I Made the Viral Chicken Crust Caesar Salad Pizza So You Never Have To

published May 9, 2024
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Chicken crust caesar salad pizza.
Credit: Andrea Rivera Wawrzyn

I, like many people I’m sure, am a sucker for a Caesar salad. I love it. It’s salty and creamy and cheesy and filling. You can eat it as-is or throw it in a wrap and eat it on the go. My favorite addition is chicken, which bulks it up and can instantly transform it from a side dish to a heartier meal. It’s the perfect lunch food, and I’ll basically never say no to it. 

With all that in mind, I was pretty curious when I came across this unconventional technique for incorporating chicken into a Caesar salad: Make a “chicken crust,” top it with salad, and eat it like a pizza. I had to find out for myself if this will be the brand-new way I enjoy one of my favorite dishes. Here’s how it went.

Credit: Andrea Rivera Wawrzyn

How to Make a Chicken Crust Caesar Salad Pizza

  1. Process the chicken mixture. Preheat the oven to 375°F, then add canned chicken, grated Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, an egg, and some crushed red pepper to a food processor. Process until smooth.
  2. Shape the crust. Transfer the chicken mixture to a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Shape it into a thin circle about 1/4-inch thick — mine wound up being just over 9 inches. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake until the crust is golden-brown, 40 to 45 minutes.
  3. Make the salad. While the crust is baking, prepare your favorite Caesar salad.
  4. Assemble the pizza. When the crust is ready, remove it from the oven and transfer it to a cooling rack. Let it cool for at least five minutes before topping with the dressed salad, cutting into slices, and serving.
Credit: Andrea Rivera Wawrzyn

My Honest Review

While the idea of making an edible plate for your salad was not new to me, I had never heard of using meat to do it. In theory I should have really liked this, but where it lost me was the texture of the chicken crust. 

This recipe uses canned chicken to make the crust, which is certainly convenient — especially if you’re trying to make a relatively quick lunch or dinner — but it also meant that the crust had a dry, pasty texture and the tinny flavor I associate with canned tuna. Overall, it had good flavor, bolstered by Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and crushed red pepper, but I couldn’t get past the sensation of it turning into an unpleasant paste in my mouth. My old friend, the tasty Caesar salad perched on top, couldn’t even save it. 

I wonder what would happen if you did everything the same way, but used a raw chicken breast instead. The crust mixture is made in the food processor, so it would barely be more prep work, just cutting it into chunks (pro tip: Don’t put a whole chicken breast in a food processor). I’m curious whether it would hold up texturally, or be too moist. I could also see adding some breadcrumbs to the mix to attempt to make the finished crust less pasty. Who knows? If you’re feeling adventurous and you want a new way to eat your salad, give this a go. It wasn’t for me, but my husband thought it was tasty, so I say give it a try. A less-than-perfect Caesar salad is still a Caesar salad, after all.

Tips for Making Chicken Crust Caesar Salad Pizza

  1. Spread some dressing on the crust before topping with salad. This might have been my fault for going too light on the dressing in the salad itself, but the whole thing ate a little dry. After watching a few more iterations of this recipe on TikTok, I noticed that some people added a thin layer of dressing between the crust and the salad, which I think might have balanced the whole situation a bit better.
  2. Don’t try to eat it like a pizza. Although the crust was sturdy enough for me to pick up and bite, the salad on top made it quite messy to eat. I’d recommend eating with a fork or risk dumping salad all over your own lap.