Baked Chicken Caesar Pasta with Buttery Cracker Crust

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Baked with lots of Parmesan cheese, this pasta is full of classic Caesar salad flavors and topped with a deliciously rich buttery cracker crust. You can also serve this pasta unbaked as a pasta salad at a picnic! A delicious chicken Caesar pasta dish baked with homemade easy Caesar dressing and extra Parmesan cheese. Then it is topped with buttery crackers that have been toasted in extra melted butter and baked onto the pasta to form a crust. You won’t want to share this dish! It also gave me my first opportunity to use one of my new anniversary presents! I can’t help but smile when I look at the bright, cheery blue color!

A friend of mine recently asked me for a pasta salad recipe and this dish immediately came to mind. Years ago I saw a “recipe” in a cooking magazine that was for a pasta salad and the only two ingredients were a pound of pasta and a bottle of the dressing the ad was selling. I don’t know why it had never occurred to me before, but the idea was brilliant! Since then the recipe has morphed into a number of different versions.

It started with a refrigerated Litehouse Caesar dressing with pasta (which by the way is delicious!). In later versions I added extra Parmesan cheese, sliced cherry tomatoes, chicken, sometimes even lettuce. If you want this easy 10 minute cold Caesar Pasta Salad you can see it here! Then one day as I was pregnant and on my way to my second client of the day to cook dinner I stopped at Whole Foods to buy ingredients. Walking past the hot bar I noticed a hot chicken Caesar pasta! Light bulb again! I didn’t get home until almost ten that night, but I had to make that pasta I had enjoyed for dinner. Since then I have made this recipe, both cold and hot, probably 50 times. In fact, here is a photo of the cold version at a birthday party almost two years ago! Baked with lots of Parmesan cheese, this pasta is full of classic Caesar salad flavors and topped with a deliciously rich buttery cracker crust. You can also serve this pasta unbaked as a pasta salad at a picnic! This version is my homemade version and my absolute favorite. The dressing is easy to make with ingredients you have on hand (no anchovies, no egg yolk) and though you can eat this cold, this dish shines when you’ve baked it in the oven. Baked with lots of Parmesan cheese, this pasta is full of classic Caesar salad flavors and topped with a deliciously rich buttery cracker crust. You can also serve this pasta unbaked as a pasta salad at a picnic!Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in pan and cook the crushed crackers until they are all toasted and start to brown. Baked with lots of Parmesan cheese, this pasta is full of classic Caesar salad flavors and topped with a deliciously rich buttery cracker crust. You can also serve this pasta unbaked as a pasta salad at a picnic!
Put the dressing ingredients, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, olive oil, vegetable oil, lemon juice, garlic cloves and Worcestershire sauce into a small food processor and process until smooth, about 30 seconds. Cook pasta a couple minutes short of what it calls for on the box. Drain. Add chicken, 1 cup Parmesan cheese and the dressing. Baked with lots of Parmesan cheese, this pasta is full of classic Caesar salad flavors and topped with a deliciously rich buttery cracker crust. You can also serve this pasta unbaked as a pasta salad at a picnic!
Toss together and put into a baking dish. Top with the buttery toasted crackers. Bake for 15 minutes or until all melted together. Baked with lots of Parmesan cheese, this pasta is full of classic Caesar salad flavors and topped with a deliciously rich buttery cracker crust. You can also serve this pasta unbaked as a pasta salad at a picnic!

Baked with lots of Parmesan cheese, this pasta is full of classic Caesar salad flavors and topped with a deliciously rich buttery cracker crust. You can also serve this pasta unbaked as a pasta salad at a picnic!

Recipe

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Baked Chicken Caesar Pasta with Buttery Cracker Crust

  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Course: Dinner
  • Cuisine: American-Italian
Baked with lots of Parmesan cheese, this pasta is full of classic Caesar salad flavors and topped with a deliciously rich buttery cracker crust. You can also serve this pasta unbaked as a pasta salad at a picnic!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound pasta , shape of your choice (I used extra wide egg noodle)
  • 3 cups cooked chicken , cubed
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese (4 oz)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan (about 2 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 20 buttery crackers. crushed (I used Ritz)
  • fresh parsley

Instructions

Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Melt butter in pan and cook the crushed crackers until they are all toasted and start to brown.
  3. Put the dressing ingredients, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, olive oil, vegetable oil, lemon juice, garlic cloves and Worcestershire sauce into a small food processor and process until smooth, about 30 seconds.
  4. Cook pasta a couple minutes short of what it calls for on the box. Drain.
  5. Add chicken, 1 cup parmesan cheese and the dressing.
  6. Toss together and put into a baking dish.
  7. Top with the buttery toasted crackers.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes or until all melted together

Recipe Notes

Dressing adapted from Epicurious

Nutrition Information

Yield: 0 Serves 6, Amount per serving: calories

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert, Inc.

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Dinner then Dessert TIPS Still want to make the easier cold version? No problem! 10 Minute Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad. This was so popular it was the first dish that we ran out of at the party (and I was serving filet mignon sandwiches at this party!)

Baked with lots of Parmesan cheese, this pasta is full of classic Caesar salad flavors and topped with a deliciously rich buttery cracker crust. You can also serve this pasta unbaked as a pasta salad at a picnic!

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Psssst… want to hear a little secret? This recipe is one of 10 in my upcoming FREE e-book called 5-10-30. 5 Cuisines, 10 Full Meals and 30 Total Ingredients that is a bonus for email subscribers only! It will include shopping lists that set you up for two weeks of weeknight dinners with no ingredient waste and tips for cooking and alternate ingredient options. If you haven’t subscribed for updates you may want to now so you can be one of the first to get it when it comes out!

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Chicken Main Dishes Meat & Seafood Pastas Recipe Soups & Salads

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Comments

  1. That looks fantastic! These are the types of casserole dishes that are SO HUGE in the south. We love our casseroles and our crispy toppings!

  2. Yep. I’m totally making this. My philosophy is that if you can make it in a crock pot or a casserole dish, it’s a winner. It looks great!

  3. Mmmmm casseroles are a hit around here all year round and the cracker crust just sends this over the top. I bet all of your dishes are big hits at parties and gatherings!

    1. That is one of the biggest reasons I started this blog. I am everyone’s “Chef friend” so that led to tons of recipe requests. I figure this will save me all the lengthy emails! haha.

  4. This sounds so good and simple enough for anyone to make! I will have to add it to our Father’s Day meal plan.

    1. Yes! My oldest loved it! And the ingredients are super easy, no need to buy anchovies just for this recipe 🙂

    1. Thanks for noticing the tip! Writing it made me crave that version too….so I may end up posting that one too 🙂

  5. This looks so delicious and easy to make. I will have to try this on the weekend. I am sure it will be a big hit.

  6. I love the way it looks as you’ve prepared it, but it’s nice to know it can be pasta salad also. Some days are just too hot to turn the oven on!

  7. My husband is a huge pasta fan – hot or cold. It doesn’t matter if the noodles are Italian or Asian, he wants them 24/7. I’ll have to show him this one.

  8. Your food posts make me want to reach through the computer and eat it all! If only that was possible. This looks amazing, so good. I know this would be a hit with my family. I will have to see if I can make it as good!

  9. Your photos are so beautiful that I can almost smell that chicken and parmesean. The recipe sounds good, so I am going to try it with some gluten free pasta.

  10. ROTINI instead, with Black Olives & Sweet peas with the grated cheese. (I couldn’t wait to go to the store, it looked So good! Used what I had here. Did use UR Romaine lettuce trick too, while I halted the recipe. One went Oven, the other Frig. Family LOVED both, but more towards Cold. Thanks a lot for the buttery Cracker topping. I almost forgot to put it on top. (Oops moment-Lol) Yes, they tasted what was left.
    Ciao Bella!