Tuna, Broccoli and Kale Caesar Pasta Salad

This tuna, broccoli and kale caesar pasta salad is packed with loads of veggies and protein. It comes together in under 30 minutes and is sure to become a new family favorite especially on those busy weeknights!

Sometimes as a parent it can be so stressful to get dinner on the table, especially when you have picky kiddos or a baby who is just starting to eat solids. This is where the new Feeding Littles & Beyond cookbook comes in, which my friend Ali Maffucci co-wrote. It’s all about meals that the whole family (ages 6 months-99 years) can eat so you only have to make one meal for dinner!

With so many awesome recipes in the cookbook it was challenging to pick just one to share, but I was super excited about this tuna broccoli and kale caesar pasta salad. Tuna is such an awesome protein but and you can never go wrong with a pasta salad recipe, am I right?!

I also love that this recipe comes together in about 20 minutes, which is perfect for those busy weeknights. It’s easily become a new family favorite in our household. Olivia gobbled it up when I made it for dinner!

Tuna, broccoli and kale caesar pasta salad on a plate topped with shaved parmesan.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • It’s a dish the whole family will love!
  • It’s packed with protein and loaded with green veggies!
  • Perfect for meal prep.
  • Comes together in under 30 minutes so is perfect for those busy weeknights.
Three plates of tuna, broccoli and kale caesar pasta salad.

Feeding Littles & Beyond Cookbook

A little more Feeding Littles & Beyond… it is a collaborative cookbook between New York Times bestselling author Ali Maffucci of Inspiralized and Megan McNamee and Judy Delaware, founders of Feeding Littles.

The cookbook is filled with over 100 delicious recipes that were created with the whole family in mind. Each recipe is baby-led weaning friendly, so it can be served to your baby and they can feed it to themselves. In addition to the recipes the cookbook includes strategies for baby-led weaning/feeding, meal prep tips, tips for dealing with picky eating and dining out, recipe modifications for allergies and so much more!  

If you’re looking for baby-led weaning recipes to make for the whole family, I highly recommend checking out this cookbook!

Ingredients measured out to make Tuna, Broccoli and Kale Caesar Pasta Salad: caesar dressing, albacore tuna, broccoli, lacinato kale, rotini pasta, parmesan, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Ingredients Needed

  • rotini pasta – the perfect pasta for this recipe to capture the Caesar dressing, but feel free to use your preferred pasta of choice here. Penne or bowtie would also work great. I used Banza chickpea pasta for added protein!
  • broccoli florets – adds a crunch factor to this salad and some extra nutrients! When choosing broccoli, look for tightly closed, dark green florets with firm stalks.
  • lacinato kale – also called Tuscan or dinosaur kale, but you can also use curly kale. Kale is one of the healthiest and most nutritious leafy greens out there. It’s low in calories, loaded with antioxidants and high in vitamins and minerals like vitamins A, C and K, calcium and potassium.
  • canned tuna – the protein in this salad! Canned tuna allows for a quick and easy protein addition without the need for cooking. I typically buy Albacore tuna because you get bigger chunks of meat that aren’t mushy and it has a milder flavor compared to other canned tuna. I really like the Wild Planet brand!
  • caesar dressing – the caesar dressing really brings this pasta salad together. You can use store-bought or easily make your own at home with my healthy caesar dressing, which is made with Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise or my avocado caesar dressing, which is made with avocado instead of eggs.
  • parmesan cheese – adds a great savory flavor and some saltiness to this dish. I recommend using fresh parmesan cheese versus using pre-shredded or pre-shaved cheese. Since I’m eating dairy-free I used the Violife just like parmesan wedge.
  • extra-virgin olive oil – for sautéing the broccoli.
  • salt and pepper – to season the broccoli.
Close up of tuna, pasta, kale and caesar dressing tossed together in a bowl.

Substitutions & Notes

  • Want to swap out the veggies? Go for it! There are plenty of vegetables that would work well in this pasta salad! Some good options to sub the broccoli for would be zucchini, corn, green beans, asparagus, cauliflower, mushrooms, bell peppers and red onions. If you want to swap out the kale, any leafy green or lettuce would work like spinach, arugula or romaine.
  • Want to skip sautéing the broccoli? You can always use raw broccoli or another raw veggie like cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, red peppers or carrots instead.
  • Need to make this dish gluten-free? If you have a gluten allergy or are simply avoiding gluten, you could swap out the pasta with a gluten-free option. My favorite brand is Banza!
  • Need to make this dish dairy-free? Skip the parmesan or use a dairy-free option. You could also make my vegan parmesan, which is made with hemp seeds. When it comes to the dressing you could always use a dairy-free option like Primal Kitchen Dairy-Free Caesar Dressing.
  • Want to make this dish vegan? Use a dairy-free cheese and dressing and swap the tuna for a vegan alternative like tempeh bacon or roasted chickpeas!
  • Want to swap the protein? Instead of tuna you could always swap it out for canned salmon, shredded chicken or bacon/turkey bacon. My slow cooker shredded chicken is my favorite way to cook chicken!
  • Don’t love the taste of kale? If you’re not a huge kale person I recommend massaging your kale with a little olive oil or avocado oil, salt and pepper before mixing it with the other ingredients to help break down some of the tough fibers and make it more palatable.
  • Want to add croutons? I love croutons in my salads, especially caesar salads so feel free to toss some in for added crunch. My sourdough croutons are delicious and super easy to make in the oven!
Collage of four photos showing the process to make Tuna, Broccoli and Kale Caesar Pasta Salad: cooking broccoli in a skillet, and then tossing together pasta, tuna, caesar dressing and kale in a bowl.

How to Make

Cook pasta: Start with cooking your pasta in a large pot until al dente, or according to the package instructions. When the pasta is ready, drain into a colander and let cool for a few minutes.

Saute broccoli: While the pasta is cooking, cook the broccoli in a large skillet over medium-high heat with oil. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes or until the broccoli is tender. Set aside for later use. 

Combine: In a large bowl toss together the kale, tuna, cooked pasta and caesar dressing. Divide the mixture onto four plates and top with the broccoli and grated parmesan!

Tuna, broccoli and kale caesar pasta salad on a plate topped with shaved parmesan.

How to Serve

This tuna, broccoli and kale caesar pasta salad is filling enough on its own, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it with a side dish or serve it as a side. Here are some ideas:

Tuna, broccoli and kale caesar pasta salad on a plate topped with shaved parmesan.

How to Store

This pasta salad stores well in the fridge so it’s great for meal prep! If you’re storing the full salad leftovers will stay fresh for about 2 days if stored in an airtight container. If you’re looking for this salad to last you all week I recommend storing it without the tuna and adding the tuna right before serving.

More Kid-Friendly Recipes

More Tuna Recipes

Be sure to check out all of the tuna recipes as well as the full collection of dinner recipes here on EBF!

Tuna, Broccoli and Kale Caesar Pasta Salad

5 from 4 votes
This tuna, broccoli and kale caesar pasta salad is packed with loads of veggies and protein. It comes together in under 30 minutes and is sure to become a new family favorite especially on those busy weeknights!
Tuna, broccoli and kale caesar pasta salad on a plate topped with shaved parmesan.
Print RecipePin Recipe
Prep Time 10minutes
Cook Time 10minutes
Total Time 20minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 18 oz boxrotini pasta, (I used Banza)
  • 1Tablespoonextra-virgin olive oil
  • 3cupsbroccoli florets
  • salt and pepper
  • 1bunch lacinato kale, finely sliced
  • 35 oz canswild albacore tuna in water, drained and broken up
  • ¼cupCaesar dressing
  • ½cupsliced Parmesan cheese, for serving

Instructions
 

  • Fill a large pot halfway with water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente, according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta into a colander.
  • While the pasta cooks, cook the broccoli. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the broccoli and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes or until the broccoli is tender and browned. Set aside.
    Cooked broccoli florets in a cast iron skillet.
  • Toss together the kale, tuna, cooked pasta, and Caesar dressing in a large mixing bowl.
    Salad ingredients being tossed together.
  • Divide the mixture onto four plates and top with the broccoli and sliced Parmesan.
    Tuna, kale, caesara dressing and pasta tossed together in a bowl.

Notes

Nutrition

Serving: 1/4 recipeCalories: 519kcalCarbohydrates: 58gProtein: 44gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 47mgSodium: 765mgPotassium: 601mgFiber: 7gSugar: 4g
Course: Lunch/Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: tuna broccoli and kale caesar pasta salad
Web Story: https://atrivialmindatwork.com/web-stories/tuna-broccoli-and-kale-caesar-pasta-salad/

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

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Recipe Rating




    2 comments
    1. Lella Oliveri
      September 23, 2022 AT 2:48 am

      5 stars
      Delicious. I used a Japanese mayonnaise and added the other ingredients except the Worchestershire sauce. I used Tuna in oil and used real parmeggiano and had it warm sharing with my family for our lunch. Ate it twice in one day, had it cold at dinner time. My husband who is not a fan of Kale really enjoyed it as well. I will make this again.

      Reply
      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 23, 2022 AT 12:19 pm

        AH YAY! I am so happy to hear that this recipe is a hit, Lella. Thank you for your review & star rating, I so appreciate it!

        Reply
Parchment paper lined with protein balls.

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