My family is Caesar Salad enthusiasts. We have Caesar salad with dinner multiple times a week. Creating a lettuce and pasta salad was really inspired by one of the meals out when we travel. I had an unbelievable grilled salmon salad with pasta mixed in with romaine lettuce. I was able to recreate the salad at home. Caesar Pasta Salad is a great side salad or base for grilled chicken or salmon and is easily put together with romaine lettuce, pasta, cherry tomatoes, parmesan cheese, croutons, and Caesar salad dressing.
Creating a salad that is good as a side salad or even the main entree with grilled meat is always a good thing for busy nights. This Caesar pasta salad is put together in the same amount of time it will take you to grill some chicken, steak, or salmon.
What is in a Caesar Pasta Salad?
This salad is so easy to put together with six base ingredients. If you are looking for a homemade Caesar salad recipe, this isn't the recipe for you. If you are looking for a quick and easy recipe with a great store-bought Caesar salad dressing, this is the recipe for you.
- Romaine Lettuce - A whole head of romaine lettuce or a bag of precut romaine lettuce works. For this recipe, I used roughly four cups of romaine lettuce. If you have iceberg lettuce, it would work as well.
- Pasta - The pasta for this salad can be almost any shape but rotini or bowtie seems to work the best for the salad because it doesn't get lost in the lettuce or sink to the bottom of the lettuce bowl.
- Cherry Tomatoes - Small tomatoes cut in half are perfect in this salad. If tomatoes aren't your thing, you can definitely leave them out of the salad. Grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes are perfect for this, but you can definitely cut up large tomatoes and use them as well.
- Parmesan Cheese - What is Caesar salad without parmesan cheese? Shaved or shredded parmesan cheese will be best for this pasta salad recipe. The grated parmesan cheese will just absorb into the salad dressing. An Italian blend of shredded cheese is also great in this pasta salad.
- Caesar Salad Dressing - Speaking of salad dressing, our family has tried a bunch of different kinds of Caesar dressing. Our favorite is Ken's Steakhouse Creamy Caesar dressing.
- Croutons - To finish off this salad, top it off with your favorite croutons. A crunch of a crouton definitely adds to this pasta salad recipe. However, if you make this salad ahead, wait to add the crouton.
Additional ingredients could be added to this pasta salad including green onions and even bacon. Whatever you like to have in your Caesar salad you can add to this caesar pasta salad.
How to Make Caesar Pasta Salad with Grilled Salmon?
Begin making the salad by boiling water or making the pasta in the Instant Pot. Prepare the pasta according to the package directions. Also start with the prep for any protein you are going to add to the salad if you are making this pasta salad into an entree and not just a side salad.
When the pasta is done cooking according to the package directions, rinse in cold water to chill the pasta down. You want the pasta to be cold for this recipe. While the pasta chills, cut up the romaine salad and tomatoes. Then start making the caesar pasta salad by layer the lettuce on the bottom of a deep bowl followed by the cooked and chilled pasta then the cut tomatoes.
Stir the three ingredients together and then add the dressing and cheese to the salad. Continue to stir to combine. The salad can chill until you are ready to serve while you finish making the rest of the dinner.
When you are ready to serve, add the croutons and toss to combine. The Caesar Pasta Salad serves as a great base for the grilled protein for a dinner out on the patio.
Easy Dinner Salad Recipes
Caesar Pasta Salad with Grilled Salmon or Chicken
- 4 cups Romaine Lettuce, Chopped
- 1 pound Bowtie or Rotini Pasta
- 8 ounces cherry tomatoes
- ½ cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
- 1 cup Caesar Salad Dressing
- 1 package croutons
- 2 pounds Grilled Salmon or Chicken
- Place the chopped salad in a large bowl.
- Cook pasta according to package directions and then chill with cold water as soon as it is cooked. While the pasta cooks, prepare the chicken or salmon.
- Top with pasta and cherry tomatoes that have been cut in half. Toss to combine.
- Sprinkle with the shredded cheese. Pour dressing over top and toss salad to coat the salad in the dressing.
- Serve with the croutons when ready to eat.