Caesar salad has always been a big deal in my family. My grandmother made it for special occasions, always serving it in a beautiful glass bowl with antique servingware. My mom whipped it up at least two or three times a month, a move likely motivated by the fact that it was one of the few vegetable dishes my brother and I both liked.
All of that exposure to Caesar salad secured some pretty solid food memories for me. That’s why when I became a full-blown adult (how did that happen?) I found my own way to tap into that nostalgia. One of my favorites is this sheet pan version that’s perfect any day of the week.
I typically grill chicken for my chicken Caesar salad, but since I live in the Midwest, grilling isn’t possible for almost half the year thanks to freezing temperatures and snow. That’s why I got smart and figured out that I could make delicious chicken and croutons at the same time on a single sheet pan.
How To Make Sheet Pan Chicken Caesar Salad
To keep things simple I buy chicken cutlets. The thinner cut helps the chicken cook quickly, preventing it from drying up and turning rubbery. I use the same olive oil mixture on the chicken (to keep it moist) and the croutons (making them crispy).
The croutons start in the oven first. Once they’ve gotten a bit toasty, I push them to one side of the pan and add the chicken to the other. The chicken cooks in just 10 minutes or so, giving me enough time to chop up some romaine, wash some tomatoes (they’re not traditionally part of a Caesar salad, but I love them for the pop of color and sweetness), and grab a bottle of dressing.
Tips and Tricks
- Make your own cutlets: If you can’t find chicken cutlets at your store, buy boneless, skinless chicken breasts and cut them in half horizontally to make two thin filets. That’s essentially what the butcher or producer did to make the cutlets you buy at the store. There’s a bit of an up-charge for that service, but if time is money for you, then buy the cutlets.
- Tear the bread: You’ll be tempted to bust out your knife and cut your bread, but I’m kindly suggesting that you don’t. Tearing the bread creates edges that toast up beautifully and hold up to all of that dressing.
- Let the chicken rest: I know you’re hungry, but like any protein, you should let the chicken rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing it. This helps lock in the juices and keeps your chicken moist and delicious.
- Buy bagged lettuce: If you’re looking to save time, consider buying bagged lettuce. You’ll need two (9-ounce) bags to get the same amount as the two heads of romaine called for in the recipe.
- Plan ahead: There isn’t a ton of prep with this dish, but if you want to get ahead of the game, you could cook the chicken and croutons up to 1 day in advance. Let the chicken cool before storing it in a covered container in the refrigerator. Keep croutons in an air-tight container on the counter.
Sheet Pan Dinners
- Sheet Pan Salmon and Broccoli With Miso Butter
- Sheet Pan Gnocchi with Zucchini, Tomatoes, and Bell Peppers
- Sheet Pan Buffalo Tofu and Blue Cheese Brussels Sprouts
- Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas With Peppers and Onions
- Loaded Sheet Pan Quesadillas
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment.
Prepare the croutons:
Mix the oil, garlic powder, oregano, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl.
Spread the bread pieces out in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle half of the oil mixture over the bread and toss to coat. Bake until slightly toasty, about 5 minutes.
Bake the chicken:
Give the croutons a toss then push to one side. Add the cutlets to the other side and drizzle with half of the remaining oil mixture.
Return the pan to the oven and bake for 5 minutes. Flip the chicken and drizzle with the remaining oil mixture. Bake until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F, 5 to 10 more minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes.
Assemble the salad:
Add the romaine to a large bowl or sheet pan along with the tomatoes and half of the Parmesan cheese. Add the salad dressing and toss to coat.
Slice the chicken and add it to the bowl along with the croutons and toss gently to combine. Garnish with black pepper and remaining Parmesan cheese. Serve with lemon wedges and extra dressing.
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