BLT Pasta Salad

This BLT pasta salad has all of the elements you love about a classic BLT sandwich, with pasta in place of bread. This easy side dish packed with fresh flavors, color and texture.

Looking for a new side dish recipe for a potluck or picnic? If you like a hearty bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich, this is the recipe you need to make.

You’ll find all of our favorite BLT flavors in an easy-to-make cold salad loaded with pasta, crispy bacon, tomatoes, red onion and romaine lettuce.

overhead view of a bowl of pasta salad

About BLT Pasta Salad Recipe:

  • Flavor: This pasta salad recipe has a very simple, comforting flavor. The dressing isn’t strong, so it really leaves room for you to taste the bacon, tomato and pasta. Need a punch of flavor? I’ll give a few ideas under the Recipe Variations section below.
  • Texture: Just as many other pasta salad recipes, it’s loaded with texture. You have the tender noodles combined with the crispy bacon and onion, then juicy tomatoes.
lettuce, tomato and onion on a cutting board

BLT Pasta Salad Ingredients

There are 6 main parts to this salad recipe:

  • Pasta. Choose whatever pasta shape makes you happy. Rotini pasta or elbow macaroni are classic, but this time I chose radiatore.
  • Bacon. If you can find maple bacon, I recommend using it. It gives additional flavor and adds an unbeatable sweetness.
  • Grape tomatoes. Or cherry tomatoes. And I recommend slicing them in half.
  • Red onion.
  • Romaine lettuce. Romaine lettuce is perfect for this recipe since it is sturdy.
  • Dressing. More below on this.
dressing for blt pasta salad in a bowl

Pasta Salad Dressing

Although BLT sandwiches typically use mayonnaise as the dressing, I wanted to jazz up that mayo a little with some herbs and seasonings. Sour cream and lemon juice add tang. Parsley, garlic and ground mustard add flavor. And sugar rounds it all out and mellows the mayo dressing.

How to Make BLT Pasta Salad

  • Bacon. Fry the bacon in a skillet, or bake in the oven on a baking pan to fully cook the bacon. Place paper towels or napkins on a plate and place the cooked bacon on the paper towels to allow it to drain and cool.
crumbled bacon in a glass bowl
  • Pasta. Boil the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
  • Dressing. In a medium bowl, whisk or stir together the ingredients for the herbed mayo. Set aside.
tomatoes, onion, bacon, dressing and pasta in a bowl
  • Assemble. Prepare the salad by placing the cooled pasta, crumbled bacon, grape tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes), red onion and herbed mayo in a large bowl. Mix well to coat the ingredients. Then fold in the lettuce right before serving. Top with Parmesan. Add salt and black pepper as you’d like.
overhead view of a plate of blt pasta salad with bread

Recipe Variations

  • Add rotisserie chicken for more protein and to make it a complete meal.
  • Instead of sour cream, try adding ranch dressing. Many love that ranch flavor with the bacon, lettuce and tomato.
  • Add more cheese! I put Swiss cheese slices on my BLT sandwiches, so shredded Swiss would be excellent. But cubed cheddar cheese or Colby is always a great option.
  • Want less pasta and more toppings? You can easy adjust the BLT pasta salad recipe to be the ratios that you would like. We often add quite a few more tomatoes when they are abundant in the garden.
about tastes of lizzy t

Make it a meal.

What should you serve with BLT pasta salad?

Storage Instructions

Store this pasta salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Pasta salad does not freeze well so if you just have a few to serve, make ½ a recipe.

Make Ahead

If you need to make BLT pasta salad in advance, make the pasta and cook the bacon, then mix up the dressing. Store each part of the salad in different airtight containers and combine it together just before serving.

bacon lettuce tomato pasta salad in a bowl
bacon lettuce tomato pasta salad in a bowl

BLT Pasta Salad

4.67 from 15 votes
This BLT pasta salad has all of the elements you love about a classic BLT sandwich, with pasta in place of bread. This easy side dish packed with fresh flavors, color and texture.
Servings 12
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients
 

For the salad:

  • 1 pound bacon
  • 1 pound radiatore pasta or other fun pasta shape
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes halved (1 dry pint)
  • 3/4 cup red onion
  • 1 bunch Romaine lettuce about 2 ½ cups

For the herbed mayo:

  • 1 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves* minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard

For topping:

  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • salt to taste

Instructions
 

  • Fry the bacon in a skillet, or bake in the oven on a baking pan to fully cook the bacon. Place paper towels or napkins on a plate and place the cooked bacon on the paper towels to allow it to drain and cool.
  • Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together the ingredients for the herbed mayo. Set aside.
  • Prepare the salad by placing the cooled pasta, bacon, grape tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes), red onion and herbed mayo in a large bowl. Mix well to coat the ingredients.
  • If you are serving the salad right away, add the lettuce and mix. If you are not serving the salad right away, cover it and refrigerate. Then add the lettuce right before serving.
  • Top the salad with parmesan and salt to taste. A note about the salt…bacon is salty, so go easy on the salt until you taste the salad.
  • Serve cold.
  • Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Notes

*Don’t have garlic cloves? Try adding ½ teaspoon garlic powder or 1 teaspoon minced garlic.
Refer to the article above for more tips and tricks.
The calories shown are based on the recipe serving 12, with 1 serving being 1/12 of the salad. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**

Nutrition

Calories: 500kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 13g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 471mg | Potassium: 254mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 316IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 1mg
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Calories 500
Keyword easy pasta salad, picnic salad, summer salad recipe

Other Favorite Salad Recipes

Salads are some of our favorite recipes to make! Whether they are loaded with meat, potatoes, veggies or a combination of all three, you’re sure to find a new one to love.

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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