It is back to school time! For a lot of folks it means super busy time. There are all the extra-curricular activities and events that happen during the school year. Preparing a meal for the family in a time crunch can be a difficult task. Kids need to stay fueled up to handle all the learning and activities. One of the quick meals I often prepare is a Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad. It can also be packed up and made portable for a meal on-the-go.
Quick meals are the theme for today’s Sunday Supper event. How quick? 30 minutes or less from start to finish. I timed making my dish and I finished with time to spare. You could get it down to about 5 minutes with some advanced preparation. If you are grilling chicken over the weekend then cook extra and save it for the salad. Make the dressing over the weekend too. It tastes even better after it has chilled for a few days. Make some homemade croutons with leftover bread. Croutons store for a long time in a sealed container. With those parts done in advance, all you have is the time to build the salad.
Here are the steps to take when making the salad:
- Get out the hardware first: grill pan, blender, cutting board, and all the utencils needed for preparation.
- Start heating up the grill pan. Heat the oven if warming bread to be served on the side.
- Take out all the ingredients and set them on the counter.
- Pound the chicken thin so it will cook faster. Coat with oil, salt and pepper, and start grilling the chicken.
- Make the dressing.
- Flip the chicken to cook on the other side.
- Place the bread in the oven to begin warming (if serving bread)
- Chop the romaine (if not pre-chopped) and add it to a large bowl. Sprinkle it with some Parmesan cheese.
- Once chicken is done, transfer it to the cutting board, let rest about 5 minutes, then chop into bite-sized pieces.
- While the chicken is resting, set the table and get everyone’s beverages they are having with dinner ready.
- Add some dressing to the lettuce and toss to coat. Transfer to plates.
- Add chicken pieces, croutons, and an additional sprinkling of Parmesan cheese on top of lettuce.
- Take bread out of the oven and place in a bread basket or on a serving plate (if serving bread).
- Take the salads, bread, and beverages to the table. Enjoy!
How about some more recipes for quick meals and snacks? The Sunday Supper team has a great list for you. They also have meal plans, cooking steps, and time-saving tips to get them done in a flash:
- Greek Dogs by Supper For a Steal
- Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad by Magnolia Days
- Double Duty Fajita Chicken: Nachos Supreme and Enchiladas by Doggie at the Dinner Table
- Zucchini, Corn and Bacon Crepes by Vintage Kitchen
- Oregon Shrimp Quesadillas by Pescetarian Journal
- Korean omelet rice by Crispy Bits & Burnt Ends
- Lemon Dillled Salmon Croquette Burgers by Granny’s Down Home Southern Cooking
- Gluten Free Pepper Steak with Rice by No One Likes Crumbley Cookies
- Crispy Ravioli in Cherry Tomato Sauce by Shockingly Delicious
- BLT Soup by Meal Planning Magic
- Korean Pan-Fried Fish by Kimchi Mom
- Stove top mac ‘n cheese by Gotta Get Baked
- Deconstructed Enchiladas by In the Kitchen with KP
- Croque Monsieurs by Juanita’s Cocina
- Summer Squash and Mushroom Quesadillas by Chocolate Moosey
- Seared Lamb on a bed of Mashed potatoes with Artichoke Hearts by Cooking Underwriter
- Garlicky Pasta with Swiss Chard and Beans by Webicurean
- Baked Spanish Tortilla by Happy Baking Days
- Grilled Chicken Caesar Pizza by In the Kitchen with Audrey
- Garlicky Pasta with Swiss Chard and Beans by The Lemon Bowl
- Tomato Pie by My Catholic Kitchen
- Shredded Chicken in Peanut Sauce Tacos w/ Corn & Zucchini Sauté by GirliChef
- Tomatillo Chicken Stew by Small Wallet, Big Appetite
- Pollo a la Crema by La Cocina de Leslie
- Baked Tilapia Fish Tacos by Home Cooking Memories
- Grilled Lemon Pepper Chicken with a Yogurt Dill sauce and a Greek Salad by Noshing with the Nolands
- Wagon Wheel Pasta with Pancetta & Peas by Chelsea’s Culinary Indulgence
- Lemon & Dill Shrimp Pasta w/ Oven Roast Corn by Mama, Mommy, Mom
- Ricotta – Tofu Tomato Toasts by Yummy Smells
- One Pot Spicy Asian Chicken and Rice by Hezzi D
- Turkey Italian Brown Rice Casserole by Momma’s Meals
- Flatbread Pizza with Cilantro Garlic Sauce by Mom’s Test Kitchen
- Cashew Chicken Stir-fry by Diabetic Foodie
- Chicken Bacon Avocado Quesadillas by Dinners, Dishes and Desserts
- Roasted Butternut Lo Mein by The Meltaways
- Potluck Casserole with Cornbread Stuffing by Cindy’s Recipes & Writings
- Jerk Chicken Chili by Mrs. Mama Hen
- Loaded Chicken and Steak Stuffed Potatoes by Big Bears Wife
- Steamed Tofu Serve with Fried Mix Vegetables by My Trials in the Kitchen
- Pasta with sausage and cherry tomatoes by Tora’s Real Food
- Chicken Ravioli with Peas and Bacon by Daddy Knows Less
- Quick N Easy Thai Coconut Shrimp Stir Fry by Sue’s Nutrition Buzz
- Whole Wheat Pizza with Hummus & Fresh Greens by Family Spice
- Speedy ‘n Spicy Shrimp Pasta by The Weekend Gourmet
- End of Summer Grilled Peach and Chicken Salad by Sustainable Dad
- Teriyaki Tuna Bowl by Family Foodie
- Weeknight Stir Fry by From Fast Food to Fresh Food
- Baked Egg with Mushrooms and Bacon by Pippi’s in the Kitchen Again
- Taco Bake by Daily Dish Recipes
- Fried Rice and Black Beans by Mama’s Blissful Bites
- Chicken with Broccoli, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Bow Ties by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Pasta in Tomato sauce and turkey meatballs by Basic & Delicious
- Pasta Primavera by Midlife Road Trip
- Tots Your Tots Will Love by The Hand that Rocks the Ladle
Get ready for more back to school cooking fun. Join in the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter today (Sunday, August 26th). Beginning at 3pm ET we showcase recipes and want to share yours too. Remember to include the #SundaySupper hashtag in your tweet. At 7pm ET we will have a live chat about back to school recipes and menu ideas. Bring your 30 minute or less recipes and cooking tips. We love to pin recipes and photos so be sure to follow our #SundaySupper Pinterest board too.
What is the fastest meal you ever made? Does it involve pre-made components or all from scratch? Advanced preparation has always helped me when I need to cook a meal in a flash. All it takes is a little extra time one day to save time on another.
Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad
For the dressing:
- 1 garlic clove chopped
- 1 or 2 anchovy fillets chopped
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup olive oil
For the salad:
- 1 pound boneless chicken tenders or breasts
- olive oil
- Salt and fresh ground pepper
- 1 to 2 bags or 1 to 3 heads Romaine lettuce prewashed
- Parmesan Cheese
For the dressing:
Add all dressing ingredients except olive oil to a blender. Turn on the blender and slowly pour in the olive oil as it is blending. Blend until combined and the oil is fully incorporated.
For the salad:
Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. As the pan is warming, place the chicken between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound until about 1/2-inch thick or a little less. (The thinner the chicken, the faster it will cook). Remove the chicken from the plastic, coat with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the heated pan and grill about 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until chicken is browned and cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Allow chicken to rest about 5 minutes then cut into bite-sized pieces.
If the romaine lettuce is not pre-chopped, chop it and place it in a large bowl. If pre-chopped, add it to a large bowl. Sprinkle some Parmesan cheese over the lettuce. Add some dressing and toss to coat the lettuce with the dressing. It is best to add a little at a time to avoid adding too much. Transfer the lettuce to plates. Top the lettuce with chicken pieces, croutons and some additional Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
Alternative Method: If taking the salad to-go, do not toss the lettuce with the dressing. Pack the dressing and croutons in separate containers and add them to the salad prior to eating. Also make sure the chicken is cooled completely prior to adding on top of the lettuce (or pack it separately).