This Radicchio Caesar Salad with Toasted Garlic Panko is far from your average Caesar salad recipe! Tossed in a homemade Caesar dressing, shaved parmesan, and toasted garlic panko breadcrumbs, every bite of this simple salad is packed with flavor.Jump to Recipe
Caesar salad with radicchio
Ready to change things up? This Radicchio Caesar Salad with Toasted Garlic Panko is creamy, bright, and punchy. It’s far from your everyday Caesar salad recipe!
Making a salad with radicchio means every bite will have strong flavors and a slight bitterness. This is complemented by the creamy homemade Caesar salad dressing and crunchy, buttery toasted panko breadcrumbs. It’s a surprisingly simple salad with bold flavors!
Each element of this radicchio salad recipe can be prepared ahead of time, meaning you can stress less and focus on the main event. It goes so well with more fresh Mediterranean recipes, like my Garlic Grilled Shrimp and Steamed Artichokes!
What is radicchio?
Radicchio looks just like red cabbage because of its large red leaves and white veins, but it’s actually a type of chicory. These leaves are very crunchy and have a strong bitter flavor which can help tone down the richness in a lot of Italian dishes, like risotto or pasta.
If you have leftover radicchio laying around, grill or roast it and serve it along with meat and other roasted vegetables. It becomes so tender and savory when cooked!
Radicchio Caesar salad ingredients
- Radicchio – Or use kale, romaine, or another chicory variety (such as endive, frisée, or escarole) as a substitute.
- Parmesan – Use a block of good quality parmesan instead of pre-grated cheese.
- Caesar dressing – My homemade caesar salad dressing is easy to make ahead of time so you can whip up this salad in no time. It’s naturally keto, gluten free, and low carb, so everyone can enjoy some!
- Panko breadcrumbs – Use regular or gluten free panko breadcrumbs as the crunch in this easy caesar salad.
- Garlic powder and butter – To mix with the panko.
How to make a radicchio caesar salad
This is probably the easiest Caesar salad you’ll ever make! Every element can be prepared ahead of time and tossed together at a moment’s notice, making it the best salad for stress-free dinner parties or special occasions.
- Make the Caesar dressing.
If you haven’t already, make a batch of this homemade Caesar dressing for the salad.
- Prepare the radicchio.
Add cold water and ice to a bowl. Cut the radicchio into quarters and cut off the core. Cut the quarters into halves and place them in the bowl of ice water for 15 minutes to remove the bitterness.
- Toast the panko breadcrumbs.
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add the panko breadcrumbs and garlic powder. Cook until the breadcrumbs are toasted and lightly browned.
- Assemble the salad.
Dry the radicchio leaves really well and toss them in a bowl with the Caesar dressing. Add the toasted panko and shaved parmesan, then serve and enjoy!
Make ahead tips
Every element of this salad can be prepared ahead of time and stored away for later. When you’re ready to eat, toss everything together and enjoy!
- Radicchio leaves: Soak the radicchio leaves, dry them well, and store them in a ziplock bag in the fridge for 4 to 5 days ahead.
- Salad dressing: Store the dressing in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or freeze it in ice cube trays.
- Toasted panko: Keep the garlic panko in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 to 2 days.
Frequently asked questions
Soaking the radicchio leaves in ice water for at least 15 minutes will remove a lot of the natural bitter flavor, helping it taste a lot more delicious when eaten raw.
Radicchio is served raw in this salad recipe but is soaked in ice water first to remove some of the strong bitter flavors.
First, chop the radicchio horizontally into quarters. Cut those quarters into halves and cut off the core on the bottom end. You can leave them as-is if you prefer larger leaves or continue cutting the halves vertically for smaller bites.
Red cabbage and radicchio look alike but are part of two separate “families”. Red cabbage is a type of cabbage and is used in slaws, stir fries, salads, or soup.
Radicchio is a leafy chicory with a punchy, bitter flavor. You’ll usually find it in Mediterranean or Italian recipes, either raw or cooked.
More salad recipes you’ll love
- Mediterranean Chopped Salad
- Peach Burrata Salad
- Broccoli Brussels Sprouts Salad
- Loaded Chicken Salad
Did you try this Radicchio Caesar Salad with Toasted Garlic Panko? Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below and giving this recipe a rating! Don’t forget to take a picture tag me on Instagram or use #lenaskitchenblog to be featured in my stories! I love seeing what you come up with!
Radicchio Caesar Salad with Toasted Garlic Panko
- 1 head radicchio large, cored and cut into quarters
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese freshly shaved or more to taste
Classic Homemade Caesar Dressing
- In a large bowl add cold water and ice. Cut the radicchio into quarters and then cut off the core. Then cut into halves again.
- Add the radicchio to the ice water, with your hands separate the leaves and then squeeze them a bit to help release the bitterness. Let it sit in the ice cold water that covers the lettuce all the way for at least 15 minutes.
- Use either a salad spinner or a kitchen towel to dry the leaves fully. (Can be done ahead of time and stored after drying for up to 4-5 days in a ziplock bag.)
- Prepare the dressing and toast the panko.
- Toss the salad with dressing, I like to massage the dressing into the leaves. Add panko and Parmesan cheese, lightly toss and add to a platter.
Toasted Garlic Panko
- While the lettuce is resting, make the garlic panko. In a small pan, melt the butter along with the garlic powder. Add in the panko crumbs. Cook on medium-low heat until browned and toasted. Making sure to move around to prevent burning. Remove into a bowl and let cool.
Classic Homemade Caesar Dressing
- Add all of the ingredients to a large mason jar.
- Use an immersion blender to blend all of the ingredients together. Pull the blender up and down until the dressing has emulsified. Blending will only take around 15-30 seconds.
- Stir the dressing, and taste to adjust the seasoning if needed. Tasting is key to achieving the perfect taste. You may want a little more anchovy, salt, or lemon.
- Keep the dressing refrigerated and eat it within 2 weeks.