This Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad is a quick weeknight dinner you are going to LOVE. Salad meets pasta in this dish that comes together in under 20 minutes! Great way to use leftovers and picky eater approved!
Why You’ll Love This Pasta Salad
- Quick: You’ll have this salad tossed together in under 20 minutes.
- Easy to Customize: Add your favorite salad toppings for a quick and easy meal.
- Family Favorite: Not a fan of Caesar dressing? Swap it for ranch! We serve this dish all summer long.
“This was awesome!!! “
Ready to hear why so many people on Pinterest are OBSESSED with this Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad? The main reason has got to be that it is so simple to make, tastes insanely delicious, and can be prepped ahead of time for a quick lunch or dinner. Anything that makes my weeknight a little less chaotic is A-OK with me.
It is by far one of my favorite quick dinner recipes. Loaded with chicken pieces, crisp romaine lettuce, parmesan cheese… It is a combination that is made in food heaven and so simple to customize (we’ll talk toppings later)! Even my picky teenager doesn’t shy away from this summer salad. Perfect for meal prep, picnics, or just to have on hand as a snack. However you decide to serve it, I’m sure everyone will go crazy for this dish.
Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad Ingredients
This easy summer recipe is as tasty as it sounds. We have made it time and time again with grilled OR baked chicken. That means it is an excellent way to use up leftovers. Win? I like to think so. It is incredibly delicious no matter which route you go. Here is what you need to get started:
- Pasta: We like to use either bowtie pasta(farfalle) or Rotini. the bowtie goes over well with our kid, and the rotini soaks up all of that delicious Caesar flavor.
- Salt, Pepper and Garlic Powder: The seasonings are simple and tie everything together.
- Caesar Dressing: Pick your favorite. We are currently obsessed with Brianna’s Asiago Caesar Dressing (affiliate). It is so creamy and full of flavor.
- Lemon Juice: You’ll be surprised how far a squeeze of lemon juice can go in a dish. It lightens the flavor and adds the perfect amount of acidity.
- Lettuce: Our go-to is romaine, but iceberg will work as well.
- Toppings: Keep it simple with tomatoes, Parmesan, and chicken OR go crazy and pile on the veggies. We love to sprinkle a hefty portion of croutons just before serving.
- Chicken: Leftovers work extremely well in this recipe, but you can always make fresh grilled chicken!
How To Make Caesar Pasta Salad
- PREP: Gather your ingredients. Cook the pasta according to the package directions with the salt. Drain, allowing it to sit in the strainer for a few minutes to allow the excess water to evaporate and the pasta to cool.
- DRESSING: Combine your favorite caesar dressing with the garlic powder, pepper and lemon juice. Stir and set aside.
- TOSS: Add Add the cooled pasta, lettuce, tomatoes, parmesan cheese, and chicken to a mixing bowl and gently toss to combine. Add dressing just before serving to avoid soggy lettuce and vegetables.
- ENJOY: Serve and enjoy!
- Salad Spinner: I honestly waited WAY too long to purchase my own salad spinner (affiliate). Let me tell you, this was worth every penny. Having dry greens means the dressing can stick to every bite making it even more delicious.
- Mixing Bowls: My current obsession are these nesting mixing bowls (affiliate). They stack nicely together, which means storage is a snap, and come with shredding attachments.
- Salad Tongs: These tongs (affiliate) are a new addition to my kitchen, and boy-oh-boy do I love them. They make tossing and serving the salad a breeze. No more tiny scoops!
When it comes to pasta salads, the best type of pasta is one that holds up well with the other ingredients and maintains its shape and texture even when chilled. We like penne, rotini, and farfalle.
Ultimately, the best type of pasta for pasta salad comes down to personal preference and the specific flavors and textures you want to achieve. It’s worth experimenting with different pasta shapes to find the one that suits your taste and complements the other components of your salad.
Yes. However, it is best to keep the dressing stored separately and add just before serving.
Chicken Caesar pasta salad can typically be stored in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days. To maximize the salad’s freshness and safety, it’s advisable to store it in an airtight container or tightly sealed with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the salad promptly after serving or preparing it. If the salad contains perishable ingredients like chicken, it’s best to consume it within the shortest shelf life of any of the individual ingredients.
Yes! Try this with thin strips of steak, cooked shrimp, or even turkey.
YES. I love to add chopped vegetables to all of my salads. For this recipe I recommend trying cucumbers, red onion, bellpepper, avocado, or even radishes.
More Must-Try Salad Recipes
- 30-Minute Taco Salad
- Applebee’s Oriental Chicken Salad Recipe
- The BEST Cobb Salad
- Strawberry Poppyseed Salad from Panera
- Veggie Packed Pasta Sauce
- Fresh Tomato Pasta
- Chicken Caprese Pasta Salad
Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
- 1 lb Penne Pasta
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 cup Caesar dressing
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 head romaine lettuce chopped
- 10 oz grape or cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese shredded
- 2 cups grilled chicken diced
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions with the salt. Drain, allowing it to sit in the strainer for a few minutes to allow the excess water to evaporate and the pasta to cool.
- Combine your favorite caesar dressing with the garlic powder, pepper and lemon juice. Stir and set aside.
- Add the cooled pasta, lettuce, tomatoes, parmesan cheese, and chicken to a mixing bowl and gently toss to combine. Add dressing just before serving to avoid soggy lettuce and vegetables.
- Serve and enjoy!
- Can you make this recipe in advance?
Yes, and no. You can toss the ingredients together up to 24 hours in advance. However, wait to add the dressing until just before serving. This keeps the lettuce crisp and keeps the noodles from soaking up the dressing.
- How long does this pasta salad last?
This salad is best eaten the same day it is made.
- What other toppings can be added?
Don’t limit yourself! Add any additional toppings you’d like. We love croutons and almost any chopped veggie