This Kale Caesar Pasta Salad is creamy, refreshing and filling! Perfect for lunch or a summer side dish. It’s easy to make and packed with healthy ingredients.
I meant to post this Kale Caesar Pasta Salad Recipe before Memorial Day weekend but time got a way from me. But, it’s an easy and delicious pasta salad that can be enjoyed all year round! It’s a variation of traditional Caesar salad, but with pasta, chickpeas, cherry tomatoes and kale instead of romaine. It’s so good!
Last week I shared my recipe for Bruschetta Pasta Salad and I’m honestly having a hard time deciding which of these recipes I like better! Both have so many delicious ingredients and can be served warm or cold.
What You’ll Need For This Kale Caesar Pasta Salad
- Pasta – You can use any kind of pasta you like: regular, whole wheat or gluten free. I would recommend using something bite sized. I happened to have some bowties and penne so I mixed them together and it worked great.
- Kale – Traditional Caesar salad is made with crunchy romaine lettuce. I happen to love kale though so I made this recipe using kale instead. It is nice and hearty and stands up well to the pasta and dressing.
- Croutons – You can use store-bought or homemade. I just bought a package of caesar croutons and they worked great. They soften up a little after being mixed with the dressing so they have a really nice texture.
- Caesar Dressing – Again, you can use store-bought or homemade. I used store-bought because it was much easier for me since I don’t have a go-to homemade recipe that I use regularly.
- Chickpeas – I realize there are a lot of carbs in this pasta salad, haha, but I love the taste and texture they add. You can easily omit them if you like though.
Caesar Pasta Salad
I love this pasta salad for a few reasons:
- It’s really easy to make – The only cooking you have to do is making the pasta and crisping up the chickpeas. Other than that, you just add all the ingredients to a large bowl and mix together. Using store-bought croutons and dressing really helps cut down on the preparation time!
- You can enjoy it warm or cold – You can eat the pasta immediately after making it or it can be refrigerator for 3-4 days. Using kale instead of lettuce really helps it stand up in the refrigerator better.
- It’s great for lunch or a side dish – When I made this recipe we enjoyed it for both lunch and dinner! It would also be great as a BBQ, picnic or potluck side dish.
This Kale Caesar Pasta Salad is creamy, hearty and refreshing! Perfect for lunch or a potluck side dish.
- 5–6 cups dry pasta, whatever kind you like
- 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained, rinsed and patter dry
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon regular paprika
- 3 cups chopped kale
- 1 cup croutons
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 cup caesar dressing
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain pasta and give a rinse in cold water. Add to a large mixing or serving bowl.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add olive oil, chickpeas and spices. Stir and cook until chickpeas are crispy, about 10 minutes.
- Add the chickpeas to the pasta, along with all the other ingredients and mix well. Make sure everything is equally coated with dressing. Season with salt and pepper and top with grated parmesan cheese.