Baked Caesar Chicken

This amazingly moist baked Caesar chicken gets its tenderness from a mouthwatering garlicky Caesar dressing marinade. But that’s not all — it’s also enveloped in crispy goodness with a crust of parmesan-laced bread crumbs.

angled shot of baked caesar chicken over asparagus on plate


 

One of the best crispy baked chicken recipes you’ll ever make, everyone will rave about this amazing meal. You’re sure to be crowned the dinner superhero after serving this, whether it’s on a weeknight with family or you’re entertaining a crowd!

Nope, Not a Salad

I know everyone is tired of boring blogger stories, but let me tell you how this baked Caesar chicken recipe came about. It was pure kismet. It’s actually not that boring, but I’ll still keep it short.

It was a super busy week and like all of you likely do, I took some chicken breast out of the freezer to make a simple meal. I was too tired to make a marinade and didn’t have a premade bottle of flavor in the pantry, so my next stop was scouring the fridge for a half-used bottle of salad dressing. This is one of my quick, weeknight secrets — use salad dressings for things other than salad!

A few quick pounds with a tenderizer, and into the marinade it went with the intention to grill it. But it rained. I’m telling you, it didn’t just drizzle — it poured. We’re up for grilling in nearly any weather, but this was too much.

Basic baked chicken is often bland and I didn’t want to lose most of the creamy sauce to a skillet or casserole dish, so I had the idea to make something similar to mayonnaise chicken, but with the savory, nutty addition of parmesan cheese (which I had on hand, of course).

It was so incredibly tasty that both hubby and I had too much. It was one of those moments when you eat what you know is a good portion, but you go back for more just knowing it will be so good… but also too much. Yep.

But now this recipe is on a weekly rotation. And? It’s so good, that I’ve even proudly made it for guests staying at our house. They get to listen to the story, too, so you’re in good company!

angled shot of baked caesar chicken on wooden tray with lemons

Sauces to Serve Them With

I like mine with nothing but a spritz of fresh lemon. However, hubby prefers them more like chicken parmesan or with a fra diavolo or vodka sauce.

But garlic and chicken pair with nearly anything, so nearly any drizzle of sauce will give this new flavor. Here are a few more of my favorites.

overhead shot of platter of baked caesar chicken with lemon wedges

Ingredients

A handful of ingredients is all you need to make this simple yet show-stopping chicken dish. 

  • Large Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts – You can buy smaller cuts, but I prefer to slice larger ones into pieces. They tend to be juicier and more satisfying.
  • Creamy Garlic Caesar Dressing – The creamy garlic Caesar dressing is the flavorful foundation for the baked chicken, infusing it with both flavor and moisture. Its combination of garlic, parmesan, and tanginess adds depth to the chicken while also helping the breadcrumbs to stick to it.
  • Seasoned Bread Crumbs – This is where the texture comes in! The bread crumbs get brown and crispy and are the perfect complement to the tender chicken. 
  • Parmesan Cheese – Grated parmesan adds nutty cheesiness and mingles well with the flavors of the Caesar dressing and the seasoning in the bread crumbs. 
  • Ground Black Pepper – The gentle heat from ground black pepper balances out the flavors of the other ingredients. 
  • Coarse Kosher Salt – Salt is a key component that boosts the flavors of the other ingredients.
  • Fresh Lemon Wedges (Optional) – Fresh lemon brings brightness to the table and balances out the creamy dressing and saltiness of the cheese. It also makes for a pretty garnish.
seasoned chicken on wire rack

How to Make Baked Caesar Chicken

This recipe is a breeze to make and packs so much more flavor than a traditional baked chicken recipe.

  1. Prepare chicken. Use a meat mallet to flatten the chicken breasts one at a time in a plastic bag or under plastic wrap. Slice into smaller pieces, if needed.
  2. Marinate in dressing. Place all of the chicken into a bowl or resealable bag with the Caesar dressing and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. 
  3. Make breading. Add the bread crumbs, cheese, black pepper, and salt to a bowl and stir to combine. 
  4. Dredge the chicken in the breadcrumb mixture and place it on a prepared wire rack sprayed with cooking spray and placed over top of a cookie sheet. Note: if you don’t have these kitchen items, just bake the chicken in a baking dish and flip it halfway through cooking.
  5. Bake and broil. Bake the chicken to the recommended temperature. Broil towards the end if desired.
  6. Allow to rest. When the chicken is golden brown and has reached the appropriate temperature on an instant-read thermometer, remove it from the oven and set aside to rest briefly. 
  7. Serve and enjoy. Serve with sauce or wedges of lemon. Pour more fresh, creamy Caesar dressing over top, if desired.

What to Serve With Baked Caesar Chicken

You can serve nearly any starch or veggies with this chicken. We love it with all sorts of broccoli recipes, roasted asparagus, and carrots. Or slice it up and serve it over a simple salad

It’s also an amazing accompaniment to creamy mushroom risotto, tomato rice, herb grilled potatoes, or cheesy au gratin potatoes.

Variations 

You can switch this simple dish up to create any flavor profile you like! 

  • Dressing – Use a different creamy dressing to marinate the chicken. 
  • Meat – Swap out the chicken for pork if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Herbs and Spices – Sprinkle in your own seasoning blend or fresh herbs for a flavorful twist. 
  • Heat – Add cayenne pepper powder or red pepper flakes for a spicier version.
  • Garnish – Sprinkle fresh parsley, cilantro, or other herbs over top.
overhead shot of platter of baked caesar chicken with lemon wedges

Storage and Freezing

It’s easy to make this chicken ahead of time and enjoy it for a few days, either as-is or diced up over a salad.

How to Store Baked Caesar Chicken

You can combine the chicken and the dressing ahead of time and store it in the fridge for up to 24 hours before coating it with the breadcrumbs and cheese and baking it.

Store cooked chicken in the refrigerator for 3-4 days wrapped in foil or sealed in an airtight container or resealable bag.

Can I Freeze Baked Caesar Chicken?

Freeze the baked Caesar chicken for up to three months in a freezer-safe container or freezer-safe bag.

angled shot of platter of baked caesar chicken with lemon wedges

Common Questions about Baked Caesar Chicken

Is chicken Caesar healthy?

Everyone’s definition of healthy may be different for them. But, chicken is low in fat, high in protein, and full of nutrients. Caesar dressing does contain fat, but if you choose one with healthy fats and few preservatives, it can be a part of a healthy diet.

Is all Caesar made with anchovies?

Not all Caesar is made with anchovies. However, they can add an element of umami to a dressing if you choose to incorporate them.

What can Caesar dressing be used for?

Caesar dressing is known for being a dressing for green but it also makes for a great marinade, a dressing for pasta salad, a sandwich spread, or a dip.

More Easy and Satisfying Chicken Recipes

Chicken dinners don’t have to be boring! These are some of our favorite chicken recipes that we know you’ll love too.

overhead shot of szechuan chicken over rice on a plate

Szechuan Chicken Recipe

4.64 from 11 votes
Quick and EASY Szechuan Chicken & Rice is an easy dinner recipe using unique Chinese spices, like sichuan peppercorns and a vegetable stir fry.
See The Recipe!
overhead shot of serving spoon in dish of huntington chicken casserole

Huntington Chicken Casserole Recipe (Chicken Noodle Casserole)

5 from 6 votes
Huntington Chicken Casserole is baked mac and cheese with tender chicken, zesty ranch, and a crunchy topping — comfort food at its finest!
See The Recipe!
overhead shot of tray of crispy baked chicken tenders

Crispy Baked Chicken Tenders Recipe

4.50 from 8 votes
These EASY crispy Baked Chicken Tenders incorporate panko and mayo so they're super crunchy yet incredibly moist!
See The Recipe!
angled shot of baked caesar chicken over asparagus on plate with text overlay
angled shot of baked caesar chicken over asparagus on plate

Baked Caesar Chicken Recipe

5 from 8 votes
This moist Baked Caesar Chicken gets its tenderness from a garlicky Caesar marinade but it's also a crust of parmesan-laced bread crumbs!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Marinating Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Place one chicken breast at a time in a large plastic bag or under plastic wrap, tenderize the chicken to equal thickness, approximately 1/2 inch thick. Cut each piece into 2-3 pieces to make it more manageable.
  • Place the tenderized pieces into a large plastic bag or bowl and toss with the cesar dressing to coat. Cover and chill for 2-24 hours.
  • When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F and place a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Coat the wire rack with cooking spray.
  • In a dredging bowl or shallow dish, combine the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, black pepper and salt.
  • Remove each piece of chicken from the bag, tapping off any dripping liquid, but leaving anything creamy that stuck to the meat, and place directly into the bread crumb mixture.
  • Remove and place onto the wire rack. Repeat with the remaining pieces of chicken.
  • Bake for 25-30 minute or until an instant thermometer reads 160°F. If you want them to be lightly browned, turn on the broiler for 2-3 minutes.
  • Remove and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
  • Serve with fresh lemon wedges or desired sauce.
  • If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings!

Nutrition

Calories: 764 kcal, Carbohydrates: 34 g, Protein: 25 g, Fat: 58 g, Saturated Fat: 11 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 30 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 14 g, Trans Fat: 0.01 g, Cholesterol: 79 mg, Sodium: 2224 mg, Potassium: 353 mg, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 5 g, Vitamin A: 233 IU, Vitamin C: 2 mg, Calcium: 276 mg, Iron: 4 mg
Author: Jessica Formicola
Calories: 764
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baked caesar chicken
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
collage of baked caesar chicken
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal and more!

Read More About Jessica

Join The Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




Questions and Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    I had to come back and tell you how much we loved this chicken. The flavor and crunch were both SO yummy = thanks!

  2. 5 stars
    The marinade took this chicken to the next level. Truly one of the tastiest chicken dishes I’ve ever tried

  3. Delicious seasoning blend with this. Kids loved it with some dipping sauces and way better than frozen packaged ones.