Gluten Free Chicken Caesar Salad Recipe

Traditionally, Chicken Caesar Salads ordered at restaurants are highly susceptible to gluten contamination. Of course there are the “regular” croutons to avoid, but there’s also grated cheeses with filler, seasoning mixes, IMG_3534 Rotatedcontaminated oils (unsafe brand made on shared lines with wheat germ oil), non-US Worcestershire sauce, unsafe marinades, chicken cooked on a shared grill or contaminated salad tossing bowls….  Phew! There are so many more things to think about than simply asking for “no croutons” when ordering this to be gluten-free at a restaurant.

So here’s a recipe of my Caesar Salad Recipe to help you have a fun restaurant experience while safely at home! I’ve taken the guesswork out of the prep and listed all the brands I know and trust or marked a “Gluten Free” before the food to indicate you should check the ingredients for potential contamination.

Click here the printable/downloadable PDF of the Gluten Free Chicken Caesar Salad recipe

Gluten Free Chicken Caesar Salad

SERVES: 6

Depending on preferences, you can add more or less of both garlic and anchovies… but 4 fresh garlic cloves and two anchovies make a nice, even, garlicky base. Do yourself a favor; don’t skip the anchovies. I detest fish but LOVE this salad with these two little anchovies!  For a table-side, restaurant style experience, prep all ingredients beforehand – including fully baking croutons and chicken – and put ingredients in separate ramekins or bowls. Wrap lemon half in cheesecloth to hold seeds when squeezing. Shave off a few large curls of parmesan cheese before grating to use as garnish.

IngredientsIMG_3528

croutons
3 cups 1″ cubes gluten-free bread (or rolls)
1/4 cup safflower oil
2 cloves fresh garlic, halved
2 TBSP Italian Seasoning – or basil, oregano & thyme (I use McCormick Gourmet)
3 TBSP Gluten Free Parmesan, finely grated

dressing
2 flat anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained (I use Cento brand)
4 garlic cloves, medium, fresh
1 large egg yolk
1/2 lemon fresh lemon juice (about 2 tsp)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (Lea and Perrins is GF in USA)
1/2 teaspoon Dry mustard
to taste Freshly ground black pepper
to taste Kosher or freshly ground sea salt
1⁄2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (cold pressed organic is best. I use Newman’s Own)
1/3 cup GF Parmesan, finely grated

chicken
4 boneless chicken breasts, trimmed
as needed GF Italian marinade (Drew’s Italian Marinade is GIG Certified)

salad
3 heads romaine lettuce (about 10-12 cups)
as needed Extra Parmesan, for serving

PreparationIMG_3523

  • In an airtight container, marinate chicken breasts in refrigerator (for at least 30 minutes).
  • Rough tear or cut gluten free bread into 1-inch cubes. (A lot of GF bread will crumble if torn, so I prefer to cut it.)
  • Rinse lettuce, spin dry. Cut or tear into bit sized pieces.

Croutons_____
Croutons may be made 1 day in advance and kept in an airtight container.

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.IMG_3524
  • In large frying pan, heat safflower oil over medium-low heat. Add garlic halves & bread cubes.
  • Turn heat up to Medium and stir fry bread until it just begins to turn light brown.
  • Add Italian seasoning. Stirring constantly, evenly lightly brown bread on all sides.
  • Spread bread mixture onto baking sheet. Remove chunks of garlic.
  • Sprinkle 3 TBSP grated Parmesan cheese over croutons
  • Bake croutons in the middle of the oven, for 10 minutes, or until golden. Set aside.

Chicken_____

  • Over a medium fire (approx. 375°), grill chicken for 5-6 minutes per side until internal temperature reaches 160°
  • Remove and loosely cover with foil. Set aside (internal temperature should raise to 165° upon resting)

Dressing_____IMG_3529

  • In a large bowl, mash garlic cloves. Add anchovies to make a paste. (Hint: use two crisscrossed forks to mash for a smooth paste with few chunks. This is one of the most time consuming parts, but for some reason it MAKES the taste!)
  • Add egg yolk, juice from half a lemon, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and a pinch of sea salt and pepper. Mix until smooth.
  • Slowly add olive oil in a thin stream, whisking continuously until dressing is thick and glossy.
  • Whisk in Parmesan until combined.

Assembly_____

  • Slice chicken breast into strips.
  • Gently stir croutons into dressing. Briefly toss to coat.
  • Add half of romaine, toss to coat. Add remaining lettuce and combine well.
  • Garnish with parmesan curls (or extra cheese)
  • Serve with grilled chickenIMG_3532
  • Enjoy!!

Click here to download my Gluten Free Caesar Salad Recipe

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