Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad


This scrumptious and healthy salad combines elements of Caesar salad, pasta salad and chicken salad for an easy weeknight dinner that comes together in less than 30 minutes (and most of the prep can be done ahead). Use your blender to whip together the tangy buttermilk-based dressing, which would also be great on a salmon or chickpea salad.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Additional Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
9 cups


  • ½ cup low-fat buttermilk

  • ¼ cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

  • 1 ½ teaspoons anchovy paste

  • 1 large garlic clove

  • ¾ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided

  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided

  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper, divided

  • 8 ounces whole-wheat penne

  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken breast

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 5 cups chopped romaine lettuce


  1. Combine buttermilk, yogurt, oil, lemon juice, mustard, anchovy paste, garlic, 1/2 cup Parmesan and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a blender; puree on high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Set aside.

  2. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking water.

  3. Combine the pasta, chicken, tomatoes, 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking water and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a large bowl. Stir in the buttermilk dressing until thoroughly combined. Stir in additional cooking water as needed for a creamy consistency. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days.

  4. Just before serving, stir in lettuce; sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan.


To make ahead: Prepare through Step 3 and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

383 Calories
14g Fat
34g Carbs
33g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 383
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 34g 12%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 33g 66%
Total Fat 14g 17%
Saturated Fat 4g 19%
Cholesterol 72mg 24%
Vitamin A 3980IU 80%
Vitamin C 10mg 11%
Folate 72mcg 18%
Sodium 572mg 25%
Calcium 172mg 13%
Iron 3mg 14%
Magnesium 69mg 17%
Potassium 508mg 11%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

Related Articles