This BLT Pasta Salad turns a classic flavor combination into a delicious, simple salad that will become an instant favorite. Loaded with pasta, crispy bacon, tomatoes, lettuce and ranch dressing, it’s the perfect salad for any occasion.
I’m just not quite ready to say goodbye to summer yet, so I’m throwing in one last “summer dish” that is going to knock your socks off. This BLT Pasta Salad is the perfect side dish for BBQs, potlucks, family reunions/parties or any occasion.
Honestly, this salad is so good it can and should be eaten year round. You won’t be able to get enough of it.
HELPFUL HINTS FOR MAKING BLT PASTA SALAD:
- The original recipe calls for bottled ranch dressing, so feel free to use that if you’d rather. You will need about 1 1/2 to 2 cups, depending on how “wet” you want your salad. **I think homemade ranch dressing is so much better and is really simple to mix up if you don’t already have some in your fridge like I always do.
- Make sure you wait and add the bacon and lettuce right before serving, otherwise it will start to get a little soggy after sitting in the dressing for too long.
- Don’t overcook the pasta, make sure to cook it al dente.
- The pasta mixture can be made up to 24 hours ahead and chilled and stored in the fridge.
- I cut the red onion back from the original recipe just because I think onion can be so overpowering. Go ahead and adjust the amount of onion to your liking.
- I love to use the mini bow tie pasta for this, but you can use the regular size bow tie or any other shape pasta you like.
This salad makes a perfect lunch or dinner. It’s light, refreshing and crazy delicious.
OTHER INGREDIENTS YOU COULD ADD IN:
- Grilled chicken
- Diced avocado
- Grated cheese
- Tortellini instead of bow tie pasta (I have to try this one!)
- 1 pkg. (1 ounce) dry Ranch dressing mix
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 box (16 oz) mini bow-tie pasta
- 1 1/2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes halved
- 1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pound bacon cooked crisp and crumbled
- 4 cups chopped Romaine lettuce
- 1 teaspoon ground pepper
Whisk together the Ranch dressing mix, milk, and mayonnaise. Chill at least 30 minutes in the fridge to thicken. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
In a large bowl combine the cooked/cooled pasta, tomatoes, red onion, pepper and about 1 1/2 cups of the salad dressing. Cover and chill at least 2 hours. Right before serving add the bacon and lettuce and toss well. Add the remaining dressing if needed (the pasta will have soaked up the dressing and may need more so it’s not too dry).
Recipe source: Adapted slightly from Allrecipes Magazine June/July 2018