If you love salad, and you love pasta- here is your chance to enjoy them both together!! This tandoori chicken caesar pasta salad is so damn good. I used store bought dressing and bagged chopped romaine to make things move along quicker- and I’m VERY happy with the results to say the least! The seasoning and juices from the chicken ends up mixing into the entire salad and dressing so well as you toss it- so you don’t really need to “doctor” the dressing! THe addition of cucumbers and radishes gives this salad some crunch and brightness and fresh cilantro reminds you that it’s not your basic caesar salad!!
You can adjust how much pasta/dressing/chicken you want in this sald.
ALSO, I swear by this Calphalon Grill Pan for my chicken!!
How to prep ahead of time for this:
- Pre-cook the pasta and keep it in tupperware in the refrigerator.
- chop the radishes & cucumbers ahead of time (should be fresh for 2 days or so)
- Marinate the chicken breasts ahead of time or cook a bunch of chicken breasts at one time.
Substitutions & Additions:
- Adding onion, tomatoes, chickpeas and/or cashews to this salad would be delicious!
- Swap the romaine for some Kale or even a spinach/romaine/mixed green blend.
- You can leave out the chicken or sub the chicken for paneer. You could also sub the chicken for shrimp or salmon.
- Use a more nutritious pasta like red lentil pasta or chickpea pasta.
The dressing I used for this: Marie’s Caesar Dressing which can be found with the other refrigerated salad dressings.
Other dressings I like: Tessemae’s Caesar Dressing & Tessemae’s Cilantro Lime Ranch (Both have great clean ingredients, can be purchased online or at Whole Foods)
Happy Eating 🙂
Tandoori Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
Yield 4 Servings
For the Chicken:
- 1lb boneless skinless chicken breast ( I used two large breasts)
- 1 tbsp tandoori masala
- 1/4 cup yogurt
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 2 tsp cayenne pepper (lal mirch)
- 1/2 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp garlic, minced
- 1 tsp ginger, micned
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- salt to taste
2 cups cooked pasta (I used rotini)
9.8 oz back Caesar Salad Mix (Chopped Romaine)
1/4 cup cilantro
2 cloves garlic
4-5 Radishes, thinly sliced
1 small cucumber, sliced
2-3 tbs parmigiano reggiano (or to taste)
Freshly cracked black pepper
- Using a meat tenderizer (aka meat hammer), pound each chicken breast so it is even in thickness.
- In a large bowl combine the yogurt with the rest of the spices until mixed well. Add the chicken breasts and coat each breasts generously with the marinade. Let sit for couple of hours of overnight.
- Heat a grill pan over medium heat and add 1-2 tbsp olive oil. Once the pan is hot add the chicken breasts and let cook (without flipping) for about 5-7 minutes until the chicken has browned/charred/
- Flip the chicken breast and continue to cook for another 5-7 minutes. Once the chicken breast is almost cooked cover it with a cooking dome or lid to keep it from drying out.
- Remove from heat (You can cut one breast to make sure it's cooked all the way), let sit for a few minutes and then chop into small pieces & set aside.
- Assemble the salad by tossing together the lettuce, pasta, cucumbers, radishes, and cilantro with your choice of caesar dressing with 2 garlic cloves grated in.
- Add the chopped chicken to the salad and combine well. You may want to reserve one chicken breast for later (quantity of chicken in the salad is your preference)
- Top the salad with the parmigiano reggiano, freshly cracked black pepper and serve immediately!
- Adjust the amount of lettuce, pasta, chicken & dressing you want based on your preference/taste.