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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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:
- Southwestern Pasta Salad
- Cobb Salad
- Southwest Quinoa Salad
- Mandarin Orange Salad
- Cucumber Tomato Salad
- Easy Corn Salad Recipe
BLT Pasta Salad Recipe
- 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.
Originally written by Katie from The Casual Craftlete.