This Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad Sandwich Recipe Is The Best Of Both Worlds

Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad Sandwich

Active time:30 mins

Total time:45 minutes

Servings:4

Active time:30 mins

Total time:45 minutes

Servings:4

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When I take out the charcoal barbecue on a Sunday afternoon, I often cook a variety of proteins and vegetables, so that we can make meals of them throughout the week. This range almost always includes chicken.

I love the smoky flavor the grill provides and the poultry is so versatile. I can eat it hot. Or, later in the week, I can chop it into a chicken salad or slice it and toss it with some crunchy greens or slip it into a quesadilla for a quick meal.

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

Boneless, skinless chicken thighs — or breasts, if you prefer — give them a short, quick marinade in oil, mustard, and garlic powder before grilling. You can cook the protein on a grill pan or in the oven, if you prefer.

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Next, romaine lettuce or another crisp lettuce is generously tossed with a tangy homemade Caesar dressing. You can use your favorite store-bought brand, if you’re in a hurry, but this dressing is pretty easy to make — and tastes so much better.

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

So, you ask, why not just make a salad?

It might just be me, but I think the best bites of Caesar salad are the ones that include a bit of chicken, a bite of greens, and a healthy dose of crunch from a garlic crouton.

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What makes the sandwich a little bigger than the salad is that you get that combo in every bite.

To mimic croutons, right at the end, I like to brush the inside of tender ciabatta buns with some of the dressing, then toast on both sides until the bun becomes toasty and golden. This way, rolls can replace croutons – usually a supporting role – in a big, crispy way.

Try it and tell me what you think.

Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad Sandwich

Storage: Refrigerate chicken and dressing, separately, for up to 3 days. Leave the vinaigrette at room temperature for about 10 minutes and whisk vigorously to reincorporate it.

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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 mashed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or finely grated
  • 6 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons of red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce, such as Crystal, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon of honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more if needed
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 to 12 large romaine lettuce leaves, washed and broken into bite-size pieces
  • 4 ciabatta breads
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)
  • Pickles, for serving (optional)

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

Make the 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 well blended. Slowly add the oil in an even stream, continuing to whisk until the dressing is emulsified. Taste and adjust the seasoning as desired (see Storage).

When you’re ready to cook, prepare your gas or charcoal grill for direct heat grilling or preheat a grill pan to medium-high. Place the chicken, with the marinade still clinging, on the grill or broiler pan. Cook without moving the chicken until it develops grill marks, about 5 minutes. Flip and cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until internal temperature of chicken registers 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.

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

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

Cover with each roll and serve with pickles on the side, if desired.

Calories: 745; Total fat: 53g; Saturated fat: 10g; Cholesterol: 189mg; Sodium: 1087mg; Carbohydrates: 30g; Dietary fiber: 5g; Sugar: 4g; Protein: 42g

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

From recipe editor Ann Maloney.

Tested by Ann Maloney; questions by e-mail to [email protected].

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