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BLT Pasta Salad

This BLT pasta salad is a delicious and refreshing dish that combines the flavors of a classic BLT sandwich with pasta. Made with bacon, fresh lettuce, tomatoes and a light dressing, it’s a satisfying blend of textures and tastes. Easy to make and great for summer parties and picnics!

Blt pasta salad in white bowl.
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BLT pasta salad in a bowl

BLT Pasta Salad

5 from 6 votes
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Author: Jamielyn Nye
This BLT pasta salad is a fun twist on the classic bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich. Easy to make and great for summer parties and picnics!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8


  • 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

Optional for serving: Freshly shaved parmesan and croutons


    • 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 sautéed 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 shaved Parmesan cheese and croutons if desired. Serve warm or cold. This salad is best served the first day. 


    Creamy version: To make a creamy version, 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. 


    Calories: 362kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 232mg | Potassium: 347mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 470IU | Vitamin C: 17.1mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1.4mg

    Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

    Course: Salad
    Cuisine: American

    Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

    Best BLT Pasta Salad Recipe

    This BLT pasta salad is a fun way of mixing things up from the traditional BLT sandwich. It’s a cold pasta salad that is the perfect recipe to bring to a BBQ or to serve as a light summer meal. I took it to a potluck recently and it was a big hit just like when I bring my broccoli salad with bacon.

    This pasta salad recipe is made with fresh grape tomatoes, baby arugula, spinach, Cavatappi pasta and bacon. I used a light olive oil dressing to toss it in, although you could definitely make a creamy ranch dressing version too. Both ways taste delicious!

    Cavatappi pasta in strainer.

    Tips for the Best Pasta Salad

    • Best pasta to use. I used a box of Cavatappi noodles because I like the shape of this pasta and the ridges hold the sauce nicely.
    • Bacon grease. Don’t discard all of the bacon grease! Leave about 2 Tablespoons in the skillet to add flavor when you sauté the tomatoes and garlic.
    • Homemade croutons. I love adding these for an extra crunch. If you don’t have any on hand, you can easily make your own homemade croutons from scratch with any leftover bread laying around.
    • Parmesan cheese. Top it off with freshly shaved parmesan cheese to give it the perfect finishing touch.
    • Serve warm or cold. This salad tastes delicious served either way. You can serve it immediately after tossing, or place it in the fridge to cool down a bit before enjoying.
    Cooking bacon on skillet.


    • Type of pasta. Feel free to use other types of short pasta, like rotini, farfalle, macaroni or bow tie.
    • Extras. You can add in some grilled chicken for protein or some diced avocado and red onion for more flavor.
    • Greens. I used a mixture of fresh arugula and spinach, but you can also use chopped lettuce if you prefer.
    • Creamy version. 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.
    • Serving suggestions. This a great dish to serve at a BBQ along with hot dogs, hamburgers and cucumber salad. If you are serving a crowd, you might even like to make a few pasta salad recipes.
    Tomatoes frying in bacon grease on skillet.

    Storing Tips

    Because of the fresh ingredients included in this recipe, it’s ideal to consume the salad within the first day of assembling. That way it still tastes super fresh and the spinach and arugula don’t wilt and the croutons stay crunchy. If you have plans of storing leftovers, you may want to omit the greens and croutons when tossing the salad. Then mix them in right before serving so that they stay fresh.

    Blt pasta salad in white bowl.

    More Pasta Salad Recipes

    Recipe and photography contributed by Katie from The Casual Craftlete.

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