Are you looking for a salad that doesn’t wilt easily? Caesar Pasta Salad is THE salad for entertaining. It’s easy to make, doesn’t wilt and absolutely everyone loves it! Made with pasta, Romaine lettuce, tomatoes (optional), Parmesan cheese, Caesar dressing and croutons. There is a reason this salad continues to be a favorite among ABK readers and we continue to make it year after year!
This salad was made for serving to large groups. I first started to make this salad back when I regularly attended missionary farewell and homecomings for my kids’ friends. It can be served as a side dish, or a main dish, or even rolled up in a wrap and served as a sandwich! I love the versatility of this salad. If you aren’t a fan of tomatoes, no worries. If making our Caesar Pasta Salad as a sandwich, leave out the croutons. Pre-grated as well as freshly grated Parmesan works in this recipe.
This salad can also be made with homemade croutons, depending on how much time you have when throwing it together! If you have leftover French or Artisan bread, cut or tear up and make homemade croutons, with this simple recipe. Homemade croutons take minutes to make and are worth the time and effort!
There are so many ways to make this salad a little more special. We love cooked, chopped bacon or chicken to make it a bit more hearty. If you are in a hurry, purchase a rotisserie chicken and chop before adding to the Caesar Pasta salad.
I know this classic salad is one you will make over and over again! Here are a few of our other favorite pasta salads: Teriyaki Chicken Pasta Salad, Mango Chicken Pasta Salad with Tarragon Dressing and Classic Shrimp Pasta Salad.
Caesar Pasta Salad originally posted August 2011, updated with new content June 2022
Caesar Pasta Salad
Caesar Pasta Salad is made with pasta, Romain lettuce Caesar dressing, parmesan and croutons for the easiest salad ever! Add chicken to make a main dish.
- 1 lb pasta any shape (I like Radiatore) cooked al dente
- 1 envelope Good Seasons Italian dressing dry
- 2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes halve them if you like
- 2 large or 6 hearts of Romaine lettuce washed, chopped
- 4 cups croutons home made or store bought
- 2 cups grated Parmesan cheese*
- 1/2 to 3/4 32 oz bottle Cardinis Original Caesar Dressing*, refrigerated before using if possible
Make ahead- if possible,the night before serving:
Place cooked pasta in a bowl. Sprinkle with dry Good Seasons Italian dressing and about 1/2 cup of the bottled Cardinis dressing. Refrigerate overnight.
The next day, before serving:
Place the prepared pasta, grape tomatoes, chopped lettuce, croutons and Parmesan cheese in a large bowl. Toss with about 1/2 of the bottle of dressing. Let sit for a few minutes, add additional dressing to taste just before serving.
- I purchase the grape tomatoes, Romaine, croutons, Parmesan cheese and Cardini’s dressing at Costco.
- I usually prefer fresh grated Parmesan, but in this case, I like the bagged grated Parmesan. It holds up better and won’t “fade” into the salad. A big bag will last forever, and can be frozen, if needed. Found in the refrigerator section next to other bagged, grated cheese.
- If you can’t find Cardini’s, any other name brand of Caesar dressing will work. Also, it’s best to refrigerate the salad dressing before adding to the salad, it helps keep the salad cooler.
- If grape or cherry tomatoes aren’t available or too expensive, use chopped Roma tomatoes instead.
- Adding chopped or sliced chicken makes this salad a main dish.
- This makes a huge salad, enough to serve about 30 as a side dish, or with chicken added 14-16 as a main dish.