BLT Pasta Salad turns the classic sandwich into a salad! Crispy bacon with sweet cherry tomatoes, romaine lettuce, pasta and a healthier ranch dressing.
BLT Pasta Salad Recipe
If you love the famous BLT sandwich as much as I do then you are in for a real treat with this easy pasta salad recipe! Instead of packing sandwiches for your next picnic or work or school lunch, try this easy pasta salad.
Everyone loves a good pasta salad and they are a staple at summer BBQs, perfect for back to school lunches, and work lunches when you want something quick, easy and filling! I have always loved BLT’s and I am so excited to share this recipe with you.
What is BLT Pasta Salad?
BLT pasta salad turns the famous handheld sandwich into a plated salad! It is a great way to enjoy all the great flavors of a BLT without having to make a large quantity of sandwiches for you and your guests.
Instead, the salad is a mixture of pasta, cooked bacon, cherry tomatoes, romaine lettuce and avocado! The dressing is a healthier, homemade Greek yogurt based ranch dressing (you can also use store bought ranch instead if you prefer) making this a no mayonnaise pasta salad.
What to Serve with BLT Pasta Salad
One of my favorite easy family meals is a soup, salad and breadsticks dinner:
- Copycat Little Caesars Crazy Breadsticks
- Loaded Baked Potato Soup
- Turkey Meatball Orzo Soup
- Wonton Soup
- Chicken Gnocchi Soup
What is in BLT Pasta Salad?
Pasta Salad Ingredients
- Bacon – I love using thick cut bacon for this recipe but you can use any variety (note: I would not recommend using a flavored bacon such as maple bacon, but any regular smoked bacon will work great).
- Cherry Tomatoes – these are perfect for pasta salad as they are small and you don’t have to worry about the seeds oozing out into the salad and getting mushy. Cherry tomatoes just need to be washed and sliced in half and then tossed into the salad.
- Romaine Lettuce – you can use any variety of lettuce you like, but romaine is a thicker lettuce that will not wilt as quickly as other varieties such as iceberg or green leaf lettuce. Slice the romaine into chunky pieces so they don’t get lost in the salad.
- Pasta – rotini is my pasta of choice for this pasta salad as the dressing gets soaked up in the twists and turns of the pasta but you can really use any shape pasta.
- Avocado – I love the creamy texture of avocado. It is a great addition to a BLT sandwich and it’s great in a pasta salad as well. You can omit the avocado if you prefer.
Healthier Ranch Dressing Ingredients
- Greek Yogurt or Icelandic Skyr – did you know that you can swap mayo and sour cream for Greek yogurt or Icelandic skyr in most recipes, and you won’t even notice the difference? Greek yogurt and skyr are healthier options for salad dressing and trust me you won’t taste the difference!
- Ranch Dip/Seasoning Mix – a secret weapon in the kitchen. I always have a pack of this seasoning mix on hand for quick salad dressings, dips and marinades.
- If you love bacon and ranch you have to try my Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Recipe!
- Lemon Juice – a splash of lemon juice is added into the dressing to thin out the yogurt and add a pop of fresh flavor!
- Parsley – the dry ranch seasoning mix already has all the herbs and spices you need for a flavor packed dressing, but I like adding a bit more fresh parsley for a pop of fresh color and flavor.
- Garlic – everything is better with garlic!
- Salt, Pepper
How to Make BLT Pasta Salad
Full Printable Recipe at Bottom of Page
1 In a medium sized bowl add all the dressing ingredients and mix until evenly combined.
2 Boil the pasta in a large pot of salted water according to package directions until al denté and still a bit firm. Rinse under cold water and drain well. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
3 While the pasta is cooking, chop the bacon into 1/2″ pieces and cook in a large frying pan or skillet over medium heat until desired crispness. Transfer the cooked bacon to paper towel lined plate and drain.
4 Add the bacon, tomato, lettuce and avocado to the pasta bowl.
Drizzle the dressing over the pasta salad and gently toss until evenly combined. Serve and enjoy!
Tips for the Best BLT Pasta Salad
- Pasta – be sure to cook the pasta al dente as the pasta will continue to soften when tossed in the salad dressing. After cooking the pasta drain under cold water until cool to the touch. If the pasta is warm, the lettuce will wilt when the salad is tossed. Use a pasta that has twists or grooves in it so the dressing will stick to it – for example, rotini, penne, wagon wheels, bow ties, etc.
- Bacon – after cooking the bacon drain well on a paper towel and allow to cool. If the bacon is warm when the salad is tossed the lettuce will wilt. Try using thick cut bacon for an extra hearty salad and the best bacon flavor!
- Tomatoes – if you don’t have cherry tomatoes you can use regular tomatoes (ex. Roma, beefsteak or field tomatoes). Slice them into bite sized pieces and remove the seeds. Removing the seeds will prevent the salad from getting overly soggy from the tomato seeds and juice.
FAQs BLT Pasta Salad
Store the salad in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days (note: be sure to check the best before date on your yogurt).
Yes, this is a great make ahead pasta salad. Make the salad up to 1 day in advance. If making in advance more than 1 day, I recommend slicing the romaine and storing in a separate container until just before serving. Then toss the lettuce into the salad to avoid the lettuce wilting.
For an easy gluten free BLT pasta salad follow the recipe as usual but use a gluten free pasta of choice.
For a vegetarian or vegan BLT pasta salad use plant based bacon and plant based yogurt for the dressing.
Looking for More Easy Salads?
Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, may earn me a small commission.
BLT Pasta Salad Recipe
- 1 lb rotini pasta, or any short pasta (ie penne, bow tie, etc)
- 1 lb bacon, preferable thick cut
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved, approximately 1 pint
- 3 cups romaine lettuce, chopped, approximately 1 head
- 2 avocados, peeled, pitted and cubed
- Boil the pasta in a large pot of salted water according to package directions until al denté and still a bit firm. Rinse under cold water and drain well. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- While the pasta is cooking, chop the bacon into 1/2″ pieces and cook in a large frying pan or skillet over medium heat until desired crispness. Transfer the cooked bacon to paper towel lined plate and drain.
- Add the bacon, tomato, lettuce and avocado to the pasta bowl.
- In a medium sized bowl add all the dressing ingredients and mix until evenly combined.
- Drizzle the dressing over the pasta salad and gently toss until evenly combined. Serve and enjoy!