There are a lot of reasons to love a hearty Chicken Caesar Salad – it’s loaded with protein, crunchy vegetables, and creamy dressing. But, it also contains more calories and fat than other types of salad. Much of this comes from the croutons and the cheese, but some versions also include high-fat chicken. This can make it hard to fit this salad into your healthy eating plan.
However, there are several things you can do to cut down the calories in this salad without sacrificing the flavor. First, opt for grilled chicken rather than pan-fried or roasted. Grilling produces a delicious smoky flavor and you can cook the chicken to 165 degrees F by inserting a thermometer in the thickest part.
Next, choose a more nutritious leafy green than iceberg lettuce for your salad. Romaine lettuce is ideal, as it has a crisper texture and holds up better to the creamy citrus dressing. It’s also easy to find at the grocery store.
Another way to cut down on calories is to skip the croutons. You can make your own healthier croutons using arugula or baby kale leaves instead. Or, try tossing your salad with some shredded chicken breast or fish for extra protein.
You can even prepare your entire salad ahead of time if you like. The grilled chicken, homemade Caesar salad dressing and croutons can all be made ahead of time and stored in airtight containers in the fridge. Toss them together right before you want to eat and you’ll have a tasty, easy meal in no time.