With a renewed sense of wanting to get healthy, I thought that the best recipe to present for the New Year was a salad! I know, I know, it’s not the most exciting thing to make or eat, but there are actually plenty of salads that are incredibly delicious and filling that aren’t calorie heavy, and this is one of them! Drum roll please….Blackened Chicken Caesar Salad! TA-DA! Have I caught your attention? Excellent!
This is one of the EASIEST salads to make, AND if you want to go one step further, the Caesar dressing is easy to make from scratch, and the recipe is from one of my faves, Smitten Kitchen! Her recipe to her own Chicken Caesar salad is included below, which is where her own dressing recipe is located, and while I like me a Chicken Caesar salad on any other given day, this blackened chicken really kicks things up a notch and takes this salad to a whole other level of deliciousness! The season mix is my own concoction after a few years of playing around with amounts and components, and this is what I’ve finalized! It’s not really even that spicy, just enough to give a slight kick, so if you’re not a big fan of spice, you should still be okay with the amounts I’ve given. And if you want a little more spice, through in a ¼ more teaspoon of cayenne or paprika or chili powder (or all three if you want it to really zing)!
And in terms of the preparation, you can cube your chicken, as I did this time, or pan sear/roast your chicken breast whole and then cut it into strips, or cut into strips and pan sear them, but I like to cube them because then they are more bite-size friendly, and it reduces the cooking time for the chicken, which means it gets into my belly much faster! Plus, what better way to satisfy my healthy ideals or my healthy appetite? And the dressing? Also very easy, and quite tangy too! It might not be the bottled creamy Caesar that everyone knows and loves, but it’s certainly very close to it, and still very delicious! So if you’re looking for a way to lighten up your weeknight, or your afternoon lunch, why not give this salad a try and see for yourself! Salads can be fun and delicious! – Cooking Maggie
Chicken Caesar Salad by smitten kitchen (Dressing recipe at the end)
Blackened Chicken Caesar Salad
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast – cut into bite sized pieces or strips
- ¾ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- ¼ teaspoon oregano, dried
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoon lime juice
- Zest from 1 lime
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 heads of romaine lettuce, chopped or torn
- 1 beef steak or roma tomato, diced
- (Optional) ½ – 1 cup crouton
- (Optional) ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Caesar Dressing
- If you’re making your own Caesar dressing, whisk that together first, and keep chilled in the fridge. (Note: I added some cracked black pepper to the dressing as well, about 1/4 teaspoon.)
- For the chicken, mix all seasonings together, set aside. Heat pan on medium-high, add cooking oil. Add chicken, cook for 6 to 7 minutes until chicken turns white, then add the blackened seasoning, coat & cook chicken until no longer pink. Remove from heat.
- For the salad, tear or chop up your lettuce, and put into a bowl. Dice up your tomato and add to the top of the lettuce. Top with your chicken, croutons (if you’re having), and a little parmesan cheese (if having). Pour dressing over the salads, toss, serve, and enjoy guilt free!