Caesar Pasta Salad – Penne pasta is tossed with your favorite Caesar salad ingredients to make for an incredible side dish for any occasion
Summer is the season for pasta salads. Why is that? Maybe because we all love to get our pasta fix but also want something cool and refreshing?? Yeah, that sounds about right!
I’ve never been a huge fan of creamy pasta salads. Most times, they are filled with too much mayo and end up being too creamy.
But I recently tried a pasta salad that changed my mind!
This Caesar Pasta Salad was a recipe I stumbled upon on Pinterest and became immediately intrigued. Do I like Caesar Salad? Yup! Do I like penne pasta? Double yup! So I just had to try it.
Holy crap, guys! This pasta salad blew me away! The homemade dressing added so much bold flavor and only got better as time went by. I loved the dressing so much that I’ll be making a jar of it to enjoy of my green salads, too.
The dressing, combined with crispy Romaine, perfectly al dente pasta, and juicy tomatoes – how could I NOT love this pasta salad?!
Because I loved this salad so much, I just had to share it with you all. Check out my version of this Caesar Pasta Salad!
This pasta salad is incredibly easy. The only real work comes from making the dressing from scratch. As tempting as it is – do not take a shortcut and buy a jar of Caesar dressing!! I am telling you – this homemade dressing is incredible and fresh and worth the effort.
After making the dressing, all you have to do next is toss the salad ingredients together and serve. Boom! Simple as that.
This salad really is so simple to make. But, as always, I managed to think up a few helpful tips to make sure you get this pasta salad exactly right:
- Cooking the pasta is more important than you think. You gotta make sure it’s perfectly seasoned and not overcooked. Therefore, don’t forget to add salt to the boiling water before cooking the pasta and only cook the pasta until it is al dente. Don’t let it get mushy!! If it’s mushy, it will fall apart in the pasta salad.
- I highly, highly recommend shredding your own Parmesan cheese for this pasta salad. When you buy the Parmesan cheese pre-shredded, it’s a firm and thick, whereas, when you shred it yourself, it’s a little more dainty and chewy. I think it blends better into the salad this way.
- Finally, when making the dressing, make sure you mince the garlic and anchovies super fine. It will make the dressing more flavorful and you won’t get a random chunks in the dressing. For the anchovies, I take mincing a step further and smash them into a paste with the back of my knife.
You are seriously gonna go crazy over this pasta salad. Even my vegetable-hating husband loved it! Are there other pasta salads you love to eat during the summer? Let me know in the comments below!
Caesar Pasta Salad
For the pasta salad:
- 1 pound penne pasta cooked al dente and rinsed
- 6 leaves romaine lettuce thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 4 green onions thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese finely shredded
- 1 1/2 cups croutons
For the Caesar dressing:
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese finely shredded
- 1 cup mayo
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 anchovies finely minced and smashed into paste
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Mix dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Add half of the dressing to the cooked and cooled pasta into an extra large bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Toss other salad ingredients together in a separate bowl and store in refrigerator until ready to serve. Once serving, toss with pasta and remaining Caesar dressing.