Lemon Pepper Chicken Caesar Salad with Creamy Dressing

Introducing the lemon pepper chicken caesar salad, with a creamy homemade greek yogurt caesar dressing and parmesan frico “croutons”.

Healthy has never tasted so good.

Lemon pepper chicken caesar salad with creamy caesar dressing and parmesan frico croutons

So, I’ve been going to the gym a lot lately. Maybe you’ve seen me there?

You know that girl with the super trendy Lulu Lemon workout outfit? With a full face of makeup, including eyelashes? And a perfectly curled pony tail? Doing 1 legged squats while balancing on a medicine ball?

Ya, I’m the girl right behind her.

The one wearing Costco brand workout pants. And Shawn’s oversized white t-shirt. Doing lunges holding little 5 pound weights. Making pained faces as if I’m being tortured. Oh, and sweating.

Lemon pepper chicken caesar salad with creamy caesar dressing and parmesan frico croutons


Then I hop on the elliptical and flip between the Food Network and Seinfeld re-runs. And glare at the timer and will time to somehow SPEED UP. How has it only been 15 minutes? I swear I’ve been on here an hour.

Lemon pepper chicken caesar salad with creamy caesar dressing and parmesan frico croutons

You know that workout-high people tout? I don’t think it comes from being at the gym. I think it comes from leaving the gym. When I leave and the nice receptionist says “Bye, hope you had a great work out!” I smile, but in my head I’m thinking, “Eff you gym, I’m outta here! I don’t want to be here another second! I gave you an hour. Now I’m done!”

Then I climb in my car and I’ve never been happier to sit on hot leather seats.

How to make parmesan frico crisps

On days when I work out, I’m not going to pig out on pasta and desserts. That would pretty much cancel out all those squats and sit ups I did. If I’m working out, I’m going to make it count. And this lemon pepper chicken caesar salad is a great, filling salad high on protein and flavor and low on carbs.

Creamy caesar salad dressing made with greek yogurt and parmesan cheese

I love the flavor the lemon pepper gives the grilled chicken. Bright and citrusy, perfect for a chicken caesar salad.

The cold romaine lettuce is tossed with this amazing, creamy caesar salad dressing. It’s made with greek yogurt, which you may have noticed I like putting in things like chicken salad wraps and blueberry muffins. It’s so good I could just eat it with a spoon! My new favorite creamy caesar salad dressing.

And just because you’re not eating carbs doesn’t mean your salad can’t have a great crunch. Rather than using croutons, I mix in these frico parmesan cheese “croutons”. It’s parmesan cheese that’s crisped up in the oven to form it into thin little parmesan crispies. Hurray for crispy cheese!

Lemon pepper chicken caesar salad with creamy caesar dressing and parmesan frico croutons

I eat this lemon pepper chicken caesar salad 5 days a week for lunch at work. I just grill up a couple chicken breasts in the beginning of the week, and make a big batch of this dressing. I’m going on about week 4 of this for lunch, and I haven’t gotten sick of it yet.

It’s that good.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Lemon Pepper Chicken Caesar Salad with Creamy Dressing
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2 people
  • 2 4-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons lemon pepper
  • 2 heads of romaine lettuce, chopped, about 4 cups
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
Frico Parmesan Croutons
  • 4 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated
Creamy Caesar Dressing
  • 2 anchovies
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 3 tablespoons non-fat plain greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • juice from ½ a lemon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  1. Frico Parmesan Croutons: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. On a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet, spoon 4 heaping tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese and smooth out to be an evenly layered circle with a 4 inch diameter. Heat until the parmesan is melted and just starting to turn barely golden, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before lifting. The frico parmesan croutons will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for 10 days.
  2. Lemon Pepper Chicken: Heat your grill or indoor grill pan over medium high and rub with olive oil. Season your chicken breasts with the lemon pepper on both sides. Grill the chicken about 15 minutes or until fully cooked, flipping halfway thru. Let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
  3. Creamy Caesar Dressing: In a food processor, combine the anchovies, garlic, greek yogurt, parmesan cheese, dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper and blend until combined. Add in the olive oil and blend until emulsified. The dressing will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for 10 days.
  4. Salad: Toss the romaine lettuce with the creamy caesar dressing. Top with sliced tomatoes, sliced chicken, and crumbled frico parmesan croutons.
If you don't like anchovies, I've left them out and the dressing is still tasty. It may need a tad more salt. Taste and adjust if necessary.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ½ salad & ⅙ the dressing Calories: 362 Fat: 18g Saturated fat: 5g Carbohydrates: 8g Sugar: 4g Fiber: 2g Protein: 38g

Caesar dressing adapted from How Sweet It Is.

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Lovely comments so far...

  1. says

    Okay, this salad is totally gorg! And you literally put almost all of my favorite salad add-ins in this gorgeous salad. Love that creamy homemade caesar dressing and OMG those little Parmesan crisps! So gotta try that in my next salad! pinned. :)

  2. says

    Hi Natalie, Oh these looks so good, love the dressing and the crisps. Also your chicken looks so good, when you say lemon-pepper is that pepper and lemon zest. Pinned! Thanks!

  3. says

    A healthy salad that includes parmesan crisps. I’m there! I have a love-hate going on the with the gym. Most days I just hate the elliptical when I’m there (and hate dealing with the super-packed parking lot), but I love the feeling of sinking into the couch when I’m home and showered. I keep thinking maybe there’s a workout out there that I just LOVE but haven’t found yet. Then I can leave my elliptical drudgery behind. :)

    • says

      Ugh, NEVER! I got a $25 gift card for Christmas there. Do you know what $25 buys you at Lulu? Ummm…like 1 sock. It’s insane. I’ll sweat up my ugly clothes thankyouverymuch. *wink*

  4. says

    I’m totally the same way at the gym! People used to make fun of me for running on the treadmill while watching the Food Network, but it was the only thing that kept me going! I love the Parmesan croutons, I could eat them just by themselves :)

  5. says

    I am totally in love with those parmesan croutons. I have tasted something like that before but a long time ago so it’s great to be reminded of them. And that Caesar dressing sounds absolutely dreamy … and if I’m not mistaken it looks pretty healthy, too. Bonus! (oh, and pinning)

  6. says

    What a lovely sounding and looking salad Natalie! Really digging your dressing, greek yogurt based is right up my alley…and homemade of course ;) Lots of natural wonderful flavors, especially lemon. The parmesan crisps adds that perfect finishing touch! I bet nuts would be a great addition for crunch too! Oh and as for the gym…who cares what you wear!! You’re there and thats all that matters! I can’t stand working out at the gym everyday, I prefer doing stuff outside…more enjoyable and therapeutic :D

  7. says

    Girl, you seriously had me cracking up when I read this – I feel the same way about working out – sooo relieved and happy when I’m done :) Although I wouldn’t dread it as much if I knew I was having this salad after my workout! It looks incredible and the parmesan croutons sound perfect in here :)

  8. says

    I was cracking up reading this. You’re so cute :) I can’t believe how expensive Lulu Lemon things are, common people it’s workout clothes. Why the price tag.
    I am obsessing over the parmesan crisps. I’m going to make a bunch just to snack on ;)

  9. says

    Ohhh, Chicken Ceasar Salad – one of my faves. I am pretty sure I’d prefer your croutons to the regular ones – they look so good, lady. What a great idea!!
    So good to know I’m not the only one watching Food Network while working out. There’s nothing like planning your next meal and watching others enjoy some delicious food while working up a sweat, ha. I think it’s awesome that you’ve been diligent in your workouts. Go, Natalie!

  10. says

    You make me laugh! I hear ya about the gym. I feel like I look like a train wreck, and then I see others and I’m all like “How is she doing that and still managing to look cute?” I think we would make great gym buddies. :)

    This salad looks SO good. I’m especially excited about those frico Parmesan cheese croutons. I think I would definitely make extra of those…because, you know, one for the salad, one by itself, one for the salad…

  11. says

    LOL…you are hysterical. If I didn’t know any better, you are describing me when I work out. Hehe, that’s awesome. I’m always on the hunt for good salads and this one is amazing. It looks delicious and I’m totally digging that dressing. :)


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