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This easy BLT Pasta Salad recipe is perfect for summer potlucks and picnics, with a creamy ranch dressing, crispy bacon, crunchy romaine lettuce, and juicy tomatoes. It's one of my favorite sandwiches in salad form!
Backyard barbecues are all about the side dishes and summer salads like this one! Some of our other favorites are Classic Frog Eye Salad, Lemon Tarragon Pasta Salad, Creamy Pea Salad with Bacon, and Deviled Egg Potato Salad!
BLT Pasta Salad
Every summer when the garden comes in and we are flush with juicy, ripe tomatoes, I make BLT's at least a few times a week for lunch or even dinner. I just can't get enough of that classic bacon, lettuce, tomato combo! Especially with my favorite BLT addition of some ripe avocado.
This BLT pasta salad is one of my favorite variations on the classic sandwich. I can't decide if it's a pasta salad with lettuce added to it for some freshness and crunch, or if it's a traditional salad with pasta added to it for some sustenance. Either way, it works and it's delicious.
My whole family devoured this and asked for extra helpings. The girls also loved the bowtie pasta, which is one of their favorite pasta shapes, although you could use rotini or oriecchette instead, or probably others even.
I love easy pasta salad recipes because they take hardly any time to throw together for any number of summer gatherings. I recommend bringing the components seperately, if you are taking this somewhere, and waiting to combine and dress this salad until shortly before serving. BLT pasta salad is much better freshly made than after it has been sitting for a while since the lettuce especially can go soggy sitting in the dressing.
Ingredients in BLT Pasta Salad
- thick-cut bacon
- ripe tomatoes (if you have garden-ripe tomatoes, even better; otherwise roma or campari tomatoes are my favorites for this easy pasta salad, although halved cherry or grape tomatoes would work as well)
- chopped romaine lettuce
- bowtie pasta
- homemade ranch dressing (okay, from a packet, but still)
- red onion
Just look at all the yummy stuff that goes into this summer pasta salad!
Optional Mix-Ins for BLT Pasta Salad
I made the basic recipe to photograph for this post (well, mostly basic besides the addition of the avocado), but here are some other ingredients you might want to consider adding in to your pasta salad!
- chopped hard boiled eggs
- pine nuts
- chopped cucumber
- shredded or crumbled cheese
How to Make BLT Pasta Salad
- Make the ranch dressing. It takes 30 minutes for the dressing to thicken up in the fridge, so I get this out of the way first. Just combine mayo and milk with the packet of ranch seasoning mix and stir. It's super easy. You could always make homemade ranch dressing completely from scratch if you wanted.
- Cook the bowtie pasta in a large pot of salted, boiling water. The package of pasta will tell you how long to cook that brand so it is al dente, which is important because you want the pasta to retain it's structure and not get soggy. Drain well and rinse with a little cold water to cool slightly and stop the cooking process.
- Cook the bacon. I like to chop my bacon before cooking it because then it's just a matter of stirring the bacon around in the pan, much like browning ground beef, until it's just the right amount of crispy and chewy. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.
- Mix it up! Combine the BLT pasta salad ingredients in a large bowl, then add the ranch dressing, tossing well to coat evenly.
More Potluck & Cookout Recipes Everybody Wants You to Bring
- Cottage Cheese Jello Salad
- Asian Slaw with Ginger Peanut Dressing
- Grilled Corn Salad
- Summer Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Poppy Seed Dressing
- Charro Beans
- Bacon Green Onion Deviled Eggs
- Potato Salad
- or see all my 4th of July recipes for even more inspiration!
Did you make this recipe? Let me know what you thought with a comment and star rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.
BLT Pasta Salad
BLT Pasta Salad
- 1 ounce Ranch dressing mix
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 pound bowtie farfalle pasta
- 1 pound bacon cooked and crumbled
- 3 cups romaine lettuce chopped
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes
- 1 avocado peeled and diced
- ⅓ cup red onion diced
- 2 Tablespoons parsley chopped
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 4 chopped hard boiled eggs
- ½ cup pine nuts
- 1 cup cucumber diced
- Prepare the ranch dressing by whisking together the Ranch dressing mix, milk, and mayonnaise in a medium bowl. Chill at least 30 minutes in the fridge.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta in salted water according to package directions for al dente pasta (usually around 10 minutes).
- Drain and run cold water over the pasta until it is cool.
- In a large bowl, combine the pasta with ½ of the dressing. Toss well, then add the bacon, tomatoes, lettuce, avocado, and onion. Toss again and add more dressing as desired, all the way up to the full amount of dressing.
- Sprinkle with parsley just before serving.