BLT Pasta Salad is a creamy pasta salad with romaine lettuce, crispy bacon and juicy cherry tomatoes in a simple mayonnaise ranch dressing. Tastes just like the classic sandwich! This cold pasta salad recipe makes a delicious side dish or main dish perfect for summer!
If you love the classic bacon lettuce and tomato sandwich, you'll really love this easy BLT pasta salad recipe.
There's a lot going on here -- garden fresh veggies, tender pasta and crunchy bacon in a deliciously cool, creamy dressing. It's a great option for a light lunch or a light easy dinner, especially on a hot summer day.
But, you can easily add some extra protein, like cooked chicken or turkey for a more substantial meal.
This easy pasta salad recipe is a real crowd pleaser and one of our favorite recipes to serve on Memorial Day, Fourth of July or summer potluck dinners!
You only need a few simple ingredients for this cold pasta salad recipe. You can find them in your grocery store if you don't have these pantry staples:
- Rotini pasta -- 16 oz if regular, 12 oz if tri colored
- Grape tomatoes -- I used a mix of grape and cherry tomatoes from our garden
- Cooked bacon
- Romaine lettuce -- holds up well under dressing
- Chopped parsley -- optional
- Salt and pepper -- to taste if needed
- Mayonnaise -- I love mayo on a BLT!
- Ranch dressing -- A little bit of homemade ranch or your favorite brand adds extra flavor to plain mayo
I use leftover bacon here. I know some of you think leftover bacon is unheard of, but we cook a bunch of bacon on the weekends to use in other recipes during the week.
We cook bacon in the air fryer or bacon on the Blackstone Griddle! If you don't have extra cooked bacon, you can cook it on a baking sheet in the oven or on the stove in your skillet.
How to Make BLT Pasta Salad
Cook your pasta according to package directions. Or, you can cook pasta in the Instant Pot -- I do!
When the pasta is done, drain it in a colander, and rinse it under cold water. Don't skip this step! The pasta won't stick together if you rinse it!
Shake the excess water off. Then, add the cooked pasta to a large mixing bowl, along with the tomatoes and chopped bacon.
Mix the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl until creamy. Then, add the dressing to the pasta, and mix everything together.
I like to add the lettuce last so that it's not super coated with dressing. If you are making the pasta salad ahead of time, you can add the lettuce right before serving.
This will help keep the lettuce as fresh and crisp as possible. When the salad is ready to serve, I like to add a little more bacon on top for extra crispy crunch!
There are a couple ways to customize this delicious pasta salad to you tastes.
Cheese is a great addition to this cold BLT salad. Cheddar cheese, Colby Jack cheese, and pepper jack cheese taste great, either shredded or cubed.
Instead of regular rotini pasta, use tri-color rotini or elbow macaroni pasta. Or, use bow ties for a super fun BLT bow tie pasta salad!
In addition to classic BLT ingredients, add your favorite fresh veggies. Try red onion, baby spinach, fresh chives, green onions, and sliced avocado.
When making the salad dressing, you can use only ranch dressing or only mayonnaise, depending on your tastes. Use fat free mayo or yogurt or sour cream for a lighter dressing
How to Store
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator, where they'll keep for 3 to 4 days.
I wouldn't recommend keeping the pasta salad at room temperature for too long, for food safety and so that the ingredients stay fresh and crisp.
When eating leftover pasta salad, add more ranch and bacon bits, of desired.
BLT Pasta Salad
- 16 ounces cooked rotini pasta or 12 oz if tri colored
- 1 cup grape tomatoes cut in half
- 6 strips cooked bacon chopped
- 1 head romaine lettuce washed and chopped
- ¼ cup chopped parsley optional
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons ranch dressing
- Cook pasta according to directions on box or cook in Instant Pot. Drain in colander, and rinse under cold water
- Add pasta, tomatoes and bacon to a large mixing bowl
- Mix mayonnaise and ranch dressing in a small mixing bowl until combined.
- Pour dressing into large mixing bowl, and mix into salad ingredients. Add fresh parsley, if desired Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Mix in lettuce right before serving for crisper lettuce, and season with salt and pepper, to taste, if desired
Nutrition information is estimated. Please do your own calculation to fit special diets.
This delicious BLT pasta salad pays homage to the classic BLT sandwich with fresh lettuce, creamy ranch dressing, juicy tomatoes, and salty bacon. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
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