This tasty and nutritious Instant Pot Caesar pasta salad with boiled eggs and crispy bacon is great for the whole family or to bring to picnics, BBQ or summer parties. You can also make it without the Instant Pot, see notes below.
4 large eggs (you can do 6)
1 cup dry fusilli pasta
1/4 cup Mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Greek Yoghurt
1 teaspoon Dijon or wholegrain mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 anchovies, finely diced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon pepper
5 rashers of bacon
5–8 cherry tomatoes, halved
1.5 cups croutons (learn how to make your own here)
1 head of Cos lettuce
Extra shaved Parmesan to serve
- Make the eggs: Add a cup of water to the Instant Pot and place the trivet or egg holder over the top. Gently place the eggs on top. Close and lock the lid and press Manual/Pressure Cook and change the pressure from HIGH to LOW. Adjust the time to 6 minutes. The Instant Pot will take 5-10 minutes to come to pressure the timer will begin. Once the timer goes off, release the pressure manually (quick release) by pointing the top valve to Venting. In newer models of IP, it will be pressing down the pressure release valve. Remove the eggs and place in a bowl of cold water.
- Make the pasta: Return the empty inner pot to the Instant Pot. Add 1 cup of dry fusilli pasta (penne would also work) and add 2.5 cups of water and half a teaspoon of salt. Stir through and pop the lid on top. Lock the lid, making sure the top valve on older models is pointing to Sealing. Press Manual/Pressure Cooke and change the pressure back to HIGH. Adjust the timer to 2 minutes. The Instant Pot will take 5-8 minutes to come to pressure and then the timer will begin. Note, that pasta or anything else in the Instant Pot starts to cook even during the pressure build-up as well as during natural release.
- Once the timer is done, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes (but no more than that!) and then perform the quick release (point to the top valve to Venting) to let off the remaining pressure. Pasta cooking creates a little bit of foam in the water, so the first jets of steam will likely spurt out some of the foam. It’s normal, so don’t panic. You can hold a towel in the air to catch some of the foam.
- Strain the pasta and allow it cool in the sieve.
- Make the dressing: While the eggs and pasta are cooking, prepare other ingredients for the salad. First, whisk together the salad dressing ingredients and set aside.
- Grill the bacon: Then, pan-fry, grill or boil the bacon until crispy. Cool over some paper towel and cut into strips or cubes.
- Cut up the lettuce (we like to reserve a few whole leaves for presentation) and cherry tomatoes.
- Assemble the salad: Combine the pasta with lettuce, crispy bacon, cherry tomatoes, croutons and most of the dressing. Place a few whole leaves of lettuce in a platter or a large bowl (this is optional) and transfer the salad over the top. Peel the eggs and cut into quarters and arrange over the top. Finish with a few shavings of Parmesan and drizzle the remaining dressing on top.
Stovetop method: We used the Instant Pot to cook the eggs and pasta but you can do these two steps on the stovetop. Cook pasta as per packet instructions, usually 9-11 minutes in boiling water. Add the eggs to boiling water and cook for 7-8 minutes for semi-soft boiled eggs. Repeat the other steps as outlined above.
Make ahead: Boiled eggs and pasta can be cooked ahead of time, say a day before. Store eggs in their shells and store a little oil through the pasta to prevent it from sticking and keep in an airtight container. Both can be done 1-2 days before. The dressing can be done ahead of time as well and stored in the fridge for 2-3 days if needed. Then all you have to do is prepare the rest of the ingredients on the day and assemble the salad.
Make it vegetarian-friendly: For the dressing, use vegetarian-friendly cheese and omit the anchovies. You can a little pinch of salt to compensate. Nutritional yeast flakes can be used instead of cheese. Hold the bacon, too.