BLT Pasta Salad

BLT pasta salad, in a white bowl

BLT pasta salad takes the classic flavors of a bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich and turns them into a super fresh, super crave-able summer side dish for barbecues and potlucks (or the best work-from-home lunch ever!)

Holding a bowl of BLT pasta, with fork.

this BLT pasta salad made me cut my photoshoot short!

It’s hard to stay behind a lens when you’ve got a BLT pasta salad in front of you. That first bite reminded me of why the bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich is such a classic in the first place. The simple combo of umami-rich bacon, bright tangy tomatoes, crisp fresh lettuce, and creamy mayo is just one of those “more than the sum of its parts” kind of situations that is just so. darn. delicious.

does it really taste like a blt?

You bet it does, it’s surprisingly spot on. It was a hit with all taste testers, so I’m pretty confident you’ll love it.

BLT pasta salad in a bowl with salad servers

the blt pasta salad recipe

  • pasta – the pasta stands in for the bread in this clever recipe…and you can use whatever shape you like. I used cavatappi, but bowties, shells, or fusilli also work well. Stay with a shaped pasta as opposed to a strand pasta for easy eating.
  • bacon, crisped on the stove top or in the oven. I vote for in the oven…I line a baking sheet with foil for easy clean up. I chop rather than crumble it so you get bigger bites of bacon, just like you would in a sandwich.
  • cherry tomatoes are perfect for this salad ~ they have a bright flavor and keep their shape well.
  • a crisp, sturdy lettuce – I used a “little gem” type lettuce with densely packed leaves. Romaine would also work well.
  • red onion isn’t always included in a classic BLT but it really gives a nice lift to this pasta salad, so I consider it essential.
  • mayo, of course, and lots of it.
  • apple cider vinegar, and a touch of sugar flavor the simple mayo based dressing.
  • salt and fresh cracked black pepper
Ingredients for a bacon lettuce and tomato pasta salad, in a glass bowl.

tips for making and serving this pasta salad

  • Make sure you bring your cooked pasta to room temp by rinsing it under cool water before dressing it, or the dressing will just soak right in. Sometimes I want this effect, but not here. I want you to taste that layer of mayo in every bite.
  • This salad is really best served immediately because you want that wonderful texture of the crispy bacon and crunchy lettuce. If you’re going to put it in the fridge, use it within a couple hours of making.
  • The dressing may seem simple, even too simple, but remember it’s really about that classic mayo flavor that we all love in our BLTs. So resist the temptation to jazz up the dressing with extraneous flavors.
  • Even with 3/4 cup of mayo, this pasta salad is not very heavily dressed (a pound of pasta is a lot!) so feel free to make additional dressing if you’re a mayo fan and dress it a little heavier.
tossing a BLT pasta salad with salad tongs.

bacon makes everything better, right?

BLT pasta salad, in a white bowl
Print
5 from 7 votes

BLT Pasta Salad

BLT salad takes the classic flavors of one of my favorite sandwiches and turns them into a super fresh, super crave-able summer side dish (or the best work-from-home lunch ever!)
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 25 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Yield 10 servings
Calories 379kcal
Author Sue Moran

Ingredients

dressing

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt

pasta salad

  • 1 lb dry pasta, I used cavatappi
  • 9 slices bacon, cooked until crispy and chopped
  • 1/2 medium red onion, slivered
  • 3 cups roughly chopped lettuce greens (choose a sturdy, crisp lettuce, or substitute arugula)
  • 1 dry pint (16 ounces) cherry tomatoes, halved

Instructions

  • Whisk the dressing ingredients together and taste to adjust.
  • Cook the pasta until al dente. Rinse under cool water to bring it to room temperature, then drain well. I sometimes dump the pasta onto paper towels to remove the excess water. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  • Coat the pasta with about 1/2 of the dressing. Taste and add extra salt if needed.
  • Add the chopped bacon, red onion, lettuce, and tomatoes to the bowl along with the rest of the dressing. Toss everything together gently with the rest of the dressing to combine, and serve immediately or keep in the fridge for up to a couple of hours before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 379kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 365mg | Potassium: 278mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1049IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
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2 Comments

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  • Reply
    Jean Passanante
    May 25, 2022 at 8:05 am

    5 stars
    This was delicious and easy to make, helped greatly by the fact that I had all the ingredients on hand. I halved the recipe and it was perfect for at least four-five servings. Next time I may add more bacon, because obviously who doesn’t want more bacon? And maybe less onion. I may have gone overboard with that. And maybe an avocado. But there will definitely be a next time.

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      May 25, 2022 at 8:21 am

      Yay ~ love the idea of avocado ~ that’s going to happen next for me 🙂

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