This simple BLT Pasta Salad is easy to make and is always a crowd-favorite! Loaded with bow tie pasta, bacon and grape tomatoes, this salad is perfect to serve all summer long.
Bow Tie Pasta Salad
Pasta salad is a summer staple, but if you’re looking to branch out from the traditional potluck pasta salad, try it BLT style! It’s simple to make, and always gets rave reviews!
If you love make-ahead dishes, add this BLT pasta salad to your list! You can prep all the ingredients beforehand and then toss them in the dressing right before you serve it! I combine the pasta, lettuce, tomatoes and peppers, and then I add the bacon and dressing (which I keep separate from each other) right before serving. This way the bacon doesn’t go rubbery and the lettuce doesn’t go soggy!
How To Make BLT Pasta Salad
Cook Pasta – Cook the bow tie pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain and rinse the pasta with cold water once it has finished cooking. I also like to throw a handful of ice cubes in with the pasta to cool it down faster.
Prep Lettuce – Wash and dry the lettuce and the cut it into bite-size pieces.
Toss It – Add the pasta, lettuce, bacon and tomatoes into a large salad bowl and then toss to combine the ingredients. Pour in the ranch dressing and then toss again until everything has mixed well together.
Al Dente – When you’re cooking the bow tie pasta, be sure to follow the al dente directions. This will keep the texture of the pasta nice and firm.
How Much Is Six Cups Of Lettuce – This recipe calls for 6 cups of lettuce which is approximately 1/2 of a head of Romaine lettuce.
What’s The Best Dressing To Use – My favorite dressing to make BLT pasta salad with is ranch. If you’re not a fan of ranch, or just want to mix it up, Caesar, blue cheese or a zesty Italian are also delicious!
Variations – The great thing about this pasta salad recipe is that you can easily customize it to fit any taste. Some of my favorite add-ins are shredded cheese, salami, green or red onions or a tablespoon of BBQ sauce.
Make Ahead & Storage
Can You Make BLT Pasta Ahead Of Time – If you’re planning to make this ahead, add only the pasta, lettuce, tomatoes & pepper to the salad bowl. Keep the bacon and dressing separate until you’re ready to serve it. This will keep the bacon and lettuce from getting soggy.
How To Store It – You can store any leftovers in the fridge for about 3 or 4 days in an airtight container. However, if the salad has been left out for more than 2 hours it’s best to just throw it away.
More Summer Salad Recipes
- Caprese Pasta Salad
- Broccoli Bacon Salad
- Italian Dressing Pasta Salad
- Classic Potato Salad
- Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
BLT Pasta Salad
- 6 oz bowtie pasta
- 6 cups Romaine lettuce
- ½ lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- ⅓-½ cup ranch dressing
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- Optional Add-Ins:
- ½ cup shredded cheese, cheddar, swiss, mozzarella or even feta work great
- ¼ cup red onion, minced
- 2-3 green onions, sliced
- 1-2 Tbsp BBQ sauce, great when used in addition to a creamy dressing!
- Cook pasta according to package directions for "al dente" (you don't want mushy pasta!). Drain and rinse with cool water.
- Wash and dry lettuce, then cut or tear into bite-sized pieces.
- Add pasta, lettuce, bacon & tomatoes to a salad bowl. Gently toss, then pour dressing on and toss again. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
- If making this ahead, add the pasta, lettuce, tomatoes & pepper to the salad bowl, but keep the bacon and dressing separate. Add the bacon and dressing when you're ready to serve it (because no one likes soggy lettuce!)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Becky is the cook/photographer/writer/eater behind the blog Bite of Delight. Becky was a food contributor on Somewhat Simple in 2017.