Southwest Grilled Chicken Caesar

4.3 (4)
Southwest Grilled Chicken Caesar

In this Southwestern spin on the classic Caesar salad, avocado stands in for raw egg and some of the oil in this rich, creamy dressing. Grilled spice-rubbed chicken makes it satisfying.

Yield: 4 servings, about 3 cups each
Active Time: 30
Total Time: 30


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, tenders removed (see Tips)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons chili powder, divided
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 avocado, diced, divided
  • 1/2 cup shredded Asiago or Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 3 anchovy fillets, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste
  • 10 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup croutons, preferably whole-wheat


  1. Preheat grill to high.
  2. Pound chicken breasts between 2 pieces of plastic wrap with a meat mallet to an even 3/4-inch thickness. Combine 1 teaspoon each cumin and chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt; sprinkle on the chicken.
  3. Oil the grill rack (see Tips). Grill the chicken until no longer pink, 3 to 4 minutes per side.
  4. Puree half the avocado, 1/4 cup cheese, anchovies, water, lemon juice, oil, garlic, pepper and the remaining cumin, chili powder and salt in a food processor until smooth. Gently toss with romaine, croutons, the remaining avocado and cheese in a large bowl. Serve topped with the grilled chicken.

Tips & Notes

  • Tips: It’s difficult to find an individual chicken breast small enough for one portion. Removing the thin strip of meat from the underside of a 5-ounce breast—the chicken tender—removes about 1 ounce of meat and yields a perfect 4-ounce portion. Wrap and freeze the tenders and when you have gathered enough, use them in a stir-fry or for oven-baked chicken fingers.
  • Oiling a grill rack before you grill foods helps ensure that the food won’t stick. Oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.) When grilling delicate foods like tofu and fish, it is helpful to coat the food with cooking spray.


Nutrition Per Serving

calories 360
fat 21 g (5 g sat, 10 g mono)
cholesterol 66 mg
carbohydrates 18 g
protein 27 g
fiber 8 g
sodium 751 mg
potassium 777 mg

Nutrition Bonus Vitamin A (215% daily value), Vitamin C (63% dv), Folate (55% dv), Potassium (21% dv), Calcium (18% dv), Iron (16%)

Carbohydrate Serving 1

Exchanges 1/2 starch, 2 vegetable, 3 lean meat, 3 fat

From EatingWell The Simple Art of EatingWell