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.
- 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
- 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.
- Mix in the roasted red peppers, red onion, and grape tomatoes.
- Massage the kale with lemon juice and olive oil, then add to the salad.
- Pour the Caesar salad dressing onto the salad and stir well.
- Last, mix in the shredded Parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper.
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!
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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