I have to admit- it was a proud Mama moment the first time we went to a restaurant and three of my kids decided that what they most wanted to eat for dinner was a Caesar salad! Finally- all of my “modeling good food choices” and encouraging them to keep trying a new menu item was paying off! And now it's one of their favorite things to eat at home- especially when they can top it off with our homemade balsamic dressing! Here's our family recipe for grilled chicken caesar salad with homemade croutons and balsamic caesar dressing!
I like to marinate the chicken breasts in Italian dressing all day long, and then bake them in the oven (which keeps them juicy and ensures they are cooked through) before finishing them on the grill.
I also tear up up the bread into crouton-sized chunks in the morning so it can dry out on the kitchen counter during the day. Then I simply coat them in the garlic and oil and bake them while the chicken cooks on the grill.
The dressing comes together easily in the blender- and I usually assign this task to the kids.
Here's the recipe for Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons and Balsamic Caesar Dressing!
- For the chicken:
- 3 large chicken breasts
- ½ bottle of Italian dressing
- For the croutons:
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 teaspoons of minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 loaf country white bread, crust removed, torn or cut into crouton-sized bites
- For the dressing:
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ⅓ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 1½ Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1½ Tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- For the Chicken:
- Place the chicken in a zip-top bag and pour the ½ bottle of Italian dressing on top. Allow to marinate in the fridge for 4-6 hours.
- Bake the chicken in the oven at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes until nearly done, and then move to the grill to finish (this will keep the chicken juicy and ensure it is thoroughly cooked).
- For the Croutons:
- Tear or cut the bread into crouton-sized chunks and allow to air-dry on the counter for 6-8 hours.
- Whisk together the olive oil, garlic, and Kosher salt in a large bowl. Add bread cubes and toss to coat.
- Transfer croutons to a foil-lined baking sheet and bake until golden brown about 12-15 minutes. Allow to cool.
- For the Dressing:
- Combine all ingredients in the blender and puree until smooth.
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