BLT pasta salad might just be the king of all side dishes.
This mouth-watering dish combines the beloved flavors of crispy bacon, juicy tomatoes, and refreshing lettuce with the comfort of pasta.
Loaded with all the best parts of a juicy tomato and bacon sandwich, this salad is a serious winner.
Plus, it’s a great way to use up any leftover bacon or veggies that you may have in your refrigerator.
And if you’re in a rush, you can even prepare it ahead of time and chill it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve. How easy is that?
BLT Pasta Salad
As its name suggests, the BLT pasta salad is a dish made with pasta as the base.
The pasta is then mixed with the usual BLT suspects: bacon, lettuce, and tomato.
And to give it an extra kick, a deliciously tangy dressing made with mayonnaise, lemon juice, sugar, and chicken bouillon is added.
The result is a scrumptious and satisfying salad that is perfect for a quick lunch, a potluck, or a summer barbecue.
The best part about the BLT pasta salad is how versatile it is.
Don’t like rotini pasta? No problem, just swap it out for your favorite pasta shape.
Prefer turkey bacon over regular bacon? That works too! Want to add some extra veggies to the mix?
Go ahead and throw in some diced bell peppers, cucumbers, or carrots. The possibilities are endless!
So, whether you’re a pasta lover or a BLT fanatic, the BLT pasta salad is the perfect dish to try out.
These are the ingredients you need to make this salad:
- Mayonnaise or salad dressing: You can use light or regular mayo, or your favorite salad dressing.
- Lemon juice: A little bit of this zest adds a refreshing kick to the dressing, making it bright and flavorful.
- Sugar: A touch of sugar helps balance out the flavors in the dressing and gives it a slightly sweet taste.
- Chicken-flavored instant bouillon: This adds a savory depth of flavor to the dressing that takes this salad to the next level.
- Pasta: Cooked and drained, the pasta serves as the base of the salad. You can use any kind of pasta, but rotini works well to catch the dressing.
- Bacon: This classic BLT ingredient adds a smoky and salty flavor to the salad. Make sure it’s cooked and crumbled into small pieces.
- Tomato: Juicy and sweet, tomatoes add a burst of freshness and color to the salad.
- Green onions: These mild and slightly sweet onions add a subtle onion flavor and a pop of green color to the dish.
- Lettuce: The lettuce provides a refreshing and crunchy element to the salad, balancing out the heavier pasta and bacon.
How to Make BLT Pasta Salad
Follow these simple steps to make a delicious BLT pasta salad::
- Mix up the dressing. In a large mixing bowl, combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice, sugar, and instant bouillon to make the dressing.
- Mix up the salad. Add the cooked and drained pasta, crumbled bacon, chopped tomato, and sliced green onions to the mixing bowl.
- Don’t forget the lettuce! Before serving, add the sliced lettuce to the mixing bowl and gently toss to combine.
This step adds a refreshing and crisp element to the salad that balances out the other flavors. Enjoy!
How to Store BLT Pasta Salad
If you leave out the lettuce, this makes a terrific picnic side or camping side dish.
It’ll hold well in a cooler until lunch, and it’s excellent with freshly grilled burgers.
When it comes to storing the BLT pasta salad, though, it’s important to keep a few things in mind:
In the fridge: Unfortunately, the romaine lettuce in this salad doesn’t keep well, so it’s best to serve it right away.
If you do have leftovers, only add the lettuce to the portions you’ll be serving immediately, and store the rest without it.
To store, simply place the leftovers in a tightly sealed container and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
Be sure to add fresh lettuce when you’re ready to serve again for the best taste and texture.
In the freezer: It’s not recommended to freeze this salad. The lettuce and tomatoes will become mushy and the creamy dressing will lose its texture.
To enjoy the fresh flavors and crispness of this dish, it’s best to enjoy it immediately.
Or, simply store it in the fridge for a short period of time.
Tips for the Best Salad
Looking to make the ultimate BLT pasta salad? Check out these tips:
- Cook the pasta al dente (firm to the bite) to prevent it from getting mushy.
- Use any type of bite-size pasta that you have on hand, such as farfalle or rotini. For a bread-like crunch, add some croutons.
- Rinse the pasta under cold water after cooking to stop it from cooking further and to cool it down quickly.
- Choose ripe and juicy tomatoes for the best flavor and texture.
- Add the lettuce just before serving to prevent it from wilting.
- Consider adding red onion to the salad for an extra layer of flavor and texture, but skip it if you’re not a fan of onions.
- If you prefer not to use mayonnaise, you can substitute it with sour cream or Ranch dressing.
- Make your own ranch dressing for a tastier result. Store-bought dressing just won’t give the same delicious flavor.
- Use thick-cut bacon. The texture of the bacon makes a big difference in the overall taste of the salad.
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