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Poorman’s Chicken Caesar Salad

Entree salads are a great one to enjoy delicious flavors without spending a lot of money. This Chicken Caesar Salad is made from scratch quick and easily and tastes fantastic!

Poorman's Chicken Caesar Salad | Good Cheap Eats

OK, Caesar Salad may be very 1994. It might also be very 1924, for that matter. But, I don’t care. It still tastes great.

Caesar Salad is actually my kids’ favorite salad. It’s my favorite, too. For months, nay, years, I’ve been making all manner of salads, but the Casear is the hands down favorite. I know they will eat their veggies if I make a Caesar Salad.

Once when I was brainstorming ways to get the kids to eat more vegetables, I asked them what they liked. The unanimous response was: Caesar Salad, but the creamy kind. Always with the disclaimer….

My kids don’t love my old standard that I’ve made forever, but I don’t want to pay big bucks on Newman’s or Cardini’s highly processed, very expensive, bottled dressings. 

So, I decided I would make “the creamy kind” myself. I’ve tweaked this recipe a few different times until I arrived at perfection. I toyed with the idea of adding the raw egg back into my standard Caesar, but the paranoid overprotective mother in me won out. I decided to go with mayonnaise instead of risk salmonella poisoning from my store bought eggs.

Though, now that I’ve discovered Safe Eggs, I may revert.

Poorman's Chicken Caesar Salad | Good Cheap Eats

Poorman’s Chicken Caesar Salad

In the early days of parenting, Caesar Salad was a regular, albeit expensive, item on our menu. I bought boxed croutons, expensive little blocks of parmesan cheese, and the aforementioned expensive, bottled dressing. I’ve changed my ways!

How to make this good and cheap:

With this Poorman’s Caesar Salad, I’ve cut the costs in several ways :

  1. Marked down bread from the grocery store (or leftover home baked bread) becomes homemade croutons. (Cost = $0.75  for a gallon-size bag of croutons.)
  2. I use the less expensive Romano cheese instead of Parmesan Reggiano (Cost comparison = $6.99/pound compared to $19.99/pound; a little goes a long, long way.) I also buy it in bulk at Costco to get the best prices.
  3. I use leftover grilled chicken from a previous meal to add protein to the salad, making it a meal in itself.
  4. I make my own dressing.
  5. I buy the romaine lettuce for 50 cents a head at Costco.

How I make this recipe easy:

This recipe really couldn’t be easier than it is, but having the right kitchen tools can really make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable. Over time, I’ve honed my collection so that they are perfect for my needs.

Here are the tools that I use for this recipe:

  • plastic cutting boards – I have blue boards for veggies and white boards for meat.
  • Ergo Chef chef’s knife – I’ve had my set for several years and they work well.
  • salad spinner – I love this one. It even comes with a salad bowl!
  • hand held cheese grater – I have a microplane and a Zyliss, but I prefer this one.

Poorman's Chicken Caesar Salad | Good Cheap Eats

Originally published March 28, 2013. Updated March 16, 2018.

Poorman's Chicken Caesar Salad | Good Cheap Eats

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