BLT Pasta Salad

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Inspired by the flavors of the classic BLT sandwich, this BLT Pasta Salad is sure to be a hit for your next family dinner or potluck. Requiring only a few simple ingredients, you’ll have a delicious meal on the table in 30 minutes or less with this quick dinner recipe.

BLT Pasta Salad - Cooking With Fudge

WHAT DOES “BLT” STAND FOR?

BLT is an acronym that stands for Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato. You’ll typically hear BLT referred to as a sandwich and it’s exactly as it sounds… a sandwich that consists of bacon, lettuce, tomato, and typically mayonnaise.

YOUR FAVORITE SANDWICH, REINVENTED

Many people would list a BLT as one of their favorite sandwiches. What’s not to love about salty bacon, crisp lettuce, and a slice of a perfectly ripened tomato? I’ve taken this classic sandwich and turned it into a delightfully simple, filling pasta salad that is sure to please.

Perfect for meal prep, a family picnic, and everything in between, this BLT Pasta Salad is a great way to enjoy the tried and true flavors of a BLT sandwich in a portable form.

BLT Pasta Salad - Cooking With Fudge

WHY YOU’LL WANT TO TRY THIS RECIPE

  • A unique twist on a classic sandwich staple: If you’re a fan of a BLT sandwich and also a pasta lover, you’re essentially getting the best of both worlds with this recipe.
  • Easy to prepare: You can get this dish on the table in 30 minutes or less from start to finish.
  • Great for meal prep: This recipe stores extremely well, making it an excellent choice for meal prep.
  • A crowd pleaser: Seriously, who doesn’t like bacon? Everyone is going to rave about this dish.
  • Perfect for potlucks: This can be your “go to” recipe when you don’t want to be the fifth person to bring potato salad to a picnic or gathering.

BLT Pasta Salad - Cooking With Fudge

LET’S GET STARTED

EQUIPMENT YOU’LL NEED

  • Stock pot
  • Colander or strainer
  • Baking sheet and wire baking rack
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Small bowl
  • Whisk
  • Large bowl
  • Spoon

INGREDIENTS YOU’LL NEED

  • Pasta: I use Barilla Protein Plus Penne.
  • Bacon: Use whatever kind of bacon you prefer! I use center cut bacon. You could use turkey bacon, tempeh bacon, or even bacon bits!
  • Spinach: This is a great way to get in some leafy greens, especially for picky eaters!
  • Grape tomatoes: While I like the smaller size of grape tomatoes, any type of tomato will do.
  • Nonfat plain Greek yogurt: I use Fage 0%.
  • Reduced fat mayonnaise: I use Hellman’s Light Mayonnaise.
  • White wine vinegar: This helps add a bit of acidity to the creaminess of the yogurt and mayonnaise while also creating a thinner consistency. If you don’t have white wine vinegar, you could substitute with red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar.
  • Seasonings: Simle is the name of the game with salt and pepper. Add a sprinkle of red pepper flakes if you want a pop of heat!
  • Green onions: I love to add a handful of chopped green onions as a garnish. This is optional.

BLT Pasta Salad - Cooking With Fudge

NOW LET’S COOK

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Bring a stock pot of water to a boil.
  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Once the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook according to the package directions.

BLT Pasta Salad - Cooking With Fudge

  • Place the wire baking rack inside the baking sheet.
  • Place the bacon on the wire baking rack.
  • Bake the bacon at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes until the desired level of crispiness is achieved.

BLT Pasta Salad - Cooking With Fudge BLT Pasta Salad - Cooking With Fudge

  • While the pasta and bacon are cooking, use a knife and cutting board to chop the spinach, halve the grape tomatoes, and chop the green onions.
  • In a small bowl, combine the nonfat plain Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, white wine vinegar, salt, and pepper with a whisk or spoon.

BLT Pasta Salad - Cooking With Fudge BLT Pasta Salad - Cooking With Fudge

  • Once the pasta is done cooking, use a colander to strain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.

BLT Pasta Salad - Cooking With Fudge

  • Add the pasta to a large bowl.

BLT Pasta Salad - Cooking With Fudge

  • When the bacon is done cooking, allow it to cool and then chop.
  • To the large bowl with the pasta, add the bacon, spinach, grape tomatoes, and dressing.

BLT Pasta Salad - Cooking With Fudge BLT Pasta Salad - Cooking With Fudge BLT Pasta Salad - Cooking With Fudge BLT Pasta Salad - Cooking With Fudge

  • Stir well to combine.

BLT Pasta Salad - Cooking With Fudge

  • Garnish with green onions and more chopped bacon if desired.

VARIATIONS TO THIS RECIPE

  • Use turkey bacon to further reduce the calories and fat.
  • Swap out the spinach for chopped romaine lettuce, kale, or arugula.
  • Make it vegetarian or vegan by using vegan bacon, mayonnaise, and yogurt.
  • Alternatively, you could skip the yogurt and double the amount of vegan mayonnaise.
  • Add some cheese, red onion, or avocado chunks for some additional texture and variety.
  • Get creative by adding some fresh herbs like parsley, dill, or oregano.

TIPS FOR MAKING PERFECTLY CRISPY BACON

There are several ways to make bacon, and each method has its own unique sets of pros and cons.

IN THE OVEN

Using an oven produces crispy bacon, while also allowing the excess fat to drain off if you use a wire baking rack inside a rimmed baking sheet.

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Place a wire baking rack inside a rimmed baking sheet.
    • Two important notables here… First, make sure your baking rack does not have a plastic coating, otherwise you will have a melted mess on your hands and your bacon won’t be safe to eat. Second, make sure your baking sheet is rimmed, otherwise you will have a different type of mess on your hands with bacon grease spilled all over the inside of your oven.
  • Arrange the slices of bacon on the baking rack.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until your desired level of crispiness is achieved. Times may vary depending on how thick your slices of bacon are.
  • If you don’t have a wire baking rack, you can line your rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper instead.
    • The difference in this method is that the excess grease will not drain off, so you may want to pat your bacon slices slightly with paper towels after cooking to soak up some of the extra grease.

IN A FRYING PAN

Simply heat your frying pan or skillet over medium-high heat and let your bacon sizzle away until it’s as crispy as your heart desires. You’ll want to flip the slices of bacon occasionally to ensure even cooking. Watch out for splattered grease; ouch! If using this method, you may want to invest in a splatter shield. Same as above, you can use paper towels to absorb any extra grease from the bacon after it is done cooking.

IN THE MICROWAVE

If “easy peasy lemon squeezy” is your motto in life, you may enjoy the simplicity of cooking bacon in your microwave. Simply line a microwave-safe plate with paper towels, arrange your bacon slices on top, and cover the bacon with another layer of paper towels. The general rule of thumb is to cook your bacon for one minute per slice, so if you have eight pieces of bacon on your plate then you’ll cook it for approximately eight minutes in the microwave. Take a peek under the top layer of paper towels to check the level of crispiness at that time and cook in 30 second or one minute increments if it isn’t as crispy as you’d like it. Please use pot holders to remove the plate from the microwave as it will be extremely hot.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHAT PASTA IS BEST TO USE FOR PASTA SALAD?

Any type of pasta can be used for pasta salad! My personal favorite types to use are penne, rotini, farfalle, shells, and orecchiette.

WHAT BACON IS BEST TO USE FOR THIS BLT PASTA SALAD?

While I prefer center-cut bacon because it has a lower fat content, you can use any type of bacon you have on hand! You can even use bacon bits if you want!

DO YOU HAVE TO RINSE THE PASTA IN COLD WATER AFTER IT IS DONE COOKING?

Rinsing the pasta with cold water is actually a very important step when it comes to making any pasta salad dish. Not only does it stop the cooking process, but it also rinses off some of the excess starch from the pasta itself, which prevents it from sticking together. No one wants gummy clumps of pasta in their pasta salad!

CAN YOU PREPARE THIS PASTA SALAD AHEAD OF TIME?

Yes, absolutely! This dish keeps extremely well in the refrigerator, so it is perfect to make ahead of time if needed. If possible, keep the dressing and pasta separate until you are ready to serve for optimal flavor.

WHAT CAN YOU SERVE WITH THIS DISH?

While this pasta salad is perfectly acceptable to serve all on its own, you could serve it alongside some grilled chicken and fresh fruit.

IS THERE A WAY TO MAKE THIS PASTA SALAD VEGAN OR VEGETARIAN?

A few simple swaps will turn this dish vegan or vegetarian friendly in no time! Use your favorite vegan bacon, mayonnaise, and yogurt and you’re all set. If you can’t find a vegan yogurt, feel free to skip it and double the amount of vegan mayonnaise instead.

BLT Pasta Salad - Cooking With Fudge

STORAGE, REHEATING, AND FREEZING

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO STORE BLT PASTA SALAD?

You’ll want to store leftovers of this dish in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to one week. Since the dressing is mayonnaise and yogurt-based, it’s important that it does not sit out at room temperature for too long. Up to two hours is the recommended amount of time that it should be left at room temperature. Beyond that, it should be kept in your refrigerator to prevent bacteria from starting to form.

HOW DO YOU REHEAT BLT PASTA SALAD?

Since this dish is meant to be served cold, no reheating is required!

CAN YOU FREEZE BLT PASTA SALAD?

I personally would not recommend freezing this recipe, as I don’t believe it would retain its optimal flavor and texture once thawed.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
This BLT Pasta Salad makes 8 servings at 3/4 cup each. Each serving comes out to 191 calories.

Go here to calculate your own WW PersonalPoints™ for this recipe.

BLT Pasta Salad - Cooking With Fudge

MORE PASTA SALAD RECIPES

Are you a pasta salad fanatic? Check out my Caprese Pasta Salad and Mediterranean Pasta Salad!

If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment below, or post a picture and tag me on FacebookInstagramPinterest, or Twitter with @cookingwithfudge or #cookingwithfudge.

BLT Pasta Salad - Cooking With Fudge

BLT Pasta Salad

Inspired by the flavors of the classic BLT sandwich, this BLT Pasta Salad is sure to be a hit for your next family dinner or potluck. Requiring only a few simple ingredients, you’ll have a delicious meal on the table in 30 minutes or less with this quick dinner recipe.
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keywords: 30-Minute, Bacon, Grape Tomatoes, Green Onion, Pasta, pasta salad, Spinach
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 191kcal
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
4.98 from 38 votes
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Adjustable Servings: 8 servings

Equipment

  • Stock pot
  • Colander or strainer
  • Baking sheet and wire baking rack
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Small bowl
  • Whisk
  • Large bowl
  • Spoon

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces pasta
  • 8 pieces center cut bacon chopped
  • 2 cups spinach chopped
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes halved
  • ½ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup reduced fat mayonnaise
  • cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • cup green onions chopped, to garnish (optional)

Instructions

  • Bring a stock pot of water to a boil.
  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Once the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook according to the package directions.
  • Place the wire baking rack inside the baking sheet.
  • Place the bacon on the wire baking rack.
  • Bake the bacon at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes until the desired level of crispiness is achieved.
  • While the pasta and bacon are cooking, use a knife and cutting board to chop the spinach, halve the grape tomatoes, and chop the green onions.
  • In a small bowl, combine the nonfat plain Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, white wine vinegar, salt, and pepper with a whisk or spoon.
  • Once the pasta is done cooking, use a colander to strain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
  • Add the pasta to a large bowl.
  • When the bacon is done cooking, allow it to cool and then chop.
  • To the large bowl with the pasta, add the bacon, spinach, grape tomatoes, and dressing.
  • Stir well to combine.
  • Garnish with green onions and more chopped bacon if desired.

Notes

This BLT Pasta Salad makes 8 servings at 3/4 cup each. Each serving comes out to 191 calories.
Go here to calculate your own WW PersonalPoints™ for this recipe.
Recipe URL: https://cookingwithfudge.com/blt-pasta-salad/

Nutrition

Serving: 0.75cup | Calories: 191kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 439mg | Potassium: 295mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1223IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @CookingWithFudge or tag #CookingWithFudge!

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