Lightened Up Caesar Chicken Tortellini is bursting with your favorite Caesar dressing flavors but in AMAZING pasta! The creamy, cheesy, garlicky, lemony, homemade Caesar Parmesan Sauce is out of this world all smothering juicy chicken and cheesy tortellini! Comfort food at its most addictive!
If you like Caesar salad even just the tiniest bit, then your belly is going to be giddy over this Creamy Caesar Chicken Tortellini! The lightened up creamy Caesar Parmesan sauce is cheesy, garlicky, lemony, salty and just plain addicting as it smothers all the nooks and crannies of pillowy tortellini and juicy chicken. This might just be your new favorite pasta! Its definitely one of mine as my stomach screamed for the leftovers well after there was none left. Sad, sad day.
Once I envisioned this Chicken Caesar Tortellini recipe, I could not wait to make it – I just knew the tangy, creamy Caesar Parmesan sauce was going to be a show stopper. In fact, I had just returned home from an eye exam and my eyes were extremely dilated to the point that everything in the immediate foreground was extremely fuzzy – I couldn’t even see numbers or texts on my phone. But my stomach’s yearnings prevailed and this Chicken Caesar Tortellini was born. It was glorious. Even more glorious than I had envisioned. Because you just can’t imagine this kind of epic deliciousness.
This Chicken Caesar Tortellini has a few components but some of the steps are optional such as marinating your chicken and making Garlic Croutons. Both are simple to do, but not necessary if you are in a rush or just feeling plain lazy (which happens to me all the time). So this Chicken Caesar Tortellini recipe can be as quick and simple as you want it to be – just don’t skimp on the Caesar Parmesan Sauce.
If you are skipping the chicken marinade, you can use store bought rotisserie chicken, or shrimp would also be quick and delicious. If you are making your own chicken, however, I highly suggest marinating it as the marinade is just a few simple ingredients of olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon, salt and pepper, and it makes the chicken WAY more tender and juicy. Which means WAY better chicken.
Next, its Garlic Crouton time! “These are the best croutons I’ve ever had,” stated my husband as he devoured them one after the other straight from the baking sheet when he got home from work. Notice there are not many croutons in the photos. They are in my husband’s stomach.
I used part of a French baguette as opposed to a larger bread because the smaller baguettes have more crust surface area, which is the best part, in my opinion, and holds together better when making croutons. We toss our baguette cubes with olive oil, a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and dashes of garlic powder and salt and then bake for approximate 10 minutes for “the best croutons [you’ve] ever had.”
Finally, the crowning glory of the Chicken Caesar Pasta -the Caesar Parmesan sauce. Its epic for a few reasons – its lightened up using only 1 tablespoon of butter and no heavy cream or half and half but tastes crazy creamy thanks to a roux, parmesan cheese and light cream cheese. This Caesar Parmesan Sauce is also bursting with Caesar flavor thanks to the addition of loads of garlic, lemon juice, Dijon, Worcestershire sauce and fish sauce.
Traditional Caesar salad dressings contain anchovies, which I’ve used once in a dressing and although delicious, totally grossed me out. Instead, I’ve found using Asian fish sauce adds the same salty flavor with just a splash of a painless teaspoon. If you’ve never bought fish sauce before, it can be found in the Asian section of most grocery stores and if you do much Thai cooking, you will use it all the time (like in my One Pot Thai Chicken Noodle Soup or 30 Minute Thai Red Curry Chicken).
But more likely, you will come back again and again to this Caesar Chicken Tortellini. Its just that good.
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