Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
Move over macaroni, this Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad is the new flavor packed side of summer. Perfectly cooked pasta tossed with grilled chicken, tomatoes and kale all in a tangy Caesar Dressing. Quick, easy, perfect!
Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
Summer is finally here and with it come all the fabulous pasta salads. From my favorite tortellini to a classic macaroni salad, there’s no shortage of carb loaded sides at our house. But this Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad is one for the record books.
Loaded with tender bowtie pasta, grilled chicken, chopped tuscan kale, tomatoes and croutons all mixed together with a creamy caesar dressing, this could be served as a side dish or an entree.
It’s made an appearance at a few parties already this season and every single one of them it vanished in an instant.
What is Bowtie Pasta?
Bowtie pasta is also known as Farfalle which means butterfly in Italian. It gets its name from the shape of the noodle. I love using Farfalle in salads because the dressing, herbs and smaller bits get all into the nooks of the pasta.
You can use your favorite shape pasta for this recipe but the Bowtie Pasta does hold up very well with the hearty ingredients in this salad.
How to Make Caesar Pasta Salad
This easy Pasta Salad recipe couldn’t be simpler to make. You can even use up leftover grilled chicken from your weekend barbecue!
- Cook the pasta. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta to al dente. Drain and set aside.
- Cook the chicken. Season the chicken and grill until done. Rest for 10 minutes and then cut into bite sized pieces. (Alternatively, you can cook the chicken in a skillet if you prefer.)
- Assemble the salad. Add the pasta, chicken, kale, tomatoes, roasted garlic and dressing to a large bowl. Toss to combine.
- Add the croutons and parmesan cheese.
That’s it. So easy and you can use your favorite bottled or homemade caesar salad dressing.
How to Make Caesar Pasta Salad in Advance
I do love a good make ahead salad and this Caesar Pasta Salad is even better when tossed in advanced.
Just be sure to leave out the croutons until right before serving or they will become soggy after an extended length of time.
Substitutions for Caesar Pasta Salad
This pasta salad recipe is fun to mix up and adapt to your favorite flavors. Not a fan of tuscan kale (also known as Lacinto Kale), switch it up and use romaine lettuce instead. Romaine doesn’t hold up as well as kale so be sure to add it right before serving if making in advance.
More Easy Pasta Salad Recipes
- Zesty Italian Pasta Salad
- Chopped Greek Pasta Salad Recipe // Video
- Spaghetti Salad
- Lobster Pasta Salad with Lemon Tarragon Dressing
Get the Recipe: Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad Recipe
- 1 pound bow tie pasta
- 2 boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- 3 cups coarsely chopped tuscan kale, stems removed
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup roasted garlic cloves, optional
- 1 1/2 cups croutons
- 1 3/4 cups caesar salad dressing
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 1 skillet
- 1 serving bowl
- Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil over medium high heat.
- Add the pasta and cook just until al dente, approximately 8-10 minutes.
- Drain the pasta and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.
- Drizzle the chicken breasts with olive oil. In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic powder, seasoning, salt and pepper. Season both sides of the chicken breasts with the seasoning mixture.
- Preheat a large nonstick skillet, or grill, over medium high heat.
- Add the chicken to the skillet and cook for 4-5 minutes. Flip the chicken and continue cooking until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through. Set aside and rest the chicken for 10 minutes.
- Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces and allow to come to room temperature.
- In a large bowl, add the pasta, kale, tomatoes, garlic and chicken. Toss to combine.
- Add the croutons and salad dressing, tossing to coat.
- Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve immediately.