BLT Pasta Salad is my favorite potluck side dish! It’s super easy to make and has a delicious marriage of classic flavors you can’t beat!
It’s my favorite time of year, grilling season! Firing up the grill is my favorite cooking method during the warm summer months. Not having to turn on the oven to make dinner is the best. But my favorite thing to serve up with grilled chicken, burgers, and ribs is an easy pasta salad. This BLT Pasta Salad will be the star of your cookout. It’s super easy to make, and I can prep the ingredients ahead of time then mix right before serving. Pair it with an easy, colorful Fruit Salad for summer grilling bliss!
BLT PASTA SALAD
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BLTs have been one of my go-to sandwiches choices as long as I can remember. You can’t really go wrong with bacon, lettuce & tomato on toast with a little mayo. I buy the center cut bacon and it comes out crispy and delicious every time. I like center-cut bacon because it’s usually a bit less fatty, but thick-cut bacon is always delicious too. It’s all about your preference.
The other day when I was brainstorming a recipe for an upcoming potluck, a BLT jumped to the front of my list and this easy BLT pasta salad recipe was born! While a BLT normally just has a little mayo on it, this pasta salad recipe uses my homemade ranch dressing – making it a BLT pasta salad with mayo (from the ranch). Tricky tricky! It’s the perfect complement to the fresh tomatoes, lettuce, and crispy bacon. I sprinkle a few chives on top along with extra tomatoes & bacon. This dish is the end all and be all of ranch BLT pasta salad recipes!
How to Make Pasta Salad
- Boil pasta to al dente according to package directions. Drain water.
- While pasta cooks, place a skillet of medium heat and cook bacon until crispy, about 8-10 minutes, flipping often. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Rough chop once cooled.
- Put pasta in a large mixing bowl with ranch dressing. Stir to coat pasta.
- Add all most all the bacon, lettuce, and tomato to the bowl, gently stir to combine.
- Top pasta salad with bacon and chives. Serve immediately.
For this recipe, I chose cellentani pasta. I love its fun swirly shape and it holds up to the dressing, veggies, and bacon. But you can use any short pasta you like. Penne, medium shells, rotini, and even farfalle for a BLT bow tie pasta salad. I did a test run of this recipe and my boys all raved about it! I know this will be the best pasta salad for your next potluck and all summer long!
Want more of our favorite recipes with bacon?
- Bacon Wrapped Chicken
- Bacon Jalapeno Deviled Eggs
- How to Cook Bacon in the Oven Perfectly Every Time
- Creamy Bacon Pea Salad
- Bacon & Avocado Pasta Salad
- Bacon Wrapped Little Smokies
- More side dish recipes…
Tools used to make this BLT Pasta Salad
Large Pot: This pot is a kitchen essential for everything from dinner to desserts. I use mine all the time and with proper care, it’ll last for years and years.
Large Skillet: This skillet is my go-to kitchen tool. It’s large circumference and high sides make it perfect for cooking anything from one pan meals to soups and sauces.
Mixing Bowl: These mixing bowls are perfect for mixing and serving. I love the varied sizes so I always have to right size bowl for all my mixing needs.
Wooden Spoon: Wooden spoons are a kitchen essential. I keep a bunch of them on hand for every meal from breakfast to dinner.
*This post originally posted on 04/23/2018.
- 12 ounces cellentani pasta (or other short pasta)
- 9 strips center cut bacon
- 1 cup homemade ranch dressing
- 4 Roma tomatoes seeds, removed & diced
- 2 cups romaine lettuce cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 tablespoons chives chopped
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. add pasta and cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water until cooled. Set aside.
- While the pasta cooks, place bacon in unheated skillet. Then cook until crispy over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, turning frequently. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Once cool enough to handle, rough chop the bacon.
- To a large mixing bowl, add the pasta and ranch dressing. Stir until pasta is coated.
- Add most of the tomatoes, lettuce, and most of the bacon to the pasta. Gently stir to combine and coat all the ingredients.
- Garnish the top of the pasta salad with reserved tomatoes, bacon, and chives. Serve immediately.
I love BLT pasta salad. I serve it on a bed of greens to keep them from wilting and throw a few croutons on the top so you even have the “toast”.
Aubrey Cota says
Great idea! Thank you, Dawn.
I make this a little differently. I make with pasta, tomato, celery, bacon and red onion, one cap full of white vinegar, with mayo – salt and pepper
Very good and still colorful
Aubrey Cota says
Thanks for sharing your version!
I’m thinking about subbing the romaine lettuce with baby spinach – do you think this will be okay?
Julie Kotzbach says
Absolutely! Any sturdy salad green would work well. 🙂
Great idea. I don’t care for romaine!!