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This BLT Pasta salad with homemade creamy dressing is an incredible summer dish. It is perfect for a summer barbecue, potluck, or cookout and is the salad cousin to the favorite sandwich. Think fresh tomatoes, crunchy red bell peppers, and crispy bacon as the hero ingredients. The velvety smooth dressing is kind of addictive and will have everyone stepping back for seconds. Enjoy this pasta salad recipe for dinner and save the leftovers for lunch.

A bowl of BLT pasta salad with bowtie pasta, chopped lettuce, tomatoes, cheese cubes, bacon, and dressing, placed on a wooden table.

Make this BLT pasta salad recipe and enjoy the salty bacon, cheddar, and tomatoes, tossed together with salad, pasta and a creamy dressing.

Looking to try new pasta salad recipes? My favorite pasta salads right now are this Tex-Mex pasta salad which is utterly delicious, and this smoked Italian pasta salad. And I love this chicken blue cheese salad as well. Prefer something hot? Try buttery lemon chicken pasta with zucchini!

A bowl of BLT pasta salad with bow tie pasta, cherry tomatoes, diced cheese, lettuce, bacon, and dressing, served with a wooden serving spoon.

Why You’ll Love It

Quick to make: In under 20 minutes, nothing could be simpler.
Great for a gathering: This is the ideal salad for a barbecue or your next get-together.
Fan favorite: Who doesn’t love the elements of a BLT? Why not have them in a salad?
Beautifully balanced: The salty bacon, creamy dressing, sweet tomatoes, and crunchy lettuce go so well together.

A fork holding a bite of BLT pasta salad with bowtie pasta.

Ingredients For BLT Pasta Salad

A complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.

Salad Ingredients

Precooked bacon: The hero in the recipe. Turkey bacon works beautifully as an alternative.
Pasta: I recommend pasta shapes like farfalle (bowtie), penne, macaroni, or rotini pasta in this recipe. They hold the dressing well and are in a good ratio to the other ingredients.
Romaine lettuce: This lettuce has a great crunch, but any crisp lettuce will work.
Cherry tomatoes: Use grape tomatoes if you like – they should be ripe and bright red for the best results.
Red bell pepper: These add sweetness and crunch. Use yellow or green if you prefer. Bell peppers contain vitamin C and antioxidants, so don’t skip them.
Cubed cheddar cheese: White or yellow cheddar is delicious in this BLT pasta salad.

Top-down view of ingredients for a BLT pasta salad, including bowtie pasta, diced cheese, tomatoes, bacon strips, a red bell pepper, red onion, cucumber, and Romaine lettuce, on a white surface.

Dressing Ingredients

Mayonnaise: This is the base for the dressing. Use a good quality, rich, and velvety mayo.
Sour cream: Makes a lovely tangy taste. If you only have fresh cream, add a splash of lemon juice to the fresh cream to make DIY lemon juice.
Garlic powder: You can also use fresh garlic that is finely minced.
Dried dill: Gives the salad dressing a light aniseed taste.

Ingredients arranged on a white surface for making a creamy pasta salad dressing.

How To Make BLT Pasta Salad

For more detailed instructions with weights and measurements, jump to the printable recipe card.

Make the dressing: To a bowl, add the dressing ingredients. Combine the ingredients but whisking them and transfer them to the fridge.
Prepare the bacon: Cook the bacon for 3 to 5 minutes at 350°F in the air fryer until brown and crispy. Once cooked place the bacon on a paper towel. Cut or crumble into small pieces.
Prepare the pasta: Cook the pasta with salt for 8 to 13 minutes or according to the package directions. Drain it and set it aside.
Prepare the veggies: Wash, dry, and chop your vegetables.
Combine the ingredients: Add the pasta and the remainder of the salad ingredients to a large bowl. Top the salad with the dressing. Gently toss until fully combined. Serve immediately or within 2 hours.

A bowl of the best pasta salad recipe with bowls of dressing and additional pasta sit surrounding the main bowl.

Substitutions and Variations

Other veggies: You can add other yummy ingredients to the salad, like green onions, black beans, fresh corn, diced red onion, or creamy avocado.
Bacon swap: Try alternatives to pork bacon with turkey bacon, vegan bacon, or smoked chicken.
Sour cream alternative: Use plain Greek yogurt for a lighter version. Buttermilk can work, too.
Lighted it up: If you’re looking for a lighter option, you can substitute Greek yogurt or sour cream for mayonnaise in the dressing.
Gluten Free: You can easily make this recipe gluten-free by using gluten free pasta. Many varieties, such as those made from rice, quinoa, or chickpeas, work well in pasta salad recipes. Just cook according to package instructions and proceed with the recipe as written.
Dressing: Use creamy ranch dressing as an easy alternative.

Close-up of a fork in a bowl of BLT pasta salad made with farfalle pasta. A larger salad bowl is in the background.

Serving Suggestions

Appetizer: Start out with veggies with this green goddess dip or burrata-stuffed tomatoes.
Main: This BLT pasta salad is hearty enough to be a stand-alone main but you could add some sliced grilled chicken to it for protein. It’s also a great side at a cookout alongside steak, BBQ baby back ribs, Hawaiian BBQ chicken, or beer can chicken.
Dessert: Finish the meal with a plate of cream cheese brownies.

A bowl of loaded pasta salad on a wooden surface.

How to Store Pasta Salad

Store: Keep the salad in the fridge for up to 2 days in a tightly sealed container with the dressing on it. Dress the salad before serving to keep it fresh for up to 5 days.
Freeze: This BLT pasta salad recipe is not freezer-friendly.

A bowl of BLT pasta salad with bow-tie pasta on a grey plate. Another serving of the salad is in a large bowl in the background.

Top Tips

Double up: This salad can be doubled to feed a larger crowd or as meal prep for the week.
Precooked bacon timesaver: For the bacon, use pre-cooked bacon to save time and put it in the air fryer for a few minutes to get it crispy.
Easy mixing: Toss the salad with tongs or two wooden spoons.
Bacon fan? If you love bacon, you can double the bacon and even add grilled chicken if you want to make this an entree.

A bowl of BLT pasta salad with lettuce, cherry tomatoes, cheese cubes, and other vegetables. A red onion, cherry tomatoes, dried herbs, and uncooked pasta are also visible on the wooden table.

BLT Pasta Salad FAQ

Can I use a different type of pasta?

Yes! While traditional pasta shapes like fusilli or rotini work well in this recipe, you can use any type of pasta you prefer or have on hand. Just be mindful of cooking times, as different types of pasta may require varying cooking times.

How can I make this recipe vegetarian?

To make this recipe vegetarian, leave the bacon or substitute it with vegetarian bacon or smoked tofu.

How can I prevent the pasta from sticking together?

To prevent the pasta from sticking together, rinse it under cold water after cooking to stop the cooking process and remove excess starch. Then, toss it with a little olive oil to coat the pasta and prevent it from clumping together.

A close-up of a bowl of an easy pasta salad recipe with bow-tie pasta and a cream-based dressing. Another bowl of the same salad is blurred in the background.

BLT Pasta Salad Recipe

5 from 2 votes

BLT Pasta Salad

By: Bella Bucchiotti
Make this BLT pasta salad recipe and enjoy the salty bacon, cheddar, and tomatoes, tossed together with salad, pasta and a creamy dressing.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients 

  • 8 Slices bacon
  • 6 to 8 Ounces pasta, uncooked
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 3 Heads romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 2 Cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 Cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 Cup cucumber, chopped
  • 1 Cup red onion, sliced
  • ½ Cup cheddar cheese, cubed

For the Dressing:

  • 1 Cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ Cup sour cream
  • ¼ Cup milk
  • 1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • ½ Teaspoon white sugar
  • ½ Teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ Teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ Teaspoon dill weed, dried
  • ½ Teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions 

  • Whisk the dressing ingredients in a large bowl with a fork or whisk until combined. Place in the fridge.
  • Cook the bacon for 3 to 5 minutes at 350 degrees F in the air fryer until brown and crispy. Once cooked place the bacon on a paper towel. Cut or crumble into small pieces.
  • Cook the pasta with salt for 8 to 13 minutes or according to the package directions.
  • While the pasta is cooking, you can chop your vegetables.
  • Once the pasta is cooked, rinse with cold water to stop the pasta from cooking.
  • Add the pasta and the remainder of the salad ingredients to a large bowl.
  • At this point, you can refrigerate the salad and dressing separately for a couple of hours.
  • When ready to serve, top the salad with the dressing. Toss until fully combined.

Notes

Double up: This salad can be doubled to feed a larger crowd or as meal prep for the week.
Precooked bacon timesaver: For the bacon, use pre-cooked bacon to save time and put it in the air fryer for a few minutes to get it crispy.
Easy mixing: Toss the salad with tongs or two wooden spoons.
Bacon fan? If you love bacon, you can double the bacon and even add grilled chicken if you want to make this an entree.

Nutrition

Calories: 421kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 18g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 1057mg | Potassium: 1136mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 28618IU | Vitamin C: 60mg | Calcium: 217mg | Iron: 4mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

This creamy, salty, ultra-tasty pasta salad is great for BLT sandwich lovers. Batch-make this BLT pasta salad recipe and enjoy it all week. You’ll love the homemade ranch dressing – it works in tons of other salad recipes, too. It’s a great base recipe to add to; try grilled corn, diced red onion, or any other crunchy fresh veggies you have in the fridge.

Other Salad Recipes To Try

Bella Bucchiotti

Bella Bucchiotti is a Canadian-based syndicated food, travel, and lifestyle writer, photographer, and creator at xoxoBella. She founded xoxoBella in 2015, where she shares her love for food, dogs, sustainability, fitness, crafts, outdoor adventures, travel, and philanthropy to encourage others to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places, and stand for a cause. Bella creates stress-free and family-friendly recipes for weeknight dinners and festive feasts.

 

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