BLT Pasta Salad – Spaceships and Laser Beams

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The perfect side dish for any potluck, this BLT pasta salad not only has juicy tomatoes, crispy bacon, and —you guessed it—fresh Romaine lettuce, but is made even better by a zesty ranch based dressing.

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This BLT pasta salad recipe is a fun spin on the classic bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich. This is a creamy pasta salad that is light and delicious. The addition of fresh avocados and creamy Ranch dressing makes this Ranch BLT salad unlike any pasta salad you’ve ever had before. It’s simply the best!

Wondering what to serve with the easy BLT pasta salad recipe? It’s wonderful with these Parmesan Pork Chops or this Oven Baked Chicken for an easy dinner. BLT pasta salad is also great alongside classic sandwiches like this Grilled Ham and Cheese or The Best Egg Salad Sandwich. How about another delicious pasta salad? For more cold pasta salad options, check out our yummy Dill Pickle Pasta Salad, Greek Pasta Salad, Italian Pasta Salad or our Taco Pasta Salad.

A plate of food, with Salad and Pasta

MORE PASTA SALAD RECIPES
Italian Pasta Salad | Elbow Macaroni Pasta Salad


BLT PASTA SALAD INGREDIENTS

A plate of food, with Salad and BLT

You will need:

For the Salad

  • 16-ounce box rotini pasta, cooked, drained, and rinsed with cold water
  • 13 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped
  • ½ of a large red onion, finely diced
  • 1½ cups of cheddar cheese, cut into cubes (measured after it’s been cubed)
  • 2 cups of romaine lettuce, cut or torn into bite-size pieces (measured after it’s in pieces)
  • 1 avocado, cut into small pieces
  • 1½ cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half (measured after cut in half)
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped

For the Dressing

  • 1 1-ounce packet Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning mix (dry)
  • 1½ cups of mayonnaise
  • ½ cup sour cream

PRO TIP: Cut all ingredient amounts in half if you are serving a smaller group, as this will make a large bowl full of salad.

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

PASTA: You can use any type of small pasta in this great recipe. Bow tie pasta, shells, rigatoni, or penne are other options that would work well.

BACON: If you want to save a step, or don’t have time, you could use store-bought bacon bits instead of cooking your own bacon and chopping it up. However, fresh-cooked crunchy bacon will have a much better flavor overall in your salad.

CHEESE: Shredded cheddar cheese can be used instead of cubed cheese if you prefer. You can also use a different type of cheese if you prefer. Pepper jack, Colby jack, provolone, or swiss would all be great options. All of them could be used in a shredded form or cut into cubes.

GREEK YOGURT: Replace the sour cream with greek yogurt if you prefer.

HOW TO MAKE THIS BLT PASTA SALAD RECIPE

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STEP ONE: In a medium bowl, combine dry Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix, mayonnaise and sour cream. Use a whisk to mix together. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

STEP TWO: In a large pot, cook pasta per package directions. Drain, rinse the hot pasta with cold water and drain again. Place in a large mixing bowl.

PRO TIP: Rinsing the cooked pasta in cold water after draining is best when doing a cold pasta salad recipe. It stops the pasta from cooking, and it keeps the pasta loose for the salad.

A bowl of food on a plate, with Salad and Pasta

STEP THREE: Add cooked and chopped bacon, red onion, cheddar cheese cubes, avocado, cherry tomatoes, parsley, and romaine lettuce. Then, pour dressing mix over the ingredients. Use tongs to gently toss the salad until everything is well coated.

STEP FOUR: Serve immediately.

A plate of food, with Salad and Pasta

HOW TO SERVE

Any easy pasta salad recipe is a great option for a summer BBQ. This salad, filled with all of the classic BLT ingredients is the best one yet! Serve alongside grilled chicken, hot dogs and hamburgers and our cucumber salad.

STORAGE

IN THE FRIDGE: The romaine lettuce in this BLT pasta salad does not save well. Because of this, I recommend serving it right away. If you have leftovers to store, it’s best if you don’t add lettuce to the entire mixture and add fresh lettuce when you serve again. Store leftovers in a tightly sealed container for up to 24 hours and eat the next day. I don’t recommend keeping this in the fridge for more than 24 hours.

A bowl of salad on a plate, with Pasta and BLT

BLT pasta salad is a light and creamy pasta salad. It takes a favorite sandwich and turns it into a delicious summer side dish complete with avocado and homemade Ranch dressing. This is absolutely the best Ranch BLT pasta salad!

FAQ

Can I use bottled Ranch dressing instead of the package of the mix?

You can substitute the dry mix for a bottle of Ranch dressing in this recipe.

What type of pasta is best in pasta salad?

Any bite-sized pasta works well in pasta salad. Penne, bowties or rotini are all excellent choices.

Can I freeze pasta salad?

Pasta salad would not freeze well. It is best to make fresh within a couple days of serving it.

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A bowl of salad on a plate, with BLT and Pasta

BLT Pasta Salad

The perfect side dish for any potluck, this BLT pasta salad not only has juicy tomatoes, crispy bacon, and —you guessed it—fresh Romaine lettuce, but is made even better by a zesty ranch based dressing.

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Prep Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Servings: 8

Calories: 829kcal

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Ingredients

  • 16 ounce box rotini pasta cooked, drained and rinsed with cold water
  • 13 slices bacon cooked and chopped
  • 1/2 large red onion finely diced
  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese cut into cubes (measured after cut)
  • 2 cups romaine lettuce measured after cut or torn into bit sized pieces
  • 1 avocado cut into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes cut in half (measured after cut)
  • 1/4 cup parsley chopped

Dressing Ingredients

  • 1 ounce package Hidden Valley Dressing Mix dry
  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Instructions

  • In a medium mixing bowl combine dry Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix, mayonnaise, and sour cream. Use a whisk to mix together. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  • Cook rotini pasta per package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again. Place in a large mixing bowl.

  • Add cooked and chopped bacon, red onion, cheddar cheese cubes, avocado, cherry tomatoes, parsley, and romaine lettuce. Pour dressing mix over ingredients. Use tongs to gently toss salad until well coated.

  • Serve immediately.

Notes

TIP: Cut ingredients in half if serving for a smaller crowd as this recipe makes a large salad, perfect for sharing with big groups!
TIP: Rinsing the cooked pasta in cold water after draining is best when doing a cold pasta salad recipe. It stops the pasta from cooking, and it keeps the pasta loose for the salad.
TIP: Al dente is the ideal consistency for pasta. The pasta will be tender and will still have a slightly firm texture when you bite into it.

Nutrition

Calories: 829kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 60g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 1188mg | Potassium: 479mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1697IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 200mg | Iron: 2mg





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