Caesar Pesto Pasta Salad

We have some budding chefs in the family! My girls love to cook and my niece Mia loves to make special desserts. They are always on Youtube and Pinterest searching for ideas of desserts to make. For the 4th, Mia and my 10 year old Ava made a layer cake that looked like a flag when you slice it. They were busy in the kitchen bright and early with grandma, each doing different steps for the cake. The cake didn’t exactly go as smoothly as the one they saw on Youtube, but it turned out great and when we sliced it, it resembled a flag! We were all impressed.

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Maybe some future food bloggers, so keep your eye out!:)

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Junior Chefs- My girls and niece Mia.

For the 4th of July, I wanted to make this salad I’ve been dreaming up in my head. I jumped at the chance to make it for a crowd so I don’t end up eating the whole batch! It’s a pasta salad, but with some different flavors than your typical pasta salads. I love the fresh basil flavors and little presents of fresh mozzarella throughout the salad. It’s  a great make the day ahead salad and keeps well for a few days. I just had a nice big bowl of leftover salad yesterday and it tasted great. Give it a try, I think you’ll add it to your pasta salad rotation. As a salad, it’s served cold, but you could also serve it warm, topped with some grilled chicken as a main course.

Caesar Pesto Pasta Salad

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Ingredients:

24 oz pasta. I used bowtie, but use whatever shape you like.

1 or 2 red onions – diced fine

16 oz fresh mozzarella cheese – chopped

1 6-8 oz jar of basil pesto, or you could make homemade

1 pint grape tomatoes – halved or quartered

1 C caesar dressing

1 C shredded parmesan cheese

2 oz Gourmet Gardens Italian Herbs

1 teas Kosher or Sea Salt

1 teas ground black pepper

Directions:

Chop your tomatoes, dice your onions and put them in a large bowl.

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Chop your fresh mozzarella and set it aside.

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Boil your pasta per package instructions. Drain and Rinse in cool water for a minute if serving as a cold pasta salad. If serving warm, just drain but do not rinse.

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Combine the drained pasta in with the veggies and stir.

 

Add in the Caesar dressing, Pesto sauce, fresh mozzarella, shredded parmesan, and salt and pepper.

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Stir until combined.

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Serve immediately if serving warm. Top with grilled chicken if desired.

If serving cold as a pasta salad, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours until cold.

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Give it a stir before serving.

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Enjoy!


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