BLT Pasta Salad is a delicious and comforting side dish consisting of cooked veggie rotini, a creamy mayo dressing, crispy pieces of bacon, crunchy lettuce, juicy tomatoes, cubed cheese, fresh herbs, and aromatics.
This pasta salad is inspired by the classic BLT (Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato) sandwich, perfect as a side dish for summer BBQs, picnics, potlucks, or midweek family meals.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT BLT PASTA SALAD
BLT Pasta Salad turns a classic sandwich into a scrumptious side dish you can enjoy at lunch, dinner, potlucks, or summer cookouts! It’s two ultimate comfort foods joining forces with simple ingredients and minimal effort.
“BLT” stands for bacon, lettuce, and tomato, so it’s no surprise that these ingredients also make a bold appearance in this BLT pasta salad. Other than that, feel free to add extra ingredients or experiment with some variations I’ve listed in this post!
WHAT IS VEGGIE ROTINI MADE OF?
Veggie Rotini is made from a puree of spinach and zucchini. Veggie Rotini is advertised as gluten-free, but I always recommend checking the list of ingredients on the packaging, especially when catering to gluten sensitivities.
SHOULD I RINSE MY PASTA FOR THIS SALAD?
It’s a good idea to rinse cooked pasta for cold salads like this BLT pasta salad. Rinsing the pasta helps to stop the pasta from cooking further and also removes excess starch so that the pasta doesn’t stick together.
CAN I COOK MY PASTA THE DAY BEFORE?
Yes. Rinse the cooked pasta and toss it with a teaspoon of olive oil to prevent it from sticking together. Store the pasta in an airtight container in the fridge, ready to be added to the remaining ingredients when making this BLT pasta salad the next day.
HOW SHOULD I STORE BLT PASTA SALAD?
Once assembled and chilled, this salad is best served immediately. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 days, but the lettuce and bacon will soften after a day.
WHAT VARIATIONS CAN I MAKE TO THIS RECIPE?
- To reduce the fat content in this dish, trim off any fat on the bacon or use turkey bacon instead. You can also use reduced-fat mayonnaise and reduced-fat cheese.
- I’ve used veggie rotini in this pasta salad, but you could use regular wheat pasta. Rotini is a great pasta shape for clinging to the dressing. You could also use bow-tie pasta, shells, penne, fusilli, or cavatappi.
- Use a spicy mayo or add cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes for a kick of heat in this pasta dish.
- Ranch dressing is great to add to the creamy pasta salad dressing. You could also use store-bought Ranch dressing to replace the homemade creamy mayo dressing.
- Other add-ins include diced avocado, chopped bell peppers, and diced cucumbers.
- Grilled chopped chicken can be added to this salad for extra protein.
TIPS FOR MAKING BLT PASTA SALAD
- Don’t let this pasta salad sit out at room temperature for longer than an hour due to the creamy mayonnaise dressing.
- This BLT pasta salad can be made 24 hours in advance. I recommend only adding the cooked bacon and crispy lettuce before serving to preserve the crunchy texture.
- Stored pasta salad will absorb the dressing. Mix extra creamy dressing into the BLT pasta salad before serving again.
- Use a salad spinner to remove excess water from the rinsed and chopped lettuce. Excess moisture will make the pasta salad soggy.
- Serve this BLT pasta salad with crusty bread, grilled meats, kabobs, roast chicken, and other tasty side dishes.
- Chilling this pasta salad for 10-15 minutes is enough. Leaving it longer in the fridge before serving can result in the pasta absorbing too much of the dressing.
Other Pasta Dishes You’ll Love!
- Instant Pot Taco Pasta
- Instant Pot Feta Pasta
- Homemade Hamburger Helper
- Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
- Instant Pot Cheesy Chicken And Pasta
- 4 cups of Cooked Veggie Rotini
- 1/2 cup of Miracle Whip or Mayo
- 1/2 cup of Sour Cream
- 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1 teaspoon of Dill Weed
- 2 teaspoons of Parsley
- 1 teaspoon of Salt
- ¼ teaspoon of Pepper
- 1 cup of Diced Tomatoes
- 1 cup of Chopped Romaine Lettuce
- 1 cup of Cheese Cubes
- 1 cup of Chopped Cooked Bacon
- Start by placing your miracle whip or mayo, onion powder, garlic powder, dill weed, parsley, salt, and pepper into a mixing bowl.
- Mix until well combined.
- In a separate bowl add cooked pasta, Mayo mixture, tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, and bacon.
- Mix until well combined.
- Chill and serve.