This has become my kids’ favorite meal. I made it last night and they said, “You should make this every week, Mama.”

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Of course, if I made it every week it would no longer be their favorite meal.  So, I’ll save it in my bag-o-tricks for those days when I really don’t have time to cook and know that I have a sure-fire winner for dinner in spite of no time.

Seriously, this takes no more than 30 minutes to prepare.  And it tastes like something that took waaaaaayyyy longer – or maybe came from a fancy restaurant.

The original recipe came from Cook’s Country Magazine. One of my favorite magazines.  That and it’s sister publication, Cook’s Illustrated.  LOVE those magazines.  I’ve never cooked a bad meal that I’ve found in those pages.

The little one says she loves the combination of warm and cool.  The big one loves the wilted lettuce and chicken together.  I just love it all.  It’s a perfect pasta dish.  And it’s even good the next day as a cold salad.

Seriously. Try this. You won’t regret it.

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Chicken Caesar Pasta

1 pound pasta (fusilli, cavatappi, etc.) pasta
Salt & pepper
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (shredded, I use the fancy shreds, not the grated stuff)
2 Tbs lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced (or 2 tsp jarred minced garlic)
6 Tbs olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 c balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing
2 romaine lettuce hearts, halved lengthwise through core (do not cut core off)

  1. Marinate the chicken breasts in the balsamic vinaigrette for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Make the Caesar dressing. (see below)
  3. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large stockpot. Salt generously.
  4. Add pasta and cook until al dente (about 8 minutes)
  5. Pour off pasta into a colander and rinse with cool water. Set aside in a large bowl, ready for the other ingredients when they’re ready.
  6. While pasta is cooking, heat your grill. Cut chicken breasts into smaller “tender-sized” pieces. This will allow them to cook faster on the grill without drying out.
  7. When grill is hot, cook the chicken.
  8. Just before the chicken is finished cooking, lay the romaine cut side down onto the grill.  Cook for about 1-2 minutes per side until slightly charred.
  9. Bring chicken and lettuce to a cutting board. Tent chicken with foil while you chop the lettuce. Place cut lettuce in with the pasta.
  10. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces. Place in the pasta.
  11. Toss the chicken-pasta mixture with the Caesar dressing, mixing ingredients thoroughly.
  12. Sprinkle with some leftover parmesan cheese and DEVOUR.

Caesar dressing

This is truly the best homemade Caesar dressing. I can hardly stand bottled Caesar dressing after tasting this. Spoiled me forever.

In a blender or food processor, blend the mayonnaise, parmesan, lemon juice, garlic, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper.  Slowly add the olive oil until incorporated. Set aside until ready to top the pasta.

*original Cooks’ Country recipe can be found here.

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4 thoughts on “Chicken Caesar Pasta

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