Healthy Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

Do you miss Caesar salad? Like REALLY miss it? Perfect! Then this healthy chicken Caesar pasta salad is for you!

As a professional in the nutrition field, one of the scariest things a client can tell us is that they eat salad everyday at the salad bar or that they pack their own for lunch. Now, you may think, “But Angelique! That sounds like a great healthy habit!”

While eating a salad everyday can be beneficial for your body, more often than not, they’re actually a health-goal disaster.

salad dressings, caesar, italianWhile the salad itself is not dangerous, the dressing poured on to the salad contains hidden calories. Almost all store-bought dressings and dressing available at salad bars (even the lite ones)  are high in calories, saturated fat, sugar and sodium.

As a result, this can turn a beautifully healthy bowl of veggies and healthy protein can turn into a calorie nightmare. Furthermore, the average person puts about 5 tablespoons of dressing on their salad.

Let’s compare the store-bought versions to my homemade Caesar dressing.



Serving:
5 tbsp.
My Homemade
Dressing 
Store-Bought
Regular 
Store-Bought
Lite
 
Calories  185  375  171
Total Fat  13.7 grams  40.0 grams  17.1 grams
Saturated Fat  3.0 grams  37.5 grams  3.0 grams
Cholesterol  14 mg  13 mg  0 mg
Sodium  387 mg  1125 mg  1, 539 mg
Potassium  14 mg  0 grams 0 grams
Carbs  8.6 grams  2.5 grams  8.6 grams
Fiber  0.4 grams  0 grams 0 grams
Sugar  1.5 grams 2.5 grams  5.7 grams 
Protein  7.9 grams  2.5 grams 2.9 grams 

As you can see, there is a huge-difference in store-bought dressings and homemade ones. Even the lite dressing is almost the same amount of calories and has 4x the amount of sodium! In addition, the saturated fat in regular store-bought Caesar dressing is out of this world! That’s more than double your saturated fat per day!

That’s what makes this healthy chicken Caesar pasta salad so special. This homemade dressing keeps the sodium, fat, sugar and calories down while still providing you with protein. The added protein will help fill you up until you can get to a snack or eat dinner when you get home from work.

healthy chicken caesar pasta salad

The nutritional information below the recipe is for four equal servings of salad including the dressing. If you want to make a large batch and have some for the rest of the week, you can store the salad without the dressing in a large container and keep the dressing separate in the refrigerator. The dressing will keep for about 5 to 7 days.

healthy chicken caesar pasta salad
Healthy Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
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Print Recipe
This healthy chicken Caesar pasta salad is perfect for lunch and is made with an easy homemade dressing that's healthier than store-bought lite dressings!
Servings
4 servings (3 cups each)
Servings
4 servings (3 cups each)
healthy chicken caesar pasta salad
Healthy Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list
Yum
Print Recipe
This healthy chicken Caesar pasta salad is perfect for lunch and is made with an easy homemade dressing that's healthier than store-bought lite dressings!
Servings
4 servings (3 cups each)
Servings
4 servings (3 cups each)
Ingredients
For the Salad:
For the Dressing:
Servings: servings (3 cups each)
Instructions
  1. Cook the whole wheat pasta first.
  2. In a large bowl, add romaine lettuce, cooked pasta and cherry tomatoes and toss well (the cheese will be added at the very end).
  3. In a food processor or high speed blender, place all the dressing ingredients and blend or process until smooth and thick.
  4. Pour dressing over salad and toss lightly.
  5. Since this recipe is for four, serve 3 cups of salad per person and top each plate with 1/2 a tablespoon on the grated Parmesan cheese.
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healthy chicken caesar pasta salad, lunch, recipe, nutrition facts

What did you think of my healthy chicken Caesar pasta salad recipe? Share your comments below and don’t forget to share on social media!


Angelique Johnson
Angelique Johnson
Owner at Nutrition by Angelique
Angelique Johnson, BS, NDTR is a Miami-based nutritionist who is excited to help others live healthier lives through good nutrition. She loves fitness, writing, blogging, cooking, and eating delicious foods.

A self-proclaimed chocolate-fanatic, she prides herself in being able to show others that there are no "bad foods," only "bad habits."

She received her Bachelors of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics and is currently a Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics candidate. Her plans include starting her PhD in the summer of 2016. She currently lives in Miami with her husband and French bulldog, Mingus.

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Disclaimer: The techniques, strategies, and suggestions expressed here are intended to be used for educational purposes only. The author, Angelique Johnson, and the associated www.nutritionbyangelique.net are not rendering medical advice, nor to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any disease, condition, illness, or injury. It is imperative that before beginning any nutrition or exercise program you receive full medical clearance from a licensed physician. Angelique Johnson and www.nutritionbyangelique.net claim no responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application, or interpretation of the material presented here.