Loaded Caesar Pasta Salad

 Cozycakes Cottage: Loaded Caesar Pasta Salad

Why hello there!  I took a few weeks off  blogging to refresh my mind, focus on Munchie, be away from the computer.  And to catch up on some good shows I dvr-ed…if I’m being honest.  😉  Felt good, but feels great to be back again.  Sometimes we even need rest from doing the things we love, right?

So…pasta salad!  This is my favorite pasta salad–I’ve been known to eat an ENTIRE batch myself.  I know…gross.  That’s a story for another day.   I can overindulge like it’s my job, friends.  Anyway, this is loaded (hence the name) with good stuff and you can always swap ingredients out for your favorite additions.  Perfect for toting along on a picnic or as a side to a BBQ dinner…or grab the bowl and a fork, plop down on the couch, and shovel it in while you watch Mad Men and reruns of Breaking Bad {ahem}.  Enjoy!  ♥

Cozycakes Cottage: Loaded Caesar Pasta Saladgrey signature

Loaded Caesar Pasta Salad

Loaded Caesar Pasta Salad
 
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 6 to 8
Ingredients
  • 1-16 oz. package tri color rotini pasta, cooked al dente and drained
  • ⅔ cup creamy Caesar dressing (I use Newman's. You can add more to taste later.)
  • 2 Tbsp. basil pesto
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • ½ cup diced English cucumber
  • 1 can black olives, sliced
  • ¼ to ½ cup red onion, finely diced
  • ½ cup garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • ⅓ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 8 fresh basil leaves, cut into strips (plus 2 additional leaves sliced and set aside)
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • pinch of salt (I use kosher)
  • ½ cup toasted pine nuts
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta until just al dente and drain. Pour into a large dish or bowl. Mix Caesar dressing with pesto and pour over pasta while still warm. Mix/toss well. Add remaining ingredients (minus the pine nuts) and toss. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Before serving, toss again to mix the dressing that may have settled at the bottom of the bowl. Add additional dressing if needed (start with just a tablespoon at a time). Top with toasted pine nuts and additional sliced basil just before serving.

Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

2 thoughts on “Loaded Caesar Pasta Salad

    1. Thanks, Irene! Hope you enjoy it–so simple, but hits the spot. And you’re right–a nice change from a salad sand. 🙂 Happy weekend!

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