BLT Pasta Salad has all the flavors of everyone’s favorite sandwich combined with ranch dressing, crunchy veggies, and pasta! Enjoy it as a side dish or a full meal.
Growing up, I ate a lot of BLT sandwiches. It’s still one of my favorite flavor combinations. Smokey bacon, crunchy lettuce, sweet tomatoes, and creamy dressing.
Well, for today, we’re taking those same flavors and putting them into our BLT pasta salad recipe. The dish is extremely simple to prepare and is done in thirty minutes or less.
The pasta salad can be made in advance, provided you keep the bacon and lettuce separated until your ready to serve it. Otherwise, the dressing will make them soggy.
I’ve added a few other tips at the bottom of the post for you to review. Now, let’s get this recipe going!
How to make a BLT pasta salad:
First, cook your bacon and crumble it up or chop it into bite sized pieces. After that, prepare the pasta per the package instructions, drain it, and set it aside.
I recommend an ice bath. If you don’t what that is, check out the tips below.
Once the bacon and pasta are ready, go ahead and cut up your lettuce, onions, and tomatoes. You can cut the cherry tomatoes in half or quarter them. It’s up to you.
At this point, all of the prep work should be done. Now, we’re going to assume you’re serving the BLT pasta salad when it’s done.
So, place the bacon, lettuce, onions, pasta, and tomatoes into a large mixing bowl.
Afterward, pour the ranch dressing over the rest of the ingredients in the bowl. Using tongs or two large spoons, carefully toss the pasta salad.
Make sure to coat all of the ingredients in the dressing. That’s it, you’re BLT Pasta salad is done!
I suppose you could sprinkle shredded cheese over the top just before serving. Kim and I hope you enjoy the recipe and as always, we wish the best 🙂
What can you substitute for ranch dressing on a BLT pasta salad?
Don’t care for ranch dressing? There are plenty of other options for you to try on your salad. For example, you could use Miracle Whip, mayonnaise, a mayo and Dijon mustard blend, or toss everything in a red wine vinaigrette.
How do you chill the noodles for the pasta salad?
One of the best ways to chill your pasta is to use an ice bath. When the noodles are done, drain them and set them aside.
Grab a pan (the same one you cooked the pasta in) and fill it half-full with water. Toss in some ice and add the noodles to the ice bath.
Let them sit for about sixty (60) seconds and them drain them again. They should be cool enough to use for the recipe.
Can you use bacon bits in place of the bacon?
Sure! Bacon bits would be a quick and easy option in place of the crumbled bacon.
We prefer to cook the bacon in the oven ahead of time, let it cool, then crumble it or rough chop it with a knife. Here’s how we do it:
Simply take a baking sheet and line it with aluminum foil. Now, in order to drain away the fat, the bacon needs to be suspended over the foil.
We use a metal cooling rack and non stick spray. Lay the bacon onto the rack and place into a oven preheated to 350°F for approximately twenty minutes. Oh, don’t forget to flip the bacon halfway through the cooking process.
Here’s a detailed recipe that shows How to Cook Bacon in the Oven.
- 8 Ounces Short Pasta, (penne, rotini, bowtie, etc.)
- 1/2 LB. Bacon, (cooked, chopped or crumbled)
- 2 Cups Romaine Lettuce, (chopped into bite-sized pieces)
- 1 Pint Cherry Tomatoes, (or grape tomatoes)
- 1/2 Cup Red Onion, (or purple onion, thinly sliced)
- 1 Cup Ranch Dressing, (store bought or homemade)
- Cook and crumble your bacon, boil the pasta per the box instructions. Drain it and set it aside to cool. Chop and dice the vegetables. Halve or quarter the tomatoes.
- In a large large bowl, combine the cooked pasta, lettuce, tomatoes, onion, and ranch dressing. Toss to ensure the ranch dressing coats all the ingredients evenly.
- Add the bacon just before to serving
- Serve cold. Store any remaining pasta salad in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in a sealed container.
The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients and a serving size of one (1) cup. Actual calories will vary. The BLT pasta salad can be stored in your fridge, in a sealed container, for up to three (3) days.
**Reserve ¼ cup of ranch dressing to refresh pasta salad after it sets. Add the bacon to separate portions if not serving all at once. This step keeps the bacon crispy.**
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1 Cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 308Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 5gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 420mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 7g