Chicken Caesar salad is a classic salad with romaine lettuce, Parmesan cheese, croutons and cooked chicken. High protein content is one main benefit of chicken Caesar salad nutrition.
You can use ready-made dressing or make a traditional dressing, using ingredients such as lemon juice, pepper, olive oil and garlic. Serve this salad as the main course of a light meal or as the first course of a more formal dinner.
Chicken Caesar Salad Calories
Lettuce has less than 10 calories per cup, but an average portion of grilled-chicken Caesar salad with dressing has 450 calories, according to the USDA. You can reduce the calorie content by using less dressing or putting less oil in the dressing and reducing the amount of cheese or croutons that you add.
Using fried, breaded chicken strips instead of grilled chicken and buttering your bread before toasting it to make croutons will increase the calorie content of your salad.
Be Mindful of Fat Content
Sources of fat in a chicken Caesar salad include Parmesan cheese and buttered croutons. They contain saturated fats, which can raise the levels of LDL to unhealthy levels. Olives, homemade olive oil-based dressing and store-bought Caesar dressing are rich in heart-healthy unsaturated fats.
Anchovies in your salad provide omega-3 fats, which can lower your risk for heart attacks. Romaine lettuce and grilled chicken breast are nearly fat-free, but fried, breaded chicken strips may contain trans fats, which raise the "bad" LDL cholesterol and lower the "good" HDL cholesterol levels.
Consider the Salt
Chicken Caesar salad can contain high-sodium ingredients such as anchovies, Parmesan cheese, olives and seasoned croutons. Sodium is an essential nutrient, but too much can increase your risk for heart disease, kidney disease and stroke, according to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
A 2-tablespoon serving of commercial Caesar salad dressing has 360 milligrams of sodium, according to the USDA, compared to recommendations for healthy adults to get no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day.
Read more: 23 Healthy Salads Nutrition Experts Eat
Additional Caesar Salad Nutrition Facts
A dinner-sized portion of grilled-chicken Caesar salad provides 26 grams of protein. Order it with extra meat to boost protein content. Chicken is also a source of vitamin B12 and niacin, or vitamin B3. The romaine lettuce is a source of dietary fiber, vitamin A, folate and potassium.
Cheese supplies calcium, an essential mineral for bone health, according to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Another benefit of chicken Caesar salad is that it is easy to prepare or to find in restaurants.
On the Lighter Side
With its calorie and fat content, chicken Caesar salad can be difficult to fit into your diet — particularly if you're trying to lose weight. Instantly slash calories by requesting your dressing on the side when ordering out. Eat half of your salad and take the other half to-go for another meal the next day.
Skip the butter or oil- toasted croutons to save additional calories. Try making your own Caesar dressing with Greek yogurt for reduced fat content and a boost in protein.