Caesar Pasta Salad
Salads | Published May 8, 2023 | Updated May 7, 2023 | By Tawnie
I’ve always loved a really good Caesar Salad and I’m a sucker for any kind of pasta salad…so combining the two to make a Caesar Pasta Salad is my new favorite way to enjoy both favorites in one meal!
Not only will this salad be on repeat over the warmer months, but so will this Italian Pasta Salad, Mediterranean Orzo Salad, and my Chicken Macaroni Salad.
Adding pasta to a green salad is a great way to make a salad more satisfying and gives you the chance to turn it into a main dish.
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But what I think I love most is that this recipe is crazy easy! The most time consuming part is just cooking the pasta!
It’s a great go to salad recipe for when you’re tasked to bring something over for a BBQ, parties, potlucks or summer hang outs. Everyone always loves the fresh, familiar flavors but with it’s unique twist of added pasta.
Plus, we all need an easy go-to salad recipe for our busy lives. This one fits the bill for delicious, healthy, and extremely easy!
Why this recipe works:
- Make in 20 minutes or less!
- Uses simple, easy to find ingredients
- Can be made as is for a side dish, or add in chicken or shrimp for protein and a more satisfying meal.
- Made with a Greek yogurt based Caesar dressing for a lightened up salad.
- Is versatile! Use a different noodle shape, add in avocado, tomatoes, bacon, olives, etc.
For the ingredient measurements and entire recipe, be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the blog post where the recipe card is located.
- Caesar dressing: I LOVE my homemade Caesar dressing. I recommend making the dressing from scratch but if you’re pressed on time, you can pick up a good quality Caesar from the store.
- Croutons: I like to buy the Caesar flavored croutons, but any croutons work just fine. They add a delicious crunch and are a classic Caesar must!
- Romaine lettuce: the crispy, bright, fresh flavors from romaine hearts work perfectly with this salad and hold up well with the rotini pasta. Be sure to wash and rinse the salad really well, I love using my salad spinner to make it easy!
- Parmesan: Grab the large shaved Parmesan shreds. They taste delicious and look pretty in the salad, too!
- Rotini pasta: I used 8 oz. and it was plenty with about 4-6 cups of romaine lettuce. Add as much or as little pasta as you prefer.
Step by Step Directions
For the full recipe instructions, scroll down to the bottom of the blog post to the recipe card.
- Cook the pasta. Drain and rinse.
- Make the dressing.
- Toss everything together and enjoy!
Expert Tips and Variations
- Use a different pasta shape! Macaroni/elbows, bowtie, penne, orecchiette, or gemelli are some of my favorites to use.
- Add in grilled chicken, shrimp, bacon crumbles, or serve with salmon!
- Add a pop of color by adding in cherry tomatoes, avocado chunks, carrots, or olives.
- Be sure to keep the croutons and salad dressing on the side if you plan to serve the salad later on. The croutons will get soggy if left in the salad too long.
- If you have time to make homemade croutons, even better!
- Don’t over cook the pasta. Pasta cooked al dente works really well in this recipe to give it a little more bite!
- This salad is best served immediately.
- Blitz up the salad dressing in a food processor to get it smooth and creamy!
Once tossed in the dressing, I recommend enjoying it the day of. If not, the lettuce and croutons get sad and soggy. To make in advance, keep the dressing and croutons on the side and toss everything when ready to enjoy.
Of course! Rotisserie chicken, leftover chicken, grilled chicken, chicken tenders, etc.
I have only tested this recipe using Romaine. Let me know in the comments below if you try something different that you love!
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Caesar Pasta Salad
- 8 oz. rotini pasta
- 4-6 cups romaine lettuce, washed and chopped
- 1 cup shaved Parmesan, plus more for serving
- 1, 4.5 oz. bag Caesar flavored croutons
- black pepper and salt, to taste
- optional add ons: tomatoes, avocado, chicken, bacon crumbles
- 3/4 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tsp. anchovy paste
- 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Cook the pasta al dente according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water. Add to a large salad bowl.
- To the pasta, add the chopped romaine, Parmesan, croutons, salt, and pepper.
- Whisk together the yogurt, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, anchovy paste, Dijon, garlic, Worcestershire, salt and pepper. Then slowly begin to whisk in the olive oil until emulsified. Add a touch of water if needed to thin out dressing. Alternatively, you can make the dressing in a food processor to get it ultra smooth and creamy.
- Toss salad with desired amount of dressing. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
- Make ahead: Keep the croutons and dressing on the side so everything stays crisp and fresh. The croutons will get soggy if you add them and then serve it later on.
- Add rotisserie chicken, leftover chicken breast or bacon crumbles.
- A homemade Caesar is best, but feel free to use your favorite bottled Caesar in a pinch!
- Feel free to use mayonnaise instead of Greek yogurt for the dressing. I love the lightened up flavor and added protein from the Greek yogurt!
- Recipe inspo: Just a Taste
Hi, I’m Tawnie!
Welcome to my tiny “korner” on the Internet! I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who loves cookies as much as kale. (OK, maybe I like cookies a little bit more but shh, don’t tell anyone). I am so glad you’re here! Follow along for hassle free, realistic and approachable recipes.More about Tawnie