This 5-ingredient pasta salad recipe has all of the flavors of traditional Caesar salad with the addition of kale and sweet roasted cherry tomatoes for an easy and healthy potluck pasta salad.
Most often you’ll hear me professing my love of making and using homemade dressings. I make a lot of them. Why? Because they’re easy and healthy and I know exactly what’s in them.
But sometimes, I need a pasta salad recipe in a hurry, something I can throw together quick. That’s when I turn to my pantry and the impromptu creating begins.
Since nobody-never-ever says no to a quick and simple healthy-ish pasta salad, having this potluck salad recipe with store-bought dressing on hand is my golden unicorn.
How to Make Caesar Pasta Salad with Kale
This pasta salad blends two of my go-to party menu favorites into one: Caesar salad with quick-roasted tomatoes, and a classic pasta salad.
What makes this recipe even easier than either of those on their own is simple, quality ingredients I always have on hand.
Pasta Salad Ingredients
Caesar salad with pasta is one of the recipes on my entertaining short list. Because this recipe has just 5 ingredients, quality is key.
Pasta noodles give this salad girth and take it from a side dish to a main meal if you like. For this kale Caesar salad, I chose my favorite bowtie noodles for the salad. Use any short shape of pasta for the dressing to cling through and enjoy with each forkful.
Kale is a stand-out addition to this pasta salad because it doesn’t limp out like other greens might when dressed and paired with the pasta. Use any type of kale you like, with bagged varieties saving even more time in the kitchen.
Roasted tomatoes in the oven make these little jewels even sweeter. What I love most about roasted tomatoes is how jammy and sweet the red orbs become after a stint in the oven.
In this recipe I speed things up and roast smaller cherry tomatoes quickly for a pop with sweetness and are the #1 reason I’ll eat a tomato that isn’t yet in season. Just 15 minutes in a 400°F oven does the trick.
A quality Parmesan cheese is essential. Don’t wimp out and use the pre-shredded version because flavor is what counts for the best bite of salty nuttiness.
I usually make my own salad dressings. I’m a bit of a master at simple herb infused vinaigrettes and make a mean blue cheese dressing. But when I’m in a time crunch, it’s time to pull out a bottle of store bought dressing from the pantry makes to make a life a little easier.
Store-bought Caesar salad dressing makes this pasta salad quick to make and evades the time-you-don’t-have-task of coddling eggs and dealing with anchovies. Use creamy or the classic vinaigrette version.
The pasta salad should be refrigerated for the flavors to mix and mingle and will keep for at least two days and can be refreshed with fresh kale leaves.
More Pasta Salads to Make Now
- BLT Pasta Salad With Avocado
- Greek Pasta Salad With Cucumbers And Artichoke Hearts
- Creamy Tuscan Pasta Salad
- Easy Italian Spaghetti Pasta Salad
- Caprese Pasta Salad With Garlic Marinated Tomatoes
- 30 Healthy Summer Potluck Salads To Make In June
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment below or take a photo and tag me on Instagram or Twitter with #foodiecrusheats.
Kale Caesar Pasta Salad
- 1 pound farfalle pasta
- 1 pint small tomatoes such as grape or cherry
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bunch kale , stemmed and chopped
- 1 16 ounce bottle Creamy Caesar Dressing
- 4 ounces Parmesan cheese , grated
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and season with kosher salt. Cook the pasta according to package directions or until al dente, rinse, drain, and cool. Place in a large bowl and set aside.
- Meanwhile, preheat an oven or toaster oven to 400° degrees. Place the tomatoes on a small baking tray, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and toss lightly. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and roast until the tomatoes have softened and started to burst, about 12-15 minutes.
- Stem and chop the kale into small pieces and add to the pasta with the cherry tomatoes. Pour about half of the bottle of Caesar dressing onto the salad and toss gently, adding more dressing if desired. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and season with freshly ground black pepper. Refrigerate for an hour before serving.
More Recipes with Roasted Tomatoes
- Roasted Tomato and Burrata Caprese Salad
- Easy Quick Roasted Tomatoes
- Simple Roasted Tomato Sauce
- Roasted Tomato And Zucchini Frittata Recipe
- Tomato Basil Soup
What’s your favorite pasta salad to make for a crowd? Leave a note and tell us in the comments below.
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I’ve been using this pasta salad as a base for years! Admittedly one time I couldn’t find the Caesar dressing, so grabbed Ken’s Greek dressing. I also add diced cucumbers for crunch and Kalamata olives for salt, and it’s a huge hit with my family, and at any BBQ I bring it to!
My husband would vote YES to the cucumbers and olives addition for sure! Great idea. THX for the 5-star rating.
Scroll up to the shaded recipe card. There is a picture of the salad on the upper right hand corner. “Print” is in pink under that picture.
I made this for dinner last night and it will now remain on my rotating menu. Delicious!!! I served it warm since I started prepping dinner late. My family LOVED it! Thank you for sharing Heidi.
Yay Vasyl! So glad you liked it! It’s so easy, what isn’t to like ? :)
Ashley @ Foodie Crush
I bet it was still great warm. Hopefully you got some leftovers too! Thanks Vasyleah
This made me say, “wow!” Because I love kale and I agree that roasted tomatoes are the bomb! Thanks for sharing…
Thanks Camine, I love pastas in my classic salads.
I’ve never dared use kale because I’ve read so many things about it being tough and bitter. What kind of kale do you use? So you do any special prep with it? I’ve read you have to “massage ” the leaves to tenderize it, for instance.
This looks so delicious I really want to try it but am afraid of that kale!!
Made this as a complete meal, using small shells, added leftover chicken, marinated artichoke hearts and a few leftover garbanzo beans. Had “light’ Ken’s Caesar dressing. Put into my “Make Again” file!
Can I make this in the morning to serve in the evening? Or, do you think it will be to soggy by then with the kale and tomatoes?
YUMMM! I’ll be making this for a pot-luck next week! I know what you mean about Ken’s Salad Dressings because I’m a fan too!
This was dinner tonight. I had small shells and Ken’s “light” Caesar Dressing, and I added a handful of leftover garbanzos and a few marinated artichoke hearts for added zip – and forgot the additional Parmesan. It was delicious! DH said “great summer meal”. Good review.
I made this for dinner tonight with fresh from the garden kale! My only change was to grill some chicken, slice it up and add it in. Delicious! Thank you Heidi for a great recipe
This looks so delicious the colours of the kale and beautifully roasted tomatoes make the dish so eye-catching. Desperate to try it asap!
Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles
I’m with you – I love making my own dressings and vinaigrettes, but always have a few trusted, delicious bottles in the fridge. This is a gorgeous salad. You can’t argue with Ina, those roasted tomatoes are an awesome addition!
Laura @ Laura's Culinary Adventures
What a delicious and easy recipe! I like your idea of roasting the tomatoes!
Laura (Tutti Dolci)
You had me at 5 ingredients, I’d love to dig into this fab salad!
Serena | Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch
I love the roasted tomatoes! One of our favorite restraunts serve their salads that way and all I can say is it’s off the hook! Love everything about this!
Savita @ ChefDeHome
This salad looks so vibrant and ready for a summer party! Loved it! Thanks for sharing!
Amy @ Parsley In My Teeth
Wow – such a gorgeous salad! Will definitely being trying this one out.
Does this ever look amazing!
I love that you added kale. Can’t wait to try this pasta salad!
Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
I love that you went with tomatoes and kale for this caesar! So delicious!
Yep, I can always use a fast and easy pasta salad – loving this one!
What a beautiful salad. Those tomatoes could not be prettier!!
could not find where the print sign was….and it was a rambling article could not print 10 pages just to get 1 salad