are briefly and quickly marinated in oil, mustard, and garlic powder before grilling. You can cook the protein on a griddle or in the oven if you prefer.

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Then romaine lettuce or other crunchy salad is tossed generously with a tangy homemade Caesar dressing. You can use your favorite store brand if you’re in a hurry, but this dressing is pretty easy to make — and it’s so much better.

It calls for common ingredients you likely have at home, including fresh garlic, parmesan cheese, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, mustard, vinegar, hot sauce, honey, pepper, and olive oil. I like to add mashed anchovies, but that’s optional.

So you’re asking, why not just make a salad?

Maybe it’s just me, but I think the best bites of Caesar salad are the ones that have some chicken, some veggies, and a healthy dose of crunch from a garlic crouton.

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What makes the sandwich stand out a bit more than the salad is that you get that combo with every bite.

To mimic the croutons, I like to smear the insides of the tender ciabatta rolls with a little dressing at the very end, then grill them on both sides until the bread is toasted and golden. That way, the buns can be big and crunchy for the croutons—usually a supporting role—to fill in.

Try it and let me know what you think.

Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad Sandwich

Storage: Refrigerate the chicken and dressing separately for up to 3 days. Let the dressing sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes, stirring vigorously to incorporate it again.

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  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 2 pounds total)
  • 4 anchovy fillets, drained and pureed
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped or finely grated
  • 6 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce, like Crystal, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 to 12 large romaine lettuce leaves, washed and broken into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 ciabatta rolls
  • Freshly grated parmesan to serve (optional)
  • Gherkins for serving (optional)

In an airtight container large enough for the chicken, whisk together the oil, mustard, and garlic powder. Add the chicken and turn the pieces so they are well coated. Cover and marinate on the counter for about 10 minutes or refrigerate up to overnight.

Prepare the Salad Dressing: While the chicken is marinating, in a medium bowl, whisk together the anchovies, garlic, cheese, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, mustard, vinegar, hot sauce, honey, and pepper until combined. Slowly add the oil in a steady stream and continue beating until the dressing is emulsified. Taste and season to taste (see storage).

When you’re ready to grill, prepare your gas or charcoal grill for direct heat grilling, or preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat. With the marinade still attached, place the chicken on the grill or griddle. Cook the chicken, without stirring, until it develops grill marks, about 5 minutes. Flip and cook an additional 5 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reads 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.

Lightly brush the insides of the ciabatta rolls with a little dressing and place cut-side down on the grill pan or hot grill until toasted with light grill marks. (You can grill both sides of the buns if you like.)

When you’re ready to make your sandwiches, in a large bowl, toss the romaine with 1/2 cup of the dressing until well coated. Place a piece of chicken on the bottom half of each bun, top with a generous helping of the Dressed Romaine and add the shredded cheese, if using.

Cover with each rolltop and serve with gherkins on the side, if desired.

Calories: 745; total fat: 53 g; Saturated fat: 10 g; cholesterol: 189 mg; Sodium: 1087 mg; carbohydrates: 30 g; fiber: 5 g; Sugar: 4g; Egg white: 42 g

This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not replace the advice of a nutritionist or nutritionist.

By recipe editor Ann Maloney.

Tested by Ann Maloney; email questions [email protected].

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