Lightened Up Caesar Salad with Crispy Cornbread Croutons

A salad without toppings is like a cupcake without frosting. What’s the point?!


In my efforts to make more summer salads this year, due to the scortching heat, my mind had to get creative. Sometimes when I am lazy I will throw any topping possible into a bowl of lettuce. This can range from cowboy caviar, corn, crispy chickpeas, crumbled crackers, boiled eggs, fruit, nuts, leftover anything and of course some sort of meat or cheese.

I have no limits with salad combos. You gotta go big or go home with those or there’s really no point to your meal. Something sparked a craving for a simple chicken caesar one day and left me frantically coming up with a homemade dressing recipe.


Just looking at the back of a store bought ceaser salad dressing bottle is frightening. The ingredient list is ridiculously long and the nutritional content is not exactly gonna leave you with a healthy lunch.

Who knew homemade dressing was SO easy? Not to mention homemade croutons. Cornbread croutons. Extra crunchy. My whole palatte revolves around crunchy toppings. Yogurt, oatmeal, pancakes, soups, tacos, salads…the list goes on but basically almost everything I eat gets a crunch to it.



Lately I have been all about cornbread. To make these croutons I used my cornbread pancake recipe except doubled it, and left out the blueberries. I baked it in a square pan and chopped up the bread into tiny squares. A few days later, after letting it get a little stale, I tossed those babies with olive oil and sea salt then baked away. So simple. So delish. Just my style.

Feel free to use your favorite cornbread recipe for this though. I also have a pumpkin maple cornbread recipe that would work great!



This makeover caesar salad doesn’t need a lot of toppings. The dressing, croutons and chicken in itself make it the buisness. You may want to add in some chopped red onion and parmesan cheese to really amp up your salad game. The dressing goes great as a dip for vegetables to if you need an idea for leftovers!


Healthy Caesar Salad with Cornbread Croutons
  1. Caesar Dressing: 2 Tbsp olive oil
  2. 2 sardines
  3. 1 garlic clove
  4. 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  5. 2 tsp worchester sauce
  6. 1/3 cup greek yogurt
  7. 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  8. Sea salt + pepper
  9. Dash of lemon juice
  1. 2 cups diced cornbread (1/2 inch pieces)
  2. 1 Tbsp olive oil
  3. sea salt + pepper
  1. Lettuce blend
  2. Crispy cornbread croutons
  3. Grilled chicken breast, chopped
  4. Red onion, chopped
  5. Lemon + parmesan cheese (optional)
For the Dressing
  1. Blend all dressing ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Set aside.
For the croutons
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees farenheit. Toss cornbread cubes with olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Spread onto a baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden and crispy. Turn off oven, open oven door and let croutons cool in the oven for 5-10 minutes. This allows them to become extra crispy and stay crispy.
  2. Arrange salad by tossing lettuce with desired amount of chicken, red onion, parmesan cheese, croutons and salad dressing.
  1. Dressing stays fresh sealed in a container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Keep croutons in a sealed container as well at room temperature. To reheat croutons if needed, bake in oven on broil for 5 minutes.
The Nutritious Kitchen

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    • Selena says

      Thanks Nora! The croutons really make this salad epic…only way I can eat salads is if its loaded with yummy toppings!

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