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Lighter chicken Caesar salad recipe

Lighter chicken Caesar salad recipe

8 ratings

A few clever twists and tricks cut the calories in this classic Caesar salad for a lighter lunch. The tangy buttermilk based dressing is lighter than traditional mayonnaise but tastes just as creamy, whilst all the best elements remain – crisp pancetta, tender chicken and plenty of lettuce – for a delicious summer lunch. See method

  • Serves 4
  • 15 mins to prepare and 20 mins to cook
  • 315 calories / serving
  • Healthy


  • 4 slices smoked pancetta
  • 60g ciabatta, cut into 8 thin slices
  • 2 eggs
  • 300g pack skinless chicken breasts
  • ½ tsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 3 Sweet Gem lettuces, leaves separated

For the dressing

  • 150ml buttermilk
  • 3 tbsp light mayonnaise
  • 45g Parmesan, ½ grated, ½ shaved to serve
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed

Each serving contains

  • Energy

  • Fat

    16g 23%
  • Saturates

    5g 26%
  • Sugars

    4g 4%
  • Salt

    1.5g 24%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 12g Protein 30.8g Fibre 1.3g


  1. Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Lay the pancetta on a baking tray, then place another, smaller (clean) tray directly on top to prevent it from curling up. Bake for 10-12 mins until crisp. Transfer the pancetta to a plate, then toss the ciabatta in the juices in the tray. Bake for 8-10 mins until crisp and golden.
  2. Bring a small pan of water to the boil and cook the eggs for 7 mins. Drain and transfer to a bowl of cold water to cool. Set aside.
  3. Preheat a griddle pan over a medium-high heat. Place the chicken breasts between 2 sheets of clingfilm and use a rolling pin to bash lightly until 1cm thick all over. Rub with the oil, lemon zest and some seasoning, then griddle for 10-12 mins, turning once, until cooked through. Transfer to a plate, leave to cool, then thinly slice.
  4. Meanwhile, whisk together all the dressing ingredients in a small jug with plenty of freshly ground black pepper.
  5. Pile the lettuce leaves onto a serving platter. Peel and slice each egg into 6, then top the lettuce with chicken, eggs and ciabatta. Break the pancetta into shards and add this to the salad along with the Parmesan shavings. Drizzle the dressing over and finish with freshly ground black pepper.

See more Chicken salad recipes

For top tips on protecting you and your family when preparing raw meat and poultry, visit Food Safety in the Home.

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