BLT Pasta Salad Recipe

If you’re looking for a fun and oh-so-pretty pasta salad for a gathering, you’ve found yourself in a great spot.  This pasta is versatile — you can use any shape pasta you like, you can add in avocados or grilled corn kernels, maybe even cubed cooked chicken for a more robust main course.

BLT Pasta Salad

What Kind of Tomatoes to Use in BLT Pasta Salad

The answer is simply whatever fresh tomatoes you want, whatever ripe tomatoes you can get your hands on.  I used multi-colored cherry tomatoes because that’s what I had.  And I keep them on hand because of the cheery factor.  You can use any color cherry or grape tomatoes, or you can use seeded and diced larger tomatoes.  Just make sure the tomatoes are ripe, as they are one of the stars of the show.

BLT Pasta Salad: Bacon, lettuce, and tomatoes meet pasta salad in one of the most robust, prettiest, and cheeriest side dishes of the season.

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What Kind of Pasta to Use in Pasta Salads

Any short chunky pasta will work just great.  Try bow tie pasta, ziti, rigatoni, gemelli, fusilli, small shells, penne rigate, or other small shaped pasta.  Make sure to cook the pasta thoroughly; tender pasta makes the best pasta salads.

BLT Pasta Salad

Lettuce in BLT Pasta Salad

More than a few people cocked an eyebrow when they saw lettuce in this pasta salad.  My general response was to hold up a hand gently and say, hey, give it a try.  (Also – in my family, scooping up some salad with a bite of pasta is just a perfect forkful.). The lettuce wilts a bit in the hot pan used to cook the bacon, and softens slightly more in the dressing, but it still provides some nice crunch.  

BLT Pasta Salad with Avocado

Cubes of avocado are a nice addition to this salad (which I guess would be called a BLTA Pasta Salad).  Make sure to cut and add the avocados right before serving so they don’t turn brown.

How to Cut Avocados

How to Make BLT Pasta Salad

Line a plate with paper towels.  Place the bacon in a large skillet or pan over medium high heat.  Cook until crispy on both sides, about 8 minutes in all.  Use tongs to remove the bacon to the paper towel lined plate.  Pour off the fat from the pan, then add the tomatoes, lettuce, and scallions to the hot pan.  Off the heat, toss the vegetables in the warm bacon fat until everything is lightly coated with bacon grease and the lettuce wilts just a bit.

BLT Pasta Salad

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Cook the pasta according to package directions until tender.  Drain the pasta and set aside to cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl combine the mayonnaise, ranch dressing, milk, lemon juice, Parmesan, avocado (if using) salt and pepper. 

Add the cooled cooked pasta.  

BLT Pasta Salad

Add the vegetables from the pan.  

BLT Pasta Salad

Crumble or slice the cooked bacon, and add all but about ½ cup to the bowl.  

Toss well to thoroughly mix.

BLT Pasta Salad

Top with the reserved ½ cup crumbled bacon.  Serve at room temperature.

What to Serve with BLT Pasta Salad:

BLT Pasta Salad

Other Pasta Salad Recipes:

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BLT Pasta Salad

Bacon, lettuce, and tomatoes meet pasta salad in one of the most robust, prettiest, and cheeriest side dishes of the season.
Yield: 12 People

Ingredients

  • 10 slices bacon
  • 2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes , halved
  • 4 cups thinly sliced romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 1 pound bow tie , gemelli, fusilli, small shells, penne rigate, or other small chunky shaped pasta
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup Ranch or Caesar dressing , store-bought or homemade
  • ¼ cup milk
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 avocado , diced (optional)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions

  • Line a plate with paper towels. Place the bacon in a large skillet or pan over medium high heat. Cook until crispy on both sides, about 8 minutes in all. Use tongs to remove the bacon to the paper towel lined plate. Pour off the fat from the pan, then add the tomatoes, lettuce, and scallions to the hot pan. Off the heat, toss the vegetables in the warm bacon fat until everything is lightly coated with bacon grease and the lettuce wilts just a bit.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions until tender. Drain the pasta and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  • In a large bowl combine the mayonnaise, ranch dressing, milk, lemon juice, Parmesan, avocado (if using) salt and pepper. Add the vegetables from the pan. Crumble or slice the cooked bacon, and add all but about ½ cup to the bowl. Add the cooled cooked pasta. Toss well to thoroughly mix, and top with the reserved ½ cup crumbled bacon. Serve at room temperature.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 381kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 324mg | Potassium: 455mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1901IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 2mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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