How good does a blackened chicken Caesar salad sound right now? Imagine this easy salad recipe on your table this evening. This is a great air fryer blackened chicken recipe with air fryer homemade croutons and the best homemade Caesar dressing. Knowing how to make blackened chicken means you can not only make this but also tasty chicken tacos and much more. Although it’s a nice summertime recipe, this is great for any season or occasion.
Elevate your next Caesar to the next level by including juicy chicken cooked in the air fryer along with crisp romaine lettuce and perfect croutons for a crunch. This makes a lovely lunch or supper.
Why You’ll Love This
- Air fryer friendly: You’ll be cutting down on the washing up when you use your air fryer for this recipe. This blackened chicken Caesar salad is really good. The air fryer is also a great go-to gadget for making chicken tenders. It’s much faster than the oven and healthier than the deep fryer.
- Delicious: If Caesar salad is dear to your heart, you will find this dish delicious. It’s packed with different flavours and textures, making every mouthful a culinary delight.
- Great for a potluck or party: If you make a batch of this, you’ll find that everybody wants some. Keep the salad, dressing and chicken separate, and then assemble when you get there.
Chicken Caesar Air Fryer Salad Ingredients
At first glance, you’ll see there are quite a few ingredients in this recipe, but then look closer and you’ll discover a lot of them are spices for blackening the chicken. The paprika, cayenne, thyme, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, salt, and pepper, make a great blackening mix for the chicken.
Of course you’ll need greens too, and romaine hearts are the classic choice for Caesar salads. The dressing is made from scratch with garlic, lemon, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, parmesan, anchovies, egg yolk, and grapeseed oil, and a little salt and freshly ground black pepper.
And then for the croutons you will need bread, oil, garlic powder and Italian seasoning. If you only make gluten free recipes you can use gluten free bread here.
How to Make Air Fryer Chicken Salad
For more detailed instructions with weights and measurements, jump to the printable recipe card.
- Blacken the chicken: Rub oil over the chicken and then rub in all the spices.
- Make the croutons: Chop the bread and pour over the oil, then add the seasonings.
- Air fry the croutons and chicken: Cook the croutons in the air fryer then remove them and cook the chicken in there.
- Make the dressing: Puree the ingredients for the dressing in a food processor.
- Assemble the salad: Tear up the romaine and put it in a salad bowl, then toss with the dressing, parmesan and croutons, and finally slice the chicken on a cutting board and add it on top.
What is Caesar Salad?
This famous easy summer salad recipe has been around for a long time and there are plenty of variations. If you can make blackened chicken in the air fryer instead of a cast iron skillet, you can add this flavourful protein to your salad, assembling the salad and making the dressing while the chicken cooks. Caesar salad is also good with seafood or even just by itself.
A Caesar salad is usually a tossed salad made with romaine and croutons. The dressing is made with lemon, egg, olive oil, and parmesan. Anchovies and garlic are popular additions. You can make the best homemade Caesar dressing or use the bottled kind (homemade is best!)
How to Blacken Chicken
The chicken in this chicken Caesar is clearly the star of the dish! So how do you make blackened chicken in the air fryer? And what is blackened chicken anyway?
First things first – blackening means rubbing spices all over the chicken and then cooking it. The spicy dry rub results in a tasty crust and plenty of flavour in the chicken. Before I continue, I’m going to give you some advice – and it’s important!
Ready? Open a window!!!
Whenever you’re blackening food (deliberately, I mean) your kitchen is going to fill with smoke. So open a window before you begin and don’t say I didn’t warn you!
OK so back to finding out how to make blackened chicken. The spices I used were cayenne, paprika, thyme, chilli, garlic and onion powders, cumin, salt, and pepper. After rubbing oil over the chicken, I applied these spices and seasonings all over it. Then I let it sit for a while as I made the air fryer homemade croutons.
Air Fryer Homemade Croutons
So how about the croutons? Are they easy too? You’ll be pleased to know they are. You need to cut bread into cubes and add olive oil, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and salt. They take about 7 minutes in the air fryer. You’ll be able to see when the homemade croutons are ready. They’ll be golden and crisp! You can drain them on a paper towel if you like.
After making the croutons you’ll need to turn the heat up a little. Add the chicken and cook it for about 20 minutes, flipping halfway through. While it’s cooking you can chop the lettuce and make the dressing.
The Most Authentic and Best Homemade Caesar Dressing
If you’re making the effort and taking the time to make blackened chicken in the air fryer, consider the dressing. That’s right, your air fryer blackened chicken recipe doesn’t just need the best homemade Caesar dressing – it deserves it!
Making the dressing from scratch is always a great idea for an easy summer salad recipe. And typically dressings are simply a matter of combining a few ingredients.
This chicken Caesar salad is no exception and deserves the best homemade Caesar dressing. That’s where a food processor or blender speeds up the process and makes it easier too. Combine all the dressing ingredients except the oil then add the oil bit by bit. That’s all! You won’t believe the flavour in this dressing – it’s so good!
How to Store this Chicken Caesar Salad
Store: Keep the salad leaves, dressing, croutons, and chicken separate and refrigerated, then assemble and serve within a day.
Freeze: This is not a good recipe for freezing, although you could cook extra blackened chicken and just freeze that. The chicken will be versatile enough for future various recipes.
Tips for Perfect Blackened Chicken Caesar Salad
This amazing air fryer chicken recipe is well worth making. If you order Caesar salads at a restaurant, be prepared to be impressed with this recipe. It’s a really authentic blackened chicken Caesar salad and worthy of being the main dish.
If you are a fan of air fryer chicken recipes, you might also like Air Fryer Chipotle Chicken Wings with Buttermilk Firecracker Ranch.
Take care not to overcook anything. Overdone croutons will have a burnt taste while overcooked chicken will be dry and the dressing, romaine lettuce and other ingredients can’t disguise that. For the croutons you can see when they’re ready. For the chicken, once it reaches 165 degrees F in the center it’s done.
To assemble this easy summer salad recipe, put the cut romaine in a serving dish and add the dressing. Toss well using salad tongs or a salad fork. Add the croutons and cheese and toss again.
Air Fryer Chicken Caesar FAQs
You can absolutely take your pick from any protein you want. Shrimp, fish or pork would all work and can be blackened, or you could enjoy a sliced steak on top or else some tofu or another vegetarian alternative (omit the anchovies from the dressing if you’re making this vegetarian).
Although spicy because it’s made with spices, you don’t have to make it hot and spicy if you don’t want to. If mild is more your cup of tea, omit the cayenne and chili powder. Or use a pinch of Cajun seasoning intead.
Air Fryer Blackened Chicken Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons Recipe
Air Fryer Blackened Chicken Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons
- 1 Tbsp. grapeseed oil
- 2 chicken breasts boneless skinless
- 2 romaine hearts
- 1/2 Cup parmesan cheese shredded
- 1/2 Tbsp. smoked paprika
- 1/2 Tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 Tsp. thyme
- 1 Tsp. chili powder
- 1 Tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 Tsp. onion powder
- 1 Tsp. cumin
- 1 Tsp. sea salt
- 1 Tsp. black pepper
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 lemon juiced
- 2 Tsps. Dijon mustard
- 1 Tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 3 anchovies canned
- 1/2 Cup parmesan cheese freshly grated
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/3 Cup grapeseed oil
- 1 Pinch salt
- 1 Pinch black pepper
Homemade Air Fryer Croutons
- 1/2 Loaf white bread
- 4 Tbsp. olive oil extra-virgin
- 1/2 Tbsp. garlic powder
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
- 1 Tsp. salt
- Rub both sides of chicken breast with grapeseed oil.
- Mix together blackened seasoning. Generously rub each side of chicken. Let chicken sit with blackened rub for 15 minutes. Prepare croutons while waiting.
- Chop bread into 1” pieces. Add to a large mixing bowl. Pour olive oil over the bread and sprinkle garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and salt. Toss to coat. Preheat the air fryer to 360 degrees F for 5 minutes. Once heated, add bread to the air fryer and spray lightly with canola oil. Cook for 7 minutes, stopping halfway through to shake the basket. Remove and set aside.
- Preheat air fryer to 370 degrees F for 5 minutes.
- Place chicken into the air fryer basket. Cook for 10 minutes, flip, and cook 10 more minutes. Cut into strips.
- Chop or tear romaine lettuce into 1” pieces and add to salad bowl.
- Prepare Caesar dressing. Add all ingredients except the grapeseed oil into a food processor or blender and puree for 5 seconds. Add ½ of the oil, and puree for 5 seconds. Add remaining oil and puree for 15 seconds.
- Pour Caesar dressing over the salad. Add parmesan and croutons and toss. Top with blackened chicken strips and serve.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.
Finally add the blackened chicken on top and serve. Everyone is going to be super-impressed with this blackened chicken Caesar salad. I guarantee it!
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Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for recipes, dogs, sustainability, adventures, travel and philanthropy, in hopes of encouraging followers to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places and stand for a cause. Bella lives with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.
Bella Bucchiotti is a freelance food, travel, and lifestyle writer for MSN and the Associated Press Wire.