These chicken Caesar salad skewers are essentially salad on a stick made with a homemade Caesar dressing that’s also harnessed as a marinade for the chicken. Just toss the skewers on the grill and serve with lettuce leaves. Stunning yet simple, it’s a deconstructed classic.
These chicken Caesar salad skewers are about to make quite the impressive constituent in your summer weeknight dinner routine. A large part of what makes the recipe so memorable isn’t just the surprise presentation or the ease of a simple marinade and toss on the grill but the juxtaposition of temperatures as well as textures. We’re talking hot, tender chicken against chilled, crisp romaine. Good stuff. So long, insipid Caesar salad with clammy chicken swimming in too much dressing. The subtly flavored chicken skewers deconstruct the classic into its separate components in simple, doable, weeknight-friendly fashion.–Renee Schettler Rossi
Chicken Caesar Salad Skewers
- 12 skewers (optional; soaked in water for 1 hour if wooden)
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced anchovies, or more to taste
- 1 large garlic clove, minced (about 2 teaspoons), or more to taste
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
- Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving
- Romaine lettuce leaves, separated, for serving
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- Pat the chicken dry and cut it into 1-inch (2.5-cm) chunks or 1/2-inch-thick strips.
- In a food processor or in a large bowl with a whisk, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, olive oil, anchovies, and garlic.
☞TESTER TIP: If you prefer a pretty assertive Caesar taste, increase the amounts of mustard, anchovy, and garlic.
- Transfer the marinade to a resealable plastic bag, add the chicken, squeeze out any air, and seal the bag. Squish everything around to ensure the chicken is completely coated. Marinate the chicken at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Preheat the broiler and position the rack 6 inches (15 cm) from the heat or set your grill up for direct grilling.
- If using chicken chunks, thread them on the skewers with just a little space in between chunks of chicken. If using thinly sliced chicken, weave the chicken onto the skewers back and forth.
- If broiling the chicken skewers, arrange the skewers on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Slide the baking sheet under the broiler and cook, turning as needed, until lightly browned and cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes per side. (The degree of browning on the chicken will depend on the strength of your broiler and the distance from the broiler.) If grilling the chicken skewers, place the skewers over direct heat and cook, turning as needed, until lightly browned and cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes per side.
- Transfer the skewers to a platter. Immediately sprinkle the chicken with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, and serve with lettuce leaves and lemon wedges.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
Well, here’s a reason to keep anchovies stocked in my pantry! This chicken Caesar salad skewers recipe is easy peasy and tastes great! It has a short list of ingredients and was on the dinner table in 70 minutes. I’m anticipating a quicker turnaround the next time I make it. We had it as a light summer dinner with rolls and cantaloupe and strawberries. It was a delightful meal. We ate these as if they were a deconstructed salad, but I think that I will use the lettuce leaf as a tortilla next time. My daughter desperately wanted croutons with it. Picky eater notes: My daughter doesn’t like mustard, but she didn’t notice the Dijon mustard in the marinade at all. Likewise, my husband doesn’t like anchovies, but he didn’t say boo about them in this recipe. One last thought. I think that grilling the chicken would be really tasty, but I really enjoyed it broiled and would happily live with it that way forever and ever.
The Caesar marinade here serves a couple purposes—to provide that umami-rich flavor we all know and love and to protect the tender chicken from drying out as it quickly cooks. I figured this could work as well on the grill as under the broiler, and a crippling heat wave sealed the deal. As the skewered chicken thighs rested in the creamy marinade, we fired up the grill to medium-high heat and prepared plates with a bed of cool, crunchy romaine. The chicken skewers needed only 10 to 12 minutes total, turning a few times, to begin to brown and be done. We popped the skewers directly onto each plate to rest over the lettuce and served them with lemon wedges. We didn’t wish for any additional dressing—the juicy, Caesary chicken was enough. So good!
This recipe makes a moist and pretty flavorful chicken. The marinade comes together pretty quickly and the short 20 minute time to marinate makes this good for a weeknight dinner. Under the broiler the chicken only took 9 minutes to cook through and get lightly browned. The result was mildly flavored, tender, and moist. That’s an accomplishment when using the breast meat. Not the most earth shatteringly good chicken I’ve ever had but it’s good chicken. The fresh Parmesan helped and the spritz of lemon definitely pushed it into Taster’s Choice territory. We got 6 servings of 2 skewers each. We had 2 of the servings left over for lunch and I found the chicken to be more flavorful the next day. Perhaps a longer marinade time would help. We had the chicken in flour tortillas lined with lettuce with grilled corn and a cucumber salad. I had 2 of the leftover skewers in lettuce cups for a very satisfying lunch the next day.
An easy way to spice up weeknight chicken! I especially love that this recipe is for the broiler as so many summer chicken recipes call for grilling and I don’t own a grill. We served it with lettuce for a light dinner salad and then we tossed the chicken with some sauteed vegetables and threw it in with fettuccine alfredo the following night. It worked well both ways. I used chicken thighs but would like to try chicken breast next time for a healthier version.
This was a quick dish to throw together. It took all of 5 minutes, if that, to make the marinade. I made things easy on myself and bought 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs to make half a recipe. I ended up with 4 skewers. I cooked 3 of the skewers under the broiler and put 1 on a grill pan just to see if there would be much of a difference between the 2 cooking methods. I turned all of the skewers every 2 minutes so that each side was exposed to its heat source for those 2 minutes. At the end of the 8 minutes, all of the meat was cooked. I do not know if it is a function of my broiler, but the skewers of chicken that were under the broiler, 6 inches from the heat, produced chicken cubes that were pale in color, and not very appetizing looking. If one does not have a grill pan, or does not want to get it dirty, then broiling would suffice, especially when you don’t see the cubes that are inside the lettuce leaves. However, I preferred the color that was attained by cooking that 1 skewer on the grill pan. I also liked the light crunch that some of the chicken developed. This was a very good dish—fresh and bright tasting—and one that I would make again. A dry, crisp rosé made for a great pairing. Even though I only made half a recipe, we got 2 meals out of it.
Originally I made these chicken skewers as directed under the broiler and liked them just fine, turning them after 4 minutes with a total cook time of 8 minutes. I repeated the recipe a second time but cooked them on the grill over a hot flame for same time period. This time of year I will do anything to not heat up the kitchen. Loved the char that only charcoal will provide. I also loved how the marinade keeps the chicken moist and helps it brown well. We will definitely be repeating this one! First session we ate these as lettuce wraps sprinkled with red onion, grated Parmesan, and the lemon. Second round we used the chicken in chicken Caesar salads. Both times the recipe served 4 generously.
Light and delicious, this chicken Caesar salad skewers recipe really delivered on flavor and was an ease to prepare. Each element contributed something to the whole and there were no off notes. The marinade kept the chicken moist and gave it that Caesar dressing taste, the grated Parmesan at the end added to that effect, and the squeeze of lemon made the flavors really sing. I also really liked the slightly crumbly texture of the grated Parmesan against the warm chicken and the cold, crunchy romaine. Truly yummy! I used chicken thighs and cut them into 1-inch pieces rather than strips, which probably contributed to the 20 minutes required to broil them, but even though they took longer than expected, the results were extremely moist. I flipped the skewers twice as they broiled to try to increase the amount of browning. If anything, my only quibble is that because I didn’t want to end up with dry little pieces of chicken, I took them out of the oven when they were lightly browned, but I think they would have been even better with slightly more crispy edges.
Originally published August 07, 2020