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This delicious and easy-to-make BLT Pasta Salad recipe combines the classic flavors of bacon, lettuce, and tomato with a delightful twist. Perfect for summer gatherings or a quick weeknight dinner.
I love a good BLT in any form, whether it’s in a turkey wrap or BLT dip, and I’m a sucker for a creamy pasta salad! BLT Pasta Salad offers a winning combination of flavors, versatility, and convenience, making it the perfect choice for any occasion.Pin this recipe for later!
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Why We Love This BLT Pasta Salad
This BLT Pasta Salad is the best of both worlds. It has tender pasta, crispy bacon, crunchy lettuce, and juicy tomatoes, all mixed with a tangy, creamy dressing.
You can make it in advance (save the lettuce for just before serving) and it’s great as a light and refreshing main dish or as a potluck side dish.
- Perfect For Summer: A refreshing and light option, making it ideal for summer gatherings, picnics, or as a refreshing lunch. It is a great way to enjoy the flavors of a BLT sandwich without the heaviness of bread.
- Texture Medley: The combination of tender pasta, crunchy bacon, and crisp lettuce creates a delightful blend of textures.
- Easy To Make: It’s relatively easy and requires minimal cooking, making it convenient for busy days when you want a quick and satisfying meal or a side dish for gatherings.
- Make-Ahead Option: It can be made ahead of time, allowing the flavors to meld and develop further. Just save the lettuce to add just before serving so it stays crisp.
How To Make BLT Pasta Salad
- Boil pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse to remove excess starch that makes pasta stick together.
- Whisk the dressing together in a small bowl.
- Combine pasta, bacon, tomatoes, and half of the dressing. Cover and refrigerate.
- One hour before serving, gently stir in lettuce and remaining dressing. Season with salt and pepper.
You absolutely can make this recipe ahead of time. Leave out the lettuce and prepare as directed. Then stir in the lettuce just before serving. This way, the flavors have had time to blend but the lettuce will still have a nice crunch.
The dressing for a BLT is typically mayonnaise-based. If you are not a fan of the dressing, you could use Caesar instead, or any dressing you like.
Serve as a main dish for lunch or dinner, or as a side dish for barbecues and picnics. You can also serve it in individual portions in mason jars for a portable and trendy presentation. Additionally, consider garnishing with fresh herbs or grated cheese for an extra touch of visual appeal.
Absolutely! This pasta salad is highly customizable. You can add ingredients like avocado, grilled chicken, red onions, cheese, or even swap out the lettuce for spinach or arugula. Feel free to experiment and tailor the salad to your taste.
If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This pasta salad can be stored for up to 2-3 days. Keep in mind that the lettuce will wilt, changing the texture, but the rest of the salad should be fine. Before serving the leftovers, give it a quick toss to refresh the flavors.
Tips and Variations
- Cook the pasta al dente to ensure it holds its shape. Rinse with cold water after draining to remove excess starch and stop the cooking process.
- Use high-quality bacon for the best flavor.
- Add a handful of fresh herbs like basil or parsley for extra aroma.
- Consider adding sliced avocado for a creamy twist.
- Experiment with different pasta shapes or whole wheat options.
- For a tangy kick, drizzle the salad with balsamic glaze.
- Garnish with croutons or grated Parmesan for added texture.
More Pasta Salads
BLT Pasta Salad Recipe
- 12 ounces farfalle pasta or another small cut pasta
- 10 slices of bacon cooked crisp and chopped
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes quartered
- 4 cups Romaine lettuce or spinach or arugula
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
For the dressing:
- 2/3 cup ranch dressing
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise (heaping)
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons Italian dressing
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- Boil pasta according to instructions. Drain well and rinse when finished.
- Meanwhile, add all the dressing ingredients into a small bowl and whisk until combined and smooth.
- Combine pasta, bacon and tomatoes in a large mixing bowl. Toss with half of the dressing. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour or up to 24 hours.
- One hour before serving, add the lettuce and the remaining dressing. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.