How can you go wrong with a BLT pasta salad? All the flavors of everyone’s favorite sandwich combined with ranch dressing, crunchy veggies, and pasta!
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 (30) minutes or less. Making it a great dinner option after a busy day at work.
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!
BLT Pasta Salad Instructions:
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 🙂
BLT Pasta Salad Tips:
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.
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.
Cooking bacon can be messy. That’s why we use our oven to cook the pork. 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 (stainless steel) cooling rack and non stick spray. Lay the bacon onto the rack and place into a preheated oven (375 degrees F.) for approximately twenty (20) minutes. Oh, don’t forget to flip the bacon halfway through the cooking process.
Need more salad ideas?
BLT Pasta Salad
- 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.