BACON & AVOCADO PASTA SALAD is a must make for your next potluck or backyard barbecue!
Confession time, I have a weird thing with tomatoes. I’m fine with salsa, tomato (pasta) sauce and I are friends, and when they’re sliced super thin or my margherita pizza I’m down. But raw tomatoes gross me out to no end! I’m 97% sure it’s the squishy, slimy inside parts. I had even avoided cooked whole tomatoes because of that weird squishy stuff. But I’m a changed woman. I had a polenta dish last week that came with roasted grape tomatoes, and they were amazing! Sweet little pops of flavor against the goat cheese and polenta. So tomatoes and I are on speaking terms now…just not the raw ones. But if you like raw tomatoes, you could totally use them for this recipe instead of roasting like I did.
This pasta salad is totally the bee’s knees! It’s creamy, flavorful, and it has bacon in it…which is never a bad idea. I whipped us some Avocado Ranch Dressing for some tang, added some big avocado chunks (because you can never have too many avocados), lots of salty, crispy bacon for all the bacon freaks out there, and sweet roasted tomatoes for a pasta salad everyone will love! I actually stood at my counter last night and had half this bowl for dinner. It was so delicious!
- 11 ounces grape tomatoes, rinsed and dried
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 pound rigatoni pasta
- 2 avocados, cut in half (vertically) and pitted
- 6 strips of bacon, cooked crispy and crumbled
- 1 cup Avocado Ranch Dressing
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a sil-pat or parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, drizzle tomatoes with olive oil and toss to coat. Season will salt and pepper and toss to distribute seasonings.
- Transfer tomatoes to prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until tomatoes are slightly wilted and bursting. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- While the tomatoes cook, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season water with a generous pinch of salt. Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain pasta and run under cold water until completely cooled.
- Toss the cooled pasta in dressing until well coated in a large bowl.
- Run a knife through the avocado meat to make a checkerboard pattern , then run a large spoon under the green of the avocado right up against to skin to remove the meat. (LIKE THIS). Put avocado in with the pasta.
- Add most (or all, your choice here) of your crumbled bacon and warm roasted tomatoes to the pasta, and gently stir everything together until combined. If desired, sprinkle remaining bacon no top of the pasta salad.
- Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
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