Kale Caesar Pasta Salad

February 15, 2019

This Kale Caesar Pasta Salad is a perfect dish to meal prep and enjoy all week.  It’s a creamy, comforting twist on classic Caesar salad!

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I decided to give my Instagram profile a makeover this past weekend. I gave my highlight icons a new color scheme, updated my profile info, and went through my saved stories.  While I was doing that, I came across a kale Caesar pasta salad recipe that I had made.  I never shared the step-by-step on Instagram or shared it on my blog.  That little weekend Instagram makeover was so worth it, even just for the reminder that this pasta salad existed!  I knew I had to work it into my Monday meal prep.

Monday meal prep has become an ongoing routine for me.  It gives me a chance to clean out the fridge and use some of the ingredients that I have on hand to create new meals for the week.  When I planned my meals for this week, I worked this recipe onto our menu.  We’re big fans of pasta salads!  They’re one of those dishes that seems to get better the longer it sits.  I knew that eating this salad all week definitely wouldn’t be a problem!

Pasta salads might seem like a summertime barbecue type thing, but trust me – you can work them into your menu all year long.

I mean, it’s pasta!

Take this pasta salad, for instance.  It’s delicious on its own, but so good when you add grilled chicken, steak, or shrimp to it.  It can go from a side to a main meal just like that!

Massage the kale (yes, you read that right) for an even better salad!

If you’re not a big fan of kale, you can swap in some baby spinach instead.  If you don’t mind the taste and texture of kale, I definitely recommend it in this salad.  Kale holds up pretty well with all of that dressing.  Even after being massaged!  I know.  Weird.  It’s hard enough to get a massage for myself around here, but the kale manages to get one!

Massaging the kale leaves gives it a softer texture and also makes it taste less bitter.  You don’t have to put on soft music, light candles, or massage the kale for a 90 minute session.  Just add a little lemon juice and olive oil.  Then, work it into the kale leaves just until they soften.

Kale Caesar Pasta Salad

Kale Caesar Pasta Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/2 box bow tie pasta
  • 10 oz. jar roasted red peppers, chopped
  • 3/4 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small bunch fresh kale, cleaned with stems removed
  • 1 - 15 oz. bottle light Caesar salad dressing
  • 1/2 cup or more shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta as directed. Once al dente, drain and rinse with cold water. Allow to cool completely and then pour pasta into a large bowl.
  2. Mix in the roasted red peppers, red onion, and grape tomatoes.
  3. Massage the kale with lemon juice and olive oil, then add to the salad.
  4. Pour the Caesar salad dressing onto the salad and stir well.
  5. Last, mix in the shredded Parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper.

Notes

I started with 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, but found that I wanted more so I ended up using about 3/4 cup. The amount of cheese is up to you, but start with 1/2 cup and work from there!

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So easy to make and you’ll have pasta salad for days!  I love Caesar salad and the addition of pasta just takes it to a satisfying and comforting new level!

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