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BLT Pasta Salad

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BLT Pasta Salad is equal parts savory and freshly flavored! Pasta is tossed with classic BLT ingredients like crispy bacon, fresh lettuce, and juicy tomatoes. Creamy ranch flavored dressing brings it all together in every seriously satisfying bite!

A large bowl of BLT pasta salad is placed next to two smaller bowls.

This summer, show up in the most delicious way to your next picnic when you have this BLT Pasta Salad in tow. It’s not your average pasta salad… Unless, of course, your go-to pasta salad recipe already calls for classic BLT ingredients and a creamy ranch dressing!

What I love about this pasta salad recipe is that it’s pretty refreshing from the fresh lettuce, juicy tomatoes, and bold red onions. That way, you can eat it in the heat of the summer without feeling like it’s too heavy. With that being said, the crispy bacon and ranch flavors definitely help you satisfy your savory cravings.

BLT Pasta Salad is the definition of a crowd pleaser. It’s got a little something in there for everyone, and I mean really – who doesn’t like bacon?! You can even make this recipe vegan by swapping out the mayo, sour cream, and bacon for plant based substitutes if that better fits your needs. No matter how you toss it all together, people are going to love this summer ready pasta salad!

Pasta salad in a large white bowl is garnished with chopped chives.

What You’ll Need:

  • Pasta – I use cavatappi, but you can opt for any other short pasta.
  • Mayonnaise – Full fat mayo will create the best consistency.
  • Sour Cream – Just like the mayo, try not to go low fat here – but it’s okay if you do!
  • Ranch Seasoning – I stick with the classics – Hidden Valley is my go-to ranch seasoning.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – This adds both tangy and sweet flavors.
  • Salt – Use kosher (coarse) salt, not iodized.
  • Pepper – Freshly cracked black pepper yields the best flavor.
  • Lettuce – Rinse and pat dry the romaine lettuce before chopping it.
  • Tomatoes – You can use any chopped tomato you have on hand, such as roma, heirloom, or beefsteak.
  • Bacon – I use pork bacon, but you can use turkey or even a plant based substitute.
  • Red Onion – Don’t substitute these onions with any other color!
  • Try adding a few handfuls of shredded cheddar!
A bowl filled with BLT pasta salad is presented next to extra tomatoes, a wooden spoon, and a tea towel.

How to Make BLT Pasta Salad

For more detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this post.

Cook the pasta. Follow the package directions, then drain the pasta and set it aside.

Soak the onion. Slice the onion, then soak the slices in ice water. Drain and set aside.

Make the dressing. Whisk together the mayo, sour cream, ranch, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper.

Toss the pasta salad. Toss together the pasta, 3/4 of the dressing, lettuce, tomatoes, bacon, and onions.

Chill. Cover and chill for 2 hours.

Enjoy! Before serving, toss the pasta salad with more dressing.

A wooden spoon is lifting a small portion of pasta salad from the bowl.

Common Questions:

Can I make BLT Pasta Salad ahead of time? This pasta salad is best served the same day, but there is a way you can make it a day before serving. Just prepare everything accordingly, except for the lettuce! The lettuce wilts after a while once it’s tossed with the dressing, so don’t add it until you’re ready to serve.

What types of pasta can I use? Any short pasta will work. Cellentani and cavatappi are corkscrew shape, and are readily available. Rotini, gemelli, bowtie, or elbows will work great as well. Just cook according to package directions. 

Why do you soak the onions in ice water? This takes some of the bite and sharpness out of the onion so you aren’t still tasting it two days after eating it!

Store leftovers covered tightly in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Leftover pasta salad the next day will have wilted lettuce in it. You can pick it out if you’d like, and refresh with some freshly chopped romaine. Don’t like romaine? Try using fresh spinach instead.

A fork is removing a bite sized portion of pasta salad from the bowl.

Don’t forget to pack these salads in your picnic basket!

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Broccoli Salad

Tuna Pasta Salad

Refreshing Cucumber Salad

BLT Pasta Salad

BLT pasta salad is always a huge hit at any party. Corkscrew pasta gets tossed in a creamy ranch dressing, crispy bacon, cherry tomatoes, fresh romaine, and red onion. With just a few simple ingredients, this pasta salad can be ready in under 30 minutes.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Chill time:: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 8
Author: Julie Chiou
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Ingredients 

  • 4 cups cavatappi, or other short pasta, dry
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 packet ranch seasoning, I like Hidden Valley
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 cups romaine lettuce, washed and chopped
  • 1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 8 strips bacon, cooked crisp and chopped
  • ½ red onion, sliced thin

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.

Instructions

  • Cook pasta to al dente according to package directions in heavily salted water. Drain pasta, rinse under cold water until cool. Set aside.
  • While the pasta cooks, soak the sliced onion in ice water for 5-10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, ranch seasoning, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper.
  • In an extra large bowl, toss together the pasta, about ¾ of the dressing, lettuce, tomatoes, bacon, and onions.
  • Cover and chill for 2 hours. Just before serving, toss with a few more tablespoons of the dressing. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Recipe Notes

The dressing will be thick. As the pasta salad chills in the refrigerator, the tomatoes will release some of their moisture and the salad will become perfectly creamy.
This salad is best served same day.
Store leftovers covered tightly in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Leftover pasta salad the next day will have wilted lettuce in it. You can pick it out if you’d like, and refresh with some freshly chopped romaine.
To make this a day in advance: Prepare the salad as directed, but do not add the romaine lettuce. Store the chopped romaine in a plastic storage bag in the refrigerator, and toss it in the next day when you serve the salad to keep the lettuce from wilting.

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: creamy pasta recipe, easy pasta recipe, pasta salad
Recipe Rating




Michelle

Thursday 16th of June 2022

I made this yesterday because it was hot and I wanted an easy meal that didn't require turning on the oven. I LOVED THIS PASTA SALAD! It's the perfect mix of cool, creamy, and crispy. It was a cinch to make and super duper tasty. I'll definitely be making it again!

Julie Chiou

Friday 17th of June 2022

what a perfect way to cool down! i'm so glad you enjoyed this