This Chicken Bacon Avocado Caesar Pasta Salad eats like a meal! Perfect for lunch, dinner and delicious leftovers for days!
A good Caesar salad has always been one of my favorites. When I want to make it more of a meal, I either add some rotisserie chicken or some grilled shrimp. And when I want to make it SUPER hearty, I turn it into a pasta salad. This Chicken Bacon Avocado Caesar Pasta Salad.
It’s been a while since I’ve shared a pasta salad here at the BHK. I shared my Gram’s Macaroni Salad this past summer which is Ah-MAZING. If you haven’t tried it, it’s the easiest recipe ever, and I’m never left with even a mouthful after a summer party. My Chicken Pesto Salad is another favorite, as well as my Zesty Twisted Turkey Pasta Salad and my son Sean’s favorite, Antipasto Pasta Salad. They’re all delicious and so incredibly satisfying. Enjoyed with a nice piece of crusty bread and you’ve got a winner of a meal and leftovers for days… if you don’t share. Sharing’s overrated.
I know what you’re thinking. Loaded with mayo, too many calories, this one’s a no-go. Well, relax folks. No mayo in this salad. I’ve opted for a lighter caesar dressing made with some Greek yogurt. Winning!
This Chicken Bacon Avocado Caesar Pasta Salad is a mouthful, but a delicious one at that. It’s chock full of all my favorite ingredients. I used a fusilli corti bucati (similar to a rotini), but use whatever you prefer. Some store-bought rotisserie chicken, chopped romaine lettuce, bacon, avocado, red onion, shaved parmesan, and I went the extra mile and added some roasted grape tomatoes for extra flavor instead of just plain tomatoes. Totally worth the extra step my friends!
So what’s the secret to cooking your pasta when making a pasta salad? You need to cook the pasta a few minutes past the al dente stage on your package directions so that the pasta is soft, not mushy. If you cook it al dente, you will be left with pasta that can be tough, because the pasta will harden a bit as it cools. Take note!
So grab the ingredients today and you’ll have pasta salad for days. Enjoy! Hope you all have a wonderful Valentine’s Day! XO
- 1 16 oz. box rotini pasta
- 1 pint grape tomatoes
- 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
- kosher salt and pepper
- 4 cups romaine lettuce, roughly chopped
- 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
- 6 slices bacon, chopped and cooked until crisp
- 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into small chunks
- 1/2 cup red onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup freshly shaved parmesan, plus a bit more for garnish
- 1 cup plain Greek non-fat yogurt
- 2 Tbsp. dijon mustard
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3-4 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp. milk
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- Cook pasta 2-3 minutes past al dente stage. Drain.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place tomatoes on a medium baking sheet. Drizzle with some olive oil and toss to coat. Season with some kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Bake for 10-12 minutes until tomatoes soften and just begin to burst. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
- Salad: In a large bowl, combine pasta, romaine, chicken, bacon, tomatoes, red onion, avocado and parmesan. Drizzle with about half of the dressing and toss to coat, adding more of the dressing if needed. Serve immediately with extra dressing.
- Dressing: Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl until smooth. If you like a thinner dressing add another tablespoon or so of milk until you reach desired consistency.