This BLT pasta salad recipe is full of veggies, avocado, pasta and crispy bacon, all tossed in a cool and creamy dressing. The perfect easy meal or side dish that’s great for potlucks.
Sometimes I am in dire need of a quick and easy dinner with minimal fuss. This BLT pasta salad is the perfect example, it’s made with just 7 ingredients and is ready in 20 minutes. It’s the perfect main course or side dish, and is always the first thing to go at a potluck!
How do you make BLT pasta salad?
My kids love anything that involves ranch dressing, and when you combine the flavors of ranch with the classic BLT ingredients (bacon, lettuce and tomato) and pasta, you’ve got a big winner! Add some avocado to the mix for even more flavor. I chop my veggies and cook my bacon while the pasta is boiling; then it’s simply combine the ingredients, toss with dressing and serve!
Tips for BLT Pasta Salad
- You can use pre-cooked bacon and pre-shredded lettuce if you’re looking to save even more time.
- I typically use rotini for this recipe, but any short variety of pasta will work – penne or farfalle are two great options.
- If you don’t have romaine lettuce on hand, iceberg or even baby spinach would be great substitutes.
- Look for firm but ripe avocados so that they don’t get mushy in the salad when tossed.
- No cherry tomatoes? Substitute seeded and chopped regular sized tomatoes instead.
- I recommend serving this dish soon after it’s made so that the lettuce doesn’t wilt and the avocado does not turn brown. If you need to make this in advance, toss the pasta and tomatoes with the dressing then add the bacon, avocado and lettuce right before you plan to eat.
- I typically use a high quality store bought ranch dressing. I prefer the jars of ranch in the refrigerated section of the produce area.
BLT Pasta Salad Variations
While I love this salad as-is, you can add other ingredients to the mix to make it more of a main course meal.
- Protein: Add diced cooked chicken, shrimp, cubed cheddar cheese or ham for a heartier salad.
- Vegetables: You can add diced red onion, black olives or sliced cucumber.
- Herbs: Instead of parsley try chopped dill, green onions or basil.
- Cobb Style: Add chopped deli turkey, hard boiled eggs and crumbled blue cheese.
How long will pasta salad keep in the refrigerator?
Generally speaking, pasta salad will stay fresh for 3 days in the fridge. This particular recipe contains highly perishable ingredients such as avocado and lettuce, which means it’s best served the same day that it’s made.
This BLT pasta salad is especially delicious in the summer when tomatoes are ripe and in season. However, I’ve been known to serve it year round, because it’s a classic flavor combination that can’t be beat!
More great salad options
BLT Pasta Salad Video
BLT Pasta Salad
- 1 lb rotini or other short pasta
- 1 lb bacon cooked and crumbled
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
- 3 cups shredded romaine letuce
- 2 avocados peeled, pitted and diced
- 1 1/2 cups ranch dressing
- 2 tablespoons parsley chopped
- Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions.
- Drain the pasta and run cold water over the pasta until cool.
- Place the pasta in a bowl and toss with dressing. Add the bacon, cherry tomatoes, lettuce and avocado. Stir gently to coat.
- Sprinkle with parsley then serve immediately.
This post was originally published on April 4, 2017 and was updated June 9, 2019 with new content.