Crispy Tater Caesar Salad

This crispy tater Caesar salad is for you if you love fries in a salad. Crispy smashed tater tot croutons, a doctored-up bottled Caesar dressing, and crispy chicken cutlets join Romaine lettuce and Parmesan in this meal in a bowl.

Crispy Tater Caesar Salad
  • 8 ounces frozen crispy chicken cutlets

  • cooking spray

  • 2 1/2 cups frozen bite-sized potato nuggets (such as Tater Tots®)

  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, freshly grated with a Microplane, divided, plus more for garnish (about 1 cup)

  • 1 cup Caesar dressing

  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest

  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste

  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh garlic

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 4 cups finely chopped Romaine lettuce

  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar

    1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Set 2 shelves near the center of the oven. Spray a baking pan with cooking spray; place frozen chicken filets on the pan.

    2. Bake in the preheated oven on the lower-center shelf until hot and crisp, about 20 minutes, turning filets over halfway through heating time. When cool enough to handle, cut filets into bite-sized pieces.

    3. Meanwhile, line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, and add tater tots in an even layer.

    4. Bake on upper-center shelf in the preheated oven until tots are soft and slightly baked, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Spray cooking spray on the bottom of a cup. Smash each tater tot into a flat disk with cup. 

    5. Return to the oven; bake until golden brown and crispy, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven again, and sprinkle with 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. 

    6. Bake again until cheese is melted, about 1 minute. Set aside to cool, about 5 minutes.

    7. Meanwhile, whisk Caesar dressing, lemon juice, anchovy paste, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and salt together in a bowl until smooth.

    8. Toss together lettuce, chicken, remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper until well combined. Pour half the dressing into salad mix and toss until evenly coated. Add cooled tater tots and toss until well combined.

    9. Transfer to a serving platter, drizzle with white balsamic vinegar, and garnish with more Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

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