Caesar Pasta Salad with Blackened Salmon

dairy freeseafood
Caesar Pasta Salad with Blackened Salmon

Switch up your pasta salad situation with this recipe using crunchy warmed romaine lettuce and Caesar dressing over bowties, topped with a spicy blackened salmon.

Caesar Pasta Salad with Blackened Salmon

After you all loved my taco pasta salad, I knew I had to create another recipe with the same premise: 70% pasta and 30% lettuce for a true “pasta salad” meal.

Caesar Pasta Salad with Blackened Salmon

Don’t knock the cooked romaine lettuce until you try it – once you start doing it, you won’t stop! I have loved pasta salads this summer, because they’re quick, easy, and pack a nutritional punch. Now that it’s September (what?!), I’ll have to transition to more cold weather pasta salads, so stay tuned!

If you’ve never tried Caesar dressing over bowties (or a similar pasta shape, like a rigatoni or bowtie), then your mind is about to be blown! The bowties are great, because there’s more surface area for the dressing to slather, so you get more flavor in every bite.

Caesar Pasta Salad with Blackened Salmon

And this salmon – you’re going to want to bottle up this seasoning blend and save it, because it’s a nice and spicy one that can be used in so many ways. If you’re not a salmon (or seafood) person, you can use any protein you’d like – chicken would work very well here or a flank steak.

If you haven’t tried romaine lettuce in your pasta salad, let this be your inspiration!



Caesar Pasta Salad with Blackened Salmon

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins


  • 8 oz farfalle pasta
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon dried basil
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil to brush
  • 4 4oz salmon pieces
  • ½ cup Caesar dressing
  • 1 romaine heart rinsed and patted dry
  • 2 avocadoes peeled, pitted, and sliced


  • Preheat a grill to 450 degrees. Grease a grill tray (or you can put the salmon directly on the grill, but I like using a grill tray for easier cooking.)
  • While grill preheats, bring a large pot filled halfway with water to a boil. Once boiling, add in the pasta and cook according to the package directions.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the paprika, cayenne pepper, onion powder, thyme, basil, oregano and a few cranks of salt and pepper. Set aside.
  • Brush the tops (skinless) of the salmon and then sprinkle with the seasoning mixture. Place on a grill tray and grill for 2 minutes skin-side down, flip, and grill for 5 minutes or more, depending on the thickness of the salmon (the flesh should be opaque and flake easily.)
  • While salmon grills and pasta cooks, chop the romaine lettuce and set aside.
  • Once the pasta is done cooking, drain in a colander and then place back into the pot along with the romaine lettuce and Caesar dressing. Toss to combine and divide into bowls or plates. Top with avocado and salmon pieces. Serve.

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Amber L says:
This looks so good, can't wait to try it! I love salmon and especially in a salad.
Meaghan says:
You're going to LOVE it!
Lola says:
Hello Ali, do you not longer publish nutritional information?
Meaghan says:
We do not! But if you enter the ingredients into a tracker you can calculate it pretty easily!

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