It’s no shocker that quality meat takes up a big portion of the grocery budget. That’s one reason why I like to make salads.
We can fill that big salad bowl with greens, veggies and all sorts of nuts and seeds and get away with not having to add much meat.
But what if you need the budget-saving goodness of a salad AND something a bit more substantial… something that will hold over the teenagers for at least an hour or two?
Easy peasy – you add bacon and a tortilla and make a bacon chicken Caesar salad wrap!
Before you think this is a glorified salad sandwiched into a deliciously puffy and soft tortilla… well, it is. And it’s awesomeness in your mouth!
Let me think of all the times you’d want to make a bacon chicken Caesar salad wrap:
- For lunch
- When it’s a million degrees outside and you don’t want to heat up the house
- For a picnic
- For a picnic at the pool (← YES!)
- When you have leftover chicken Caesar salad
- When you have extra homemade Caesar salad dressing
- When you’re having company and need to get dinner ready ahead of time (DIY assembly!)
- When you want a salad because you went overboard on vacation, but don’t actually want to eat a salad
Yep – I’m sold. We’re having this for dinner… AGAIN!
Bacon Chicken Caesar Salad Wrap
Let’s break the goodness down:
Since we’re trying to be conscientious of the budget, the most frugal option is to buy a whole chicken (raw) and cook it yourself. You can cook a whole chicken in the oven or cook a whole chicken in a slow cooker or cook a whole chicken in an Instant Pot – your choice.
Once it’s done, you’ll want to pick off all the meat from the bones. A typical 5 pound chicken yields about 6 cups of shredded chicken.
My standard “rule of thumb” for shredded chicken is that 2 cups is good for a family of 4 in a big salad or casserole type of dish. You can add more if you’d like, but this makes a good ratio of salad / chicken / bacon / Caesar for us.
By the way, freeze the leftover chicken in 2 cup portions so you only have to thaw it for a future dinner AND don’t forget to save the chicken bones to make homemade chicken stock – via the slow cooker OR via the Instant Pot – FOR FREE!
If you don’t already have shredded chicken, you can totally use any boneless cut of chicken you have. I’ve tested with chicken breasts, but chicken thighs would be really good!
I know we all love bacon, but bacon isn’t cheap. Especially if you’re concerned about nitrates and such. Even worse if you want sugar-free bacon!
I tested two versions of these wraps. The first had the “bare minimum bacon” (i.e. 2 pieces per person) and the second had the “all out bacon” (i.e. a 12 ounce package for both my husband and I).
While having a whole package of nitrate-free bacon was DELICIOUS, it definitely wasn’t necessary. I don’t think you can ever (EVER!) have too much bacon, but it did skew the ratio of salad / chicken / bacon / Caesar I was aiming for.
Stick with 2 pieces per person and you’ll get the most you can out of every package of bacon, nitrate-free or otherwise.
Hands down, you need to make my homemade Caesar dressing. It’s the best there is and it doesn’t have any questionable ingredients in it.
Plus you can make it in under 6 minutes: 2 minutes for homemade mayo and 4 for Caesar dressing.
Don’t worry – we’re not spending EONS drizzling oil here… we’re using a blender (I have a Blendtec). Most of those 6 minutes are spent scooping or measuring or draining or holding the lid on the blender so you don’t get anchovies on the ceiling.
Not that I would know anything about that…
Really though, we’ve been making Caesar dressing for YEARS and we absolutely love it. My family won’t eat store-bought Caesar!
Salad / Lettuce
You can totally go classic with this recipe and use romaine lettuce, but I find that unless I slice the lettuce super thin, romaine is too big and bulk for me.
I much prefer the 50/50 blends that have baby kale, baby spinach and spring lettuce all mixed up. The spring lettuce is soft (which I LOVE in wraps) and the kale and spinach make me feel like I’m doing something healthy for myself.
I mean, I AM eating a salad… but I’ll take all those little “good job eating healthy” nudges I can get!
You can’t go wrong with any type of lettuce or salad, so pick one that you love.
Homemade tortillas are not only cheap, but they’re hands down the best thing that will ever come out of your kitchen.
Except for rosemary sea salt flatbread. That’s pretty stinkin’ amazing too.
When I’m making tortillas for wraps, I like to make them a little thicker than when I do for tacos. I usually use a kitchen scale and measure 1 oz of dough per tortilla and simply don’t roll them as big for wraps.
Homemade tortillas freeze WONDERFULLY, so make a ton and put them up for later when you don’t feel like cooking.
And if later = tomorrow, I won’t judge.
I’ve made homemade tortillas with all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, einkorn, kamut and spelt and blends of these. They all come out delicious! (Even these gluten-free cassava flour tortillas are great!)
There’s lots of different ways you an assemble these.
- You can mix it all up in a bowl and each person stuffs their own wrap.
- You can have each ingredient in a different bowl and person assembles their own.
- Or you can make a bunch of wraps and say go and watch your family flock to the table for dinner (pictured).
These bacon chicken Caesar wraps are super flexible for picky eaters too, so if someone doesn’t want chicken or doesn’t want Caesar or doesn’t want bacon (GASP!), they can leave it off their wrap without everyone else suffering too.
- 8 pieces of bacon, cut into 1" pieces
- 1 lb boneless chicken OR 2 cups cooked shredded chicken
- 1 Tbsp homemade poultry seasoning
- 8 cups lettuce, shredded or cut into bite-size pieces
- ½ - 1 cup prepared homemade Caesar dressing
- 8 cooked tortillas (I make homemade tortillas)
- diced tomatoes and green onions (optional for flavor and/or garnish)
- In a heavy bottom skillet, cook the bacon over medium low heat. You want to cook the bacon thoroughly, but not burn it. Use a slotted spoon to remove the cooked bacon to a paper-towel lined plate. Do not drain the bacon grease and do not turn down the heat.
- Meanwhile, place the chicken on a cutting board. Either filet the breast in half OR pound the chicken using a meat hammer. You want the pieces of chicken to have the same thickness all the way around so they cook evenly. Then, season both sides liberally with homemade poultry seasoning.
- Place the chicken in the same skillet and let it cook undisturbed for about 4 minutes.
- Flip the chicken over and cook until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink, about 3-4 minutes. Remove the chicken and set aside to cool slightly.
- Prepare the Caesar dressing if you haven't already. If the tortillas are cool, warm them slightly in a microwave.
- Assemble the wraps as desired and enjoy!