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Caesar Pasta Salad

Caesar Pasta Salad is a fun and tasty twist to a classic Caesar salad. Made with a combination of crispy romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, parmesan cheese, pasta and croutons, the salad is tossed in a homemade creamy Caesar dressing with hints of lemon, garlic, and parmesan flavors.

It’s an easy pasta salad that combines your favorite Caesar salad fixings along with some chewy Rotini pasta, providing a more filling and satisfying pasta salad dish!

Top down view of a large serving bowl of caesar pasta salad tossed in  homemade Caesar dressing

Caesar Pasta Salad…healthy and delicious!

During the warm summer months, I can never get enough of delicious fresh, bright salads.

Just like my Greek Cucumber Salad, Light Raisin Coseslaw, Caprese Salad with Avocados, and Avocado Quinoa Salad, this easy and yummy Caesar Pasta Salad is the perfect light lunch, cookout side dish, and pairs well with your favorite summer meals.

Not only do I love how it tastes. I love how it makes me feel.

You know how you finish eating a meal and you just feel good? I had this Caesar pasta salad for lunch a couple of times a week for the last few weeks and I just love how it fills me up without making me feel heavy and bloated.

I feel good and healthy and light after eating it. And I also happen to enjoy every single bite of it and love the actual taste of it.

Feels good, tastes good, pretty good for you… I mean, seriously…it doesn’t get better than that!

Another reason why I love this Caesar pasta salad is because the pasta adds a nice texture and chew to the zippy/crispy Caesar salad. It gives a simple salad more bulk, making it a complete meal without much more that I need to do.

If you want, feel free to add grilled chicken or salmon to bulk this caesar pasta salad up even further!

Give this Caesar pasta salad a try this summer and you will be hooked! Be prepared to make it over and over again because it’s just so good and you want it so much!.


Here are the ingredients you will need to make Caesar pasta salad:

A bowl of tossed Caesar salad with rotini pasta
  • Rotini pasta – which is simply a corkscrew-shaped pasta. That’s just what I am using but other short pasta with nooks and crannies works as well, such as penne, farfalle, ziti, orecchiette etc. I love how it captures the dressing with its ridges and provides a nice chew to the pasta salad.
  • Romaine lettuce – it’s the classic lettuce used for Caesar salad, however, kale, iceberg, spring mix, or a mix of them can be used as well
  • Cherry tomatoes – or grape tomatoes. These tiny tomatoes have less moisture in them and a better texture for these salads.
  • Parmesan cheese – shaved parmesan, shredded or grated can be used. Go for a good quality parmesan, it makes a big difference!
  • Croutons – finally we can use up those croutons sitting around in our pantry for too long! 😉 For this Caesar pasta salad, I’m using store-bought croutons, but check out my homemade croutons recipe if you want to make your own croutons! It’s a bit more work but it really is so delicious. Croutons also add a nice crunch in additional to flavor to the salad.

As for the dressing, here are the ingredients to make a homemade caesar dressing:

  • Mayonnaise – good mayo really does make a difference. Hellman’s my go-to. Avoid Miracle whip or even Avocado mayo – they just don’t taste the same.
  • Lemon juice
  • Dijon mustard
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Garlic – do not sub with garlic powder, use the fresh kind for best taste.
  • Anchovy Paste – I decided to forgo using real anchovy because that’s just too much work. This will get very similar results. Don’t shy away from the anchovy paste. It really gives an incredible flavor that is distinct to Caesar salads without any fishy taste at all. The paste version also make it very user-friendly.
  • Salt and black pepper – this will help open up the flavors in your dressing

Let’s Make Caesar Pasta Salad!

Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to bring this delicious Caesar pasta salad together.

Cook pasta

The first thing you want to do in making the pasta salad is to cook the pasta. Bring a pot of water to a boil, then add rotini pasta (or any other short pasta of your choice). Cook pasta according to package instructions, then drain access hot water from the pasta.

Make homemade Caesar dressing

Ahh – a good Caesar dressing is crucial in the makings of a good caesar salad. This gorgeous dressing is creamy and flavorful, yet still fairly light and tangy.

A mason jar of homemade creamy caesar dressing
Easy and yummy homemade caesar dressing!

Traditional Caesar dressings typically contain raw egg yolk. I will admit I am not the biggest fan of consuming eggs raw. Every now and then on special occasions at fancy Italian restaurants, sure. Whip up that raw-egg-yolk Caesar Salad and I will indulge with my whole heart.

But I really do not want to deal with messing with raw egg yolks for a Caesar Pasta Salad that I will be bringing to a summer cookout or storing in my fridge for my weekday lunches.

So all that to say, I forgo the raw egg yolks and substitute with mayo instead to get a similar flavor profile and creamy texture. I tested and tried many different combinations to get that perfect depth of flavor that we all know and love in a good Caesar dressing.

After many trial and error attempts, I am proud to say my raw-egg-yoke-less Caesar dressing is truly the bomb dot com.

Just combine mayo, lemon juice, dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, minced garlic, anchovy paste, salt and black pepper, and get ready to be wowed:

Creamy, yet still fairly light. Flavorful, tangy and so much depth in flavor (thank you anchovy paste).

It is also important to note that even though parmesan cheese isn’t added into the dressing, it will be sprinkled onto the salad and is an important ingredient that will add to the flavor of the dressing and complete the dish.

Bring salad together

Now that we cooked the pasta and made the dressing, it’s time to bring everything together!

Prep/chop and bring these ingredients (leaving out the croutons for now) into a large (so that it’s easier to toss) mixing bowl:

  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Rotini Pasta
  • Parmesan cheese
A bowl of romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, parmesan, rotini pasta

Drizzle with the homemade caesar dressing and give it a gentle toss.

Tossing caesar pasta salad in dressing

Then add the croutons. We add it at the end to prevent it from being soggy.

Tossing caesar pasta salad with dressing and croutons in a large mixing bowl, using salad spoons

Serve immediately so that caesar pasta salad retains its texture and doesn’t turn soggy.

The combination of the crunchy lettuce, juicy sweet summer tomatoes, chewy pasta, crispy flavorful croutons, parmesan shavings and the creamy zesty dressing is a beautiful concoction of flavors and textures.

So there it is. Caesar Pasta Salad in all its glory.

Not just Caesar Salad. Because pasta makes everything better (and fills you up…because we are super practical around here too).

Caesar Pasta Salad, ladies and gentlemen. Prepare to fall in love!

P/S: 10/10 recommend this paired with a glass of White Peach Sangria for a relaxing summer weekend lunch. You gotta trust me here. 😉

Tips and Tricks

True story: I used to dislike salads. I dislike it until I learned how to make a good salad. Then I grew to love salads. Like a lot. But I still only love the good kind. 😉

These tips and tricks are subtle but make a big difference when it comes to taking this caesar pasta salad (or any salad!) from just okay to great!

  • Use fresh and good ingredients. Fresh lettuce, fresh cherry tomatoes (do not refrigerate), good parmesan etc. I always preach fresh ingredients and it’s especially crucial this caesar pasta salad.
  • Pat dry lettuce after washing them. Use a salad spinner to dry lettuce, maintain its crispness, and prevent it from getting soggy.
  • Toss salad in dressing well. I like to toss it using a pair of tongs in a separate bowl to evenly coat everything in the dressing. It’s an additional step but so worth it!
  • Only toss salad in dressing when you are ready to eat! If it will be sitting out for a while, or if you are storing it as leftovers, store the dressing separately, so that the lettuce will not become soggy.
A bowl of caesar pasta salad

Storage Instructions

Refrigerate caesar dressing in an airtight container/jar. I do not recommend saving leftover caesar pasta salad that is already tossed in dressing because it will turn soggy quickly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Warm pasta stick together after draining out the water. What should I do?

Toss pasta in olive oil to prevent sticking.

How can I make a gluten version of this pasta salad?

Use gluten free pasta and omit croutons.

What other vegetables can I add to this salad?

Feel free to add cucumbers, bell peppers, olives, or even roasted veggies for extra flavor and texture.

Can I make this salad in advance?

Yes. You can prepare the pasta, chop the ingredients and make the dressing a day or two before. However, remember to mix them with the dressing only when you’re ready to eat. This will ensure the freshness and crunchiness of the salad.

DID YOU ENJOY THIS RECIPE? Please comment below and give us a 5-star rating! This will help others find this recipe on Google and Pinterest. We very much appreciate your help! 🤍

Other Salad Recipes!

Other yummy salad recipes that I think you will enjoy!

Caesar pasta salad in a bowl topped with croutons

Caesar Pasta Salad

Caesar salad with a twist! Featuring crunchy romaine lettuce, chewy pasta, juicy cherry tomatoes, creamy parmesan, and croutons combine in a creamy homemade Caesar dressing.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 204kcal
Author: MinShien


  • 4 oz rotini pasta
  • 1 head romain lettuce
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese shaved
  • 1 cup croutons

Homemade Caesar Dressing

  • 1/4 cup mayonaise
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp anchovy paste
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt or to taste
  • a dash black pepper or to taste


  • In a medium pot, bring water to boil. Cook rotini pasta based on package instruction. When done, drain water from pasta.
  • In a mason jar or container, combine all the Caesar Dressing ingredients. Stir/shake to mix well.
  • In a large bowl, combine all the salad ingredients except for croutons. Drizzle with dressing, toss using tongs to combine. Top with croutons. Add more black pepper to taste if desire.
  • Serve and enjoy!


  • Serving size is based on serving Caesar Pasta Salad as a side dish. If serving as a main dish, this recipe will serve 3 people.
  • Serve dressing on the side if salad will not be consumed immediately.
  • When storing leftovers, store dressing separately in the refrigerator.  
  • Adjust the amount of dressing accordingly. There should be enough dressing for a medium-heavy dressing Caesar Pasta Salad. Use less dressing if you like a lighter, less creamy salad. 
This post was originally published in July 2020 and updated in June 2024.


Calories: 204kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 339mg | Potassium: 366mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 9252IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 113mg | Iron: 2mg
Did you make this recipe?Take a pic and tag me at @joyous.apron, or hashtag #joyousapron on Instagram!

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