BLT Pasta Salad is full of crisp bacon, sweet cherry tomatoes, romaine, and cheddar cheese with curly noodles and an easy homemade dressing! Perfect as a side dish or a full meal!
BLT Pasta Salad:
This pasta salad turns one of our favorite classic sandwiches into a super refreshing and fun dish for spring and summer! I love this salad so much because it really can be a great side dish with any meat, or for a potluck, or you can just eat it as a meal! It's really super filling and makes a light summer dinner when it's so hot outside too. That crispy bacon is just perfection with the sweet tomatoes and creamy dressing! You can of course double the bacon if you really like a lot of it! If you want to have this as a meal, but want more meat you can just add some shredded rotisserie chicken or make up this Crockpot Shredded Chicken, it's a great add in! Pasta salads are something I can truly live off of in the summer and some of my other favorites are our Shrimp Boil Pasta Salad and of course we always have a good Classic Macaroni Salad in our back pocket! This pasta salad can be made ahead but it's really best to eat it within 2-3 days. If it sits any longer than that, the lettuce can become a little soggy, and nobody wants that!
What Goes Into BLT Pasta Salad?
- Bacon - I precooked my bacon in the oven till crispy and then cut it into small pieces. You can use any bacon you want. Turkey bacon is great in this recipe.
- Cherry Tomatoes - I like to find nice sweet, red tomatoes. Grape tomatoes work fine, too.
- Romaine lettuce - I used a bag of chopped hearts of romaine, but any will do. Chopped fresh spinach is also good in this as well!
- Cheddar cheese - you can use any cheese you prefer
- Rotini noodles - I like these for the shape, but penne, cavatappi, or elbow noodles all work fine. Cook them according to the package directions, then rinse and cool them before adding to the salad.
- Chives or green onion - these are nice to add to salad, but totally optional
- Mayonnaise - I prefer to use real Mayonnaise in my dressings, but you can use what you prefer.
- Milk or buttermilk - when I use milk, I add vinegar to “curdle” the milk making it thicker like buttermilk
- Vinegar - if you are using milk, you will use the vinegar to “curdle” it.
- Garlic - this is important to flavor the dressing
- Parsley - fresh or dried works fine.
- You can add avocado to this pasta salad for some extra goodness! Just make sure not to add diced avocado until right before you want to serve the pasta salad or it will turn brown.
BLT Pasta Salad
- 1 Pound Box Rotini cooked according to package, rinsed and cooled
- 6 Slices Bacon cooked and crumbled
- 1 Cup Cherry Tomatoes halved
- 10 Ounce Package Chopped Romaine Lettuce approx. 3 cups
- 1 Cup Cubed Cheddar Cheese
- 1 Tablespoon Chopped Chives or Green Onion
- ½ Cup Mayonnaise
- ⅓ Cup Milk or Buttermilk
- 1 Tablespoon Vinegar IF using milk
- 1 Clove Garlic finely minced
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley or fresh parsley chopped, optional
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the noodles, bacon, cherry tomatoes, romaine lettuce, chives and cheese. Toss well.
- In a small bowl combine the milk and vinegar and let sit for one minute.
- If using buttermilk, you can skip step 2.
- Add the mayonnaise, garlic and parsley to the milk and mix to combine.
- Pour desired amount of dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
- Serve as a side dish or as a main dish.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.