So we all know it’s the holiday season, which typically means heavy and not so healthy dishes. It’s always refreshing to throw a little something green into dinner/lunch in the winter months. This kale Caesar salad is the perfect thing to lighten things up for dinner. I know what you’re thinking…caesar dressing isn’t exactly “light”. But there’s kale in it, so I can call it healthy right?! Anyways, this pasta salad has me smiling all throughout dinnertime because it’s just so dang yummy.

Like most men, my husband refuses to eat a salad for dinner. He claims it doesn’t fill him up enough. Which I totally get…he’s a man and needs more food I guess? Well this is the one “salad” my husband will actually eat for dinner. Since it’s loaded with pasta, it actually fills him up and leaves him feeling satisfied. I made this for dinner tonight along with some grilled chicken. As soon as I heard the first “mmmm” come out of his mouth, I knew this meal was a home run.

If you’re looking to add a little more substance to this pasta salad, I would suggest grilled chicken or bacon. Or both! If you want to be lazy (like me) I marinated my chicken breast in store bought Italian dressing and grilled it. It’s easy, simple and good. Another great store bought marinade is the “Stubbs Chicken Marinade”. This has a great citrus flavor that pairs wonderful with a handful of things. Having those go-to store bought dressings/marinades is so vital for anyone with a busy lifestyle. Sometimes I don’t have the time to mix up a homemade marinade (or I’m too tired/lazy). So I always keep these staples in the pantry for those “lazy” days I don’t feel like trying too hard on dinner. I’m sure many busy momma’s can relate!



Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS for caesar salad dressing:

  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1.5 tbsp anchovy paste
  • 1/2 large lemon, juice of
  • 1.5 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire
  • 3 tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper


  1. Place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together. Set aside till ready to use.

INGREDIENTS for pasta salad:

  • 1/2 lb. mini penne pasta, cooked according to package
  • 4-5 cups curly kale, stem removed and chopped small

INGREDIENTS for homemade croutons:

  • Stale French bread, sliced into 1 inch cubes
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Dried oregano


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Place the bread on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle on salt and dried oregano.
  3. Place in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Or until crispy. (Keep a close eye on them as they cook very fast).
  4. Remove from oven and set aside.


  1. Toss together kale, pasta, croutons, and enough salad dressing to your liking. Sprinkle on more Parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper.


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