These Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad Sandwiches are made with kale in place of boring romaine lettuce and layered up with bacon and parmesan cheese on crusty ciabatta bread. They make for a great lunch or light dinner.
So…that Weight Watchers thing? I’m doing it again. The nearly 35 pounds I lost 5 years ago? Came back as 40 pounds.
It’s this never-ending battle, right? Good-evil. Salad-cookie. Head games. Sweat. Tears. More sweat. Lots of tears.
Like these grilled chicken Caesar salad sandwiches with…erhm…bacon.
You know what though? Bacon works on Weight Watchers. ONE piece of bacon works.
And I’m okay with that. Because this sandwich was worth it. Piled high with baby kale gently tossed with a homemade lightened-up Caesar dressing, grilled chicken, and a slice of crispy applewood smoked bacon on fresh, chewy ciabatta? Heaven!!
I got the idea for kale Caesar salad from Annie and I haven’t been able to shake the concept since she posted about it last year. And once I got Kyle on board with swapping romaine out for kale in just about everything (including taco toppings!), I knew this sandwich was imminent.
We each polished off our sandwiches in no time flat and after a lunch filled with so much protein and fiber, we were both completely satisfied until dinner. When, you know, this corn and bacon dip happened with some bbq pulled pork.
Nothing a long bike ride while watching Revenge and a few rounds of kettlebells can’t fix though!
For the grilled chicken:
- 1 ½ lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts or chicken picked from a roast or rotisserie chicken
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Garlic powder
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Caesar dressing:
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp minced Italian parsley
- ¼ cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup light mayonnaise
- Juice of ½ lemon (about 2 tbsp)
- 1 tsp anchovy paste
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- Freshly ground black pepper
For the sandwiches:
- 5 oz baby kale
- 8 oz thick-cut bacon, cooked crisp
- 1 loaf ciabatta bread
- Parmesan cheese
- If you need to cook your chicken: Heat the grill to high heat; once hot, reduce the heat to medium-high. Drizzle the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle a small pinch each of garlic powder, salt, and pepper on both sides of the chicken. Grill for 3-4 minutes per side until the internal temperature reaches 165 ° F. Remove the chicken from the grill and allow it to rest on a plate for 5 minutes. Slice into strips.
- Meanwhile, make the dressing. Pulse the garlic and parsley together in the bowl of a food processor until finely minced. Add the remaining ingredients and a couple cranks of black pepper to the bowl. Process until well blended.
- Toss the kale with half of the dressing, adding extra dressing if desired; set aside. (You can refrigerate any extra dressing for about 2 weeks.) Slice the ciabatta lengthwise through the center and then into 6 equal-size pieces. Top the bottoms of the bread with the dressed kale then add some chicken, bacon, and shaved or grated Parmesan cheese to each sandwich. Serve while the chicken is still warm.
heavily adapted from The Barefoot Contessa at Home by Ina Garten