BLT Pasta Salad

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  • BLT Pasta Salad – This pasta salad is a fun twist on the classic bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich. Great for summer parties and picnics!

    Pasta salads are one of my favorite things to bring to a BBQ. They can easily be made ahead of time and are perfect for serving a crowd. This BLT pasta salad is a top pick, as well as classic pasta salad, macaroni salad, buffalo chicken pasta salad, chicken caesar pasta salad and pesto chicken pasta salad.

    blt pasta salad on a white plate

    BLT pasta

    Today I’m excited to share an easy summer pasta salad recipe. We eat a lot of BLT sandwiches in the summer because they’re easy to make and you don’t have to heat the oven. Plus they’re great for using up those fresh herbs and veggies from your garden.

    This BLT pasta salad is a fun way of mixing things up. It’s made with fresh grape tomatoes, baby arugula, spinach, Cavatappi pasta, cheese, croutons and bacon. I mean, those ingredient sound delicious, right?! You could even add in some grilled chicken for protein or some diced avocado.

    This BLT pasta salad is great for big crowds. I took this salad to a potluck recently and it was a big hit. It’s also great for cookouts and picnics. It’s super light and refreshing and makes the perfect summer salad!

    cavatappi pasta for blt pasta salad

    Types of pasta

    Every pasta salad starts with the pasta first. I used a box of Cavatappi noodles, but you could use any noodle you prefer. I like the shape of this pasta and the ridges hold the sauce nicely.

    • Cavatappi
    • Penne
    • Rotini
    • Farfalle
    • Fusilli
    • Macaroni

    bacon on a frying pan for blt pasta

    How to make BLT pasta salad

    Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the box and set aside.

    In the meantime, cook twelve pieces of bacon in a non-stick pan until crispy. I cook mine four pieces at a time so the pan doesn’t get overcrowded and so the bacon can cook evenly. Place the cooked bacon on paper towels to drain. Reserve two tablespoon of the bacon grease and remove the extra with a towel.

    tomatoes frying in bacon grease for blt pasta salad

    In the same pan that the bacon was cooked in, heat tomatoes and minced garlic along with the reserved bacon grease until the tomatoes are tender.

    Add the cooked pasta to the pan of sauteed tomatoes and garlic. Then add the cooked bacon and mixed greens and toss together. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with shredded Parmesan cheese and croutons. Serve warm or cold.

    blt pasta salad recipe on a white plate

    To make it creamy:

    If you prefer a creamier BLT pasta salad, simply use about 1/2 to 1 cup ranch dressing instead of adding olive oil. You can add a little more or little less depending on how thick you’d like it.

    Sometimes I use a vinaigrette instead and add in a couple tablespoons of mayonnaise, sour cream or Greek yogurt. It’s lighter than the ranch, but still has a creamy texture.

    More favorite summer salads:

    BLT Pasta Salad Recipe

    Course: Salad
    Cuisine: American
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 20 minutes
    Total Time: 30 minutes
    Servings: 8
    Calories: 362
    Author: Jamielyn Nye
    BLT Pasta Salad - This pasta salad is a fun twist on the classic bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich. Great for summer parties and picnics!

    Ingredients

    • 12 slices bacon
    • 16 ounces Cavatappi pasta , or pasta of choice
    • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
    • 1 clove garlic , minced
    • 3 cups mixed baby arugula and spinach
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • Drizzle of olive oil
    • Fresh grated Parmesan
    • Croutons

    Instructions

    • Bring about 4 quarts of water to a boil and add 1 Tablespoon salt. Add the pasta and cook until just tender, about 11 minutes. Cooking time may vary depending on type of pasta you use.
    • Cook bacon in a non-stick pan until crispy (approximately 8 minutes per 4 slices of bacon). Place the cooked bacon on paper towels to drain.  Reserve two Tablespoons of the bacon grease and remove the extra with a towel.
    • In the same pan that the bacon was cooked in, heat tomatoes and minced garlic along with the reserved bacon grease until the tomatoes are tender (about 2 minutes).
    • Add the cooked pasta to the pan of sauteed tomatoes and garlic. Then add the cooked bacon and mixed greens and toss together. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with shredded Parmesan cheese and croutons. Serve warm or cold.

    Notes

    To make a creamy BLT pasta salad, use 1/2 cup to 1 cup ranch dressing instead of olive oil. Amount needed may vary depending on preferred level of thickness. 
    For a lighter but still creamy BLT pasta salad, use a vinaigrette dressing and add a couple of Tablespoons of Greek yogurt, mayonnaise or sour cream. 
     

    Nutrition

    Calories: 362kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 232mg | Potassium: 347mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 9.4% | Vitamin C: 20.7% | Calcium: 2.2% | Iron: 7.6%
    PIN THIS RECIPE

    Originally written by Katie from The Casual Craftlete.

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