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Southwest Grilled Chicken Caesar

  • 30 m
  • 30 m
EatingWell Test Kitchen
“In this Southwestern spin on the classic Caesar salad, avocado stands in for raw egg and some of the oil in this rich, creamy dressing. Grilled spice-rubbed chicken makes it satisfying.”


    • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, tenders removed (see Tips)
    • 1¼ teaspoons ground cumin, divided
    • 1¼ teaspoons chili powder, divided
    • 1¼ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
    • 1 avocado, diced, divided
    • ½ cup shredded Asiago or Parmesan cheese, divided
    • 3 anchovy fillets, chopped
    • 3 tablespoons water
    • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
    • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 clove garlic, chopped
    • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste
    • 10 cups chopped romaine lettuce
    • 1 cup croutons, preferably whole-wheat


  • 1 Preheat grill to high.
  • 2 Pound chicken breasts between 2 pieces of plastic wrap with a meat mallet to an even ¾-inch thickness. Combine 1 teaspoon each cumin and chili powder and ½ teaspoon salt; sprinkle on the chicken.
  • 3 Oil the grill rack (see Tips). Grill the chicken until no longer pink, 3 to 4 minutes per side.
  • 4 Puree half the avocado, ¼ cup cheese, anchovies, water, lemon juice, oil, garlic, pepper and the remaining cumin, chili powder and salt in a food processor until smooth. Gently toss with romaine, croutons, the remaining avocado and cheese in a large bowl. Serve topped with the grilled chicken.
  • Tips: It's difficult to find an individual chicken breast small enough for one portion. Removing the thin strip of meat from the underside of a 5-ounce breast—the chicken tender—removes about 1 ounce of meat and yields a perfect 4-ounce portion. Wrap and freeze the tenders and when you have gathered enough, use them in a stir-fry or for oven-baked chicken fingers.
  • Oiling a grill rack before you grill foods helps ensure that the food won't stick. Oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.) When grilling delicate foods like tofu and fish, it is helpful to coat the food with cooking spray.
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