Napa Cabbage Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken

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Discover a vibrant twist on a classic with our Napa Cabbage Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken—a crisp, flavorful, and meal-prep-friendly dish that's perfect for work or school lunches.
Make Ahead

Meet your new go-to salad: Napa Cabbage Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken. This isn't your average Caesar salad; it's a refreshing twist that packs a flavorful punch while staying delightfully crisp. Napa cabbage replaces the traditional romaine, bringing a tender crunch that lasts, making this salad a perfect candidate for meal prep. Say goodbye to soggy lettuce and hello to a salad that stays vibrant and delicious from the moment you make it to the moment you dig in at work or school.

The grilled chicken adds a smoky, savory layer that elevates this salad to a satisfying meal. Combined with the tangy, creamy Caesar dressing, crunchy croutons, and a sprinkle of Parmesan, each bite is a harmonious blend of flavors and textures. Whether you're looking for a hearty lunch or a light dinner, this salad has got you covered.

Customizing Your Salad

  • For a vegetarian version, swap the grilled chicken for crispy chickpeas or marinated tofu and use your favorite vegan Caesar dressing.
  • Craving a bit of extra tang? Add a handful of pickled red onions or capers.
  • You absolutely don't need to make the dressing from scratch if you don't want to. If you have a bottle of store-bought Caesar dressing on hand, feel free to use it (we won't judge).
  • I personally prefer adding lots of veggies to my Caesar, but if you're a purist, feel free to keep it simple with just the cabbage. Or, toss in whatever crisp veggies you have on hand. It's your salad, do whatever you like with it!

How to Store Leftovers

Got leftovers? This salad stores beautifully. Keep the salad and dressing separate in airtight containers. The Napa cabbage's sturdy leaves won’t wilt quickly, so you can mix the salad and dressing up to a day in advance without losing that perfect crunch. Grilled chicken can be stored for up to three days in the refrigerator. For best results, keep it in a separate container and combine with the salad just before serving to maintain its juicy texture.

Napa Cabbage Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken

Napa Cabbage Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken

Prep Time:
2 hours
Cook Time:
15 min
Total Time:
2 hours, 15 min
Equipment Needed
  • Grill (for chicken)
  • Blender or food processor
  • 1 small napa cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup croutons (store-bought or homemade)
  • 1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 3-4 radishes, thinly sliced

For The Chicken:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Olive oil for grilling
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Caesar Dressing:

  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 anchovy fillets (or 1 teaspoon anchovy paste)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a bowl, whisk together lemon juice, minced garlic, chopped parsley, thyme leaves, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken breasts to the marinade, ensuring they are well coated. Let them marinate for at least 30 minutes (or up to 2 hours) in the refrigerator.
  2. In a food processor, combine egg yolks, minced garlic, Dijon mustard, anchovy fillets (or paste), and lemon juice. Pulse until well blended. While the processor is running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the dressing emulsifiers. Stir in the grated Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  3. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard any excess. Grill the chicken for 6-8 minutes per side or until fully cooked. Let them rest for a few minutes, then slice into thin strips.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the sliced napa cabbage, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, radishes, and grilled chicken strips. Drizzle the classic Caesar dressing over the salad and toss to coat evenly. Top with additional grated Parmesan cheese and croutons.
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