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Grilled Caesar Pasta Salad

This delicious Caesar Pasta Salad featured my homemade Caesar Dressing, pellet grilled romaine, homemade Traeger croutons, and all the pasta. It is my favorite summer salad, and if we are having a pasta salad content, this one is the clear winner. Get some!

Caesar Pasta Salad Recipe

I know that this is basically a bbq blog these days, and heavily features all the meat, but I have a secret… 

My favorite part of a cookout is the sides. 

Give me all of the corn on the cob, baked potatoes, scalloped potatoes, grilled zucchini, DEFINITELY all the grilled asparagus, and if you even think about not serving a whole host of pasta salads we cannot be friends. 

Pasta is life, and I’m not sorry.

Check out all of my Traeger Recipes!

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What is the best Caesar dressing for this recipe?

My personal preference is that you make your own homemade Caesar dressing. It is simple, and SO delicious. The jarred kind really can’t compare. 

If you are just not about that homemade dressing life, that’s also fine. I’m partial to Newman’s Own Caesar dressing, NOT the creamy variety. You can also make your own version of this by following our Caesar Vinaigrette Recipe!

If you are going with a creamy caesar dressing, I like the versions that are in the cold section near the bagged salads. If you can’t find those or need something that is shelf-stable pre-opening, go with a Cardini’s or Newman’s Own.

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Homemade Caesar Dressing

What’s the best lettuce for a Caesar Pasta Salad?

I highly prefer the traditional romaine lettuce for Caesar salads, and for this easy caesar pasta salad as well. Bonus points if you do grilled romaine. 

Technically you can do any type of lettuce though, or you could even mix in baby spinach to this easy pasta salad if you felt like it. 

But seriously, it’ll be best with some chopped romaine. 😉 

Try our Greek Pasta Salad too!

Caesar Pasta Salad Shopping List

The ingredients for this are simple and readily available in most fridges and pantries. The only one that is a little strange would be the anchovies. Thankfully, those keep forever and you can even order them from Amazon, so no excuses there. 

You *could* omit them completely if you really wanted to, but they play a pretty major role in the whole flavor game.

You’ll love our Strawberry Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette too!

Can you make this dish ahead of time?

You can mix up the dressing and the pasta a day in advance, but I’d wait to mix in the lettuce and the croutons until immediately before you serve the salad. 

Also make sure that if you mix it up ahead of time, you reserve some extra dressing to mix in at the end. Dressing soaks into the pasta and can leave the salad a little dry if you don’t have extra to stir in.

More recipes for your next cookout!

Do you have to grill the lettuce?

No, but why wouldn’t you?

Seriously though, grilled romaine is the best and it takes 2 minutes to make, so if at all possible please take that extra step. You won’t regret it!

Get our 75 ESSENTIAL Traeger Recipes here!

What can you serve with a Grilled Caesar Pasta Salad?

I have ALL the things for a cookout or barbecue on the site. I’d start by checking out my Easy Traeger Recipes section. They work with any pellet grill, and most are easily adaptable for a regular gas or charcoal grill as well.

Some personal favorites of mine include:

  1. Smash Burgers
  2. Italian Beef Sandwiches
  3. Bacon-Wrapped Brats
  4. Stuffed Smoked Burgers
  5. Smoked Pulled Pork
  6. BBQ Beef Sandwich

Check out these great recipes too!

Caesar Pasta Salad
Yield: 12 servings

Caesar Pasta Salad

Caesar Pasta Salad

This simple caesar pasta salad is a cookout classic, and you can make it all in a snap, even the dressing.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chill Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes



  1. Boil the pasta in a pot of well-salted water. Drain it and rinse with cold water.
  2. Mix the pasta with the dressing, parmesan, and grilled chopped romaine.
  3. Let the mixture chill for 1-2 hours.
  4. Top with the croutons and serve cold.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 112Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 159mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 3gSugar: 1gProtein: 6g

Nutrition data provided here is only an estimate. If you are tracking these things for medical purposes please consult an outside, trusted source. Thanks!

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Nicole Johnson

Nicole Johnson, a self-taught expert in grilling and outdoor cooking, launched Or Whatever You Do in 2010. Her blog, renowned for its comprehensive and creative outdoor cooking recipes, has garnered a vast audience of millions. Nicole's hands-on experience and passion for grilling shine through her work. Her husband, Jeremiah Johnson, also plays a pivotal role in recipe development, adding his culinary flair to the mix. Together, they form a dynamic duo, offering a rich and varied outdoor cooking experience to their followers.

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