recipe

BLT Pasta Salad: the mouthwatering, easy main dish for feeding a crowd

Total time: 45 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 6 people
By Cookist
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BLT pasta salad is a delicious, crowd-pleasing dish that's perfect for potlucks, picnics, and summer barbecues. Inspired by the beloved BLT sandwich, this amazing pasta salad is packed with savory bacon, crunchy shredded lettuce, ripe tomatoes, and perfectly cooked al dente pasta tossed in creamy ranch dressing.

BLT pasta salad is incredibly easy to make and perfect to serve as a main dish or a side. It's a phenomenal pasta salad that you can throw together in no time – perfect for when you need an easy, delicious dish to serve your guests but are short on time. We guarantee this one will be a huge hit!

BLT Pasta Salad Ingredients

This easy-to-make pasta salad only calls for a few ingredients.

You'll need pasta, of course. This recipe calls for bow tie pasta, but you can use other varieties like penne, fusilli, or shells.

To put the BLT in this salad, you'll need bacon, chopped tomato (or cherry tomatoes), and fresh romaine lettuce.

A delicious combo of ranch dressing and barbecue sauce makes up the dressing and gives this incredible pasta salad its creamy texture.

How to Make BLT Pasta Salad

Making this amazing BLT pasta salad is a total breeze. Start by cooking the pasta. Follow the instructions on the box. Cook the pasta to al dente – don't overcook it! Drain the pasta, then run it under cold water to stop it from cooking further. Meanwhile, cook bacon strips in a pan for about 5 minutes or until super crispy.

Put the lettuce, tomato, bacon, and pasta in a bowl. Toss well to combine. Next, add the ranch dressing and barbecue sauce to the salad. Toss the salad well to coat it with the dressing. Add a dash of pepper, and serve.

Can You Make BLT Pasta Salad Ahead of Time?

You can prepare your BLT pasta salad up to two days in advance and store it in the fridge. For best results, don't add the lettuce until it's time to serve the salad. Lettuce wilts over time, so you don't want to add it to the salad when you're making it ahead. It'll be sad and soggy instead of delicious and crunchy.

Tips for the Best BLT Pasta Salad

You can use cherry tomatoes instead of chopped tomatoes.

Instead of bacon, you can use pancetta.

Not a fan of ranch dressing? Use mayo instead.

Add chopped red onion or shallots to add a sharp bite to your salad.

To make a heartier salad, add chopped avocado, cooked chicken, shrimp, or shredded turkey to your salad.

Want more crunch? Add some croutons.

Instead of romaine lettuce, you can use little gem, spinach, kale, or other leafy greens.

You can also leave out the lettuce. This is a good option if you want to make your BLT pasta salad ahead of time but don't want to wind up with wilted lettuce.

How to Store BLT Pasta Salad

Keep your BLT pasta salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Just keep in mind the lettuce will wilt.

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Ingredients
bow tie pasta
2 1/2 cups
romaine lettuce, chopped
6 cups
medium tomato, diced
1
bacon strips
4
Ranch dressing
1/2 cup
Barbecue sauce
1 tbsp
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

Make the pasta according to the instructions on the box. Drain and rinse the pasta under cold water.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a pan for about 5 minutes or until crispy and golden brown. Let it rest for a few and chop it.

Place the lettuce, tomato in a bowl.

Add pasta.

Add the chopped bacon.

Pour the ranch dressing over the salad.

Add the barbecue sauce too.

Toss to coat.

Season with pepper, then serve.

Notes

Don't overcook the pasta. Prepare it to the instructions for al dente.

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