By Carl Hanson

Trendy Takes on Caesar Salad Recipes

These Caesar salad recipes put hot new twists on a cool classic. They came, they saw, they conquered summer.

1. Fresh Take: Greens on the Grill & Creative Croutons

Knife and Fork Grilled Caesar Salad

Cut a head of romaine lettuce into quarters and grill 'em! Then lay them down on slices of grilled baguette, which stand in mightily for the croutons. Top with creamy Caesar dressing and wide slices of freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Then make like Brutus, and go at it with knife and fork, carving it "as a dish fit for the gods."

Photo by Christina

2. Fresh Take: Appetizer-Sized

Chicken Caesar Salad on a Stick

This summer, it seems like everything's on a stick. Et tu, Caesar salad? Of course! Thread croutons, wedges of romaine, cooked chicken, and cubes of Parmesan cheese onto bamboo sticks with plenty of Caesar salad dressing for dipping or drizzling. "A fun bite-sized party treat!" says voraciousgirl.

Photo by Lindsey

3. Fresh Take: Kale, Cukes, & Leeks

Kale Caesar with Cucumbers and Leeks

Hail, Kale Caesar Salad! Healthy, trendy kale takes over for romaine lettuce. A homemade dressing, chopped leeks, and sliced cucumbers round out the cast. It's a creative new twist on the classic. And wasn't it Caesar who said, "Creating is the essence of life"? Enjoy!

Photo by Meredith

4. Fresh Take: Bacon & Mac

Macaroni Caesar Salad

Not that you love Caesar salad less, but that you love romaine lettuce more...when featured in this trendy way. This salad takes everything you'd expect in a Caesar salad, and then adds bacon, eggs, and macaroni. "You have a whole new dish," says Nicole, the recipe submitter. "You can add any noodle you desire. It is very delicious and easy to make."

Photo by Christina

5. Fresh Take: Penne & Poultry

Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

This recipe calls for cooked chicken. But try it with grilled shrimp, too. Or leave out the protein altogether and enjoy it as a simple pasta salad. "Great flavor," says Christina "I loved how easy it was to throw together and how it did not get dry, like some of these types of salads do upon sitting in the fridge."

Photo by Christina

6. Fresh Take: Steak & Pasta

Tortellini, Steak, and Caesar

Your salad, your pasta, your meat -- it's all in there. This full, three-course meal-in-a-bowl gives you all the energy you'll need to divide Gaul into three parts.

Looking for the original Caesar salad? Here's the Caesar Salad Supreme. It includes a rich, creamy anchovy dressing that you can enjoy with all the trendy takes, too!

And no matter what kind of Caesar you're making, you need freshly grated Parmesan cheese. For Caesar, the best tool isn't necessarily the cheese grater. We kinda like the potato peeler. You'll get nice wide strips of Parmesan. Give it a try!

Photo by Meredith

Related: Easy Parmesan Crisps are Caesar Salad's Essential New Garnish

How to Make Homemade Croutons

If you're making Caesar salad, you'll definitely need croutons. Good news: They're ridiculously easy to make. In this video, Chef John shows us how to make homemade croutons flavored with garlic and Parmesan cheese.

There's plenty more Caesar! Check out our collection of Caesar Salad Recipes.

*Incidentally, the Caesar in Caesar salad has nothing to do with the Roman dictator. The salad was invented in Tijuana, Mexico, by an Italian chef named Caesar Cardini. Or so the story goes.